1. Education

Hawking Warns of Possible Alien Invasion

By April 27, 2010

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Earlier this week Stephen Hawking, the famed cosmologist and black hole expert, was quoted as saying that we should not attempt to contact civilizations outside our world. While he conceded that alien races almost certainly exist on far away planets, he worries that contacting them may lead to an invasion of Earth.

Professor Hawking was quoted as saying "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans". His reasoning is simple; an examination of how our species has evolved, and how we have approached colonization of our world, should serve as a lesson for how a more advanced alien species might consume our tiny planet and its resources.

While I have the upmost respect for Professor Hawking, I am afraid that I must disagree with his presumptions and therefore his conclusions. First of all, the foundation of his argument is that these alien beings would behave similarly to how mankind has behaved during is torrid past. While this is not an irrational position, I think it is short sighted. First of all, as man has evolved, he has become more environmentally and socially conscience of his actions (see the environmentalist and social justice movements). Now, imagine the state of social convention in this world once we have advanced ourselves to the point where we can travel across the galaxy. I believe that may be a more accurate picture of how an alien race might behave. Specifically as we (or they) advance, we become more self-aware and conscientious of our surroundings.

But arguing the social side of alien contact is contrived at best. We really have no basis on which to evaluate the ethical or moral behavior of an alien race, being as how we have never interacted with one. So let's move on to a more pressing point. Hawking argues that given their likely desire to simply accumulate resources (again, strangely assuming they behave as colonial Americans), they would likely come to Earth only to rape the planet of its natural resources and move on to another world (my sensationalist paraphrasing of his comments). In spite of my objection to his position on their social nature, let's, for the moment, assume that he's correct and that an alien race would only be interested in accumulating natural resources. It still would not make sense that an alien race would venture across the galaxy simply to consume the resources of our solar system.

Natural resources are abundant across the entire galaxy, and we are actually located in a rather lonely, isolated area within it. An alien race would have to go out of their way to bother us. Simply put, there would be much better places (with denser concentrations of raw material) in the galaxy to search out natural resources than our solar system. Besides, as I mentioned in my recent article on interstellar travel, the necessary technology (namely, the control of negative energy) needed would have the ancillary benefit of harnessing virtually unlimited energy. My guess is that such an alien race would not be in such desperate need of resources given their necessary grasp of technology.

Perhaps my biggest problem with Hawking's view is that it supposes that any aliens that we contact would have the technology to come visit us in the first place. This is quite unlikely. But, again, let's suppose he's correct and that an alien race has devised a way to leave their world and travel across the galaxy. That would mean, based on our current understanding of physics, that they have obtained knowledge and engineering prowess beyond what we have even imagined. And, more importantly, they have gained control of types of matter that we have yet to observe anywhere in the known Universe.

Now let's take it a step further. As we already established, they would not need to travel to Earth to consume our natural resources as there would be easier ways. So the only way Hawking's doomsday scenario is correct is to assume that these aliens would have some other reason to come and wipe us out. This only seems possible if they are simply evil (which I suppose is possible) or they feel threatened by us. But given how advanced their technology would need to be compared to ours, I can't see how the latter scenario holds water.

So when all is said and done, it seems that the only reason we have to fear annihilation from an alien race would be that we contact beings that both have super advanced technology and have a desire to erase any race they come across from the Universe. While I must concede this is possible, it seems incredibly unlikely. The vastly more likely scenario, in my mind, is that we make contact with an alien race that is in the same position that we are in -- able to measure and explore the Universe from the comfort of their home world, but unable to venture far from it due to the limits of the physical Universe (at least as we currently understand the laws of physics). In this case, I think there would be much we could learn from them. The likely enrichment that would come from such an encounter seems to me to far outweigh the unlikely possibility that the alien race is out for Universal domination. But that's just my opinion. What are your thoughts?

Comments

April 28, 2010 at 9:17 am
(1) Mars Rover says:

I posted this in another blog to, CNNs Dr. Sanjay Gupta did a story on this yesterday on AC360.

It’s an entire colony of aliens, not just a few UFOs. We’re talking an entire mobile colony with a ship the size of earth that travel from sun to sun depleting it’s power. That’s what they’re after, it’s the sun they want. The people on earth & our valuable water is just a bonus catch for them.

How do they do it you ask? They pull the mothership up as close to the sun as they can, as hundreds of smaller ships come flying out of the mothership surrounding our sun in a uniform pattern. Each ship then deploys an arm just like the mars rover (hey, that’s me!) deployed it’s solar panels in a circular motion (who said we didn’t get technology from Roswell?). Then they beam the power to the mothership draining our sun until it’s dead.

But wait, they’re still not done. It’s time for the bonus…

They come to earth taking enough humans to enslave on their mother ship, also making a “zoolike” area putting us up for display in cages. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? How can they do that to us? Some say this is exactly what we did to them in Roswell, what goes around comes around, right?

April 28, 2010 at 10:07 am
(2) Nathan says:

I do agree that if we make contact, the chances of a fair fight (if their has to be one) is close to zero. We know that the universe is about 14 billion years old, and that it took about 3.5 billion years to evolve us. There is a lot of room there for a race to be millions or billions of years ahead of us (especially of they come from a less massive star), or behind us. The possibility that never seems to come up, which I find most likely is that we find a ruined civilization in a white dwarf solar system. They may find our ruins billions of years from now.

May 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm
(3) Ed Noonan says:

What do I think? Fundamentally I think that astrophysicists should stick to their areas of expertise and leave speculation on inter-species/race/culture encounters to your far better equipped colleagues over in the Anthropology department.

That said, Iíll first take issue with your notion that scientifically advanced civilizations are also likely to be socially advanced. You assert that ďas man has evolved, he has become more environmentally and socially conscience of his actionsĒ and offer the environmental and social justice movements as evidence. Since environmental concerns are primarily the mark of wealthy societies (poorer societies around the globe continue to practice slash and burn agricultural methods and a variety of other environmentally-hostile practices), does it not follow that preservation of wealth might be the real motivation behind environmentalism? Simply stated, if we foul the land, water, and air, our standard of living will quickly decline. While perhaps less noble, the reality is that self-interest remains a far more reliable vehicle for socially ďadvancedĒ ideas than altruism.

While I was unaware that social justice philosophy had actually risen to the level of a ďmovementĒ, I can assure you that the tenets of social justice are thousands of years old and can be found in the writings of nearly every culture on earth, Judeo-Christian traditions being only one example. So if social justice is so old and space exploration so recent, where is the correlation?

And letís look further at space exploration. Mankind visited the moon six times, each time in the quest of greater knowledge about our origins and those of our closest neighbor in space. But was knowledge really our primary motivation or merely the goal most easily sold to the public? Were there not over-shadowing political, military, and economic incentives for our efforts? Then in 1973, we proclaimed success and havenít been to the moon since. Why?

Because it is boring and there is nothing much there to attract us back. But just suppose we had discovered significant deposits of unobtainium (a mythical element that precedes James Cameronís Avatar by several decades). I can guarantee you that if we had found unobtainium, active mining operations would be in place on the moon today. Which leads me to your conclusion that aliens would not trouble themselves with Earthís natural resources because of their abundance elsewhere.

Letís assume the alien life forms we are concerned about are not like us. Let’s assume that dense hydrocarbons are their version of unobtainium, which they presumably use in ways we canít imagine. We ourselves have searched for evidence of hydrocarbons elsewhere in the universe without much success, so an alienís spectral analysis of earthís composition revealing our considerable stores of anthracite in North America might be an excellent reason for their coming here. And the very nature of unobtainium suggests that they might not seriously entertain our notions on environmentally friendly extraction techniques and before you know it, weíre right where Professor Hawking supposed we would be.

So while I think that neither you nor Professor Hawking enjoy any standing on anthropological matters, I find more evidence for his conclusions.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your posts each week.

Ed Noonan
enoon08@gmail.com

May 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm
(4) Space Guide says:

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you that my social advancement argument was by far the weakest part. And perhaps I didn’t articulate it very well (not surprising considering it is not my field as you pointed out), but ultimately, I wanted to make two points. First simply assuming that extremely advanced beings would behave like colonial Americans (as Hawking did) seemed unfounded to me. A such, I was trying to point out that it was just as likely that they would be much more socially advanced. (Again, I just thought his assumption was unfounded, not that it wasn’t possible.)

My second point actually relates to the first in that as technology advances, it is necessary (at least it appears to me, again I am not an expert in such things) that being would need to begin to take greater precautions with their technology. An example would be nuclear power/weapons. Obviously nuclear power is of benefit to our society, but that same technology poses a threat to the destruction of all mankind. Now as I imagine the kind of technology that would be needed in order to explore the galaxy, the problem is greatly amplified. That same technology (nearly limitless energy) could also be used to destroy an entire race of beings. Seeing as how they would have somehow survived, they logically would have needed to develop social (perhaps that is the wrong word, but you get my drift) protections to ensure survival. Now, of course this is not evidence that they would extend to us the same protections, but I think it is less logical to assume that they wouldn’t.

And while your natural resources argument makes sense, it still seems rather unlikely. A society so advanced would certainly have the ability and technology to create anything they needed using the basic chemical elements. Again, with the types of technology and energy necessary to transverse the galaxy, doing advanced chemistry would seem simple by comparison. All that would be required is a considerable energy source, but nothing like what would be needed to travel thousands of light-years.

And just to address your point about the Moon. The main reason that we have not returned is that the cost out weighed the benefit. Now, we are trying to return to the Moon and go even further. The incentives aren’t suddenly any greater. The greatest benefit is simply the advancement of human knowledge and understanding. (Of course there is a fiscal argument as well, but I would say that is a secondary effect, as it wouldn’t be realized until far in the future.)

Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts, and let me know if you have any other thoughts (or if my thoughts still need further correction).

John

May 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm
(5) Scott says:

If mankind would ever find life on another planet and could contact them I will kiss Stephen Hawkings crippled butt live on CNN.
It will never happen!

May 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm
(6) John Knight says:

John:

Great comment also liked Ed’s reply back to you.

But consider this. You assume that your alien race is all educated with no trailer trash or crimanal element.

Even trailer trash with a shotgun (low level technology) could rule a tribal group in the depth of South America.

All you have to do is locate us for the damage to be done. Explorers found Kentucky and those that followed killed and forced the native Americans out and in some cases killed them all.

Do not assume that alien life values your life.

Be sure to extend the hand of frendship in peace but keep a nuke in your back pocket just in case.

John Knight
Bowling Green,Ky. USA

May 4, 2010 at 2:25 am
(7) Mike says:

According to SETI, it’s extraordinarily quite out there, this leads to four possibilities (for me at least)
1. We are the first intelligent life forms to evolve thus far (well, evolved enough to transmit radio waves – the SETI benchmark for intelligent life.)
2. There is plenty of life out there, but so advanced they use a technology to communicate with that we could not possibly hope to intercept.
3. Social evolution takes the same universal path over and over again and each independent civilisation keeps on annihilating itself before it can travel to the stars – almost like us!
4. Perhaps technology is the exception and not the rule, perhaps as civilisations evolve, they become more religious in their belief systems and effectively out law technology (look at the Taliban.)

May 4, 2010 at 6:47 am
(8) basiong says:

Why do we always pre-supposes that life on another planet (if found) possessed advance technology. Wouldn’t it be more rational to think that they (if they existed at all) are only just developing life forms or that they are backward in technologt so that they haven’t develop apparatus or equipment that would enable them to receive communication with us. Take pride in the thought that we are the aliens that other life form in the farthest galaxies are wary that they might be conquered by us like how western civilization conqured the original inhabitants of North America. GEEZ!!!!!!!

May 4, 2010 at 11:43 am
(9) Donald says:

I agree with Hawking, we have indeed progressed over the years but with the social and economic progressions came progressions in the matter in which we have exterminated each other. We are in fact as a civilization trying to better conserve the planet, but we show no signs of a deeper desire to conserve human lives in our incessant pushes for dominance and control. So in conclusion, it is hard to state a better behavior trait as a grounds for believing we would not be endangered if and when aliens do come, seeing as how we don’t really behave any differently then we did in the days of Columbus.

May 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm
(10) Dennis says:

Interesting counter arguments however one idea was left out and that is the need for physical labor. Much like in our early history we used what we considered inferior humans to do the labor as slaves and we cared nothing if they lived or died just as long as the supply was available. 7 billion humans for toil on distant planets is a tempting resource.

May 12, 2010 at 8:37 am
(11) Mike says:

I disagree with the slave analogy, as intelligence develops so does the preoccupation with moral behaviour, although when you throw religious belief into the mix, well that changes everything, but again development along these lines would stop the evolvement of technology in it’s tracks, and so seeking out life in the universe would be a moot point.
So perhaps evolution itself (on a universal scale) has a means of self regulation when it comes to the meeting of two cosmic species to ensure that they do not wipe each over out, or enslave one another. Remember these creatures will have had to have reached a certain level of intelligence to be able to leave their home worlds to seek out other life forms in the first place, which means development of an intelligence far superior to ours, and of course the development of social skills to match.
For me, evolution is all about survival, and if you think big enough, it means it is not necessarily always about the death of a particular line of genes just to favour a stronger line.

May 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm
(12) none says:

I find this whole slave concept half baked. Why on earth would you want to go out of the way to enslave an alien race of which you have no idea what it might be capable of. Also it would cost a huge amount of resource .They might catch a nasty virus of us that finishes them off. If we cant breath their atmosphere we would be no good on thier planet they would have no idea what we eat so they would not be able to sustain a slave race. Humans a very bad at being told what to do we rebel too much .They would have observed this and when humans have nothing to lose anything can happen. if they are intelligent enough to go from world to world. Then they would have easily come up with a more practical answer to their dirty work rather then trying to keep a hellbent unruly and violent species under control and sustained. We would probley be rebelling every 5 minutes and our huge pack mentality would scare them. An animal that can communicate well will become very difficult to control.

May 31, 2010 at 11:27 pm
(13) Alien Alladin says:

Hawkings sounds like a lot of Government fed, Propaganda to Me, It Must be very exspensive to Preserve His Life! And Nobody Yet has Proven to Me, That A Man Landed on the Moon!!! I Believe the New World Order Will Fake all Kinds of Alien Invasions, from the 9-11 Model, of Problem- Solution!! Solution Always Being War! Phychological Terrorism Is the Name of their Game, My Friends!
Google: Nasa Project Blue Book and Also; Spheres Orbiting Sun
The Giant, Earth Sized Ufo’s are Now Around Our Sun, And I Believe, they are Taking Tests to Prepare a Force Feild-Sheild for Our Earth for 2012!! They don’t want us to Destroy Ourselves and Even More Importantly, all of the Other Life and our Most Precious Mother Earth!! Life is Extremely Valuable to Those with Higher Consciousness!
And Thats Why a Faked Invasion is Wanted by the NWO! to Obscure the Real Extraterestrial Contact, that Will Most Likely be Made Very Soon!! When the Ananuki Come, They Will Surely Wipe Out All of the Corrupted Vampiristic, Leaders and All Systems of Slavery!! The Vampire was Hoping that 2012 would Kill off 1-2 to 3-4 of the Population, and They Would Rise from their Underground Bunkers to Control everything on Earth, So They are Extremely Pissed that we Are Being Helped,… Love, Light + Friendship Always! Thanks John!

August 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm
(14) nomad says:

FACT: the human race is a war obsessed race. Also many of our people are obsessed with financially, physically, mentally and politically victomizing others. Our governments are obsessed with makeing sure technology never developes to allow mass transit to new planetary colonies (the less people on earth, the less taxes collected). Our govmnts. refuse to develope such technology claiming “we can’t afford it”. If other races on other worlds are looking for war the how: A: would they have stopped fighting among themselves (like humans do)?
B: Be able to afford to develope steller travel (their wars among themselves would prevent such funding)
C: whould they feed their warriors for interplanetary war? (again, lack of funding.)

Any species that has developed such technology has evolved beyond those things that make the human race almost tyrannicle and would no longer be on the monetary system. If they invade, it will be to liberate the innocent, not to enslave us just like our own govs. are doing right now.
I say if they are going to vaporize the corrupt then let it happen now,and free us all.

September 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm
(15) Mike says:

Did you ever consider that the aliens might be so environmentally and socially conscious that when they saw how we treated our world they might just cure it of us? the end is the same merely the motive differs

December 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm
(16) Manni says:

Hi,

Firstly, I’d like to start by saying that I’ve found this page to be fascinating reading.

I’d like to offer the point that you are all assuming that an aliens ability to leave their home world and travel to distant planets is based upon technological advancements. This is only one possibility. There is no reason why a being might not have developed such a skill at a biological level. In which case; it’s moral and social skills could be totally undeveloped. It may not even be what we consider ‘intelligent’ life.

I agree that Professor Hawkins’ ideas are pure theory but I am sure that they are meant than nothing more than the start of an open debate. Whether you believe that a race of alien beings is on their way to rape and pillage our globe or you think that we are currently the only self aware lifeforms in existence, you must admit that we need to leave this planet and expand our domain before something such as a solar flair or rogue asteroid destroys us. The chances are slim for the time being but it will eventually happen if we stay on this rock. Given that fact and our nature, we must explore space. Despite what might be lurking out there. And as SETI have said, it’s pretty quiet so far!

January 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm
(17) Brixter says:

Sometimes people always assumes that if alien do visit us, they would conquer us and harvest our brains, shoot laser beams, flying disc, etc. We as people became much more civilized compared to our prehistoric origins, then aliens should be the same.

February 9, 2011 at 11:37 pm
(18) ML says:

I guess early settlers would have never envisioned men on the moon (go figure). How arrogant of you to think that we alone possess any knowledge. I believe that aliens are much too smart to interact with a race that that can’t even interact with themselves.

March 22, 2011 at 3:25 am
(19) Shaun says:

If you want to talk about a possible alien invasion of Earth you have to think about what possible motives any aliens might have.

To steal our resources is unlikely in my opinion. An advanced civilization would harness the energy of
their own star first, or if not capable of doing
that, would establish a mining colony on a planet nearby, or one of their own moons( just as we have the Moon and Mars relatively close to us )

To travel all over the galaxy would be very inconvienient I think. I will not talk about wormholes, as we don’t know about alien technology,
or how an alien society would function.

It is possible that there might be some alien society that is technologically advanced, but still hostile. It does not mean they would travel all over the universe looking for a fight however.

If they happen to bump into us by accident ( assume they have mastered interstellar travel ) and they are passing through this neigbourhood, they might attack us if we somehow piss them off , make them angry.

I feel that there would have to be some provocation on our part to go to war with any alien race. Unless that is just some planet out there that has “Hitler aliens” who really have some agenda to take over every civilization in the galaxy!

An unlikely scenario IMHO!

March 25, 2011 at 2:09 am
(20) Shaun says:

Just saw the World Invsion: Battle; Los Angeles film. That scenario is a bit far-fetched, and I think that our missles and artillery would not be very effective against attacking aliens.

If the aliens were only twenty years or so years ahead of us technologically ,then we might have a chance. That is a small chance however. They would either be a lot more advanced then us, or a lot less advanced.

The only way a alien civilization at a similar level to us could come here was if they stumbled across advanced space transport technology simply by accident ( a wormhole or who knows what else )and could transport objects and themselves to our region of space )

Then it would be a fair fight. However, if these aliens were even only 50 years ahead of us we would still have a hard time defending ourselves.

April 9, 2011 at 2:00 am
(21) WikiLeaks says:

Steven Hawking is nothing more than a plagourist whom uses the decimal system to try and reveal the universe.

Unfortuanatly the decimal system isn’t in concordence with the universe therefore invalidating anything he tried feebly to substantiae.

It’s just a shame that people who are qualified in someone elses junk deem it a regular practice to steal the works of others and then interpret there stolen widom using such a redundent illogical system.

Steven is a front man for government research so that once they have finished unravelling stolen knowledge they can have Steven take all the credit for example.

No Aliens want to invade our miniscule spinning poo in this infinate universe, iface our minds effect matter, and that real physics, the more minds hold a belief the greater the effect.

One very well known agenda is the false flag alien invasion scenario that Steven is helping to pimp out on behalf of illeagle government officials and corporates, people who are know child molesters and architects of the many deadly poisons you find in your water and food supplies.

GOD wouldn’t help Steven if he was in my presence!.

April 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm
(22) THEO says:

No…no, no, no, no, no!!! I’m sorry….people…no! That’s a very naive way to see things!!! It seems to me that you are the short sighted ones!!! Who told you that people today are more conscious than before?!!!…Yes….indeed they are afraid and concern about the environment…..yes….they do try to conserve a few more – better than before – ethics, but that doesn’t stop them from fighting each other and still creating pain and agony to this world. Wars regarding energy and other resources still goes on, and interests – always to the expense of others – do continue to rule our every day concept. Therefore, if we – and after so many centuries of terrible wars and atrocities – keep going on behaving like that, what makes you think that alien races will be more….nicer than we are?!!! Try to swallow it down…….no matter how much civilized a being will become, things such as survival instincts, and interests will still guide it’s life, and therefore it will alway make it, this way, a danger to others.
Always try to be on guard and don’t just following up a naive path such as this, that could put all of us in to big trouble, should such occasion – God forbids – occur.

Theo form Greece.

May 1, 2011 at 6:44 am
(23) B.Lenegan says:

I supose the main item we should consider is firstly the chances are we will not get the choice and may have been/will be contacted. Secondly, the worst possible action we could take is nothing……for any different theories of how contact would go for us – all information is good information. With or without our wanting contact it will happen better to be prepared.

June 16, 2011 at 9:53 am
(24) CasiAnonimo says:

They are just watching us, they’re already here, all the moons and all the planets in our solar system has colonies. Human species are very common on the galaxy. We’re not the uniques. That’s the True. -

June 21, 2011 at 11:47 am
(25) Geo says:

Ed Noonan says : “our considerable stores of anthracite in North America might be an excellent reason for their coming here.”

So they can get fuel for their coal powered UFOs? Brilliant!

If there’s one law of life on Earth its: Survival of the Fittest. It’s a dog eat dog world. There’s no reason to assume it’s different elsewhere in the universe and every reason to assume it’s the same. There’s also every reason to assume our technology is as primitive as it gets and other civilizations are much more likely to be much more advanced especially if they’re capable of visiting us across many light years – something we’re not likely to do for centuries if ever.

July 22, 2011 at 2:30 am
(26) Adam says:

Considering the fact that our archeoligical evidence shows that these beings have been here for thousands of years, I think it’s safe to assume that these beings are not going to invade us. The only reason we think of negative things like that is because when we turn on the tv all we see is discrimination, hate, and GREED… I kinda see these alien beings as neutral because even though they haven’t invaded us, they won’t come down and help this planet along with us.

August 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm
(27) Patrick says:

I’m going to ignore the comments about ancient astronauts and New World Order conpiracies and address the facts here.

1) No alien civilization that is capable of travelling here would have any need or desire to enslave us. Slavery in our world didn’t go out of style because people thought it was morally wrong. It went out of style because it is a horribly inefficient system and we found better ways to do things. A race that tried to enslave us would have to feed, clothe, and shelter us. They would have to provide us air we could breathe and environmental conditions we could tolerate. They would also have to deal with the fact that we can think for ourselves and that most humans would prefer death to captivity. Any race technologically advanced enough to cover interstellar distances would have long ago developed machines to do manual labor. Even here on Earth, a combine and some diesel fuel replaces the labor of thousands of slaves.

2) No alien race technologically advanced enough to traverse interstellar distances would need any resources from Earth. Travelling from another star to Earth isn’t simply a matter of building a bigger, better rocket. It would take technology orders of magnitude beyond what we have ever dreamed of, and it would not rely on fossil fuels or solar power. And even in the unlikely event that they did need hydrocarbons, Titan could be mined for all the hydrocarbons they would ever need without the aliens having to deal with the 7 billion pesky humans who want to kill them. There are clouds of water in space that make the amount of water on Earth appear infinitesimal by comparison. It would be a waste of time and energy to try to steal resources from our tiny planet in our relatively empty part of the galaxy.

August 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(28) Bongstar420 says:

On top of Patrick’s comment…A race of intelligent predators (the only type of being that would do this sort of thing) is probably not as likely as omnivores and herbivores would find much more efficient means of sustenance. The whole slavery bit can only be for fun not necessity.

Anyways, any species with a high degree of predatory behaviors are unlikely to maintain large populations and they are likely to be stricken with ego conflict which makes their social systems unstable. On top of this, that ego conflict that is likely with predators is also likely to slow progress substantially. I do not believe really smart predators could exist without giant egos to justify their behavior.

If there is ever more than 1 alien race, any predatory races will likely be sanctioned and subjected to great amounts of negative pressure (other aliens warring with the predators). If any smart predator does not limit its consumption to other beings below a certain level of consciousness, then there is reason to blow em away.

If predatory aliens exist, their number will be limited. Their methods will be clandestine. They will never work outside a veil of deception (direct attacks). They will perpetuate themselves simply for fun and ego fulfillment. After all, we are talking about beings so far advanced that they can manipulate biochemistry which means their state of being and their mode of existence is a choice.

Stephen Hawking is the wrong guy to be commenting on this. You might be better to refer to Richard Dawkins or some other evolutionary biologist who has done work with evolutionary biology and observed actual species in the real world.

Well, at least presumably

September 2, 2011 at 10:59 am
(29) AGUY says:

This is to assume that we understand the alien mindset in the first place. All we have to go on is our current understanding of physics and our history as a race to measures up the probabilities of an advanced civilization. What we assume may be completely inaccurate.

It was already mentioned earlier, but assume if you will the possibility of an ancient alien race harnessing a fuel we have yet to discover? Never mind the human condition; any race that is millions – or even billions – of years old may have a mindset so foreign, it would epitomize the word alien.

Mankind’s biggest shortcoming is the assumption that alien life – advanced in the millions or billions – would be the product of a similar mindset, evolved to a higher form of morale conciseness when the opposite could actually be true.

Steven Hawking’s scenario concludes that an advanced alien race would be so far detached from the human condition, that any assumptions made on our part would have no basis in reality (if it were to happen that is).

I am sure we can agree on this: even if Hawking’s scenario of aliens harvesting Earth for resources is unfeasible, an advanced alien race that spent enough resources to visit Earth from a distant galaxy would have a motive, and I believe that is the basis of Hawking’s assessment.

September 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm
(30) Abcd says:

The real question is how would we treat the aliens if they visit us ? Even if the aliens themselves find earth through an exercise for finding life (rather than for resources), we at some point would want to exploit their technology. Our “leaders” would not treat aliens as some visitors who are free to come and go, without us knowing how they do it. In the process, Our leaders would try to control their existence on this planet (which is justifiable for us). But for an advanced race that might be an hostile move from our side (to tell someone what to do and how to do). This might cause a rift or even a war.

The analogy of Colonization presented by Mr. Hawkings may be a speculation. But our mentality to colonize would remain the same. If the aliens agree to whatever we say initially, at some point Our Leaders would say “Good! now lets push it further”, incase they don’t its gonna be “Aliens are hostile! Lets Nuke them”

The Bottomline is Alien psychology might unpredictable, but human psychology would eventually turn the aliens hostile to us.

October 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm
(31) john says:

aliens wouldn’t use slaves they would use technology(robots). u people r dumb! stop trying to be smart and think ur at hawkings level! hes probably saying this to get idiots like yourselves all worked up! (which he succeeded)

December 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm
(32) Matt says:

aliens may not come simply for our resources but to conquer. For years mankind has fought to expand their empire and territory the aliens could do the same and see us as an easy target. In ways I agree with Hawking we might be close to an advanced civilization and why travel across the universe when we are close by maybe not a planet but a fleet thats been roaming the universe for who knows how long.

January 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm
(33) Admin says:

Aliens are not real.
This article I’m afraid, was a fake.
I hope I didn’t raise any expectations.

January 19, 2012 at 12:17 am
(34) Kevin Magill says:

I feel the need to point out, I did not see reference in the arguments above to the nature of greed and power, and their effect on the actions of humanity. I have to contend that Stephen Hawking is correct is assuming the isolationist stance. Just look at all the conflict here on earth and you can plainly see that environmental concerns are not the definition of an advanced society, and despite the advancement of our culture here on earth the things that drive humanity are greed and power, no matter the affluence, or advancement of the country. As humans we only have ourselves as examples, so if aliens are anything like us, we should keep our distance.

April 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm
(35) Wanderer says:

Funy,

If we take a vast rainforest and point out a nest of ants from there, what do they realy mean to you? Have you ever concidered making “contact” with them? If your survival was dependent on the are they live on, how much tought would you give to this colony of ants?

Im not so sure that human can be concidered a advanced inteligent species. If there was a universe full of life, would you realy want this killing machine to wander around there? We concider our self inteligent, and anything that is less inteligent by our terms is food, building blocks or something else “usefull” to entertain our own existence with. I think Professor Hawkings toughts are wonderfull, what else than a human being would come up with that kind of a conclusion about something else “inteligent” out there?

I think that if there is something “more” inteligent out there, our phone call might be the last one THEY want to answer. We are just about inteligent enough to destroy a whole planet only by trying to live in it.

May 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm
(36) Abhishek Bundela says:

Any specualtion of an Alien Contact is highly probable. The aftermath are even more based on probablity. I personaly think; the outcomes of any such contact would be disastrous for mankind. But, its ought to happen. I would rather like ours civilization to visit them before they invade us. We atleast will be more advanced and more prepared then them, Just like ‘Avatar’.

May 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm
(37) andrew says:

theres no reason to belive when and if aliens are contacted they will be flying cars with lasers and plasma weaponry thousands of years more advanced than us. whats to say we wont be the ones who find another race less advanced than us. if the human race is to survive we will have to relocate to another planet way after our lives, and the easiest to move to would be one similiar to earth. which also happen to be the ones most likely to house a alien specie

July 17, 2012 at 4:31 am
(38) deathstar 2012 says:

i feel that it may be possible for the alien race to be violent as well as harmless at the same time.
take an example of us humans. we are so many, yet all are different in our beliefs and ways of thinking. u have those that just want war (looking at the Hitler types) and then you have the peaceful types (like mother Teresa) who just want to help others. end of the day, even the mother Teresa types will stand with the warmongers if it means the end of humanities existence.

another thing that i am thinking is that the universe is approx 13 billion years old, and we evolved only about 3 million years ago, whats to say that other aliens species also evolved in the same time frame and technology wise are at the same stage we are?
maybe at present they are also still in research how to contact other species?

The only way i see aliens being more technologically advanced is by them having a network that allows every single individuals ideas to be at least tried to see if it works. if it does, then its for the races betterment and not used to create ways to kill themselves….
i know of a guy who has a way of creating a transport mode that doesnt use fossil fuels, yet doesnt have the backing from anyone (not government or businessmen)9 to develop it.

chances are given to a chosen few, and even they could be wrong in their calculations, (see the above article about Stephen Hawkins, a world renound scientist, and the author)

we wont be the ones colonizing the universe like this

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