The late professor Stephen Hawking believed that in the future, humanity would be wiped out by a race of genetically engineered ‘superhumans.’ He died in March, but he left behind him many articles concerning the future of the human race or the wouldn’t solution to the ‘Hawking’s Radiation’ – the black hole information paradox.
One of his final publications, In Brief Answers to the Big Questions, he stated that his fear is wealthy people will start editing their DNA and the children’s DNA to create ‘superhumans’ that will live longer, and that will be more intelligent. Here are a few examples of his theories:
“Once superhumans appear, there will be significant political problems with unimproved humans who will be unable to compete. Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant. Instead, there will be a race of self-designing beings who are improving at an ever-increasing rate.”
He predicted that even if there were laws to deny genetic engineering, there would be people ready to break the rules. The professor also added that “during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression.”
He believed that people would not be able to resist improving their characteristics like “memory, resistance to disease and length of life.”
Preventing Diseases Different from ‘Improving’ Humans
Hawking cited CRISPR, which allows scientists to remove harmful genes from people’s DNA or modify them.
However, his theories from the Brief Answers to the Big Questions also drew the attention to several critics, like the astronomer Lord Rees, an old friend.
Rees explains that there’s one thing to try and prevent diseases and another completely different thing to “improve” humans. He also added that the sperm bank in California that offered “elite” sperm – even from Nobel prize-winners, had to close because there was very little demand.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere