Stephen Hawking's mind is reaching out into the far depths of space as he contemplates the survival of humanity over the very long term. He doesn't hold out much hope for us here on Earth. Instead, the famous physicist is looking to the stars for an answer.
"We must continue to go into space for humanity. We won't survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet," Hawking said in a recent lecture, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The delicate nature of Earth and humanity's propensity for steamrolling over the environment both spell doom as far as Hawking is concerned. He has been talking about the need to colonize space for years, but his latest comments have ramped up the discussion.
Hawking's 1,000-year prediction doesn't really give us all that much time to figure out the tricky issues surrounding space travel over long distances and colonize other planets that may not be as human-friendly as Earth. We've been imagining such things in science fiction for a long time, but turning them into reality is another matter.
What do you think of Hawking's comments? Are you in the camp that believes space colonization is our only hope, or are you betting on humanity sorting things out and enduring here on Earth? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.