Stephen Hawking Had Warned Against New Race of 'Superhumans' That Could Destroy Humanity

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Stephen Hawking left a collection of articles on what he called 'the big questions' in preparation for a book that will be published on Tuesday.

New Delhi: In his Final prediction, Stephen Hawking, one of the world's best-known theoretical physicists who died seven months ago, had suggested that genetic engineering was likely to create a new species of superhuman that could destroy the humanity from beyond the grave.

Hawking, who died in March at the age of 76, left a collection of articles on what he called “the big questions”, in preparation for a book that will be published on Tuesday.

“I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression,” he wrote. “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.”

"Once such superhumans appear, there will be significant political problems with unimproved humans, who won't be able to compete," Hawking wrote.

“I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression,” he wrote.

According to a report in The Guardian, Hawking’s comments refer to techniques such as Crispr-Cas9, a DNA-editing system that was invented six years ago. The system allows scientists to modify harmful genes or add new ones.