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Sci-Fi Space News

Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking 1015

Megaport writes "Promoting his new series on the Discovery channel, Stephen Hawking has given an interview to the Times in which 'he has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all that it can to avoid any contact.' He says, '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. ... 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.' Personally, I've always thought that the indigenous people of the world really had no chance to avoid contact here on such a small planet, but is hiding under our collective bed an option for humanity in the wider galaxy?"
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Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2010 @09:26AM (#31973592)

    Not to be a jerk about it or anything, but Arthur C Clarke wrote Childhood's End. It's the first line of the wikipedia article you linked, so I guess I don't need a citation...:)

  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @09:39AM (#31973720)

    There are pleanty of other resources out there, why come all they way here to get them?

    It would be like filling your car full of fuel, driving to the airport (past several orchards, forests, landfills, and supermarkets), filling up a 767, flying to Tahiti in it, then raiding a village for its produce.

    It just wouldn't be worth it. Not saying they wouldn't be interested, just that the expense and effort to take our stuff would not even be close to break even.

    The only reason I could see for them to actually come here are for biologicals. Perhaps petroleum which is also biological actually. Basically us, the plants, all of the bugs, the germs. And that is only useful to them if the biomass is is similar and compatible to theirs.

    Quite frankly they could probably produce their own Earth sized biomass with less energy than it would take for them to to transport such infrastructure here.

  • Re:Buzz (Score:3, Informative)

    by psnyder ( 1326089 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:39AM (#31974366)

    It's too late to hide. The radio waves are already on their way.

    Those radio waves that are beamed into "deep space" degrade and become indistinguishable from the rest of the background electromagnetic radiation just outside our solar system.

    Proxima Centauri, the nearest star, is 4.2 light years away. Our radio waves don't even come close.

    So yeah, SETI... that organization that spends a lot of time listening for and sending radio signals, can only hope to catch something from a ship EXTREMELY close to us. And if the aliens have the capability to get that close to our solar system, you can damn well bet they have the capability to see/scan everything in our solar system and already know we're here.

    So no, it's not too late. One way to get a signal out in the future, is send a massive amount of organic compounds into the sun. Those compounds are not seen naturally in a star, and they can be detected by examining the light through astronomical spectroscopy (a current human technology). Then we wait the light years it takes for the photons to get to them, and see if they notice.

  • Re:Greg Bear called (Score:5, Informative)

    by listentoreason ( 1726940 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @11:32AM (#31974790)
    Reference to The Forge of God [], for those unfamiliar with it. Postulates a universe with three types of civilizations; Sterilizers, in the phraseology used above, naive civilizations that reveal themselves to the sterilizers and are annihilated, and then a very loose consortium of non-Sterilizers who band together for mutual defense. This third category hides from its own members, effectively using anonymous communication to coordinate defense and response to the sterilizers. The later group is actually revealed in his follow-on novel, Anvil of Stars. []
  • by CptPicard ( 680154 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @01:23PM (#31975920)

    The last paragraph is interesting considering that Sagan pointed out that the first high-powered tv broadcasts that might be intercepted by the aliens show Hitler at the Nürnberg party rally :-)

  • by Jarnin ( 925269 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @02:37PM (#31976566)
    Decimate us, huh? Thank goodness! You see, Decimate literally means "to reduce by ten percent", or "to kill one of every ten". If an alien asteroid attack on Earth is only going to kill one in ten, I'll take my chances.
    Had you said we'd be annihilated, which means "to destroy completely", then I'd be scared.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2010 @11:08PM (#31980312)

    How about stop fucking swearing and stop spreading fucking nonsense?

    For the 1000th time, it's NOT survival of the fittest. It is *ALWAYS* survival of the most adaptable. Therefore it is not a race that is most aggressive that wins. It is a race that is most adaptable that wins. A race is that most aggressive kills itself, period. And you need brains and willpower to overcome current survival challenges, NOT aggression. Aggression now, at even our current shitty tech level, is what will doom us all.

Loose bits sink chips.