One of the world's most famous scientists, Stephen Hawking, said in a lecture at Oxford University he doubts humanity will last for another 1,000 years — unless we can move on and inhabit Mars or another planet. The physicist said dwindling resources mean we humans will eventually have to find another home. He also said threats like nuclear war, climate change or artificial intelligence run amok could make humanity's time on Earth even shorter.
Class discussion: What do you think is the greatest threat to humanity? Why? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why? How could we avoid the threats Hawking talks about? What is the ultimate fate of the Earth? Hawking is famous for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum mechanics. Does his brilliance in those fields qualify him to make predictions about the future? Why or why not? How much do you trust science and scientists?
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