The new species will be result of gene-editing and would end human civilization.
Days after the publication of his last paper Stephen Hawking is back in limelight. The newest is an essay by him published in Sunday Times from his book ‘Brief Answers to the Big Questions’ unveiled today.
In his essay the late physicist predicts that a race of new ‘superhumans’ will be born. This race will be far better in intelligence, conscious, reasoning, memory, disease-resistance and longevity over the normal humans. It would therefore slowly replace the human civilisation which we all know. This would be so due to advances in gene-editing techniques.
“We are now entering a new phase of what might be called self-designed evolution, in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA,” he writes.
“We have now mapped DNA, which means we have read ‘the book of life,’ so we can start writing in corrections.”
The world will slowly adopt the new scientific explosion. In early stages gene-editing technique like CRISPR would be used for treating genetic defects.
“I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression,” Hawking writes.
“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 size of memory, resistance to disease, and length of life.”
However the moneyed would use the technique to get alterations done to their and their children DNA.
“Once such superhumans appear, there are going to be significant political problems with the unimproved humans, who won’t be able to compete,” he suggests.
“Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant. Instead, there will be a race of self-designing beings who are improving themselves at an ever-increasing rate.”
With the scientists divided on the ethics of using gene-editing tools on human embryology. Clearly, Prof. Stephen Hawking prediction would further intensify the turmoil….