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Stephen Hawking Says We Have 100 Years to Inhabit Another Planet

Should we just start planning now?
Stephen Hawking Says We Have 100 Years to Inhabit Another Planet
Image credit: Pat Greenhouse | The Boston Globe | Getty Images
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Famed physicist Stephen Hawking this week came out with a, if not an immediately dire, let’s say concerning prediction for humanity’s future on Earth.

In a BBC documentary that will air later this year called Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, the scientist will elucidate upon his theory that we have a century to get off this world and settle on another or face widespread extinction.

So, you know, casual.

The reasons he cites for the human race being wiped out wouldn’t be out of place in a summer blockbuster: artificial intelligence running amuck, asteroids hitting earth, the effects of climate change and population growth and medical epidemics.

Related: Stephen Hawking: Humans Ruined the Earth and Must Escape to Space

As recently as last year, Hawking gave humans anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 years to figure out how to colonize another planet, but now he seems to be taking a dimmer view.

“Although the chance of 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 1,000 or 10,000 years,” Hawking said in a 2016 BBC Reith Lecture. "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."

Related: Elon Musk's Vision of the Future Includes Cyborgs

Of course, Hawking isn’t the only scientific mind with doomsday prophecies on the brain. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is right there with him.

But with deadline pressure in the offing, it seems that it’s up to earth’s most innovative thinkers to figure out how to make things better here, or find a way to successfully make us an interplanetary species.

Edition: May 2017

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