James Lovelock’s Gaia theory suggests Earth is a complex and self-regulating system in which all components work together to create the conditions which support life.
Now he’s put forward a chilling theory about what will end life on our planet.
In an interview recorded by The Science Museum, Lovelock warned that asteroids could destroy our species.
‘We have ample evidence that asteroids repeatedly hit planets in the solar system and they do catastrophic damage when they do,’ said Lovelock, who turns 100 today.
‘I’m a cheerful person and I don’t like the idea we’re going to be wiped out. It seems such a waste, after all this time, doing all these things, all for nothing.’
In less than a century, we will be living alongside sentient cyborgs that can out-think and out-perform us, Lovelock said earlier this week.
He predicted a world where artificial intelligence takes control and oversees human society in around 80 years’ time.
But rather than enslave humankind, the machines will simply look after us – and view us in the same way we view household plants.
‘The idea that they will replace us is silly. We would co-exist with them just as we co-exist with plants,’ said Mr. Lovelock, who will turn 100 years old next Saturday.
‘I get very irritated when people think of our successors as being convenient butlers or slaves that will do everything we want and they are under our control,’ the famed environmentalist and futurist told the MailOnline.
‘They will view us much in the way that we view plants – slower.
‘We are now preparing to hand the gift of knowing on to new forms of intelligent beings. Do not be depressed by this.
‘We have played our part,’ he said.
Cyborgs – blends of living flesh and intelligent machinery – have been staples of science fiction for decades. Often, they are depicted as oppressive or menacing but much more likely is they will just become a different species that co-exist with humans.
Lovelock is most famous for the Gaia hypothesis, which states the Earth functions as a self-regulating system. And it’s his view that the rise of machines is simply the natural course of evolution and that they will gradually become the natural successors to humankind.
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