John Yarrow: One Hundred Years Left
Famed scientist Stephen Hawking has accelerated his estimate for the demise of the planet Earth and us. No, seriously, he did. Instead of a thousand years, he now believes we have one-hundred years to find a new home. A new home? Yeah, I guess I should have said a new world. He thinks we will destroy this one pretty soon.
Now a thousand years was nothing to sneeze at. Ten centuries ago, we were still shooting bows and arrows and killing people with swords. However, I think it would be reasonable to assume we could invent technology to take us sixty plus light years away from our world by then, don’t you think? I could be wrong, but I won’t be around to say I’m right if I’m right.
But a hundred years? Now that is something to sneeze at. I wouldn’t bet the house on that. And if you read between the lines, Dr. Hawking is saying “within” that time frame. He thinks we’re going to destroy our planet and we need a backup planet. To be fair, he also points out that it could be another extinction event like a comet hit or a pandemic. He doesn’t even mention a nuclear holocaust or a bioweapon of mass destruction. He doesn’t think we are long for this world.
In 2014, Dr. Hawking also pondered the idea that artificial intelligence could be the death of humans as well. Ironic that IBM’s Watson is all about saving lives and interesting to note that is the first domain they took on for their project. Dr. Hawkings thinks AI will be more like Terminator versus Star Trek.
With all that being said, I’m curious why he thinks a second planet would help. Wouldn’t we just do the same thing to that world? If we can’t fix what we are doing here, do we deserve a “do-over?”
In The Future’s Dark Past, my latest novel, I tackle all three topics. What if we destroyed our planet’s surface? What if we discovered a habitable planet, but a population of sentient beings already lived there? And how will AI impact our future? In z2340, the remnants of humanity discover a time anomaly in space. There are two factions. The Kepler faction wants to take over a world sixty light years away, but that will require military intervention. The Time Forward Project team sends genetic super-soldiers back in time hoping to alter events leading up to the nuclear holocaust in 2098. They drag a young AI scientist from modern day to help in the battle to save two worlds.
About the Author...
John Yarrow, a lifelong Texan, dreams as big as he writes. Leanne Yarrow is her husband's collaborative partner. Their fascination with what could be imbues the couple's storytelling with fast-paced, futuristic worlds in which witty compelling characters struggle for an enduring humanity. John's background includes degrees in English, Education, and a MS in Cognitive Systems. He honed his skills in The Creation Factory Writer's Workshop, adapted a novella for National Public Radio, and published articles in educational and technology journals. Leanne draws from her careers in education and program development to help bring fresh insights, incredible imagery, and clarifying details to their work.