Stephen Hawking's Extinction Of Mankind Prediction: Humans Should Leave Earth 'Within This Century'

Lorenzo Tanos

Last year, Stephen Hawking's "extinction of mankind" theory suggested that we may need to leave Earth within the next 1,000 years before life on our planet ceases to exist. But a new documentary suggests that the British physicist has an even more dire extinction prediction these days, one that points to humanity possibly lasting only another hundred years, and one that may require a greater sense of urgency as far as humans possibly colonizing Mars is concerned.

Late last year, Stephen Hawking's timeline for the extinction of mankind was established at about 1,000 years, as he spoke at a lecture about the need to colonize other planets within that time before Earth becomes uninhabitable. According to Science Alert, Hawking cited "powerful autonomous weapons" as one of the biggest threats against mankind, which added to previous comments that suggested artificial intelligence may be "either the best, or the worst" thing to happen to our species

At the time Hawking made those remarks, he had added that living in Mars might not be a plausible idea until another century from now. But teasers for his upcoming documentary suggest that mankind might not have that luxury of time anymore.

A release from the BBC quoted by Newsweek adds that Expedition New Earth will also be featuring engineering professor Danielle George and Hawking's former student, Christophe Galfard, as the three combine to discuss how humans can move to other planets and avoid impending doom on Earth.

"The journey shows that Prof Hawking's ambition isn't as fantastical as it sounds—that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought."

Newser wrote in September 2016 that Elon Musk ideally wants to see humans colonizing Mars within the next 50 to 150 years. And, just like Stephen Hawking, he also has an extinction prediction of sorts, albeit one without even a rough timeline, as Futurism added in its report.

"We will stay on Earth forever, and eventually there will be an extinction event…and the alternative is to become a spacefaring and multiplanetary species—That's what we want."

Despite the apparent radical change to Stephen Hawking's extinction forecast for humanity, it's still worth mentioning that when he made his original prediction, he said that the chances of extinction events happening "in a given year" are still very low, and that humanity has somehow "triumphed" in "(coming) this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe."

[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder - Stringer/Getty Images]