Professor Stephen Hawking has warned humanity will not survive another 1,000 years on Earth unless the human race finds another planet to live on.
The celebrated theoretical physicist and cosmologist painted a grave picture of the future while delivering a lecture on the universe and the origins of human beings at the Oxford Union debating society on Monday.
Professor Hawking, 74, reflected on the understanding of the universe garnered from breakthroughs over the past five decades, describing 2016 as a “glorious time to be alive and doing research into theoretical physics”.
“Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution,“ he went on. ”The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe is certainly a triumph.”
Highlighting “ambitious” experiments that will give an even more precise picture of the universe, he continued: “We will map the position of millions of galaxies with the help of [super] computers like Cosmos. We will better understand our place in the universe.
“Perhaps one day we will be able to use gravitational waves to look right back into the heart of the Big Bang.
“But we must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity.
“I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”
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SOURCE: The Independent