Stephen Hawking: If Aliens Exist, Be Wary Of Them

We don’t even know how life came about on our own planet, let alone on alien worlds. Therefore, I think these mathematical equations are seriously flawed. The variables are highly dubious; how are we to know whether life is one in a hundred billion, or one in fifty trillion? The equations have been made since the 60’s and 70’s and are mainly speculative.

What Professor Hawking is talking about is intriguing though, if we simply look at it from a scientific and mathematical perspective. With millions of star systems in a galaxy, and billions of galaxies, there is a high probability, mathematically speaking, of intelligent life somewhere in the universe. We don’t have evidence let alone proof of aliens, of course, but absence of proof is not proof of absence.

Hawking’s main point is that we cannot assume that aliens, who have mastered intergalactic travel, will be peace loving beings. How can we really assume that? The other point is that even if aliens have good intentions, they could still end up harming us, much like the first Europeans settlers to the New World, who killed off Native Americans indirectly through disease.

Some have suggested that this kind of speculation is madness. But, it is only mad to believe, with absolute certainty, that aliens are either pacifist or aggressive, or that they exist or do not exist. The scientific perspective is always open-minded. If there are aggressive conquering aliens out there, why would we want to alert them to our presence? Isn’t it best to err on the side of caution? Hawking is not declaring that aliens exist with any certainty. He is simply saying that we should be wary.

‘Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking’
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797084

‘Drake equation’
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Drake_Equation

1 May, 2010

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