Stephen Hawking has warned humanity that it is likely to wipe itself out — unless it manages to escape the Earth. Unfortunately such space colonies aren’t going to arrive any time soon, according to the Cambridge professor. “We will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period," the physicist said.
As such, we should look to “recognise the dangers and control them” to ensure our continuing survival, he said. Professor Hawking warned that those dangers could come from nuclear war, global warming and genetically-engineered viruses, the BBC reported. The chances of those things are increasing, he said - and there is perhaps little humanity can do about it.
"Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years," Hawking said in advance of the BBC Reith Lectures, where Professor Hawking will lay out his research into black holes. "By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.