The British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said in a keynote at Oxford University Union that mankind only has about 1,000 years left of potential existence if it doesn’t go out of the planet and colonise the stars.


Renowned theoretical physicist mentioned that the earth, like all planets, is vulnerable. Current life types, primarily larger ones like human beings, could disappear as a result of any variety of cataclysmic planetary hair days. All it takes is for our environment to take just one sick day and we're history without one to read about it.

Hawking said that risks to life will rise as humans quickly design technologies, most especially artificial intelligence or AI, and robotics. This kind of development could result in deadly wars. The professor said that humanity is unlikely to survive all the different disasters we will face over the next thousand years. Humans can stay away from extinction, he said, if we have colonized other planets by that time, providing humanity a dealing with chance away from our Earth.

As he was quoted as saying by the Christian Science Monitor, this will need to take place within the next 1000 years:

“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 1,000 or 10,000 years. 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.”

Back in January of 2016, Hawking warned that humanity’s technological progress has the power to outstrip us:

“We face a number of threats to our survival, from nuclear war, catastrophic global warming, and genetically engineered viruses. The number is likely to increase in the future, wit the development of new technologies, and new ways things can go wrong. However, 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. Most of the threats we face come from the progress we have made in science and technology. We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we have to recognize the dangers and control them.”

He said the only way to give protection to our species is to have humans in more than just one place in the universe.

Another group would need to live separately on another planet or if possible in another solar system just in case our sun draws out, winks off, or unexpectedly increases its own emissions outside our biology's survival line.

“I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let’s hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.”

It should be kept in mind that we have found numerous planets that could work as possible homes for humankind. We will need at minimum 100 years to develop all the required technologies to develop colonies on even the nearest of these planets - Mars.

Hawking ended his speech optimistic: 

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

Profile photo of ilbiscom


content producer and sharer, web presence provider