Stephen Hawking’s recent statements in his new series “Into the Universe” on the Discovery Channel have stirred up quite a few news stories in the past week. In fact, I will be appearing on Larry King Live tonight (4/30) at 9 p.m. EST to speak about these statements.
In the series, Hawking says: “If intelligent alien life forms do exist out in the vastness of space, they might not be the friendly cosmic neighbors the people of Earth are looking for. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach. If so, it makes sense for them to exploit each new planet for material to build more spaceships so they could move on. Who knows what the limits would be?” Hawking adds: “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.” In closing, he says that all of our efforts to search and contact aliens could ultimately end in our own destruction."
But why haven't they visited or conquered us? No one knows, Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics, CUNY gives some pausible reasons:
- There are plenty of uninhabited planets with valuable resources to exploit, so they will likely leave us alone.
- They might be benevolent since they have had thousands to millions of years to work off their aggressive tendencies.
- Most likely, we are not on their radar screen. We may be too insignificant for them to make formal contact.
I agree that we may be insignificant for now. But the day may come when "they" finally answer our calls for attention and how would we be viewed? Most likely, as a large coral of simple walking proteins.