Cosmologist Martin Rees gives humanity a 50-50 chance of surviving the 21st century

But he’s still an optimist.

Martin Rees is Britain’s astronomer royal, a professor at Cambridge University, and one of the leading cosmologists in the world. In a 2003 book, titled Our Final Hour, he gave civilization a 50-50 chance of surviving the 21st century, an estimate he reached after surveying all the ways humanity could destroy itself.

Rees has followed that book with another one about existential threats, titled On the Future: Prospects for Humanity. And the upshot of the new...

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