A top list with a difference comes courtesy of physicist Stephen Hawking, who has helpfully enumerated some of the more likely ways humankind might wipe itself from existence.
The BBC's David Shukman reports that nuclear war, global warming and genetically-engineered viruses are all on Dr. Hawking's listicle of doom…
On previous occasions, he has highlighted the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming powerful enough to cause the extinction of the human race.
But he insists that ways will be found to cope.
"We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we have to recognise the dangers and control them. I'm an optimist, and I believe we can."
Asked for advice for young scientists, Prof Hawking said they should retain a sense of wonder about "our vast and complex" Universe.
"From my own perspective, it has been a glorious time to be alive and doing research in theoretical physics. There is nothing like the Eureka moment of discovering something that no one knew before."
We must colonize other worlds, he writes. Ah, but…
Stephen Hawking’s final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, was released posthumously Tuesday by his children.
The last message Stephen Hawking posted to a public internet forum was an answer to a question in a Reddit AMA, querying how humanity will weather an age of technological unemployment.
“Wrong again, Albert” Previously: Stephen Hawking has died. The famed physicist was 76.
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