'Mankind must abandon earth'

2010-08-10 12:11

London - Mankind's only chance of long-term survival lies in colonising space, as humans drain Earth of resources and face a terrifying array of new threats, warned British scientist Stephen Hawking on Monday.

"The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet," the renowned astrophysicist told the website Big Think, a forum which airs ideas on many subjects from experts.

"Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space," he added.

He warned that the human race was likely to face an increased number of events that threaten its very existence, as the Cuban missile crisis did in 1962.

The Cold War showdown saw the US and Soviet Union in a confrontation over Soviet missiles deployed in Cuba, near US shores, and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

"We are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history," said Hawking.

"Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill."

If we want to survive beyond the next century, "our future is in space", added the scientist.

"That is why I'm in favour of manned, or should I say 'personed', space flight."

His comments came after he warned in a recent television series that mankind should avoid contact with aliens at all costs, as the consequences could be devastating.

  • ET - 2010-08-10 12:26

    How bizar how bizar. i can see why he wants to fly.

  • Juan - 2010-08-10 12:28

    Massive amounts of environmental tax should be levied on those people having children.

  • sue - 2010-08-10 12:33

    Imagine if the aliens today were the descendents of humans who years ago left earth due to same problems we have today!

  • Earthling - 2010-08-10 12:41

    There is no point in travelling to other worlds. GOD created Earth - and only Earth - for mankind. When this world ends, we will all either go to heaven or hell. Prepare yourselves!!!

  • BT - 2010-08-10 12:51

    It doesn't take "rocket science" to work that one out. Just far too many people on earth trying to survive off ever diminishing resources. Whats more mind boggling is that nobody seems to be really focusing on the real problem, ie population control!

  • craigxii - 2010-08-10 12:58

    I have always liked Stevens stuff but really he is the dumbest smart person in the world!
    Of course he would say lets go to space, but really all he is saying is that we should just give up, go from planet to planet and use resources and then leave. Instead of just learning to live with what we have, solve problems like over crowding and destruction of the eco system and learn to think more like sentient beings with a conscious.
    All Steven is doing now is advocating the rape and pillage system we have imployed for so long - this screams unoriginal thought and the need by man to be more than is necessarry. You know what though - no one really cares, as long as they have big macs in space people will feel sorted.... Crazy crazy crazy smart man you!

  • stephen dork-king - 2010-08-10 12:59

    One would think someone that is supposed to know something about sciene would not blabber such unrealistic statements. We with our best technology can reach speeds of about 30 000km/h the speed of light = 300 000 meters per second. Now how do Stephan Hawking expect us to inhabbit different planets when he knows that all the planets in our solar system except earth is uninhabitable??. Also we know the closest
    solar system to ours Alpha centauri is 4.2 light years away, thus to reach the closest other planets to look for a habitable planet to colonise you'll have to travel at the speed of light for 4.2 years to reach it. seeing that we can only travel at 30 000 km/h we can forget about it. The best and easiest solution is to fix our problems on earth and be much more sustainable because this is the only planet we'll be able to survive on. It just shows you how evolutionists and atheists could hang on the teachings of Hawking and think he is such a great scientist but just look at the cr@p coming from this "great" scientist' mouth...what a loser.

  • Eja - 2010-08-10 13:01

    This coming from a man who does not believe in a Divine Creator is making a statement in 'support' of a Divine Creation! I wonder if he is aware of that!
    Human arrogance is standing at the edge of an abyss and flying off without wings will most certainly be their demise!

  • darkwing - 2010-08-10 13:08

    Only for us to mess up the next planet.

  • concern - 2010-08-10 13:13

    i agree with him, but it is part of the spiritual revolution that billions have to die, as we are great at natural destruction. We must first sort ourselves out before we go and mess up any other planet as we are currently doing to earth. As it is predicted what must happen must happen, it has been approve by the higher spiritual council of infinite beings earth countdown has began. What must be must be

  • Moersteen - 2010-08-10 13:14

    So we stuff up one planet, and in stead of learning from the experience, we just go and stuff up some more. Great thinking Steve.

  • DaveH - 2010-08-10 13:35

    The only devastating consequence of avoiding contact is our own self-destruction route which we have modeled on an unsustainable financial foundation for far too long. Colonising space will not solve any problems on earth as simply put, that amounts to running away from the problem. The logical consequences of that scenario are that the wealthiest would leave the devastation they have caused behind for the poorest to deal with.
    Alternatively by adopting a new strategy of complete synergy, symbiosis and co-operative evolution involving all of humanity and the earth we all live on, there is hope and possibility for a completely sustainable and abundant future. If we cannot manage to live in a sustainable manner on our own home planet, we certainly will continue this destructive pattern anywhere else.
    There is no doubt that we could benefit a great deal from contact with aliens which may provide wisdom for solutions to the many problems we face as an evolving human race.

  • Peter - 2010-08-10 13:38

    @Stephen Dork-king. i love how you are calling him dumb for suggesting such an "unrealistic" approach to the prolem, when you call Alpha Centauri a solar system (its a star). Enjoy enlighting the world with your "intelligence" buddy

  • Willem@stephen dork-king - 2010-08-10 13:44

    You are the loser, idiot!

    What about terraforming planets in our own solar system? Space stations? And it terms of the speed of light, there are other options which researching the area might crack.

    Let's see you write a book like "A brief history of time"


  • Willem - 2010-08-10 13:46

    And the religious zealots crawl out of the woodwork like cockroaches again....

  • riaan - 2010-08-10 14:05

    Ag shame, guess who looked at Star-Trek this weekend......

  • @willem - 2010-08-10 14:15

    Why dont you just go back to playing spore? Clearly, your bias to science is getting to your head and your reality... Look around dude, science explains but a small piece, chances are you only see in the colours you can... work that out.

  • Spaced Out - 2010-08-10 15:37

    There are no other planets available to us! Alpha Centauri, or more accurately Proxima Centauri, is about 4.2 Million Light Years away and too far already even if you whipped up speed (and G's!) around our larger local planets a few times. Alpha Centauri is also part of a 3-star formation meaning that there are actually 3 stars orbiting around each other posing as the brightest star in Centaurus. Even with the space between those stars being sometimes very large the complex seasons and changing gravitational pulls there would make for a more inhospitable welcoming after your and your descendants looooong trip not to mention the chance of finding a hospitable planet that "close" to Earth. Mercury is too hot, Venus is too hot/cold depending on which side you're measuring, Jupiter too gassy and large and dangerous even to orbit around, Saturn and others too cold, etc. Nope, it would have to be the moon or Mars or natural satellite around a larger local planet or ISS around Mars and even that would be stretching what we can do given that there would be no local atmosphere, acceptable gravity, etc. This sounds to me like Stephen hotting up the idea of colonising the moon... Since the Chinese suggested a few years ago that they were interested in going to the moon, and some have ploughed a couple obsolete satellites (or more) into the surface of the moon in the hope of finding sub-surface water traces to sustain a moon station laboratory (and industry/mining/tourism), and funds are hard to come by during a recession - I think that Stephen has either lost the last few of his marbles or is singing to a higher tune. Interesting times indeed - best keep recycling! And for those who still put all their faith in mankind to save the wisest (or dumbest) space travellers among us - remember that fairly recent expensive error when a brand new satellite crashed into a local planet because the experts got confused across the Atlantic about whether they were working in inches or centimetres...sorry for you.

  • Willem@ "@willem" - 2010-08-10 15:40

    Oh nameless one - your post does not really make sense.

    How does religion explain anything?

    Where is your proof for your god's existence?

    Where is the proof that the creator was the jewish god?

  • Telsrat - 2010-08-10 15:49

    Ever flown from Cape Town to OR Tamabo?
    Still think we are over populated?

  • JS - 2010-08-10 16:40

    @ Willem: Yes Willem, absolutely, and still, you have now idea where you come from(chimps maybe?). Fortunately I know I am a creation of God, to His image.

  • Eja - 2010-08-10 17:26

    Eja @ Juan " Never take delight in another man's plight...
    He has a brilliant brain that depletes its physical body...
    Not nice man... not nice to attack another's person like that...

    Shame on you....

  • Oupa Willem - 2010-08-10 17:39

    Quite a number of the commenters here are whistling in the dark as they skulk through the graveyard at an hour after midnight. I Guess ol' Steve Hawking's 100% right. We've got all our eggs in one basket and its getting too small for all of them' pretty quickly at that! All I can say is that at the age of 75, I don't think I'll be around to see the day the basket breaks...thank God!

  • Eja - 2010-08-10 17:59

    @ Willem
    Self reflection is it not?

    You are part of this world - whatever your belief and so no man can stand alone..
    This article is to show us our mess - it speaks of our "fight or take flight" and in my humble opinion, it will be the "non religious" that would take 'flight" as they don't want to become part of the solution. They simply destroy... starting with other people's opinions...

  • MANU - 2010-08-10 18:14

    When Stephen Hawking talks about 'long-term' survival of the human race,people must understand that he is talking about millions,if not billions,of years into the future. Our sun will eventually run out of energy,a large meteor strike could make our survival very difficult.

    So before people start criticising the learned professor,they must understand WHAT he is talking about as well as the WHEN of it.

  • JS - 2010-08-11 15:52

    @ Telsrat: Maybe you do not understand the term "over populated" correctly. It doesn't mean the humans stay in every square meter of planet earth, but more so, that there are more people than we can supply fresh water and food for. The world economies are bankrupt and no-one have a real solution for the problem. Governments print more and more money and it changes nothing. In time you will have millions in the bank, but there won't be any food in the shops or water in the taps. Catch a wake-up.

  • Leigh - 2010-09-02 13:32

    JUAN FOR PRESIDENT! I always agree with your viewpoints. I think everyone should stop breeding for a few years so the earth has time to recover. I support the Voluntary Extinction Movement and not leaving a legacy (what's to leave them?) May we live long and die out.

  • Reality - 2010-09-02 13:41

    All species to ever walk the earth have become extinct, lets face it, we're heading there too.

  • Nameless - 2010-09-02 14:15

    I agree with Leigh and Juan...stop breeding like rabbits, there are no jobs, not enough living supplies and earth is dying. Why make it worst by creating more people who cannot be looked after. And we will eventually become extinct. Its the circle of life.

  • Common sense - 2010-09-02 14:37

    the man is absolutely right, listening to all you guys comments, from posting your opinions youll have almost declared war upon each other over just one persons opinion or theory, no wonder planet earth is so stuffed up, coz we are like scavengers waiting for others to weaken,

    grow up guys,

  • AntiReligion @Earthling - 2010-09-02 16:46

    Earthling, you are an idiot too and you are following blindly what someone ELSE has told you to believe. Try thinking for yourself, because then you will realize that religion is a big lie and the BIGGEST BUST-UP OF HUMANITY. You religious nuts are fools! Wake up – you are being lied to. There is no heaven or hell. We will ALL end up in the same place.

  • Mike Lee - 2010-09-03 09:09

    To all of those individuals out there, like me, who have seen the "light", (thanks to the work of scientists of the calibre of Richard Dawkins, and other intellectuals like Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and A.C.Grayling) I would say that trying to convince "believers" of any religious god fearing cult is like trying to convince someone who is colour blind that he is wrong about what he/she is seeing!! Or, for that matter, schizophrenia ( you know...hearing voices and delusionary behaviour); which is probably what most of the early prophets suffered from! I often wonder what we would read about today in the "holy' books if it were possible to transport an illusionist of the skills of David Copperfield back to that era. Once you have understood the evidence of evolution it is so easy to understand why we are here today. With, I may add, a good deal of luck (or pure chance!) as there are many events that occurred in the past that came close to wiping out all life on this planet. It is quite possible that had not we experienced the asteroid impact some 65,000,000 years ago, that ended the dinosaur reign, we and many other mammals may not have evolved at all! Religion is quite simply superstitious ignorance that is continuously transplanted from parent to child and for some "churches" an excellent source of income for the cynical opportunists who run them! I'll leave you with this observation: Astronomers have calculated that in the known Universe there are more stars then there are grains of sand in ALL the beaches on our planet!!And you "believers" think we humans are something SPECIAL!!

  • Raj - 2010-09-03 11:40

    No Jaun - here is a better idea- you rid the world of yourself and we honour you as a hero, with a biodegradeable trophy, and we'll plant a tree on your grave.

  • Moh Kan Wu - 2010-09-14 23:32

    I am suspected that Mr. Stephen Hawking does not understand Genesis, nor Revelation, if he know both books, he will not says the words:"Mankind must abandon earth"

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