Tuesday 15 August 2006

Can Humankind Survive The Next Millennium?

Last month, renowned physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking posted the question “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?” on Yahoo! Answers. The post generated unprecedented attention from both the media and public. Earlier this month he posted a follow-up message on Yahoo! Answers to his original question.

Notwithstanding the assertion that I am in no position to compare my opinion with that of an academic and intellectual of our times, I also question the ability of humankind to survive the next millennium, given our current path of self-destructive behaviors as a civilization. The conflicts we create within our species, such as warfare and famine, as well as those we create against our habitat, such as global warming and depletion of natural resources, will only grow larger as humankind continues to expand its dominance on this planet. We blind ourselves from the long-term consequences of our actions by the short-term rewards we reap from the supposedly technological and cultural progress we achieved over time. Before we can devote ourselves to expand the human race to the reach of outer space and other stars (as Hawking claimed), we must first learn to resolve the conflicts we have already created, for otherwise our fate is sealed regardless of where the human race lives on.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under World
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