May 26, 2010

Stephen Hawking Says to Fear the Nasty Alien

nasty alienMany of us grew up on movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET the Extraterrestrial and Alien. In the some cases, aliens were presented as benevolent and of a more advanced nature than the human race. In other cases, they were presented as nasty alien invaders, intent on destroying humanity for our resources, for galactic revenge, or simply to use us as food or fertilizer.

You might have already heard about Stephen Hawking’s statement in April of 2010, that while many Earthlings dream of the day when we “make contact,” we may not like what we discover about aliens once contact is made.

Stephen Hawking’s “Nasty Alien” Theory

The statement comes as part of a promotion for his upcoming documentary series about the mysteries of the Universe. Hawking’s has always said that based on the mathematical probabilities alone, it is inconceivable that there wouldn’t be alien life out there. According to Hawking, of course there’s life – but that life many not be sugar and spice…this is what I call Stephen Hawking’s Nasty Alien Theory.

As evidence for his theory that it’s far more likely alien life will have negative intentions toward humanity, Hawking points to what we know about natural evolution – how predators attack and devour the weaker and inferior prey. Hawking then makes a rather ominous and poignant statement that is difficult to dismiss, especially for Americans. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, 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.”

The man has a point.

Other Great Minds Weigh In – On the Opposing Side

How do Hawking’s colleagues feel about this Nasty Alien theory?

According to ABC News, Jill Tarter of SETI – made famous by the movie Contact – downplayed Hawking’s theory, and called it simple speculation, which should receive no more weight than anyone else’s theory.

“Stephen’s is one and [though] he’s a brilliant man, I’m not quite sure that his opinion has any more authority over mine or anyone else’s,” she said. “It’s just a question. We don’t know the answer.”

Other colleagues also disagree with Hawking’s analysis – weighing in throughout the news media. The Christian Science Monitor interviewed several scientists who made counter-arguments to Hawking’s Nasty Alien theory.

Mary Voytek, the senior scientist for astrobiology at NASA points out: “Ignoring the possibility [alien life] and hiding your head in the sand, waiting for them to find us certainly isn’t a scientifically intelligent way to proceed or a good cultural way to anticipate something like that either. Our approach to it has been to be prepared. We’re not going to get caught, say like the Native Americans when Columbus came to their shores. We’ve been actively listening and hopefully we get some information before any eventual encounter ever happens.”

Although – had the Native American’s known to anticipate the arrival of a foreign race, would things have ended any differently? Remember – they did eventually fight to maintain their hold on the land, but they were still eventually slaughtered like animals.

Would being prepared prevent such a fate for humanity if the invading race of aliens were technologically superior?

Those Weighing in on Hawking’s Side

The Journal of Cosmology compiled responses from all over the radar, and a number of colleagues supported Hawking’s sentiment. Oregon State biologist Blair Csuti argued that the evidence offered by evolution on Earth suggests that an aliens discovering earth would share the same “self-preserving behavior” as humans exhibit. Just as the interests of the colonists were placed over those of the Native American, Aliens would place their own interests above the Earth natives.

Other scientists – B.G. Sidharth of B.M. Birla Science Center in India and Chandra Wickramasighe of Cardiff University in the UK propose the sort of threatening scenario described in Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain – a mutating microbe that could invade and infect the entire population, and remain completely undetected until it’s too late.

The Psychic Question

There are also many folks within the Ufology community who already believe that they are in communications with Aliens – many psychics, mediums and even remote viewers have claimed throughout the years that aliens are telepathically far more advanced than humans, but that it’s possible to communicate with them.

Unfortunately, such communications lack credibility because there are too many unknown variables – is your mind fabricating the whole thing? Are you really communicating with aliens, or spiritual entities? Unfortunately, the concept of human psychic ability remains unverified and unproven, so any form of “communication” that involves the practice of telepathy offers no solid insight into the alien question.

So where do we look for the answers? Is Hawking right? Should humanity start building bunkers and developing cloaking technologies that will shield the human race from being detected by aliens? Or is the opposite true – should humanity continue looking up to the sky in the hope that one day we will discover that we aren’t alone, hurtling through space on this little blue marble called Earth?

Filed under: ET,UFOlogy — Tags: , , — RyanDube @ 7:39 pm


  1. avatar

    Ryan notes “the concept of human psychic ability remains unverified and unproven, so any form of ‘communication’ that involves the practice of telepathy offers no solid insight into the alien question.”

    Rapid advances in neuroscience imply this may change in the not too distant future.

    Assuming ‘telepathy’ refers to mind to mind correlations indicative of a signal, it should be possible to use brain scanning equipment to objectively detect ‘telepathic’ communication. Or at the very least, facilitate artificial telepathy.

    Recently, CBS News 60 Minutes was given an interesting demonstration of machine to human brain ‘telepathy':

    60 Minutes asked if his team was up for a challenge: would they take associate producer Meghan Frank, whose brain had never been scanned before, and see if the computer could identify her thoughts? Just and Mitchell agreed to give it a try and see if they could do it in almost real time.

    Just said nobody had ever done an instant analysis like this.

    Inside the scanner, Meghan was shown a series of ten items and asked to think for a few seconds about each one.

    “If it all comes out right, when she’s thinking ‘hammer,’ the computer will know she’s thinking ‘hammer’?” Stahl asked.

    “Right,” Mitchell replied.

    Within minutes, the computer, unaware of what pictures Meghan had been shown and working only from her brain activity patterns as read out by the scanner, was ready to tell us, in its own voice, what it believed was the first object Meghan had been thinking about.

    The computer correctly analyzed the first three words – knife, hammer, and window, and aced the rest as well.

    According to Just, this is just the beginning.

    “Who knows what you’re gonna be able to read,” Stahl commented. “A little scary, actually.”

    “Well, that’s our research program for the next five years,” Just said. “To see what, you know – we’re not satisfied with “hammer.”

    “Do you think one day, who knows how far into the future, there’ll be a machine that’ll be able to read very complex thought like ‘I hate so-and-so’? Or you know, ‘I love the ballet because…’?” Stahl asked.

    “Definitely. Definitely,” Just said. “And not in 20 years. I think in three, five years.”

    “In three years?” Stahl asked.

    “Well, five,” Just replied with a smile.

    Comment by Gary Bekkum — May 26, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

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    I believe Steven Hawking is “right on the money” with his cautionary approach. I do not think that there is any doubt that life is rich in the Cosmos. Intelligent life? Just looking at the numbers it must be out there. The real question is … “what if” … what if some space-faring race “drops by for a visit” then what?

    About 15 years or so ago I was approached by Dr. Stan McDaniel and Richard Hoagland and asked a favor. They asked me to look for a document that they had heard about that was prepared for NASA back in the very early days of NASA that was a brief for the then brand new Federal Agency. McDaniel was writing a paper to encourage NASA to plan to re-photograph the Cydonia Region of Mars when NASA went back with the Mars Observer probe. I went looking and found the “Brookings Document” for them. The actual name was “Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs.” Here are some important points made in this document;

    “While face-to-face meetings with it (extraterrestrial life) will not occur within the next 20 years; artifacts left at some point in time by these life forms might possibly be discovered through our space activities on the moon, Mars, or Venus.”

    The relevant portion notes that while direct contact with extraterrestrials is unlikely,

    “Evidences of its existence might also be found in artifacts left on the moon or other planets. The consequences for attitudes and values are unpredictable, but would vary profoundly in different cultures and between groups within complex societies; a crucial factor would be the nature of the communication between us and the other beings. Whether or not earth would be inspired to an all-out space effort by such a discovery is moot: societies sure of their own place in the universe have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society, and others have survived even though changed. Clearly, the better we can come to understand the factors involved in responding to such crises the better prepared we may be.”

    Okay, in other words (and more to the point) in Earth’s history EVERY TIME a superior culture has encountered an inferior culture the inferior one has been either absorbed or destroyed. I believe this is what Hawking was warning against. (Or there is always the possibilty that a space-faring superior race might drop by and for what ever reason just decide to take what they want.) And this is not the first time that giants in science (and I regard Hawking as a genuine giant) have warned our world about announcing “We are here!” without knowing what MIGHT be out there. Yes, a cautionary tale.

    Don Ecker

    Comment by Don Ecker — May 26, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

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    I think Mr Hawking has fallen foul of the US publicity machine style. We only hear from him now when he has a new book out or TV show to promote.

    If they are out there, why cant we hear them Electronically, or why cant we see them or the effects of their existance?

    And as for his ‘mathematical certainty’ of life on other planets?
    Wasnt it the mathematicians who proposed that, mathematically a Bee shouldnt be able to fly?

    I know it goes against the grain, but I suspect there really is nothing out there. Hope is one thing, reality is a lot bigger pill to swallow.

    Comment by Chorlton — May 27, 2010 @ 7:22 am

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    I think there are two major driving factors behind Stephen Hawkings assessment.

    But in the end, it’s all a numbers game.

    The first driver is theoretical physics has been forced to admit the necessity of a multiverse which greatly expands the possibilities for intelligent ‘aliens’ (not necessary biological living organisms). At this point in time, observations of the universe are the key evidence behind requiring the need for a multiverse. The discovery of the theoretical string theory landscape is another driver pointing to the necessity of the multiverse (basically, the number of theories 10 to the 500th power far exceeds the number of particles in our universe, roughly 10 to the 80th power).

    The importance of the multiverse is a real, working theory which predicts all possible outcomes must be explored in an infinite set of all possible real worlds. This is not the same as the quantum multiverse of parallel universes; it is the consequence of a finite region of spacetime (like our universe) being infinitely repeated through all possible configurations.

    The second driving factor is the discovery of so many planets beyond our solar system, which provides evidence of a super abundance of other worlds.

    It’s like throwing dice: eventually you will cycle through all of the possible combinations. Some of the combinations will be closely related to the history of intelligence on our world.

    Comment by Gary Bekkum — May 27, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  5. avatar

    If you haven’t read it, I recommend the novella Golem XIV by Stanislaw Lem, in his collection Imaginary Magnitudes. Or His Masters Voice, for this matter…

    Comment by Puppetburglar — May 27, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

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    While I don’t doubt Hawking is right when he thinks aliens would put their own interests above ours I just don’t think it will be in their interest to absorb us or destroy us.

    Our history on this world is one of scarcity; scarcity of land, food, basic necessities, and raw materials. I think we on earth are on the verge of truly developing the replicator, like those seen in Star Trek. The first replicators will be much more primitive of course but the ability to take in raw materials, transform them into refined materials and then transform those into a final product will be within our grasp in the next 100 years, I’d guess we will start to see the technology really move forward in the next 20 years.

    With pure automation, the ability to provide for all becomes simple, it becomes like a game of Warcraft 3 or another real time strategy game. Society needs more food? Click a couple buttons with a mouse and more farms are created automatically by machines. Society needs more housing? Click a couple buttons with a mouse and more 500 unit skyscrapers are churned out automatically by machines.

    This technology will revolutionize our society and I believe we are on the verge of developing it. I think just about every advanced society in the galaxy that could be a threat to us would already have the technology as well.

    The only aliens we might have reason to fear would be ones like us, ones that have not quite yet reached the level to provide for all their basic needs.

    From a natural resource standpoint I would think most aliens civilizations would not bother looting a backwards planet of sentient beings when there is a literal galaxy of natural resources available. The only thing at all that I could see them wanting, that would be in their interest, is genetic material from all the different lifeforms on the planet because they are likely unique, at least to an extent, compared to the rest of the universe. That said, it does raise the question of whether or not there is something to the whole alien abduction thing.

    Comment by Bobbox1980 — May 28, 2010 @ 1:19 am

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    If there are malevolent entities in other advanced civilisations then why haven’t they invaded us already. It’s fairly obvious that we’ve had visits many times, this has been recorded on many US classified documents, I’ve seen them. These visitors have come from other star systems within our galaxy so they obviously have vastly advanced technologies which would enable them to do with us as they please.
    If they are the bad guys then what are they waiting for? Maybe they’re waiting for us to develop our Earthly technology so that we can match them in a galactic brawl, is that it?
    Hawkins may have a brilliant mind but he is thinking like a paranoid human being, he’s using his brain instead of his consciousness. These creatures use consciousness to propel themselves through the time/space continuum so they’ve evolved to a point where they’ve left the reptile brain far behind, in the cave. Consciousness doesn’t fear and so it doesn’t hate either, it operates on pure love it is pure love so that any entity that thinks like a human CANNOT leave its own biosphere, one of the laws of the cosmos that us cave dwellers have yet to learn.
    NO LOVE NO TRAVEL the basic law of the cosmic would be traveler.

    Comment by Felix — May 29, 2010 @ 2:36 am

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    Nothing out there? Come on Chornton, you must be kidding my friend. Why do you ignore all the evidence, there’s plenty of it around. Have another look but this time OPEN YOUR EYES!

    Comment by Felix — May 29, 2010 @ 2:39 am

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    Well Felix in 40 years of looking all over the world I havent seen 1 scrap of evidence that stood up to serious scrutiny.
    You sir are living in LaLa land.
    Yes sir there are UFO’s, they are aither natural unexplained phenomena or secret stuff we dont yet know about.
    Now if you can show me a flying saucer and PROVE to me its not of this world, or an alien, and again prove to me its not of this world I might take a bit more notice of the garbage spouted on ATS, OM and several other rubbish websites put up by clowns.

    But I wont wait up.
    So put up, or shut up.

    Comment by Chorlton — May 30, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

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    i think if there is some other creature living some where in space it could not b intelligent than human but it could b dangerous by other means but first we need some solid evidence frm prof stephen… or by any scientist.

    Comment by sarah — June 9, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

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