NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Humanity's only hope for survival is to look to the stars, the world's most famous physicist has said, and one of the world's leading evangelists agrees with him – in part.
"I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet," Stephen Hawking told the Oxford Union debating society earlier this week.
Hawking was discussing the origins of the universe and said he hoped scientists would soon be able to use gravitational waves to look into the heart of the "Big Bang" – the moment scientists claim all of the cosmos spontaneously erupted into existence.
Hawking doesn't actually believe the world will end in 1,000 years. Instead, he believes 1,000 years from now is the beginning of a window of statistical probability when something catastrophic could occur on earth. Before it does, he said, humans should "remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet."
"Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up," Hawking said.
Hawking said he believes humanity can one day jump off of earth and find a future among the heavens.
Evangelist Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan's Purse, said he believes Hawking is partly correct. Humanity could look to the stars, he said in a Facebook post. But to Graham, it doesn't make sense to look to the heavens unless humanity is looking for life in the God who created them all.
"Well known physicist Stephen Hawking is in the news for announcing that he didn't think people would 'survive another 1,000 years without finding another place to live besides Earth," Graham wrote.
"As human beings, our time is limited for sure – we're not promised another breath, another day, or another year. But if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we can rest confidently in the hands of the One who created us and breathed life into us. He created this amazingly intricate universe we live in."
Graham wrote that Hawking's comment about looking up to stars is one with which he can agree.
"To me, you don't have to be a physicist to see the awesome power of the Master Creator when you see the innumerable stars and all of His vast creation. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Him," Graham wrote.
Graham posted Nehemiah 9:6 beneath his comment:
"You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You."