Is Our Time on Earth Out

Is Our Time on Earth Out

  • Submitted By: rkdas
  • Date Submitted: 10/20/2008 9:45 AM
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Words: 986
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 2

Sometime ago, the 64-year world’s most eminent theoretical physicist and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking, whose fame is only next to Galelio, Newton and Einstein and popularity as wide as the readership of his famous title ‘A Brief History of Time’, posed an open question on the website ‘Yahoo Answers’: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?” The changing face of threats to mankind, from devastating asteroid impact and nuclear war to climate change and rampaging genetically modified viruses, etc., have all weighed down the Professor heavily to come out with this intriguing question.

Although more than 25,000 people gave their views, most of them, however, wanted to hear what the great scientist himself had to say. On August 2, 2006, the Professor’s response in a videoclip submission – a familiar electronic voice – pronounced: “I don’t know the answer. That is why I asked the question!” However, “In the long term,” he added, “humans will only survive if they can leave the rock they call home and spread out into space, to transform and occupy planets around our own sun and then around other suns. Failing, perhaps our best bet is to use genetic engineering to tinker with human species and make us less prone to fighting war.”

Leaving apart what Stephen said, what some of the respondents concluded was also worth reflecting upon. That human beings had had a good innings and it was time to hand over the planet, albeit in a shabby state, to a new caretaker species to see if they could do better. “May be the human race shouldn’t survive. Let other life forms flourish.” Some optimists believed that despite war, climate change and a breathtaking acceleration of new technology, humankind was not about to annihilate itself. “It will work out… There will undoubtedly be problems and disasters, but nothing so devastating to match your...

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