Rise of the super-rich master race: Stephen Hawking’s last essay predicted a new race of ‘superhumans’ that could destroy the rest of humanity after wealthy people start manipulating their children’s DNA

Sunday, October 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

Scientist predicted genetic engineering will lead to a world of ‘superhumans’
Warned about the dangers of manipulating DNA in a series of articles and essays
They will be published in posthumous book Brief Answers to the Big Questions

14 October 2018

Professor Stephen Hawking envisioned a world of ‘superhumans’ in his final prediction before he died seven months ago.

The celebrated physicist suggested that genetic engineering would create a new race of humans that could destroy the rest of humanity.

A collection of articles and essays left by Hawking’s warning about the dangers of manipulating DNA will now be published in a posthumous book.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions will share the scientist’s fears of a new race and the problems humanity could face if those with wealth are given the opportunity to alter their children’s DNA.

The new race could potentially exhibit greater intelligence, longevity and be resistant to disease.

He wrote: ‘I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression.

‘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.’

In his book, the scientist who died in March at the age of 76, paints a worrying picture of breakthroughs in genetics and the new human race.

While the physicist and author of A Brief History of Time may have sparked controversy in his predictions, the scientist was only suggesting the dangers genetic engineering could pose and his fears for ‘unimproved humans’.

In a step that could be reminiscent of the selective breeding seen in the eugenics movement his book refers to Crispr, a system that allows scientists to modify harmful genes and add new ones.

The revolutionary technique invented just six years ago allows scientists to target and cut any kind of genetic material.

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