Science News

Moving House Is One Thing But What About Moving Planet ?

Sun, 28th Oct 2001

Part of the show Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Some of you might be moving house at the moment. But Cambridge mathematician Professor Stephen Hawking has a more radical suggestion. He thinks that humans should move to another planet! Hawking, the author of the best seller A Brief History of Time, is not very optimistic about the future of the human race, and believes that we are very vulnerable to accidents by living in just one location in the Universe. Curiously enough for a mathematician, he thinks that our fate lies in the hands of biology, and that a virus, either manmade or natural, is likely agent of our destruction. However, these ideas have sparked off protests among other scientists who say that humans and our ancient ancestors have lived on the earth for five millions years, surviving the ravages of ice ages, plagues and asteroid impacts. They also think that advances in medicine and technology could offer remedies for Hawking's killer biological agents. Hawking seems to be very concerned about the end of the world as we know it. Last year he was predicting that a future Earth might be covered in boiling sulphuric acid due to manmade carbon dioxide emissions. But who knows, in Estate Agents' windows of the future, maybe we will see adverts for houses in Mars ?!


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