Stephen Hawking died on March 14, 2018. In one of his essays, the brilliant astrophysicist described his fears about the future of humanity. According to Hawking, genetic engineering techniques could create a superhuman race.
The latest prediction of the famous astrophysicist concerns the richest people in the world who are interested in the possibilities offered by genetic engineering. Stephen Hawking believed that the rich would soon modify their genes, as well as the genes of their children, to increase their intelligence, memory, disease resistance or even extend the life expectancy.
Engineering techniques will of course be inaccessible to the average person, but the richest will certainly take this opportunity, even if the law prohibits modifying human genes. As a consequence, according to Hawking, there will be a superhumans race that will be better than "ordinary" people in every respect and will have much more possibilities. The astrophysicist also thought that average people would find themselves in a very difficult situation because they would not be able to compete with superhumans.
Stephen Hawking's fears are very current and real. We already have at our disposal the tools that modify genes, e.g. the CRISPR/Cas9 editor. However, cyborgization is also a great threat. In 2016, Professor Yuval Noah Harari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that the richest people in the world will become cyborgs and live forever, while poorer people would simply be condemned to death and oblivion.
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