New race of ‘Superhumans’ could destroy humanity: Stephen Hawking warns in his last essay

The British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author predicted that genetic engineering will lead to a world of “superhumans” and warned that manipulating DNA would endanger humanity.

By Digit NewsDesk | Published 15 Oct 2018 18:01 IST
HIGHLIGHTS
  • The British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author predicted that genetic engineering will lead to a world of “superhumans” and warned that manipulating DNA would endanger humanity.

New race of ‘Superhumans’ could destroy humanity: Stephen Hawking warns in his last essay
New race of ‘Superhumans’ could destroy humanity: Stephen Hawking warns in his last essay

Famous for his breakthrough theories on Black holes and infamous for his controversial claims on aliens, Professor Stephen Hawking may have lost several bets during his meritorious career, but that never stopped the Oxford-born theoretical physicist, who died in Cambridge earlier this year, from predicting the future. In one of his last essays he wrote that scientists will successfully experiment with genetic engineering and wealthy people will start manipulating their children’s DNA to make them ‘Superhuman’, who inturn, will pose danger to humanity.

According to The Dailymail, a collection of articles and essays by Hawking, that warn against the dangers of manipulating DNA and a new race of humans that could destroy the rest of humanity, will be published in a posthumous book named ‘Brief Answers to the Big Questions’. The publication also says that Hawking predicted that the new race which will be born with altered DNA could potentially exhibit greater intelligence, longevity and be resistant to disease.

“I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression. Laws will probably be passed against genetic engineering with humans. But some people won't be able to resist the temptation to improve human characteristics, such as memory, resistance to disease and length of life,” The Dailymail cited Hawking as saying. While painting a gloomy picture of breakthroughs in genetics and the new human race, the scientist also referred to Crispr, a DNA editing system invented six years ago.

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