Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has repeated his long-held belief that intelligent aliens are likely to exist, and that a visit by them to present-day humanity would probably have unfortunate consequences for us. Publicising a new documentary he has made for the Discovery Channel, the legendary boffin told the Times at the …
Great Waves of Nonsense
"...we are divided and ignorant of life beyond our world."
Thus this thread?!
"Go to www.alliesofhumanity.org or www.greatwavesofchange.org to learn more."
If *you* can't explain your theory in a paragraph or less, why should I subject myself to overlong web pages full of multicolored large font nonsense with blinking backgrounds? [don't need to go there, all those pages are alike]
From Gustible's Planet
Maybe the alians will be like Apicans, ie very tasty when roasted whole ?
My coat is the one with a complete Cordwainer Smith collection in the pockets.
Hawkings True Biggest Fear
Is summed up in Terry Bissom's classic short story:
I saw the documentary
It was on TV last night, here in the U.S. It's pretty good!
That being said, here are my thoughts:
1. What makes us think that we are so interesting to talk to? Given the scale of time the universe developed over and the relative youth of our solar system on that scale, any intelligent life out there is probably going to be millions or billions of years more advanced than us. So advanced, that we may not even perceive it as life. Or it may be so powerful that it can alter our perception of the broader universe (think of a whale or fish living in an aquarium tank), so that we don't even perceive them out there or the fact that we have already been captured and penned. Maybe all that "dark matter" stuff is the real universe, with space fleets rolling around and engineering going on at the solar system level, and we have been relegated to the fish tank/wildlife sanctuary with the other primitive specimens.
2. As an insurance policy, I like anonymous cowards idea of using up all our consumable resources before any dirty aliens can put their grubby tendrils on them. Pass me a beer and let the party begin!!
How to Conquer the Earth in one day
First engineer a virus that harms humans by removing the gene for reproduction.
This is easy to do as we backwards race already can get a virus to put a gene into our own DNA. So a bunch of Aliens will have no trouble with this.
Then place virus into the atmosphere and then go at 10x light-speed for a day and then return to discover that 150 years have past on Earth and there are no people left.
One ready to be occupied planet - no need to dress up as humans or fight them.
Mind you to clean up the mess left behind by us will take a while. :-)
Or, more likely...
...there's a series of alien beacons around our system just outside the Oort cloud broadcasting a message like:
"STAY AWAY! The inhabitants of this system are freaking psychopaths! If in distress you'd be better served to blow your ship up right now rather than try landing there!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!"
Or perhaps the beacons might use more emphatic language... (laughing)
Close encounter of the worst kind
"May I be the first to welcome our.." <BZZZT!>
Perhaps they are more advanced than we think...
I think in order to travel long distances through space you would have to give up your physical body in the first place. No need for ships (as we think of them at least)... so no need for colonizing planets or organic resources.
damn these killjoy scientists
That's all well and good but I want to see their smug alien faces when they try and buy their 11th iPad.
Flash extra terrestrial gits. Serve 'em right.
I disagree with Hawkins...
It strikes me that any extremely advanced race would not be able to exist with a violent /selfish trait. Since it’s that trait that generally promotes the destroying of each other and prevents the working together in blissful harmony trait that would be required to move past the point of self annihilation in order to get to such a evolutionary stage.
After all, once you hit a technology level where by it is relatively easy to destroy your own planet or similar levels of destruction such like – you need to be dam sure there is not one single being on your planet who would not under some misguided religious or power crazed mindset want to make use of that technology in such a way.
For example, humankind reached the point of nuclear fusion – and then proceeded blowing each other up with that technology. We best hope we don’t do that when we start playing with antimatter or fiddling with space and time itself!
Re : I disagree with Hawkins...
"For example, humankind reached the point of nuclear fusion – and then proceeded blowing each other up with that technology"
May be pedantic but who exactly was blown-up by nuclear fusion ?
Also we've been 'playing' with antimatter for a while but I don't think we'll see a lot of it (e.g. micrograms) anytime soon.
We have been assuming that they are more advanced.
Brighter than us, two billion year old civilization and gave up flying cars because they "Were so back then."
If FTL was possible in any way shape or form it could be the only breakthrough they had.
Perhaps they hang out around our planet now awaiting the newest Intel, Apple or (who was that other chip manufacture, you guys never mention them.)
And thinking to each other "If Adobe doesn't get to this patch rather quickly, I am going to kill a cow."
It would only take one breakthrough, well perhaps two; seat belts come to mind.
And I would say Just Land Already; we won't hurt you, but don't land in Oregon; not right now.
Humans are just too much trouble to bother dealing with. We're far too primitive a species that we aren't work even keeping around. I think aliens would just destroy us without hesitation. Carrying on...
Mr. Hawking is way off the mark. Aliens that are capable of interstellar travel would be far more advanced than we are in such ways that are not even fathomable by our puny primitive human brains. The fact that they'd have to figure out the restrictions of time over vast distances where every planet/solar system/galaxy are all completely out of temporal sync with each other poses another significant problem. Humans assume that since WE live in this particular dimension of time, then it's therefore obvious that the entire universe and all its inhabitants live in the same time. This is false. We our out of sync with everyone and everything that exists off of our planet.
So, aliens would have to be compatible with our time otherwise we'd never even know that either of our species even exist. In addition, we also assume that aliens can live within our 'life sustaining zones' of temperature, radioactivity, gravity, pressure and other relative factors. Just by sheer calculations alone it is possible that alien species could be living in a different time dimension in severe temperatures of radiation within an intense gravitational field, making Earth an unlikely place for them to live.
As far as a species being exactly like us being able to live in our time dimension and environment, this is possible. But time is a factor in the equation that poses severe uncertainty for everyone. For all we know they are already here but have already arrived, existed and gone extinct within only a nano of a nano of a nano second. it is also possible that for them 1 second = 1 billion of our own Earth years making our planet an unsuitable place for them to live. Lastly, it is possible that they are not even in our time dimension and we already occupy the same space, but not the same time.
Just because we see and understand things a certain way doesn't mean it's the way of life for others in the universe. We don't really know anything about anything yet, but due to our immense arrogance we just think we do.
With all due respect Mr. Hawking, I'm surprised you haven't thought of all this. Tsk, tsk.
Re : More likely..
I think Professor Hawkings has forgotten more about the universe than you'll ever know!
What do they care?
"We pose no threat to them. It would like us going out of our way to destroy a few microbes on some ant hill in Africa. ... And how guilty would we feel if we went and destroyed a few microbes on an ant hill in Africa?" -Contact, 1997
Our only hope is to become libertarians
Reasonably we can assume that any advanced alien species will be libertarian. We'd be flying to the stars ourselves if we had John Galt's electrostatic engine.
Given that this is the case the only way to prevent ourselves from being summarily homesteaded by an advanced alien race is to respect natural libertarian property rights ourselves.
It's food for thought isn't it? Every song you pirate is a nail in coffin of humanities future.
re: "Reasonably we can assume..."
What? Why? I could just as easily assert that we can assume any advanced alien species will be made of chocolate. I have every bit as much evidence for that assertion as do you for yours.
They already know and we're too far away for it to matter.
http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm . . . . We can already detect planets around other stars down to 2x the size of earth (probably smaller as the data comes in this year/next.) We can also detect the gases of some exoplanets. Gases like CFCs (these don't happen naturally,) oxygen, which doesn't stick around unless something is making it etc. Translation, any civilization that's anywhere nearby that's as advanced as us or more, probably already know we're here. We'll know they're there regardless of their silent radios. In the next 50 years we're going to have a massive database of planets and their vitals. We can already detect planets 20,000 light years away in the center of our galaxy using chance opportunities with gravitational lensing. Imagine the database of planets aliens have. One day someone is going to do a facepalm when they look at SETI data slighty differently or in a different range etc.
" They'd do it so that we could never pose a threat to them..." I agree, which is why I go around killing children, dogs, monkeys, immigrants and lizards.
"However, intergalactic travellers might be dangerous religious fanatics who view our population as a large group of infidels who need converting and/or exterminating. It may be that our primitive way of life is an abomination to them." . . . . That is about the only feasable doomsday scenario, and the way I see it, is we're stranded on a tropical island. Sure there may be pirates, but I'm gonna go ahead and signal any boats I see. The don't talk to strangers strategy is counter productive, they're going to see us first anyways.
p.s. I'm 25% American Indian and thank FSM Columbus brought civilization, otherwise I'd have a life expectancy of 40 years and squirrel for lunch.
at the center of it all? egos.
Hawkings is wrong more than he is right and here he is talking out his butt, AGAIN!!...Whats next, noble prize for encouraging spaced based weaponry...(I think spacecraft should have a particle defense weapon against wayward astreroids anyways....but that could just be a water toy to darth vader and company)....the little microbes, surely already raining down on us for a couple of billion years, at least from the ice geysers of the saturaninan moons and jovian moons, are the greatest statistical threat to terrestial life....and like all the other things that have came and passed into history, the little microbes would eventually find an ecological balance, whatever that maybe!!...back to physics....trees have a form which follows thier function....we will find this form all over the damn galaxy.....ALL OF US can safely assume that multipeds will outnumber monopeds as the dominant method of mobility.....but circumstance may allow the lower order statistics to appear as the order of the day via happenstance.....beaming out seti signals is neither good nor bad...first if we have been beaming out signals for what, a few decades now???how far have they gone? what percentage of space have they traversed towards the nearest star??....hell we are so dumb we blast out signals at SUB light speed in the direction of a star that has not been in that targeted location for HOW MANY MILLIONS OF YEARS????..Let alone where the targeted star will be WHEN AND IF the intended signals arrive....so many parsecs away the hope for success is only supported by serendipity.....hopefully they are looking for nanowatt or femtowatt signals in the HF spectrum.....a few million years from now!!!...our own historians are statistically more likely to hear seti than KUBLA KAHN FROM KLAKATU or whatever....quit asking that geek questions about social anything!!....and start checking his damn facts!!!....onwards.....maybe the big bad green guys came here to TALK to an intelligent being....WHAT THE HELL MAKES ANYONE THINK THAT WOULD BE US????....damn ignorant of any species in general to be that foolish......statistically, we do not have ANY information on what an alien civilization would think of us....just a bunch of biased guesses that, like stephens, change from day to day depending on personal social biases......perhaps they were already here, surveyed, mined, left a few escaped slaves on the surface, took a few as replacements, off they went, same thing happens over and over again....personally I would avoid large groups of anything unknown, keep a safe distance from any race that purposefully tossed strontium 91 around like it was pixie dust, keep the gamma detector of high so as to avoid large groups of organisms that liked banging different rocks together to see if they could duplicate the really cool glowing mushroom cloud effect, and of course, at all costs, AVOID WITH DEAR LIFE IN TOW, ANY CIVILIZATION THAT DOES NOT WASH IT"S HAND'S AFTER GOING TO THE BATHROOM!!!!....surely a least common denominator among all species......Steve is a good guy, I hope will go back and work on some quantum entanglement stuff, I need to know if any of the axions are ftl theory possible or not....I don't believe in axions nor fiction from outerspace or megamedia....good luck, thanks for all the fish...forget the vogans, they ran out of money and no one want so come near this swamp infested part of the galaxy anyways...they are all hanging out at vantage points near the great hole...watching the greatest show of the galaxy (no, sorry freud, it ain't us) and feeding the monster that keeps it all spinning fractionalized dust particles.
Most likely, any spacefaring alien life that comes here with an intent to destroy/enslave us all will be running Windows in their massive mothership... a simple upload of a virus will suffice ;)
I want them to arrive. Then perhaps I might get my anti-gravity flying car.
Most of the arguments in favour of the exitence of ET intelligence seem to rely rather heavilly on probability.
Take a look at us. How long have we had the capability to fly into space? A few decades. And so far are we able to travel interstellar distances? Nope. Indeed the likes of Hawking can't even tell us how we're going to manage that and when we will have the capabilities.
So considering the age of the universe what are the probabilities that there are aliens out there now (or in the next century or so) who have the capability to fly to earth and actually want to fly to earth? Aggregate the probabilities and I suspect that you end up with something that is very unlikely indeed.
Oh and you can bear in mind that we haven't had any confirmed contact with ETs yet. So we're not only looking at the likelyhood that there is somebody out there now who has the ability and inclination to come here, but we have to weigh it against the fact that even though they can do it they haven't chosen to do it yet.
As much as I respect the man...
I have to disagree. I mean why would an alien race risk casualties and a conflict just to come here and stomp us out? Taken in the context of an entire universe they could explore why would they stop here for our piddly little resources? They need oil to power those super-interstellar space ships of theirs? From my lay man understanding the universe is essentially a big cosmic soup made up of every imaginable element. Given that idea you could find almost any resource out on uninhabited planets and not risk any conflict in gathering them. Seems like a hell of a lot of effort when you could just go find a uranium asteroid to gobble up. And I agree with other posters that to advance to this stage you'd have to move past things like nationalism that cause all those wonderful wars. Case in point look at the US's defense spending versus its space exploration spending. We're ready for that unknown time in the future when the USSR rises from the ashes and once again threatens freedom! But hey, we don't even have gas money for a trip to the moon. I suspect they have already been here (dons tinfoil hat) and saw no reason to return. If they landed anywhere near Texas I can virtually guarantee they will not be back for some time!