Your future depends on science, Stephen Hawking warns from beyond the grave

Hawking ordinary humans won’t be able to compete

In "Brief Answers to the Big Questions", Hawking suggests the wealthy will soon be able to edit their own and their children's DNA to create superhumans with improved memory, disease resistance, intelligence and longevity.

Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking's last message to the universe is a plea for unity in the "isolated and insular" age of Brexit and Trump, and his fear that a "global revolt against experts" might get in the way of finding the next Einstein to solve our biggest problems.

"He realized that people specifically wanted his answers to these questions", the scientist's daughter, Lucy Hawking, who helped complete the book, told CNN.

The book was an attempt to "bring together the most definitive, clearest, most authentic answers that he gave". "I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature".

Hawking, who was wheelchair bound due to motor neurone disease, dedicated his life's work to unravelling the mysteries of the universe.

Attempting to answer the question "How do we shape the future?" in the book's final chapter, the scientist writes: "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet".

What is inside a black hole?

'No and yes. In principal the laws allow us to predict the future but in practice it is too hard'. The book also discusses whether humans will survive on earth.

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"There are forms of intelligent life out there", he writes.

Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?

The renowned theoretical physicist, who died in March this year, made the grim prediction in a collection of essays and articles recently published by the UK's Sunday Times, prior to the release of a book containing a collection of writings by Dr Hawking.

Hawking warned that this genetic augmentation could create a race of "superhumans" - causing natural humans to die out or become unimportant.

He says that by the time people realise what is happening with climate change, it may be too late.

Hawking's theory refers to techniques such as Crispr, a DNA-editing system that allows scientists to modify harmful genes or add new ones.

"Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist", he said.

"He was deeply anxious that at a time when the challenges are global, we were becoming increasingly local in our thinking", Lucy Hawking said.


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