28 1 min 9 yrs

Renowned scientist Dr Stephen Hawking is saying that the human race will not survive another one thousand years “without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

I have no idea. I don’t know what will happen next month, let alone in centuries to come. The CBS piece doesn’t explain his remarks any further, so we can’t see Hawking’s analysis.

Any idea, eggheads? Does anyone think he’s onto something?

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  1. details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”

    Speak for yourself 😉

  2. According to the earth geographer Matt Rosenberg:
    90% of the population occupies 3% of the land. Land covers 29% of the globe.
    .03 x .29 = .0087 = .87% – Let’s call it 1%. Therefore, if Mr. Rosenberg is correct with his data, I believe it’s safe to say that less than 2% of the Earth’s surface is inhabited by humans.

    Even inhabiting the polar regions is economically quite feasible; more feasible than looking for a planet light years away that may or may not have a McDonald’s burger bar.
    Hawkins is just a panic merchant.

  3. I do believe Bernard is correct. ref: ‘panic merchant’

    Hawkins has had many wagers apparently with many other eminent scientists on many topics … and lost all of them

  4. We are trashing this planet and at an increasing rate. Our population has doubled to 7 billion in the last 60 years and is heading for 10 billion by 2050, and of course we are consuming much more per capita. As our population rockets, we are fishing the seas to extinction and we are wide open to a bird flu epidemic thanks to intensive poultry farming in China and elsewhere. And of course we are causing global warming which is already showing itself in increasingly unstable weather around the globe.

    So there is not a whole lot to be optimistic about. If we get our population under control and make a breakthrough to cheap clean energy then maybe. But both of those would need to happen soon.

  5. Peter – “Necessity is the mother of invention”

    Have faith dear boy. Men (not women) are ingenious & creative, and will, given time, find a way to overcome those terrible nightmare scenarios that seem to afflict you.

  6. Bernard,
    Even as a Christian I do not believe we were meant to wipe out all other creatures so that there could be more of us humans.

  7. Bernard,
    I don’t much care for the man’s rants. I find him a bit pretentious and “trendy”.
    It is obvious that plastic bags getting inside whales, turtles and dolphins is not a good idea. Or heavy metals being discharged into the seas or poisonous gases into the atmosphere etc etc. That’s down to mans activities. Animals disappearing is not good for us either.

  8. The current extinction rate is way beyond the pre-human rate shown in the fossil record. Apart from that the comedian is right, the planet will outlive us by billions of years.

  9. The pretentious “I’ve made a living out of swearing and being controversial” comedian..

  10. I saw this earlier (followed the link from another site) and this post reminded me of it.

    James Lovelock: A man for all seasons The guru of Gaia is a maverick environmentalist who supports fracking and nuclear power. Does he believe the human race has a future?

    …A unique thinker, he has no obvious successor, yet in gaining wide acceptance of the idea that our planet is a self-regulating system, he has had a profound effect on many branches of scientific inquiry. Along with millions of others, I can’t wait to hear the latest thoughts of the scientist who, more than any other alive today, has changed the way we think of the earth and our place on it.

    …It was during his time at Nasa that Lovelock had the first inklings of what would become the Gaia theory – according to which the earth is a planet that behaves like a living being, controlling its surface and atmosphere to keep the environment hospitable to life.


    BTW, can’t wait to read Seimi’s posts and take a walk down memory lane…I’m looking forward to his unique POV and wonderful writing…thanks David for opening up the ranks of writers to him.

  11. I don’t see how manned space flight to other planets will ever be possible, unless we dramatically alter the human form.

    Assuming we can’t break the speed of light a mission to another solar system will take several lifetimes- who would be willing to not merely sign themselves up for a mission from which they would never return?

  12. On Hawking’s point, this kind of sums it up:

    The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.

    Still, 1000 years is a long time to be prognosticating about. It seems likely that anything bad that might happen over such a time frame are things we have no idea or worry about now, and will blindside us completely. But assuming we get through the next 100 years OK, who knows what shape humanity will be in by then or what technology it would have.

    I’d love to know how it turns out but of course most likely none of us here will. It’s like reading the best mystery novel ever, but with the final pages torn out.

  13. “I don’t see how manned space flight to other planets will ever be possible, unless we dramatically alter the human form.”

    What we need is a volunteer.
    Allan, any suggestions?

  14. Thanks, Pete…I’m on a break from a ‘class’ but will read Seimi’s stuff on the way home.

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