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Sounding like he just read the Book of Revelation for the first time, Professor Stephen Hawking issued dire warnings and predictions this week about the lifespan of the earth. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Hawking remains optimistic on the future of humanity.

In a prepared speech to the Oxford Union Debate Society Monday, Hawking reportedly stated humans have less than 1,000 years on earth and must find a suitable planet on which to relocate.

The Free Thought Project was able to confirm Hawking did indeed appear at Oxford, however, since the event was private, and no transcripts have yet been made available, we cannot confirm the statements Hawking made. But according to the U.K.’s Independent, the theoretical physicist stated it’s, “a glorious time to be alive and doing research in to theoretical physics.”

He stated, “Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution.

”The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe is certainly a triumph.”

Due to advancements in universal mapping, Hawking apparently feels confident, “We will map the position of millions of galaxies with the help of [super] computers like Cosmos. We will better understand our place in the universe.”

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“Perhaps one day we will be able to use gravitational waves to look right back into the heart of the Big Bang,” Hawking said in reference to his suspicion those waves will allow humans to look back in time.

He encouraged listeners, and those following the story, to “continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” adding, “I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

He advised listeners to look beyond their earthly cares by saying, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

Hawking’s comments have often been highly controversial. He once theorized that if humans ever met aliens, “I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans,” he stated implying humans would be destroyed.

The theoretical physicist believes humanity’s destruction would more likely result from an asteroid collision with earth or be the result of a nuclear war. And his fear of artificial intelligence stems from the power which computers already possess. He said, “By contrast, computers double their speed and memories every 18 months. There is a real danger that computers will develop intelligence and take over. We urgently need to develop direct connections to the brain so that computers can add to human intelligence rather than be in opposition."

Hawking’s most controversial statements, however, may be his recent comments on the existence of God. "Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation," he said. In his work, A Brief History of Time, the physicist made the statement mankind could eventually “know the mind of God.”

When pressed to explain, Hawking stated, “What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God. Which there isn't. I'm an atheist." Atheist or not, Hawking ironically shares something in common with believers of the Bible, they both believe the world will come to an end within at least a thousand years. The difference being Hawking believes it’s possible for mankind to shed its earthly dwelling, travel light years away from earth, and colonize an inhabitable world.