While 2016 is a landmark year for Ireland as we celebrate the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, the Irish people may not see a bi-centenary celebration.
That's according to Stephen Hawking at least. The theoretical physicist has cautioned that humanity could be extinct inside the next hundred years if we're not careful. While speaking during the recording of the BBC's annual Reith lectures, when he shared his views that scientific and technological advances are not without their man made dangers and that we could be under serious threat from the likes of nuclear war, global warming and genetically engineered viruses.
Sounds like some very unappealing ways to die don't they? Hawking is by no means saying it's a guarantee, but he feels the threat of self extinction is something to be very cautious about while we're still bound to earth.
“Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years. By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race. However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period.”
So there you have it. As long as we can survive the next one hundred years then we have a chance of surviving as a species. No pressure then.