(Officials at the University of Cambridge, where Hawking is a mathematics professor, confirmed that Hawking wrote the message but said he would have no further comment.)
Hawking's question was: "In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?"
Some of the answers were short — "get rid of nuclear weapons" — and others vague — "Somehow we will." Many were doubtful: "I don't think it is possible unless we expand into space," one user wrote.
A number of people suggested thinking differently, ending bickering or fostering cooperation.
In a June 13 speech in Hong Kong, Hawking said the survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy Earth.
He said that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.
Over the next week, Yahoo employees are expected to work with Hawking to sift through the answers and select one or several to highlight as best responses.I have thought long and hard about what my answer would be, and I say for humans to survive we MUST abandon religion for starters. I know that is a rather radical statement, but religious beliefs have brought us some of the most terrifying and bloody events in the history of civilization and serves as a "ball and chain" to the ancient past and backward thinking. Sam Harris writes, "Religious faith represents so uncompromising a misuse of the power of our minds that it forms a kind of perverse, cultural singularity—a vanishing point beyond which rational discourse proves impossible." Since many of those who hold the power believe their ancient superstitious texts to be the "true" word of their gods, we may end up screwed because in reality there are no gods or supernatural beings to save us from ourselves. Harris states that "We can no longer ignore the fact that billions of our neighbors believe in the metaphysics of martyrdom, or in the literal truth of the book of Revelation, or any of the other fantastical notions that have lurked in the minds of the faithful for millennia—because our neighbors are now armed with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
Do you think the human race can sustain another 100 years?