Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Professor Stephen Hawking predicted the rise of a new race of 'superhumans'

Professor Stephen Hawking predicted the rise of a new race of 'superhumans'

Referring to techniques such as DNA-editing system Crispr-Cas9, which allows scientists to edit defective genes, the author of the internationally bestselling A Brief History of Time said superhumans would pose problems for "unimproved humans" who will not be able to "compete".

The final writings of world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking have been compiled in a book. "Instead, we get a race of people, who themselves are designing more and more improved", - he stressed.

Mr Hawking said in an extract published by The Sunday Times: "I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression".

He predicted that even if there were laws to deny genetic engineering, there would be people ready to break the rules.

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.

The world-renowned physicist feared that human DNA could be manipulated and bring about a race of incredible superhumans, it can be revealed.

"At first", Hawking writes, "these changes will be confined to the fix of genetic defects - such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy, which are controlled by single genes and so are fairly easy to identify and correct. You know designer babies where parents pick and choose the traits of their babies, make them taller, stronger, smarter or something like that", NPR said in a 2016 report about a Swedish scientist using the technique to edit human embryos.

We will remind, the last published work of Stephen Hawking.

Professor Stephen Hawking Physics at Cambridge University in 1988.

Her brother Timothy, who also attended the launch, said that while reading the new book he could hear his father's voice "leaping off the page".

"The real risk with AI isn't malice, but competence".

Ever the scientist, Hawking points out that the reason for believing there is no God is simply a lack of evidence.

"We need to employ effective management in all areas of its development", he said. "There is no time to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and better natured".

Can we predict the future? "We stand on a threshold of a courageous new world".

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