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Stephen Hawking and Aliens: ET should be put on hold

This post was written by Amy
on April 26, 2010 | Comments (5)

A blog posting on NPR’s website immediately caught my eye today. Professor Stephen Hawking, the highly respected theoretical physicist/applied mathematician, thinks we shouldn’t be so gung ho when it comes to making contact with aliens. The Discovery Channel is airing a show called Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, and in this series, he mentions that it might be UFO over Londonin our planet’s best interest if we kept our location on the down low until we can be on the same level when contact happens. I’m translating this to mean that he thinks the aliens will invade and try and take over our planet, and we better calm down and not be trying to make contact with any alien life forms until we’re on an even keel. I have no idea what this “be on the same playing field” would entail. How does a planet prepare to make contact with an alien species? Super high tech weapons or spaceships? Communication/translation devices (how are we to understand one another)? People have been sighting UFOs and relaying abduction stories for many, many years. But I think what Hawking fears is a full-on invasion where the people of Earth will be harmed by the aliens, which immediately gets my mind thinking in terms of sci fi books, movies, and tv shows.

Your thoughts about seeking alien contact?

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By KatrinaW
on April 26th, 2010 @ 11:39 am

Advanced aliens are already aware of Earth. I’d say “Alien’s beware of Earthlings with advanced technologies” for we have a terrible track record.

It is our own predatory tendencies that Prof. Hawking is projecting upon his imagined aliens. Just look at our “entertainment” with movies such as “Avatar.”

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#2 
Written By Niels
on April 26th, 2010 @ 11:48 am

Though I think that the venerable Mr Hawking is correct to caution, I think he may be putting forth a worst-case scenario to get his point across.

We have absoilutely no way of knowing what’s out there. For all we know, it could be E.T., it could be the Predator, we don’t know. And while some, including myself, would be willing to go for it, despite the risk, it is unfair to make that decision for an entire species, ours or any others on our beloved Earth.

If there were some way to make contact while mitigating the risk of a potentially destructive group finding its way back to our little corner of the galaxy, then I would be all for it (heck, I’d volunteer to go on the mission myself!). But without that safety, I agree with him that it is unwise to put an entire planet (possibly an entire solar system!) at risk until we have advanced further in our sciences.

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#3 
Written By L. Carole Johnson
on May 5th, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

Wisdom teaches us to embrace the opinions of our experts. Elders have much knowledge that is of great value to the rest of society. How can one show anything but respect for a mind rich with experience and applied knowledge?

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#4 
Written By Gaylene
on May 27th, 2010 @ 11:39 am

You know how we look at an ant hill, “small insignifigant bugs with no brains”, so easy to just step on them. Well an Alien with such high intelligence, might look at us the same way. Aliens might look at us and say, look at those humans still running around killing each other, fighting over territory and religion, making h-bombs, they can’t even fly their ships anywhere, a useless species, lets clean the galaxy of this trash. LOL I mean if I was them I would be laughing at us. Don’t get me wrong I love us, I am just not really proud of our progression as a whole. Anyway lets hope they have empathy and spiritual
intelligence too.

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