PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) — Stephen Hawking is warning that human aggression could be the downfall of our planet.
In a recent interview, the 75-year-old world-renowned physicist said humans “need to control this inherited instinct.”
“Since civilization began, aggression has been useful in as much as it has definite survival advantages. It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution,” Hawking said, according to AOL.com. “Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”
Hawking also warned about environmental issues and the possible dangers of artificial intelligence.
“We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control. This might mean some form of world government. But that might become a tyranny,” Hawking said, according to AOL.com. “All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.”
Last November, Hawking said humanity won’t survive another 1,000 years on Earth because of climate change, nukes, and robots.
“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,” Hawking said in the speech at the Oxford University Union, according to the Christian Science Monitor. “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.”
Hawking was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
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