Stephen Hawking says he's an optimist. Perhaps theoretical physicists have an idiosyncratic definition of the word.
For in an interview with BigThink, Hawking suggested that unless the human race begins to inhabit outer space, it will disappear. His tinge of optimism is painted in quite muted colors. "If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries, our species should be safe as we spread into space," he told BigThink.
Hawking is worried about the way humans are eating up finite resources and commented that our genetic code "carries selfish and aggressive instincts," which have helped humanity survive so often in times gone by. For more of this story, read Hawking: It's outer space or die for humans on CNET News.