U.K. Astronomer Royal Martin Rees says the human race has only a 50/50 chance of surviving another century. In his new book “Our Final Century,” he says this will be caused by a combination of natural events, such as global warming and asteroid impacts, and man-made disasters, like engineered viruses and nuclear terrorism. He says, “I think the odds are no better than 50/50 that our present civilization will survive to the end of the present century.”

He thinks scientists shouldn’t do certain types of scientific research, such as cloning and genetic modification, that could eventually lead to our destruction. Other people have voiced such ideas, but Rees’ position as a leading cosmologist that makes his statements especially important.

He hasn’t given up on the future?he says it’s up to the human race to ensure its own survival. He says our actions today may “make the difference between a near eternity filled with ever more complex and subtle forms of life and one filled with nothing but base matter.”

The Mayans and the Egyptians both believed they knew the future of mankind.

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