Hawking says, “Intelligent Aliens Will No Doubt Massacre Us…But We Must Search Anyway!”

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Stephen Hawking’s desire to know if there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe trumps his conviction that such creatures are likely to destroy humanity. Back in 2010 Hawking shared his fears that an advanced alien civilization would have no problem wiping out the human race as if we were merely an colony of ants – an opinion he still hold. A lot of this is based his perception that mankind has a terrible history of mistreating, and even massacring even his fellow man so why would an alien civilization be any different?

“Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach,” Hawking told Discovery Channel. “If so, it makes sense for them to exploit each new planet for material to build more spaceships so they could move on. Who knows what the limits would be?”

Jill Tarter, former director of the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)  disagrees with Hawking. She says “While Sir Stephen Hawking warned that alien life might try to conquer or colonize Earth, I respectfully disagree,” Tarter said in a statement in 2012. “If aliens were to come here, it would be simply to explore. Considering the age of the universe, we probably wouldn’t be their first extraterrestrial encounter, either. She notes that to get here they would have to been technologically advanced.  And basically there is no way to know how they might respond to contact from human civilization.

Despite that jaded perspective he fully supports an initiative called Breakthrough Listen, which is the most powerful search ever started to look for signs of intelligent life somewhere in the Universe.

At the Breakthrough event, Hawking said, “We don’t know much about aliens, but we know about humans. If you look at history, contact between humans and less intelligent organisms have often been disastrous from their point of view, and encounters between civilizations with advanced versus primitive technologies have gone badly for the less advanced. A civilization reading one of our messages could be billions of years ahead of us. If so, they will be vastly more powerful, and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.”