Hawking warns of alien contact

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by baftan, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

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    Stephen Hawkins warns over aliens

    Apparantly, Hawkins says that we should try to avoid contacting aliens as they can spot us and destroy our planet:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8642558.stm

    His inspiration comes from us, the fate of indigenous people of Americas in the hands of Europeans over 500 years ago. Being cautious against anything that we don't know is one thing, but trying not to attract something we are not even sure about it's existence is another thing.

    Are we unique? Are we alone? Apart from calculated probabilities and fantasies, we are desperate to prove if there is life out there. The consequences of this answer means almost everything for us.

    We might be discovered by any alien civilization without our effort. Would they have technological capacity to travel over here? If they have, what would they gain from our planet in terms of resources while there are bigger planets out there with better resources?

    To be honest, at the moment I find Hawkins's warning "dangerous" as it can easily be used as "fear production" against already insufficient public interest towards space exploration. Or maybe he secretly wants to raise public attention through fear...

    All in all, Hawkins' warning does not make any sense to me. What do you think? Should we really take him seriously and be quite? If you think we should, what is your supporting ideas towards this direction?
     
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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    In a Discovery Channel special Hawkins discloses that not only does he believe in the possibility of aliens he warns that it would probably have a negative impact. "The programmes depict an imagined universe featuring alien life forms in huge spaceships on the hunt for resources after draining their own planet dry":

    Sun Apr 25, 6:56 pm ET

    LONDON (AFP) – Aliens may exist but mankind should avoid contact with them as the consequences could be devastating, British scientist Stephen Hawking warned Sunday.

    On the probability of alien life existing, he says: "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.

    "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," said the astrophysicist in a new television series, according to British media reports.

    The programmes depict an imagined universe featuring alien life forms in huge spaceships on the hunt for resources after draining their own planet dry.

    "Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach," warned Hawking.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100425/sc_afp/scienceastronomyextraterrestrialhawking

    But why all the doomsday fear scenerio? Why not pixie Bjork-like aliens who want to share eco-benefit knowledge and sing happy tunes in swan like outfits?

    Why are alien to earth visitations always couched in either their wish to conquer humanity or humanity trying to destroy the aliens?

    Aren't these simply projections?

    Is it that underneath all our efforts to create a harmonious world where all human differences either ethnic, cultural, ideological and religious there lingers the knowledge or belief that the strong will always overcome and weed out the weaker group? And that different groups confronted with each other will inevitably vie for supremacy over the other?

    If we believe that humans have the capacity to overcome our baser instincts according to contemporary ethics to weed out greed, tribal or species loyalty and dominion etc, why do we assume that alien visitation would amount to us vs them or them vs us?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
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  5. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    Interesting ideas, but i think any alien in there right mind today would just sit back watch the fire works as we destroy our selves, at least if i was on the outside looking in i would think we are on that path.
     
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  7. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    But then again it might be our waring ways that save us?

    they all so might not want to have anything to do with us crazy bags of water. lol

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  8. Enmos Staff Member

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    It is pure speculation, and Hawking being exceptionally intelligent doesn't mean much here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  9. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    Hawkins, shovels shit out of his ass on a regular bases these days, and everyone takes it as fact just because it came from his mouth.
     
  10. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    I think Hawking is being stupid. He posits aliens capable of traveling interstellar distances in huge ships thorough wormholes created by harnessing the energy of a star, and they need to raid the Earth for...what? Resources? There are thee other terrestrial planets in our solar system, and if you have wormhole-creation-level tech, then they should be pretty easy to exploit.

    He basically saw Independence Day and thought it sounded right.
     
  11. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    Why are there two threads on this, both of which refer to him as "Hawkins"?

    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=101317
     
  12. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe we should get a mod to merge the two threads though I broach different question in the thread I opened
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  13. alephnull you can count on me Registered Senior Member

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    Haha yeh, seems like Prof Hawking just discovered sci-fi plots 101.
     
  14. Enmos Staff Member

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    || I requested the merge (the OP of this thread to be added to the one in FT) in the modforum. Tristan is the designated mod for this forum, so James or Stryder will probably have to do it. I don't think Tristan is online much.
     
  15. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Tristan is an Alien, and only visits earth now and again.
    He then:

    Kills a few cows,
    (Alien version of fishing)

    Takes a few Rednecks back to his ship for a few days,

    Redneck: Gaw. My alienfren wis cawled Tristan. He was OK for an Alien.
    He done tawt me the alphabet.

    And then he:

    Does a bit of moderating, and goes back home to Qwertyuiopolis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  16. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm in the process of trying to create a presentation on the subject of "Why there are No Aliens in the Universe, but we could choose to have some if we wanted". Unfortunately it's an extremely long winded explanation but hopefully when it's done it will make a different type of "believer" out of you. (Hopefully one that actually does something.... Okay that statement won't be read in the correct context until the presentation is released.)
     
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    That's an interesting point of view.

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    Back to the main topic:
    I suspect that it was a comment made in a much larger context and has been isolated and quoted for "dramatic" purposes.
    It could very well have a been prefaced with "On the other hand..." or something similar.
     
  18. domesticated om Interplanetary homesteader Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with Hawkings - although it goes both ways. Humans are just as guilty of the same thing. If we were in a planetary crisis scenario and had the technology to resolve the issue ... but it involved subverting an alien civilization, then its certain we would do it.
    I could also easily imagine an alien race next to an unstable star desperate to find other planets in the "goldielocks zone".

    The program spoke of various forms of chemical life (for example). What if we found an intelligent species that lived in an environment composed of a substance we considered "fuel" (like a pure methane ocean)?

    Something similar to Star Trek's "Prime directive" still seems promising though - albeit fictional. Could a realistic protocol be established for when first contact is appropriate, and would we stick to it?
     
  19. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe there is a Pauli exclusion type principle, whereby no inhabited solar system can exist in the universe if there is another within communication distance.
     
  20. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Nice. Make a big point about him being disabled.
    (some people have no sensitivity at all)
     
  21. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    What if someone hacked his digital voicebox and just made a mockery of him.

    Now that would be cruel.
     
  22. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Are you talking about the Pope again?
     
  23. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Hawkins did manage to avoid the attentions of the brethren.....he just wasn't hot enough.
     

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