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Stephen Hawking: Colonize space, or else

The astrophysicist says we're in an increasingly dangerous part of our history and have to gain control of what's out there.

In recent times, famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has become something of a hawk when it comes to human survival.

His fears have been profound. His warnings have been chilling.

He told us earthlings just last year that aliens might swoop down on us and devour us whole, while plundering what's worth taking from here. You know, a few Ferraris, an iPhone or two, Selma Blair, Yosemite, Aziza restaurant in San Francisco, and a couple of Himalayas just to look at.

Now, according to The Canadian Press, Hawking is adamant that we have to start colonizing out there before we endure a Waterloo down here.

We have to get out there quickly. CC Matthew Simantov/Flickr

In a speech in Waterloo, Ontario--the home of the thriving Research In Motion--Hawking said it's nice that humankind has developed technical abilities to make its environment a lovely (or not) place, but that our sheer selfishness and aggression--yes, not only in America--will be our undoing.

"Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space," he said.

The only way, it seems, is to send more and more human beings into space in order to discover potential new, healthier environments--ones that aggressive, selfish people can destroy more slowly than they are doing down here.

Perhaps Hawking is aware that this week, NASA made it easier to become an astronaut, by facilitating online applications for the first time in its history.

It does seem slightly pitiful that so many of our great scientific and engineering minds are being wasted on creating fine new ways to pay for your shampoo with your iPhone, rather than on creating machines that can swiftly and safely transport humans to occupy the Planet Yog.