Stephen Hawking: Aliens Are Coming To Kill Us

Alex Moore :: Monday, April 26th, 2010 1:15 pm

In recent years Stephen Hawking, bellwether of human smarts, has been unleashing a torrent of terrifying doomsday admonitions. From the threat of climate change to nuclear proliferation, Hawking has been doing his part to scare the bejeezus out of us. In a new documentary for Discovery Channel, Hawking has a brand new trump card to keep us up at night: Aliens.

Yep, aliens. The smartest man alive – the man we trust to teach us about the very nature of the physical universe – is betting not only that aliens exist, but that if they ever reach us, they will probably try to kill us. “If aliens ever visit us,” he says “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.” As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the employment stats and the housing market.

In 2007, amid fresh concerns of nuclear arms and with climate change reaching critical mass, Hawking assembled with The Royal Society and advanced the hands of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ clock to five minutes to midnight—midnight being doomsday. I guess it’s some mild comfort that Hawking’s concern about aliens isn’t so acute as to have advanced the clock hands any further.

Still, I’m surprised by the insouciance of the reaction online to Hawking’s concern. Adam Rosenberg of MTV calls his theory “ridiculous” and accuses him of “watching too much Independence Day.” Personally, when someone this smart talks, I’m inclined to listen. Somehow I doubt that between penning A Brief History Of Time and now, Hawking’s capacity for understanding the universe has been deeply swayed by Tommy Lee Jones.

“To my mathematical brain,” says Hawking, “the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.” He asserts that trying to contact aliens is “too risky.” “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” he concludes.

I’m a believer, Stephen. For all our sake I can only hope that if they’re anything like us, that extra terrestrials’ intelligence is still focused on trying to find their own Osama Bin Ladens in their own Tora Bora caves, and is a long, long way from worrying abut ours.

2 Responses to “Stephen Hawking: Aliens Are Coming To Kill Us”
  1. Stephen Hawkings and I both agree in Murphy’s Law..”If it can happen it will”. Why not? If it ever turns out that we are the ones to visit another inhabited planet what would be in store for that world? Exploitation and exporting religious missionaries to convert them. Scary thought. Why wouldn’t aliens to our planet do the same thing?

    Posted by: Bob Weiner April 26th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
  2. the “smartest man alive” just saw Avatar… is not cute?
    well, if the “smartest” man ended up so “smart”, we are doomed…
    the aliens will come and say “look, how this stupid monkeys were able to build things” and will start filming us, producing shows for their discovery universe channel or terrestrial animal planet, god i hope not wild humans or when people attack.
    well, at least a few lucky humans will travel the universe to end in an aliens zoo, free food, not work, forced sex (extinct danger)

    Posted by: manfid April 27th, 2010 at 4:26 am