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Stephen Hawking Against Speaking to Aliens

on May 1, 2010
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The Times: “Don’t Talk to Aliens, Warns Stephen HawkingThere’s no evidence that aliens even exist—so why is famous physicist Stephen Hawking so worried we’ll talk to them?

Hawking therefore considers seeking out alien life for contact to be “too risky.”

The Times reports on Hawking’s “unusually simple” (for him, anyway) logic on the topic of aliens—presented as part of a new documentary series Hawking is behind. In it, the physicist argues that alien life is almost certain to exist, since “Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved,” as the Times’ Jonathan Leake explains.

Amid lavish, hypothetical depictions of what alien life could look like, the documentary shares Hawking’s viewpoint that some alien life may be highly evolved and intelligent, and that such life-forms may even be hostile to humanity:

“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.”

Hawking therefore considers seeking out alien life for contact to be “too risky.” Of course, he has a point—if you agree that life is out there to be sought. Our disagreement with the esteemed theoretical scientist is rooted in a field other than physics or astronomy, however. By assuming unguided evolution as the starting point for his argument, he quite validly concludes how unlikely it would be for life to have evolved on Earth alone. But if one accepts the Genesis account and views life on Earth as purposefully designed by God, we need not fear aliens—nor believe they must exist.


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