Stephen Hawking predicted 20 years ago that a mutated virus could wipe out the Earth’s population

The remembered and renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, for many, occupies a prominent place on the podium of the great scientists of all time. His contributions to topics such as black holes, as well as his popular science books, made him one of the superstars of science at the end of the 20th century, despite the fact that from a very young age he suffered from a degenerative disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ) that kept him, until the moment of his death, in a wheelchair, with physical limitations that only allowed him to move a few muscles and speak through an intercom.

However, after his death, science experts and followers of the scientist continue to remember his teachings and statements, which have become very relevant today.

Among the answers about the possible circumstances that could lead to the destruction of humanity, the British scientist, in an interview given to The Daily Tepegraph newspaper in October 2001, indicated that it would not be an atomic bomb that would cause the end of the world and pointed out being “more concerned, in the long run, with biology than with nuclear weapons.”

This statement, at this time when humanity is going through one of its biggest health crises as a result of covid-19, takes on significant importance given that the expert indicated that mutations of new very dangerous viruses could arise, which the world does not was prepared to face, which would unleash the destruction of humanity.The danger is that “accidentally or voluntarily, a virus will be created that will destroy the human race, which will not be prepared to deal with it,” Hawking said in the interview.

Likewise, in 2015, during the third edition of the Starmus scientific festival – a meeting dedicated to astronomy and related topics that is held every year on the island of Tenerife, Spain, and attended by renowned figures in science, the dissemination and space exploration – Hawking told the Spanish newspaper El País that he believed that “the survival of the human race will depend on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe, as the risk of a disaster destroying The Earth is getting bigger.” Thus, he made reference not only to these new viruses that could appear, but also to the consequences of global warming, which has had serious consequences for the planet and, therefore, could lead it to collapse in a few years.

“We are close to the tipping point at which global warming becomes irreversible,” the scientist told the BBC in 2017, referring to the decision made at the time by Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

“Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it is one we can prevent if we act now. By denying the evidence of climate change and withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for ourselves and our children,” he added.Stephen Hawking, the British physicist and cosmologist who made theories about the origin of the universe available to everyone, passed away on March 14, 2018 at the age of 76. 

Hawking, who would have celebrated his 78th birthday on January 8, was one of the most popular scientists not only for his discoveries and theories, but also for the circumstances of his life.

Among the most important contributions to science are his works on black holes; Hawking radiation –according to the expert, the effects of quantum physics make black holes shine like hot bodies and therefore lose part of their blackness–; the confirmation of the Big Bang, which was given thanks to his studies on black holes; his “theory of everything”, which suggests that the universe evolves according to well-defined laws, which –according to Hawking– can give us the answers to questions such as what was the origin of the universe, and his book A Brief History of Time, where the scientist he disseminated cosmology in terms easy to understand for the general public.