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Professor says 'human stupidity' is the greatest threat to civilization

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 5:56 PM - Professor Brian Cox says that while climate change, crop disease and the threat of an asteroid impact could put us in danger, human stupidity is the biggest threat to civilization.

The former musician-turned-physicist told the Radio Times that world leaders are slow to act on the important issues and that could eventually lead to our downfall.

"The biggest threat to civilization is human stupidity," he said. "[The issues are] so obvious that they become cliched ... but actually they're not cliched positions. The more we consider our position in the wider universe, the more pressing these questions become."

Cox also wondered what an alien race would think of humanity.

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"Imagine an alien from another galaxy came and had a look at us," he said.

"If there's just this one planet on which there's any meaning, how would you arrange your affairs? Would you really sit there and divide it up into lots of autonomous regions and spend a lot of money making sure they don't invade each other? Or would you be more concerned with protecting civilization as a whole, such as making sure we're not going to get wiped out by a big space rock."

Cox says he would like to encourage world leaders to invest in education and research while spending more time dealing with important issues.


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