“1,000 Years Left on Earth”: An Astrophysicist’s Ultimatum

Stephen William Hawking is an eminent British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, with an shocking prediction for mankind: we will not survive another thousand years if we do not get off of Earth.


Hawking expressed his thoughts at Australia’s Sydney Opera House towards the end of April, through holographic technology from his office at the University of Cambridge in Britain. He believes that in order for a future for humanity to exist, we must continue to go into space, and hopes to encourage public interest in space.


Professor John Webb, the director and co-founder of the Big Questions Institute at the University of New South Wales, made the lecture possible with an initiative he recently launched. Webb states that Hawking is worried about the future of the human race. He also has hopes that Hawking’s appearance will encourage a new generation to engage with scientific discovery.


In a recent interview with video site Big Think, Hawking said that we may have less than two hundred years to discover a way to escape our planet, otherwise we will be at risk of extinction.


Hawking argues that human beings are naturally aggressive. He states that this trait was useful in the beginning of time, enabling us to attain food and fend for ourselves. However, now, it may be the sole characteristic that can cause our own destruction.


Mankind is at risk of two main catastrophes: One we bring upon ourselves, or nuclear or biological warfare. Also, there are possible cosmic phenomena that would cause the end of mankind as well, such as an asteroid crashing into Earth, terminating a majority of the population and deeming the planet uninhabitable, or a supernova or gamma-ray burst nearby the Earth’s location in the Milky Way, causing mass destruction to life on this planet.


In Hawking’s Discovery Channel television series called “Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking,” he states that life on Earth could also be brought to an end by extraterrestrial forces or civilization. He states that the challenge is predicting what aliens may be like if they exist, and if they are dangerous; they may want to take control of Earth’s resources for their personal benefit.

Hawking believes that it would be safer for the survival of our species if we began to vacate Earth, even if it’s gradually, as a backup plan. There are several risk factors threatening humans, unfortunately, one of them being ourselves.


stephen hawking
Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking predicts doom for planet Earth if we fail to change our ways. Photo from Wikipedia.

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