Stephen Hawking's final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, was released posthumously Tuesday by his children.
Now, when Hawking died earlier this year at the age of 76, he hadn't yet finished the book. So, the late physicist's family and academic colleagues dug into his vast personal archive to complete it.
As the title indicates, the book answers the 10 questions Hawking was commonly asked:
— Is there a God? ["There is no God. No one directs the universe."]
— How did it all begin?
— What is inside a black hole?
— Can we predict the future?
— Is time travel possible?
— Will we survive on Earth?
— Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
— Should we colonise space?
— Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
— How do we shape the future?
Hawking says humans have no option but to leave Earth, risking being "annihilated" if they do not.
He says computers will overtake humans in intelligence during the next 100 years, but "we will need to ensure that the computers have goals aligned with ours".
Hawking says the human race had to improve its mental and physical qualities, but a genetically-modified race of superhumans, say with greater memory and disease resistance, would imperil the others.
He says that by the time people realise what is happening with climate change, it may be too late.
Hawking says the simplest explanation is that God does not exist and there is no reliable evidence for an afterlife, though people could live on through their influence and genes.
He says that in the next 50 years, we will come to understand how life began and possibly discover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions is available for $16.51.
Previously: Stephen Hawking's final scientific paper was just published
image via Waterstones
A new definition of kilogram went into effect today. No longer is the kilogram defined by Le Grand K, a 140-year-old weight under glass in a secret location near Paris. Now it’s determined by the Planck constant, based on physicist Max Planck’s theory that “electromagnetic energy at a given frequency could only be emitted in […]
Here’s the first 14 of 100 proofs that the Earth is a globe, with the rest still to come author David Morgan-Mar. [via] 1. The Blue Marble The most straightforward way to check the shape of the Earth is to look at it. There’s one small problem, though. To see the shape of the Earth […]
Last month, Israeli non-profit SpaceIL’s Beresheet probe made it to the lunar surface but sadly it wasn’t a soft landing. Beresheet was the first private attempt at a lunar landing and they got pretty damn close. A couple weeks after the crash, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter orbited over the area and NASA has released images […]
Heads up: The clock is winding down on a free-entry contest to win not only one of the best smartphones on the market but a handy pair of earbuds. A simple sign-up is all you need to be eligible to win a 256 GB iPhone XS Max, along with AirPods. And while “free” is tough […]
Kudos to those of us who have chosen a less wasteful third option to “paper or plastic” at the supermarket or club stores. Tote bags are reusable, but they can be a pain to tote around. Here’s an upgrade to that planet-saving measure. The Club Cart Lotus Trolley Bag is that rare tote you’ll want […]
Looking for a career in IT, gaming or software development? In the ever-changing world of the internet, versatility is your biggest asset. In other words, mastering Java might not cut it in an interview if you don’t know C#. However, there’s a bundle that covers the essentials in most any language. The Legendary Learn to […]