Stephen Hawking thinks aliens may pose risks

One man’s guess (or speculation) is as good as another’s when it comes to these risks. Via PhysOrg/AP:Stephen Hawking

Hawking claims in a new documentary that intelligent alien lifeforms almost certainly exist, but warns that communicating with them could be “too risky.”

The 68-year-old scientist says a visit by extraterrestrials to Earth would be like Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas, “which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

He speculates most extraterrestrial life will be similar to microbes, or small animals – but adds advanced lifeforms may be “nomads, looking to conquer and colonize.”

The new documentary, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, will be broadcast next month in the UK by Discovery.

Obviously not everyone agrees on such matters/probabilities (see discussions on and criticisms of the [[Drake equation]]).

Carl Sagan suspected aliens might be more altruistic, while recognizing that it could be a dangerous jungle out there, and as such also recommended against making too much noise with projects such as [[Active SETI|METI]] (an Active SETI variation).

Also, taking the example of our communications becoming increasingly digital, which results in us leaking less noise into the universe, it might just be much harder to detect other civilizations.

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