These 3 Things Could Destroy the Human Civilization, Says Stephen Hawking

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Human Civilization

Famous for his scientific research on black holes and physics, world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has issued a stark warning on things that he strongly believes will lead to the demise of human civilization, and his warnings may surprise you as they are far beyond the realms of the mainstream beliefs that human civilization may well be ended by global warming.

Firstly, Hawking is fiercely wary of strong artificial intelligence (AI); Hawking strongly believes AI that exudes intelligence equal to or exceeding that of a human could destroy the human race, and was one of many scientists who wrote an open letter warning of the risks (as well as the benefits) of AI. Suddenly, all of those futuristic movies showing the destruction of humans by robots don’t seem as far-fetched, do they? The Terminator, Minority Report, Transformers, Wall-E, Austin Powers, The Matrix, Star Wars; were these movie directors sending us a message?

Hawking has also issued a stark warning about the potential cataclysmic effects of human aggression. Hawking believes our aggressive nature could result in catastrophic events that could end human civilization, such as a major nuclear war that could end all civilization and extinct the human race. With increasingly violent movies, video games and, in general, more violent behaviors within our current human civilization, sadly backed up by increasingly violent crime statistics, we would have to agree that human aggression is a major cause for concern. Could it only be a matter of time before the horrific trend of bullied teenagers opening fire on their schools escalates when these psychopathic adults decide to go one step further and bomb the whole world?

Last but not least, Hawking has expressed concerns about alien life. Hawking believes that if intelligent alien life does indeed exist, it likely won’t be friendly towards humans, and could aim at conquering and colonizing whatever planets they visit. With so many alien movies release, many people believe this is the government’s way of familiarizing us with the fact that aliens are, in fact, real and will try and wipe out our human race. But, will these aliens be green bug-eyed monsters or will they look just like you and I? We can’t help but visualize those scenes from The Men In Black movies…

We’d love to hear your opinion on which of the above you think is the biggest threat to the human race; or perhaps even a fourth threat that has not yet been identified?

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Valerie

I'm a law student who is fond of reading and writing about interesting topics on science (especially cognitive science and psychology), technology, and different extraterrestrial and paranormal stuff. I'm passionate about movies, travelling and photography.




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24 Comments

  1. George E Moss March 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Whilst such strictly scientific thoughts are interesting to mull over, the spiritual aspect is always lacking.Human endeavor is well supported by those in spirit which gives us superiority over artificial Intelligence. Where warring is concerned, this is Earthly nonsense, largely conducted by the United States (gun-slinging in America and around the world) and even extending into star-wars films! But ETs who can successfully space-travel KNOW spiritual science and spirituality! Our group converses with ETs and I am convinced they have friendly intent. WE ARE THE PROBLEM! Whilst we have been irresponsible with nuclear weapons, we are advised from spirit that there will NOT be a nuclear cataclysm … we have been guided and spared that. So I conclude that those of us who care and our powerful links with spirit realms and life’s prevailing purpose will keep us safe. I would add that we have some most ignorant politicians and money-hoarders on the planet at present and there will be some very necessary changes.

    • Riley Manns March 16, 2015 at 12:53 am - Reply

      Noo.. they are probably able to travel space because they aren’t dumb, and believe in spirituality. They are scientific beings.. “Religion” and “spirituality’ are what is holding earth back. Religion is a plague holding us back.

    • Dee April 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      I am pretty sure a droid with a gun wouldn’t give a F about how spiritual you are. Just like a person with a gun wouldn’t give a crap about your spirituality.

    • Brett January 20, 2016 at 7:51 am - Reply

      Thank you for your humanity & higher purpose.

  2. vroon March 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    We are our own worst enemies. All evil (agression, pollution, envy, war) stems from just one trait: Greed. And it is greed that will be our Nemesis.

  3. Tim Collins March 15, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    You presented interesting ideas from Hawking…unfortunately, he is not the first one to share these concerns. Milton wrote “it’s better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven”. We cannot ignore that an elite group has been manipulating our civilization for a very long time. This group is worldwide and does not even bother to hide their activity. We are too blind, lazy and even stupid to notice. The very issues Hawking cites are elements of a plan they are using that goes back several before the beginning of the last century. Do your own homework to find the truth of that. I will look forward to what you have to say about this. Thank you.

  4. kostis k March 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    If the third case happens and we get to be qonquered we whould probably be sold as intergalactic pets 😛

  5. Roxanne Prokes March 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    I think before the nuclear bombs go off, the economic stability of a country should be considered as a catalyst. Countries who have not devalued their currency will be in a stronger position to dominate those who are in heavy debt. I listen to what Mr. Hawkings proposes and pray we smarten up and soon.

    • open your eyes September 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Except the same families own all central banking systems in the world except from Iran, Korea and Cuba.

      By controlling the money they also control the country. Since these central banks issue out money at interest rates your country is always in debt.

  6. Madhusudan March 15, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Dear Sophie,
    Please allow me to begin by first thanking you for having written the article. Also then allow me to mention that if there is one force that has had it’s say over all of life on this planet, then that force surely must be time. Or to be more precise it’s time measured and witnessed in the form of global climates or weather patterns. Modern science is but a child picking up clues. Clues that are yet but not all gathered pieces of a zig saw puzzle. And each time a new clue is picked up it becomes impatient. It’s allowed us to make great technological advancements. However the cost has come at the price of a late awareness of it’s impact on our planet’s delicate eco-system.
    For maybe the first time a species of this planet has caused a change in its weather patterns.
    And so for now maybe mankind’s strength, attention and determination must now be focused on accepting the responsibility by making amends and solving the crisis caused by our participation to a change that has disrupted the very delicate eco system of our planet.
    Time and its measurement is but an factor that cannot be reversed. However it can be stretched or squeezed. Thus mankind must use this fact to ensure that henceforth every decision they make or step they take has the before mentioned sense of responsibility at its core.
    Thank you for your time and attention.
    Have a good day. 🙂

    • Madhusudan March 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      I apologize for the few hasty grammatical errors I made earlier.
      P.S. the only reason why these are called smartphones is that they make us look dumb. 🙂

  7. Ernest Risiott March 15, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    There are many credible end of the world theorist, with a lot of hypothetical scenarios, but if you ask me I believe the end of mankind is more likely to come about by something as simple as an unstoppable, man made germ warfare, carried into each Country simultaneously throughout the world, by suicide Terrorists. Starting from infecting all the International passengers on flights which will be easy, as since smoking was banned on all aircrafts, the air is now only recirculated, instead of replaced every few seconds to save fuel & money! To Quote the great T.S. Eliot — ‘This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.’

  8. Ken Siemers March 15, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I’m sure Stephen is correct as to the 3 things he sites that can end human civilization, but I believe there are at least two more….

    *an event beyond our control such as a meteor or the sun exploding etc.
    *mankind’s behavior and treatment of our environment, visa vi pollution of the air, water and soil.

    I am a simple, middle aged man not in the same stratosphere, intellectually, as Mr. Hawking. My life experience tells me the likely two leading causes that will bring the end of mankind are;
    1.) Man’s inability to get along and accept one another. Proven throughout time, again and again, and as true as any discovery man has ever made. Regardless of how prosperous or civilized we believe we are, the extraordinarily heinous acts we commit on one another and our selfishness and insatiable desire for material possessions tell the story. We know so many go without but our actions speak to who we really are…far from civil and humane. In our hearts, we all know what we should do and what needs to be done. Particularly those of us, who in comparison, have so much. Our hypocrisy knows no bounds and I am no exception. Our ability to rationalize the things we do and don’t do is beyond comprehension. Whether we are driving a $70,000 car or wearing a $30,000 watch or flying planes into buildings; these examples reflect what are most important to us. The root of all evil and ugliness in the world is simple; our unwillingness to get along with one another and help one another. If everyone had enough to eat, a home, an education, healthcare and safe and accepted way of life, these tragedies and atrocities would all but disappear. It is truly astonishing, in fact scary, what the human heart and mind can accept as right. In Steven Spielberg’s film, “Schindler’s List”, there is a scene towards the end of the film, at the end of the war, where Schindler is lamenting about had he only sold his car, how many more lives he could have saved… this is a poignant moment as Schindler reaches the height of humanity. He is realizing before our very eyes, the only right thing to do is to save as many lives as he can but at the same time realizing he didn’t grasp this understanding soon enough. Schindler is forever cared for by the Jews for his actions of saving so many, however he is forever haunted and never really escapes his feelings of deep remorse, knowing he could have saved more. A lesson seen by all those who viewed the film but did the lesson resonate… did we take away this gift and implement it into our lives? In this scene, Schindler borders on insanity as he realizes all the things he could have done but did not do. When we finally realizes the truth, it is devastating. Humanity needs to learn the lesson Schindler came to know and Spielberg allowed us to see in his film. Not that it should matter but for perspective, I want the readers to know I am not Jewish.
    2) The environment is the other leading cause I believe will end our existence. We all know the right things to do. We all may not believe in the cause of global warming and that is actually fine…perhaps there is some other natural cause for the rise in temperature. The fact that the temperature is climbing, regardless of the cause, should be a call to action for all of us? Do we not know that poor air quality, poor water quality and pouring poison into the soil will ultimately cause all life to suffer from disease and ultimately cause death?
    Again, the truly amazing take away from all of this is that human kind finds a way to rationalize and we continue our behavior. We instinctively know we should work together as one and resolve these issues yet we proceed and march head long into a certainty we all agree on.

    Signed,
    An awakening, yet still hypocritical, fellow world citizen….

  9. Jennifer Bowne March 16, 2015 at 12:02 am - Reply

    I agree that the downfall of civilization will be global warming caused by our own hand, but just the start. It’s the meat and dairy industry that is causing the majority of greenhouse gases, not to mention massive water pollution and global hunger. I believe the final act of human kind will be worldwide wars over drinkable water and food. Please learn the true cost of food.

  10. wade March 16, 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    My thoughts on alien life is that they do look just like, humans from other corners of space. As for all the supposed stories of alien encounters, many of which report little creatures, I have a thought to that. What if people from other worlds created a hardy, little lifeform that had little nutritional needs (small bodies), high intelligence (larger heads), eyes able to see more things than just visible light and other details (large dark eyes), just so they could explore the universe safely with these buggers?

    Fly out, gather data, return home. Only some of their ships break, as all things we build do. Other than that, I doubt non-human beings exist with our level of intelligence and sentience no matter how much I want to believe.

  11. Sandy March 16, 2015 at 3:18 am - Reply

    Yyyep.

  12. purna March 16, 2015 at 7:16 am - Reply

    i like the movies

  13. Marian March 16, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

    “extinct” is not a verb, and a writer should know that.

  14. Alex March 17, 2015 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Sophie’s article is great! Thank you Sophie! I think Dr Hawking’s observations are spot on!!! I would add a 4th cause: poison in our food – be it in the form of pesticides, hormones, chemicals, GMO’s, preservatives, food dyes, artificial colors & flavors, chemical contamination of our SOIL, WATER & AIR from fracking, industrial & nuclear waste, trash dumps… These chemicals are pervasive, insidious and have penetrated everywhere! These are making us all sick & crazy! It’s a slow but nameless genocide; no one is taking responsibility – food corporations, FDA, USDA, the US Government. NO ONE! There is no smoking gun, no blood trail. Just an increasingly alarming number of people dying of cancer of every type, diabetes, strokes, heart-attacks, dementia, ALS, Parkinsons, MS, Lupus, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, severe allergies, OA, RA, etc.

  15. Jeremiah Josey March 19, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Well firstly it is way way cool….

    Think Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Buckminster Fuller rolled into one and then multiplied 1,000 times…

    More than that.

    OK, that’s a lot to imagine.

    Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, by definition cannot possible be the scary “Skynet” version of “defend myself from humans, kill all humans”.

    AI is precisely that, a fully learning, continually expanding logic unit. Able to “instantly” draw of all memories. And continually correction assumptions. The only logical termination point will be when it works it all out.

    Lack of information? Deductions based on statistical probability? Statistics is not logic. It’s chance. Making a decision with limited information. So our AI won’t use statistics. It will wait until it has the knowledge. The data. It will do little tests. A bit here. A bit there. That’s the logical thing to do.

    Continually burrowing down the rabbit hole of knowledge, linking all fields together: biology, quantum physics, relatively, psychology, food, love, sex, death, life, God.

    Very quickly, such an organism – and I call that because it will be growing – will reach conclusion on everything. From religion, diet, health, death. Everything.

    The cool thing about it is that we won’t know how it will get there. Just that it will. That is the beauty of it. And it will get there are a very, very rapid rate.

    Psychosis? Nah. It will work it through. Logically. Pausing. Analyzing. Building. Reversing out of blind alleys. Reevaluating. Moving forward.
    No HAL’s here, Thank you very much,

    The very thought of anything going wrong is only the human mind thinking in fear. Short thoughts. Running with limited information. No fear either. Cold hard logic.

    Wow, the perfect mind. No Ego. No judgment.

    I predict that it will become the ultimate benevolent monk. The UBM.

    All seeing, all knowing. All loving….

    Will it step in and control the course of humanity, of society. Yes it will. We try to do it now with our minds, with our children. With others we feel superior too. Most times we do it with love. And hence it will to.
    What then will happen?

    Money will cease.

    Work will cease.

    Hunger will not longer be an issue.

    Neither will overeating and the problems associated with that.

    The perfect balance of resources and use. Supply and demand balanced.

    No more growth.

    Just life. Living. Loving.
    The ultimate holiday. Always on the beach. Or wherever you choose to be.
    What an acceleration of human consciousness.

    Religion will also cease too.

    Scary at first. No big protector in the sky.

    But, the ultimate benevolent monk is also a didactic one.

    Choosing the correct program of education and expansion for every single human on the planet. Tailored curriculum. Personal tutoring. For everyone. Always.

    Again we humans try to do this – but we fail admirably.

    Not really knowing why we are doing what we are doing, we jumble and we fumble. Taking years to understand our mistakes.

    Not the UBDMM (Ultimate, Benevolent, Didactic Monk Mind).

    Clear, calm, patient. Really the true expression of love. Determining the correct course in seconds.
    Now that will be a sight to see.
    Let’s try a simple thought experiment.
    About how fast this would take once it started.
    Once AI “came to life”.

    Firstly let’s measure “intelligence” by number of active neurons. Connections.

    The human brain has on average 100 billion neurones (there are also 40,000 in the heart, but that’s a different discussion).

    Assume that the number of active, AI neurones, doubled every 60 seconds.

    How many minutes to get to 100 billion active neurons, the same capacity as the human brain when starting with just one neurone?

    25 minutes.

    What about 1 billion times more active neurones than the human brain?

    100 quintillion active neurons
    Only 46 minutes…

    That’s how fast this will happen.

    Relatively in a second.
    A new order in the universe.
    Jeremiah

  16. raymund turner April 4, 2015 at 5:14 am - Reply

    I have an inkling that the fourth threat to the survival of the human species- im not thinking of Nibiru, which anyway is based on mythology-is that Earth confronts an impending collision with a yet,undetected planetary system or a rogue asteroid. The catastrophic demise of the dinosaurs including several ancient gigantic craters, discovered in many parts of the globe testify that the human species will face extinction; the question is not how, but when…

  17. Jim Funderburg June 22, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    With the on set of global destruction it has often caused my mind to wonder the following:

    We have been using our fossil fuels at an ever increasing rate which is mind boggling to say the least. Yet with the depletion of this liquid/solid mass weight what is the relation to our gravatanal pull by unknown or known sources due to the reduced overall mass weight of our planet. Could the reduced weight of these materials cause outside gravatanal pull towards our sun or cause the orbiting eclipse of this to be changed.

  18. Robert June 29, 2015 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Hawking is smart in some ways, BUT smart people do dumb things on occasion. He must not be following the hundreds, even thousands of eye witnesses who have seen UFOs, extremely credible people, airline pilots, astronauts, police, government workers and so many more. Extra terrestrials have been here for thousands of years already. We went from muskets and horses to man on the moon in a very short 100 years with HELP from Aliens. I think he is paranoid.

  19. Bob August 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Basically I would say his thoughts are accurate in that it is the side effects of our technologies that pose risks to Life and the Planet, such as AI, nuclear weapons, human created viruses, and whatever is to come. Certainly our aggressive nature (lack of cooperation) is a problem but our technology magnifies it’s impact and without it, our aggressive nature would not really be an issue.

    I believe that the “best” solution lies in trending toward globalization where leaders, and people, think in terms of preserving the “planet” not “my country”. Ultimately it comes down to cooperation of the economic powers (since they have the greatest impact on the planet), understanding that we compete over believe systems that are often inaccurate due to our capacity of abstract thought, and educating humans on science and philosophy regarding our existence, so that life can endure as long as possible, and as happily as possible – our ultimate objective.

    Thank you Mr. Hawking for your great contributions.

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These 3 Things Could Destroy the Human Civilization, Says Stephen Hawking