Stephen Hawking had warned against 'superhumans' from beyond the grave

Mindy Sparks
October 16, 2018

Hawking says the simplest explanation is that God does not exist and there is no reliable evidence for an afterlife, though people could live on through their influence and genes.

His final prediction is set to be released in a new book of his essays, named Brief Answers to Big Questions.

The final writings of world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking have been compiled in a book. "Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant", Hawking pointed out.

The late professor Stephen Hawking believed that in the future, humanity would be wiped out by a race of genetically engineered "superhumans.' He died in March, but he left behind him many articles concerning the future of the human race or the wouldn't solution to the 'Hawking's Radiation" - the black hole information paradox. He called it "self-designed evolution".

Most notably, CRISPR-Cas 9 is a recently emerged technology that can be thought of as acting like a tiny pair of molecular scissors that can cut and alter nucleotides which make up DNA, enabling scientists to find and modify, or replace, genetic defects. Other qualities, such as intelligence, are probably controlled by a large number of genes, and it will be much more hard to find them and work out the relations between them.

Hawking's suggestion has proven controversial among the science community. "Perhaps, against genetic engineering on humans will be adopted, however some can't resist the temptation to improve human characteristics, such as memory, resistance to disease, life expectancy", writes in the book Hawking. Thus they can modify their DNA and their children, improve memory and resistance to disease, and life expectancy and improve intelligence.

Speaking from beyond the grave, Professor Stephen Hawking has told a new generation growing up in an increasingly insular world: "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet". Instead, there will be a race of self-designing beings who are improving themselves at an ever-increasing rate.

Amidst the moral panics, it's important to note that some of the concerns do have a historical precedent, and not every advancement suddenly means we're leaving ethical science behind.

Will we survive on Earth?

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