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The key to mankinds survival

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    The key to mankinds survival

    UK News
    Time to move ... 'Know The Mind Of God'
    Updated: 13:24, Thursday November 30, 2006

    Mankind will need to evacuate Earth and live in space to ensure the survival of humanity, Professor Stephen Hawking warned.

    The theoretical physicist said Star Trek-style rockets would be used to colonise suitable planets orbiting other stars.

    And Prof Hawking said he wants to journey into space himself - and asked Sir Richard Branson for help.

    He told the BBC that scientists may be within 20 years of reaching his prediction in A Brief History of Time that mankind would one day "know the mind of God" by understanding all the laws which govern the universe.

    And he said this knowledge may be vital to the human race's continued existence.

    Prof Stephen Hawking "The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet," he said.

    "Sooner or later, disasters such as an asteroid collision or nuclear war could wipe us all out.

    "But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.

    "There isn't anywhere like the Earth in the solar system, so we would have to go to another star."

    Prof Hawking said matter/antimatter annihilation - similar to time warps - would enable huge distances to be covered quickly.

    He added: "My next goal is to go into space. Maybe Richard Branson will help me."

    The tycoon is planning a space tourism venture.

    Prof Hawking is set to receive Britain's highest scientific award, the Royal Society's Copley Medal, previously granted to Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday and Captain James Cook.

    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale