Hawking: Aliens may pose risks to Earth
Astrophysicist says extraterrestrials likely exist, but could be dangerous
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking says aliens are out there, but it could be too dangerous for humans to interact with extraterrestial life.
LONDON – British physicist Stephen Hawking says aliens are out there, but it could be too dangerous for humans to interact with extraterrestrial life.
Hawking claims in a new documentary titled “Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking” that intelligent alien life forms almost certainly exist — but warns that communicating with them could be “too risky.”
“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” Hawking said. “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.”
The 68-year-old scientist said a visit by extraterrestrials to Earth might well be like Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas, “which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
He speculated that most extraterrestrial life would be similar to microbes, or small animals. Microbial life might exist far beneath the Martian surface, where liquid water is thought to trickle through the rock. Marine creatures might also conceivably live in huge oceans of water beneath a miles-thick layer of ice on Europa, a moon of Jupiter.
But if a scientific census could be extended beyond our solar system to the rest of the Milky Way and beyond, the odds in favor of life’s existence rise dramatically, Hawking said.
“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”