I am not sure what to make of this because it’s coming from one of the most brilliant minds of the late 20th-early 21st century–Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most respected Astrophysicist in the world.
In a new Discovery Channel documentary airing on May 9, the man who wrote the respected book “A Brief History of Time,” in which he discussed the breakthroughs in science and the origins of the universe, is now warning humans that looking for extraterrestrials may prove to be regrettable and detrimental to our species.
Hawking affirmed that extraterrestrials exist, saying:
To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational. The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.
But, he warned that extraterrestrials may only be interested in us for our natural resources. Hearing this, I can’t help to think of the ABC show V or Avatar, which had the reverse–humans destroying an alien world for its natural resources).
We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.
And, using European colonialism as an analogy for extraterrestrial imperialism, he concluded:
If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.
As someone who has been awaiting the day when Vulcans contact humans, form the United Federation of Planets and its academic and space exploration body–Starfleet, I can’t say I am not the least bit disappointed.
Yet, something tells me that something like this, despite coming from a credible and esteemed scientist, won’t stop humans from seeking intelligent life in our galaxy and beyond. After all, we are a lonely and needy species. We need answers and we need to know we’re not alone.