Stephen Hawking: Aggression could destroy us

“It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, but now it threatens to destroy us all.”

Aggression is the human race’s biggest failing and it “threatens to destroy us all”, Stephen Hawking has said, urging people to be more empathetic.

Professor Hawking spoke at the Science Museum while giving a tour to Californian Adaeze Uyanwah, who beat 10,000 international entrants to win a special trip to London, in which he is shown the sights by celebrity guides. “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression,” the astrophysicist said. “It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or a partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all.”

The human quality the scientist would most like to magnify was empathy. “It brings us together in a peaceful loving state.”

Professor Hawking is the subject of the film The Theory of Everything, in which he is played by Eddie Redmayne. He said he was pleased to provide his official synthesized voice to give Redmayne “a bit of a boost in his efforts to win an Oscar” and joked: “Unfortunately Eddie did not inherit my good looks.”

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