Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beware of Alien Invaders

Stephen Hawking points out what has long been obvious to every fan of science fiction.
He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “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 colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “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.”
That type of situation is probably far more likely than benevolent visitors who assist us by curing cancer and giving us all sorts of advanced technology. But we don't really need Stephen Hawking to tell us that. Just read science fiction, which has covered just about every permutation and outcome of first contact with aliens.


  1. There has long been an assumption among many sci-fi writers and fans that a civilization capable of intergalactic travel would also be morally developed enough as to not present a threat to us. While that is possibly true, I don't find it likely that such a civilization would be paying us a physical visit just to say "hello!"
    While being civilized and technologically advanced probably go hand in hand, once the underlying or basic technology is developed, all bets are off.
    Case in point...Iran. They never would have been able to get as far as they have in the development of nuclear power without using information developed in free societies. The same applies to North Korea, Syria, etc.
    Think more along the lines of the movie Independence Day than The Abyss. I'd have to assume that anything from out there interested incoming to this little rock is after our resources and not in enlightening us.

  2. I always remember Patricia Anthony's book, "Brother Termite," whenever this subject comes up. One of the results from alien contact in that novel was the death of human technological innovation and research. After all, why strugle to invent something when the aliens already have it, and we can get it from them?

  3. The first thing that leaped to mind when I read Hawking was Battlefield Earth (the book, not the unwatchable movie), where aliens essentially regarded humans as a lower life form, bombed Earth with chemical weapons to kill off humanity, and started vast mining operations to extract our resources.