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Must colonise space to survive: Hawking

Last Updated: Monday, August 9, 2010 - 23:00

London: The human race will become extinct
unless it leaves Earth and colonises space within the next two
centuries, according to Prof Stephen Hawking, the world`s most
famous astrophysicist.

In an interview with `Big Think` portal, Prof Hawking
has said he`s an "optimist" but the next few hundred years had
to be negotiated carefully if the human race is to survive.
He said: "I see great danger for the human race. There
have been a number of times in the past when survival has been
a question of touch and go. The Cuban missile crisis in 1963
is one of these.

"The frequency of such occasions is likely to
increase in the future. We shall need great care and judgment
to negotiate them all successfully. But I am an optimist. If
we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries our species
should be safe as we spread into space."

Prof Hawking has warned that mankind was entering "an
increasingly dangerous period of our history". "Our population
and use of the finite resources of planet Earth and growing
exponentially along with out technical ability to change the
environment for good and ill.

"But our genetic code carries selfish and aggressive
instincts that were a survival advantage in the past. It will
be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next 100 years
let alone the next thousand or a million. Our only chance of
long term survival is not to remain on Earth but to spread
into space.

"We have made remarkable progress in the last 100
years but if we want to continue beyond the next 100 years our
future is in space," the `Daily Mail` quoted him as telling
the portal.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 9, 2010 - 23:00
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