British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (75 years) could not determine the reason why the world perish. A few months ago, he called the greatest threat to humanity is artificial intelligence. In which attracted a lot of attention handling, along with other well-known scientists, Hawking warned: “Artificial intelligence could be the greatest achievement of mankind. Unfortunately, he may be the last. If something goes wrong, artificial intelligence eliminates human”.
And this week he told the BBC that people soon will be forced to move to other planets. After 100 years the world is threatened by death. This time he called just four possible causes of the inevitable catastrophe: global climate change, pandemics, the impact of a large asteroid and the rapid growth of the population. All this can lead to the fact that the Earth will become uninhabitable.
Big words, but scientifically unfounded. “What Hawking claimed that the population of the Earth within 100 years will be forced to move to other planets, is based on assumptions that do not reflect reality,” says physicist and astronaut Professor Dr. Ulrich Walter, who teaches aerospace technology at the technical University of Munich.
Climate change over the past 100 years have raised global temperatures by about 1 degree Celsius. “If over the next 100 years temperatures will rise by another 1.5 degrees Celsius, as predicted by the most pessimistic forecasts, then Germany will be warm, but this does not mean the death of humanity,” says Walter. To evaluate this temperature rise, Walter gives the following comparison:
“The temperature in the center of Munich is currently three degrees higher than in rural areas”. In the result of climate change no doubt will emerge with more natural disasters such as floods or strong wind. “But natural disasters are always local in nature and therefore cannot destroy humanity globally”, says Walter.
Stephen Hawking is wrong in time
Ulrich Walter, who recently published the book “Commotion in the black hole” (“Im schwarzen Loch der Teufel ist los”), is an expert in everything that happens in space. Here he objected to Hawking and to assess the extent of the threat of asteroids. “The large asteroids that could destroy mankind hit the Earth with a frequency of from ten to a hundred million years,” says Walter. “Thus, the probability that it will happen in the next 100 years is extremely low”. In any case, it is not higher than in the past 100 years.
Warning about pandemics corny. Yes, today is higher than before, the probability that in a globalized world, new pathogens spread faster. A significant increase in global tourism and trade in the near future is unlikely.
And with pandemics of the past, such as SARS, avian and swine flu, mankind have coped. “Today, we can handle it much better than just a few decades ago, as in medicine and Biotechnics there has been great progress,” says Walter. With the new possibilities of genetic engineering become possible new breakthroughs in the fight against infectious diseases.
Particularly surprising is that Stephen Hawking apparently finds it possible resettlement of people for the next 100 years to other planets. As a scientist, he should know that with the technology that may be created in the next 100 years, it is impossible to reach even the nearest exoplanets. “The colonization of other planets is not excluded, says Ulrich Walter, but in the next 100 years it is neither possible nor necessary. To start packing now.”