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Hawking: Humans Only Have 1000 Years Left on Earth

By - Source: Huffington Post | B 52 comments
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Humans need to press on with their exploration of space, as the clock is ticking.

British physicist Stephen Hawking revealed in a presentation at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles that humans will need to vacate Earth before the end of the millennium, as they likely won't survive on Earth beyond that point.

And we thought the declining PC market was bad news.

The 71-year-old physicist said that humans need to continue pushing out into space to guarantee the future of mankind. "We won't survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet," he told an audience of doctors, nurses and employees.

That's easier said than done, at least for now. Mankind was already supposed to be setting foot on Mars by 2015, first by building the ISS and then assembling a ship in space. But as it stands now, no human has even returned to the moon since the early 1970s. The United States' current fleet of Shuttles are officially retired, and the first manned mission of NASA's next spaceship, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, won't take place until after 2020.

Currently, the primary taxi to the ISS is the fourth-generation Russian Soyuz which has been the primary "bus" to and from Earth since 2003. NASA reportedly made a deal with the Russian Space Agency back in March 2011 for 12 trips to the station for $753 million USD, or $63 million per seat. This will cover American astronauts until 2015. Eventually NASA wants to rely on the private sector via the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

Of course, based on Hawking's comment, it sounds like humans have plenty of time to get their act together and branch out to other planets Star Trek style – 987 years at the least. Meanwhile, Hawking took a tour of a stem cell laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center that's focused on trying to slow the progression of Lou Gehrig's disease. Hawking was diagnosed with the neurological disorder 50 years ago while a student at Cambridge University, and has survived longer than most of the people who have been diagnosed with the disease.

During his presentation, Hawking told the audience that when he was first diagnosed, he became depressed and initially didn't see a reason to finish his doctorate. But he continued to push through his studies despite the diagnosis.

"If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way," he said.

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Top Comments
  • 31 Hide
    aoneone , April 13, 2013 9:24 AM
    You have to understand that technology moves close to exponentially rather than linearly. In other words, things may seem slow but within the next 100 years or so, there will be progress. Just look at us now versus the Industrial Revolution. Just hang in there and stop overpopulating our Planet that's all. ^_^
  • 22 Hide
    NuclearShadow , April 13, 2013 10:27 AM
    Wow, I had no idea he was 71. I don't know if his statement is correct or not but regardless he is right about us needing to take space travel seriously.
  • 20 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 13, 2013 10:42 AM
    a man whom i have infinite respect for. of course this is all just speculation, and nobody will live to see it, but it's worth taking notice from a guy like him
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  • 31 Hide
    aoneone , April 13, 2013 9:24 AM
    You have to understand that technology moves close to exponentially rather than linearly. In other words, things may seem slow but within the next 100 years or so, there will be progress. Just look at us now versus the Industrial Revolution. Just hang in there and stop overpopulating our Planet that's all. ^_^
  • 4 Hide
    BulkZerker , April 13, 2013 9:26 AM
    Aoneone. Tell that to the impoverished. And religious breeders.
  • 10 Hide
    nuvon , April 13, 2013 9:42 AM
    I wish I can live that long to prove it....
  • 2 Hide
    ceh4702 , April 13, 2013 10:14 AM
    People that make these kind of remarks should go back and read the remarks of the past. They said we would not be able to feed all the people when the population of the world was about 1 billion. However we are still here. Humans are able to adapt and develop new technologies. This will not change any time soon. There is no guarantee we can find another habitable planet. Necessity is the mother of invention. All it takes is one devastating disease to drastically reduce world population.
  • 22 Hide
    NuclearShadow , April 13, 2013 10:27 AM
    Wow, I had no idea he was 71. I don't know if his statement is correct or not but regardless he is right about us needing to take space travel seriously.
  • 20 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 13, 2013 10:42 AM
    a man whom i have infinite respect for. of course this is all just speculation, and nobody will live to see it, but it's worth taking notice from a guy like him
  • 8 Hide
    nexians , April 13, 2013 10:58 AM
    Am happy if they are building an Enterprise Ship as shown in pic
  • 1 Hide
    DRosencraft , April 13, 2013 11:06 AM
    I think we must all respect Stephen Hawking. He is a very brilliant scientist. That being said, I don't think it's ever good for any scientist to get into these hyper ling-term predictions. There are so many things that can happen to a planet over that period of time. Heck, civilization has only been around for about 5000 years. There's nothing known of to compare our species to relative to intelligence and means, in terms of the ability to survive on a planet on that time-scale. You would have to be fairly certain that there will be some event that will make life actually impossible on the planet to assert 1000 years as a benchmark for "must leave the planet". Unless you're talking about space colonies, it's not even all that likely we'll have anywhere to feasibly get to in that short a time span in terms of a livable planet to settle on. I agree with the idea in principle Hawking is putting forward, but I guess I take issue with his supporting assertion, or I guess the way he makes his case.
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , April 13, 2013 11:06 AM
    Sadly humanity spends money on useless things like religion and wars instead of human evolution.
  • 1 Hide
    balister , April 13, 2013 11:21 AM
    For those that think that Hawking's prediction is off, he's taking many factors into this using probabilities. I can see very easily what he's talking about and why. For instance, ways Humanity can be wiped out:

    1) We kill ourselves through nuclear war/engineered plague/chemical means (like pollution)

    2) A large meteor/asteroid/comet strikes the Earth and causes an extinction event like that which ended the Triassic-Jurrasic period.

    3) A super volcano erruption (like Yellowstone or one out in the Pacific)

    Any of these could wipe out most life on the planet and probability of any of those things happening in the next 1000 years is quite likely. When you take all of them into account, it is almost an certainty that one of many possible events could occur that would extinquish Humanity from the Earth.
  • 3 Hide
    punahou1 , April 13, 2013 11:23 AM
    May we please have details as to why the Earth may not be survivable? Most of what is in this article is a rehash of older Hawking material...
  • -8 Hide
    mjv1121 , April 13, 2013 11:30 AM
    Hawking is an idiot and a crap scientist. Magic nonsense is not science - dividing by zero is NOT infinity - singularities my ass. Unless the Earth is hit by a seriously big rock, I see no reason why humans should not survive for thousands more years. As to whether "our" civilisation will continue without expansion into space, perhaps not. Even if some calamity occurs here on Earth, perhaps in 1000 years humans on Mars will recolonise Earth.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 13, 2013 11:58 AM
    None of us will be around 1000 years to disprove him.
  • 3 Hide
    MANOFKRYPTONAK , April 13, 2013 12:43 PM
    mjv1121 -So Stephen Hawking is an idiot and a crap scientist for saying that people will need to look for other places to live in the next 1000 years to survive... I have no idea who you are and you said people will be to mars and back to earth in 1000 years! You are an idiot! At least Stephen Hawking has some clout to what he is saying as a world renowned scientist!
  • -1 Hide
    Meatymutawings , April 13, 2013 1:05 PM
    considering we'd all die long before that, this shouldn't concern any of us whatsoever.
  • -1 Hide
    nebun , April 13, 2013 2:08 PM
    and how does h know this???
  • 1 Hide
    jack1982 , April 13, 2013 2:25 PM
    Looking at kids today, I'll be surprised if the whole world isn't reduced to subsistence agriculture in 100 years.
  • 0 Hide
    STravis , April 13, 2013 2:36 PM
    Not entirely a crazy prediction. Think of the amount of 'damage' we've done since the start of the industrial revolution (circa 1760) - that's less than 300 years ago - and think of the progress we've made in the last 40 years.... yeah 1000 years on this planet is asking for a lot.
  • 0 Hide
    leeashton , April 13, 2013 2:55 PM
    steven hawkings is a f**ken tool and does not know shit!
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