Stephen Hawking's final book entreats readers: 'Shape the future'

Wealthy will create ‘superhuman race’: Stephen Hawking essays reveal dark prediction

Stephen Hawking predicted rich people would create new ‘superhuman’ race in final works

The stories we often hear of people facing their mortality at the end of life is that they find God and religion, but the late great Stephen Hawking has apparently bucked that cliché. "No one directs the universe", he writes in the book titled Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

Although Hawking touches on the origin of the universe, the physics of black holes and some of his other favorite topics, his main concern in this book is not physics; it's humanity and its collective future.

At the launch of his book, Hawking's computer-generated voice read aloud extracts. At the same time for more serious intervention in the human physiology - for example, to improve human intelligence - will need more time and skills, as this requires a large and complex work.

The eminent cosmologist, who had motor neurone disease and died in March, also had his final public thoughts broadcast at the event ending with an emotional address to younger generations.

His final words reiterate his fear that artificial intelligence will outmatch our own in less than 100 years.

He predicted that even if laws were passed to kerb genetic engineering there would always be people prepared to break any rules which would spark the rise of superhumans.

"Hearing his voice again brought tears to my eyes", Lucy said. "But some can't resist the temptation to improve human qualities such as memory, resistance to disease and life expectancy".

Professor Stephen Hawking also envisioned a world of "superhumans" in his final prediction before he died seven months ago.

In an interview, he said, "What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God" is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God.

Published by Bantam Books, he answers questions which were frequently posed to him throughout his life.

"So what can we do to secure the future of science and technology education?"

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.

Stephen Hawking said that time travel is an important subject, but "one has to be careful not to be labelled a crank".

Hawking has always been optimistic about the prospect of finding alien life, but concerned about the dangers that an encounter with a more advanced alien civilization might bring. We have just one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe.

In 2017, i reported that scientists in the United States had shown in a study how inherited diseases caused by defective genes in human IVF embryos could be altered safely using Crispr-Cas9.

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