Aggression is one human failing that celebrity scientist Stephen Hawking would like to correct as it holds the potential of destroying human civilisation and even wipe humans off the planet.
Hawking expressed his views while escorting Adaeze Uyanwah – London’s Official Guest of Honour – around London’s Science Museum. Uyanwah asked Hawking what human shortcomings he would alter, and which virtues he would enhance if this was possible. To this he replied:
“The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory, or partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all. A major nuclear war would be the end of civilization, and maybe the end of the human race.”
Hawking believes that empathy is a quality that needs to be magnified as “It brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.”
The professor expressed his views on space exploration as well and dubbed it as a “life insurance”. “Sending humans to the moon changed the future of the human race in ways that we don’t yet understand. It hasn’t solved any of our immediate problems on planet Earth, but it has given us new perspectives on them and caused us to look both outward and inward”, he said.
“I believe that the long term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival, as it could prevent the disappearance of humanity by colonising other planets.”
Expressing her feeling on meeting with Hawking, Uyanwah said that “It’s something I’ll never forget ..” and added that decades from now when her grandchildren will be learning Hawking’s theories in science class, “I’ll be able to tell them I had a personal meeting with him and heard his views first hand.”