Aliens Exist, and We Should Avoid Them if We Want to Live

earth

This week celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking suggested that alien life almost certainly exists, and humans should do everything we can to avoid contact with it.

He reasons that contact with aliens would probably be fatal to us, likening it to the European conquest of the New World:

“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. [...] We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”

Ouch. I’m not sure why I was so surprised to hear this point of view from Dr. Hawking.

I suppose, in the absence of any actual information about alien species, my entire concept of them is built from movies and TV shows. In those shows, aliens tend to do one of two things: extend a gesture of cosmic friendship and love, or violently abduct/dissect/probe us and vaporize our cities. I always thought the movies that portrayed aliens as senseless killers (Independence Day comes to mind) were not as “realistic” as ones in which the aliens strike some sort of rapport with us humble homo sapiens (think Close Encounters of the Third Kind.)

One ridiculous feature of movie aliens is that they almost always look something like us — bipeds with eyes, nose (or at least nostrils) and mouth. Sometimes they add some slime or mucous to make them a bit more foreign. These depictions are dazzlingly unimaginitive — it’s really incredible how we can’t seem to let go of the idea that sentient aliens would just be “men from outer space.” Truth is stranger than fiction, and since we have no real knowledge of extra-terrestrial life, we have no starting point for imagining them, other than ourselves.

But that’s movies, and I guess I never really thought one of the world’s top scientific minds would conclude that aliens would indeed try to kill us if they had the chance.

It made me think: is that what humans would do with aliens if we found them? Sure, we’ve destroyed all sorts of terrestrial species (usually without trying) and sure, we destroy our own kind on a regular basis, but I think humanity at large would regard an alien encounter as an opportunity to connect, rather than conquer.

No, I don’t think we’d be as cold-blooded with our galactic neighbors as Hawking believes they would be with us. For all the nasty things humans can do, there is an earnest quality in us that respects life and wants to see it do its thing. We are fascinated to witness rare earth animals in their natural habitats, and I think we’d be more likely to value and study alien life than to barbecue it.

Whoever they are, they must be quite different. Evolution would have taken an entirely different course on a different planet. This made me wonder if that human quality — let’s call it compassion — that makes us smile inside while we witness, say, an elephant wading across a river, would ever evolve anywhere else in the universe. Could our alien visitors possibly regard us with the understanding that we are not fundementally unlike themselves — just some hardworking beings trying to make it in this crazy universe?

I suppose I always thought they would. But now I’m not so sure. I think it’s time to drop the idea that alien life is going to be anything like us.

In Nature’s Dominant Creature, I sung the praises of history’s most successful life-form, the single-celled microbe. These microscopic creatures are far more resilient and adaptable than our vulnerable, tempermental species. If the purpose of life is to stay alive, they are way better at it. They’ve been around a thousand times as long as we have, and they will be here when the sun explodes.

Bear with me for a second here. Through whatever cosmic happenstance, we human beings became staggeringly more complex than our tiny co-earthlings. And what for? We are more vulnerable, more needy, more destructive and more self-destructive, and we aren’t really any more “alive” than less complex creatures. But we’ve developed some fascinating traits — not the least of which is the ability to be fascinated.

Compassion and fascination, the qualities that would keep us from machine-gunning alien beings on sight, could very well be unique to earth creatures. Given that humans have only been around a miniscule fraction of the time life has, and given that we seem to be headed toward all sorts of self-administered disasters (overpopulation, global warming, resource depletion, nuclear war) it is looking more and more likely that we’re just a bizarre and colorful — but quite temporary — offshoot of evolution’s grand tree.

It would seem astronomically unlikely that a similar offshoot, with similar values (to say nothing of similar facial features and silvery space-suits) is occurring with similar timing somewhere else in the universe, having begun on a planet similar enough to lead to a creature with a consciousness so similar to ours that upon arriving here they’d be more likely to give us a high-five than to eat our brains.

Steven Spielberg warmed our hearts with lanky, bipedal aliens who played music and phoned home, but after hearing Dr. Hawking’s sobering assessment, I think it’s more likely that H.G. Wells had the right idea.

Should it ever come down to it, I don’t want to avoid contact. I am too curious about who they are.

I would die to find out.

R

Photo by woodleywonderworks


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{ 61 Comments }

Ron April 30, 2010 at 5:54 am

Just a couple examples of how we treat other life forms:

Amazon Forest.
State of our Ocean Fisheries

You can think of more. You can expect that after the initial awe wore off, any more primitive life forms we discovered on other planets would become resources to be exploited by man.

It is likely any intelligent life that has the technology to visit earth from outside our solar system will use earth as a resource. They will be so far advanced compared to the human species that we and the entire earth could be as fishes and trees to them : a resource to be exploited. A mere stopover and quick lunch on the way to other galaxies.

After all, this is exactly how humans would do it.

Could we stop them? Unlikely. Our technology would be even less effective than primitive bows and arrows against modern fighter jets – alien technology could be millions or even billions of years ahead of ours. Think about that for a moment!

I’d rather that aliens leave us alone than take the very real (and likely) chance that they would consider as a resources to be exploited.
.-= Ron´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

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David April 30, 2010 at 6:16 am

Well it always goes both ways, I guess.

Other examples of how we treat life forms:

http://www.worldwildlife.org/
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

Contrary to popular belief, we’re not altogether evil.

It’s hard to say what sort of desperation for resources humankind would be in by the time they contacted alien life. Like Battlestar Galactica maybe? Then I could see us ravaging an alien world. Obviously we don’t have the technology to ravage other worlds yet.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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ron May 1, 2010 at 5:45 am

Be that as it may, the mans typical overall response to new environments is exploitation.

If aliens are millions of years in advancement compared to humans, which is very possible, they may choose to harvest us like we harvest corn.

I’d rather not take that chance.
.-= ron´s last undefined ..Response cached until Sat 1 @ 11:46 GMT (Refreshes in 0.07 Hours) =-.

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Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) May 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

ron~ I disagree. Some humans in the past 5, 000 years have been/are exploitative. There is plenty of evidence to show this has not been typical across the entire time of human existence, nor across cultures.

And as mentioned above, there is support to argue that many people in this century want to connect with each other and their environment, not seek domination.

If the political system we live within espouses dominator doctrine, we need to look to how we act toward ourselves, our kids and our intimate relationships; from these are societal values conditioned.

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Cornelius May 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Seriously if you don’t think that the way people are living and treating the Earth then you are just as bad as the ones that are harming it. It is people like you that let others that are seeking domination to do so. Wanting to connect with each other and our environment means nothing if you don’t take any action. You are guilty by inaction and contributing to the demise of our planet and race, we won’t even have to wait for the aliens to wipe us out because we will probably destroy ourselves before they get here.

Jay Schryer April 30, 2010 at 6:50 am

Me too, Dave. I’d die to find out. I’m just way too curious, I suppose.

My personal belief is that they’d probably kill us unintentionally. Some space virus or something like that would wipe us out because one of the aliens sneezed and didn’t wash his hands afterward. Or, we’d probably kill them in that same way.

Our germs versus their germs for universal domination!!! :)
.-= Jay Schryer´s last blog ..Leather and Lace =-.

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David April 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Yes I wonder if it would come down to germs. I would prefer laser gun fights though, if it was going to go that way.

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Dusty April 30, 2010 at 6:57 am

While it’s optimistic and nice to think this way, we can’t even treat other humans right if they’re NOT different, let alone aliens from outer space who are incredibly unlikely to be like us.

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David April 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Good point. I think the shock of encountering an alien species would snap a lot of people out of their everyday dealing-with-people habits. There is no history between us like there between different humans, so there would be no precedent about how to deal with them.

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AndyBaxley April 30, 2010 at 9:20 am

I think interaction with an alien species would, to say the least, be a huge gamble, but to me the chances seem better that they would reach earth with good intentions. Perhaps I am off on this, but any species that sucessfully develops the logic and critical thinking necessary to complete such an incredible journey would have to have a certain amount of compassion and curiosity as well. I think these are traits that evolve in unison, regardless of the solar system. This being said, at least two other scenarios may be equally likely… 1) The aliens, regardless of any inherent compassion, have reached earth on a journey born from desperation. Perhaps their own planet has become inhabitable and they need to find a new one. In this situation, when resources are scarce, they would definitely eat our brains before we would get a high five. 2) As mentioned previously, we would get along swimmingly with the extra-t’s, only to suffer mutual extinction due to exposure to harmful foreign substances.
No matter what, Im with you David. I want to know what is out there. Furthermore, if we ever got the chance, I truly believe the world would unite in an attempt to successfully interact and explore the answer to one of the most intriguing questions that has ever been asked.

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David April 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

You are right, we really have no idea how evolution occurs on other planets. Before 1995 we weren’t even sure there were other planets. But now it appears they are common. We’re dealing with such a tiny sliver of knowledge of how life works, we really can’t even guess what contact will be like, if it ever happens.

And I agree that encountering aliens would have a uniting effect among human beings. It would certainly help put ourselves in perspective.

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Lisis April 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

I have this theory that they are already here, and we just don’t know it. Like, maybe cockroaches or dandelions are aliens from another planet, here studying us and stealing our resources… which would explain why we can’t ever really get rid of them.

Maybe when we make a wish on a dandelion, and blow the little seeds all into the wind, we send them on a journey back to their planet, where they can download all the info they’ve collected? I’m just saying… we really have no clue what is possible. I kinda like it that way. :)
.-= Lisis´s last blog ..10 Things You Should Know About Yourself (aka: “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish!”) =-.

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David April 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

That’s a very cool thought. Maybe kiwis are actually alien babies and I’m unwittingly harvesting them by the thousand.

Terrence McKenna has a fascinating theory about human intelligence. He thinks it’s possible that it was psychedelic mushrooms that created spontaneous and prolific growth in human consciousness — and gave rise to a mental capacity for art, language, self-reflection and all the other higher functions of the brain. It would explain why we seem to be too intelligent for our own good. The most interesting part is that he suspects mushroom spores traveled through space to earth from another life-bearing world.

http://theylive.wordpress.com/2006/08/12/microbes-mushrooms-from-outer-space/

It’s really out there, but I bet whatever the explanation is, it’s something at least that unlikely-sounding.

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Lisis April 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Oooohhhh… groooovy!!! I’ll tell you what… I’m going out for hot wings and beer(s) right now, so I’m gonna read that article AFTER the beer(s), which’ll make it *that* much more awesome. :)

I can’t believe you’ve been plucking alien babies by the thousands!! Have you no heart?!

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Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) April 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I agree that they may already be here, we just do not have the senses to be aware of them~ one of the Stargate episodes touched on the topic and so have some other sci-fi shows/books.

Maybe there is an inter-galactic standard for “contact”, like having to be a certain height to get on a ride ~:-) Again some sci-fi like Star-Trek and Hamilton novels highlight this as a way not to interfere with a planets development.

I think there will be some people that want the barbie, the one’s that live in fear of “difference” and who want to believe that we are predetermined to be aggressive.

Yee-ha for the current research considering that pleasure from love, trust and caring is a motivation for change, and that those orientated toward global peace (partnership as opposed to dominator models of interrelations) are the taking the next evolutionary step.
.-= Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor)´s last blog ..Layer Cake Writing Style~ Get that assessment done in record time =-.

Lucky November 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

Can I join you for a drink too? :DDD

Jess April 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Lisis! This is great! There is sooooooooooooo a children’s story in this! Really! The dandelion thing? Love it! : )

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Lisis May 1, 2010 at 9:14 am

Haha! Thanks! Children’s scifi, huh? I just might have to try that. :)

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Darren April 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm

It’s also possible that we’re descended from aliens (like Battlestar Galactica presented, which was also based on ideas from Erich Von Daniken, Zecharia Sitchin and others). There’s so much unexplained things out there that can’t be easily dismissed – a 2000 year old battery found in Iran, images of what looks like helicopters and space ships on ancient Mayan and Egyptian hieroglyphs and what appears to be landing strips next to their pyramids… As carbon dating tech advances, they seem to be pushing further back the ages of ancient human fossils.

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David May 1, 2010 at 1:10 am

I definitely don’t dismiss the possibility. As I said, I think the explanation will be something that would sound unlikely if it were just guessed at, knowing what we know today. Humans are an extremely recent development in earth-life, and civilization is an extremely recent development in human life. What would the Mayans and Egyptians know that we wouldn’t know?
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Jess April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Mmm, I hate that I’m so cynical about the human race’s capacity for tolerance and understanding of others but… I am.

I think the only time that we would be the ones “coming in peace” would be if we knew that we were the weaker / more vulnerable race. If there was an alien species that we could dominate, particularly if they had something we wanted (knowledge, resources, technology, etc.), they would have no chance.

I look at the fearful and ignorant way that people react to refugees and think, there is no way that we could be welcoming to another species when peaceful, affluent countries can’t even welcome those individuals who have had the misfortune of being born into war torn and poverty stricken nations. The poorest countries in the world are the ones who are burdened with housing and feeding the world’s refugees, while we in the West let our politicians throw their hands in the air and say “Sorry, we couldn’t possibly take any more.”

Sad state of affairs, I know. Hopefully one day there’ll be a shift in consciousness on a level that allows more tolerance, acceptance and compassion on this particular planet. Maybe after that happens we can start looking outwards.

Jess

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Jorge April 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Jess, I love you. Thanks for sharing your glimpse of light in this matter.

After I read it all, I was thinking of saying a very very similar thing. But then I saw your last post.

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David May 1, 2010 at 1:13 am

I fear you might be right. But we are still evolving. This shift in consciousness is already happening. A thousand years from now, we will be an unimaginably different species, looking at how quickly technology and philosophy is changing our lifestyles today. I like to think we are outgrowing the reptilian brain and learning to cultivate the mind’s higher functions (compassion, love, intuition,) but evolution does take time, even the cultural kind.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Jen May 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I think at the end of the day I have to agree with Jess’s assessment. I know people do amazing, compassionate, and beautiful things for other people. And I do believe most people are more good & well-intentioned than bad. BUT I think fear of things not like ourselves is powerful and the human race, in general, doesn’t have a great history of exercising compassion and curiosity when they’re faced with someone or something that is “different” and/or unknown. That said, I do believe there’s hope for us.

And not to go off topic or down play the post and any of the responses, because I think this is a fascinating conversation, but this makes me think of an Onion article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/midwest-discovered-between-east-and-west-coasts,1356/
.-= Jen´s last blog ..Conflict Resolution Lessons from The Gambler =-.

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David May 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm

That was hilarious, thanks Jen. I love the Onion. And it certainly wasn’t off topic.

“There is no theater to speak of, and their knowledge of posh restaurants is sketchy at best. Further, their agricentric lives seem to prevent them from pursuing high fashion to any degree, and, as a result, their mode of dress is largely restricted to sweatpants and sweatshirts, the women’s being adorned with hearts and teddy bears and the men’s with college-football insignias.”

That kind of xenophobia will certainly play a role in how contact plays out if and when it happens.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Jess May 2, 2010 at 1:34 am

Yes I agree, there is definitely a shift in consciousness starting to occur and that’s an exciting prospect. There is hope, always.

And that Onion article is great ; )

Jess

Brad April 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm

The earth might just be in the way of a major galactic thoroughfare and they will just whisk it away. Like paving a street. You can’t pay much attention to all of the microscopic organisms that will die in that top layer of dirt.
.-= Brad´s last blog ..Slake Your Thirst =-.

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David May 1, 2010 at 1:16 am

Yes, too true. If you think of how much consideration we give to bugs and earthworms in our way when we’re digging a ditch, you can imagine how casually a more powerful species might do away with our little blue marble. That would suck — not even coming face-to-face with our conquerers.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Simon May 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I was quite surprised by what Stephen Hawking said too. I don’t think he actually thought about!

I think aliens would be extremely understanding of how we act and behave and would recognise our progress. We do after all, all have to obey the same laws of physics. Given the level of effort, time and resources for them to get here, I can’t see how they would have reason to try and exploit us or the planet? They really don’t need to. People seem to unthinkingly and cynically project human evolution onto alien evolution and then add in environmentalism and intolerance.

Aliens would come to earth for one reason, to meet us.

As a side, I don’t think it’s ridiculous for aliens to resemble us. The human body is actually a very good evolutionary design. Which is why we are a dominant, adaptable, progressive species.

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David May 1, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I guess Hawking’s rationale is that if they did contact us, it would be because they’ve been forced to go nomadic because they’ve used up their own planet.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Simon May 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Then surely if they have the resources to travel extremely extensively, they have the resources to sort out their situation without coming to Earth to use ours. I maintain that he hasn’t thought about it fully.

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David May 3, 2010 at 2:26 am

We’re all just guessing here. We have no idea what’s out there in terms of life.

cameron May 1, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I dont know what should be done about contact from an alien species.. If we were to branch out to outer space do you not think its because of depleting resources of our own planet? Did they reach us because their home planet is dying, and all they want, like us, is their own species survival? Im more on the side that they will want domination over exploration and curiousity.
.-= cameron´s last blog ..Experiment #1 =-.

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David May 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm

So far our space exploration is not about resources — it’s too expensive. If they reached us through a research expediation (instead of a burn-and-pillage expedition) I wonder how they’d go about it… abductions and dissections, or open communication.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Joy May 1, 2010 at 8:23 pm

David,
I’m going to tell you the truth, yet it’s kind of sad. I don’t know if aliens exist, and I hadn’t though past that because I have a block of fear. I don’t want to believe something I am unfamiliar is “out there” ready to hurt me if given the chance. I don’t like to believe it about humans, so I certainly don’t want to think it about life I haven’t yet considered. I don’t like to believe it in the spiritual realm either, although there is validity to it.
However, just because I am afraid of the unknown does not mean it does not exist. So I love conversations like this one because it forces me to think outside of my comfortable little box (there is a reason I call my boat a cocoon, because it can be). If there are aliens, and they do visit, and I do happen upon one, I would be so curious I would very much encourage interaction. I’d probably run right up and hug the alien then offer it cookies. It’s kind of how I face fears–embrace them, then shine some positive light. I might have some big fears, but when they are upon me, I just breathe and walk through it. I’m going to have to hope aliens enjoy cookies:)

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David May 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Aw. If their first interaction with humans involves hugs and cookies, I think it might go pretty smoothly. You and your baking may be called upon to save humanity one day.
.-= David´s last blog ..Insight Is Not Enough =-.

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Vincent Nguyen May 2, 2010 at 12:47 am

I fully agree with you on the two of curiosity and compassion will help us to extend our friendship and our understanding as well.

I am curious David.

How or what would you do to show that you do “Come in Peace”?
Give them a book? movie? Gesture? Pictures?

Just wondering :-)
.-= Vincent Nguyen´s last blog ..Grrrrr…Get angry, get furious but then let it go and take C.H.A.R.G.E. of your life again =-.

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David May 3, 2010 at 2:24 am

Good question Vincent, I just don’t know. I would buy them lollies.

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Jay May 3, 2010 at 7:53 am

Destroy us? I doubt it.

Any self-respecting extra-terrestrial would derive far too much enjoyment from watching us destroy ourselves instead.

Intervention on their part would only spoil the fun – that is, until they decided to make space for a new intergalactic highway.
.-= Jay´s last blog ..Chapter 2: Living the Impossible =-.

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David May 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Heh. Maybe they created us to destroy ourselves, as part of some alien reality show. “Real World” 2.0
.-= David´s last blog ..Aliens Exist, and We Should Avoid Them if We Want to Live =-.

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Shaun May 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I’m with you David. Even if extraterrestrials were malevolent in nature, it would be worth it to know. Heck, what else are we here for? I have to say though, I think Hawking is way off. I think it’s fairly safe to say that for a species to develop intergalactic space travel, they would have to be a pretty advanced society. The key word here is “society”. Regardless of how evolution might progress on other worlds, there is no doubt in my mind that in order for a social species to be successful, especially for long enough to figure out how to travel to distant galaxies, it would require the evolved traits of compassion, empathy, and pity. I don’t see how a social system could evolve without these traits, and I don’t see how space travel could be developed by anyone other than social creatures. Assuming they recognize us as sentient, I don’t think they’ll toast us.

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Drew Tkac May 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I have a little different take on this.

In 1967, Dial Press released a book called Report From Iron Mountain. This book claimed to be a secret government report that was leaked by one of the committee members. The report was an investigation into the problems we would face if the United States entered a period of prolonged peace.

In a quote from the book, “It is surely no exaggeration to say that a condition of general world peace would lead to changes in the social structures of the nations of the world of unparalleled and revolutionary magnitude. The economic impact of general disarmament, to name only the most obvious consequence of peace, would revise the production and distribution patterns of the globe to a degree that would make the changes of the past fifty years seem insignificant. Political, sociological, cultural, and ecological changes would be equally far-reaching. What has motivated our study of these contingencies has been the growing sense of thoughtful men in and out of government that the world is totally unprepared to meet the demands of such a situation.”

Lewin, the author, concluded that war is necessary for a robust economy and to provide social and cultural roles.

In the absence of war between countries Lewin proposed many alternatives. One of which is to “create a new, non-human enemy, e.g. the potential threat of an extra-terrestrial civilization.”

Joseph Campbell, in his research on myths, says that our evolution is tribal and that it is our nature to join with and protect our tribe against other tribes. His conclusion is that the only way to unify the world is to have another “tribe” from beyond this world to fight. Thus all of us in “this world tribe”would fight against the “ET tribe.”

So maybe an ET invasion would be a good thing. It would unite the world and provide economic growth, even if it has been manufactured by our governments.

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Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) May 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Drew~ I think it would be our loss if we bought into the myth that we are inherently aggressive and waging war on ET would bring us together.

There are many tribes, now and in the past, that didn’t war. I live in a country where 500 nations (Indigenous Australians) never, in 40,000 years, warred. A few though did change their strategy after the white-fellas started raping, killing, stealing and lying.

Ditto South Africa before the Zulu nation, tribal confrontations were displays of skill, it was unusual for someone to actually get killed.

If we as humans are inherently aggressive then why do we not see more people being aggressive on a day-to-day basis for most of the day?

I think the ultra-Darwinism “red in tooth and claw” (survival of the fittest in a way Darwin did not mean) makes it palatable for the west to maintain a hold on economic resources and not share, promote equality or have peace.

Peace does not mean no aggression, simply a significantly lower rate within a global society that does not condone it.

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Drew Tkac May 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

You make an excellent point. Here in the US, the American Indian was largely peaceful until the white man wiped them out then let the open gambling casinos.

I question what we now call civilization. In the western world it appears that the Europeans were the aggressive ones (the Vikings, the Conquistadors, the Romans.) So it seems like some of us have the aggression and others do not.

Where does that aggression come from? The societies that lived off the land and in harmony with nature seemed to be the most peaceful. These people had religions that worked with nature and taught that we humans were a part of nature.

The Christians, on the other hand, believe that the world is theirs to do as they please. These social based religions, in contrast to nature based religions, were monotheistic, proselytizing, and violent. Just consider the dark ages and the Spanish inquisition.

I find myself attracted to the nature based religions, and I am very European. I assume that other Europeans feel the same way. So could it be that there is another stimulus that makes us violent?

People that are living in fear will respond in a fight or flight manner. That is self preservation. If religion makes us afraid by telling us that were going to hell, for ever, if we don’t listen to our leaders or that we will be punished if we express thought against doctrine.

I believe that it is fear that is the motivator for aggression. At one time it was religion that supplied that fear but now it has gone high tech. The news, the internet, the radio all blanket society with reasons to be afraid. Even if you turn it off you can’t escape it because your neighbors or friends will tell you all about it.

I think what Joseph Campbell was talking about was just simple self defense as a group. Not necessary waging preemptive war. But in the last 1000 years or so the white man has taken this to a new level of conquering.

The media, run by modern corporation, wants us to be afraid. We will gladly pay taxes to be used for government defense/aggression, hoping to remove our fear. But the fear will never go away because the media will just broadcast more things to be fearful.

I try every day to not get sucked into the media hyped vortex of fear. But even when you believe you know whats going on, it hard not to be affected. Because here in the US, and I would guess in Europe too, it is every day, day after day coming from all perspectives.

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” I tell myself that every day.

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Ahmed May 24, 2010 at 3:48 am

You’re projecting. How you feel and think you will act with aliens has nothing to do with how humanity at large (or those in power, to be exact) will react.

Hawking’s point is based on the available facts – look at the evolution of intelligent life on Earth, and extrapolate alien behavior from it. Evolution doesn’t include taming the self-preservation instinct, and once that kicks in…

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David May 24, 2010 at 4:50 am

Maybe. But are you not projecting too? You’re projecting a more cynical view on humanity than I am. Fair enough. I suspect your belief reflects your general view of humankind, as mine reflects mine.

Humanity has paranoid and aggressive characteristics, and it also has curious and compassionate characteristics too. Both can be very intense qualities, and both have fuelled our interest in finding alien life. You can extrapolate either of these and end up with two (or more) completely different scenarios of how it will all go down.

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Joey March 10, 2011 at 1:46 am

IN ANY CASE
here is a guide for how to act when aliens DO visit Earth, just in case one of you happens to be the first one to make contact :)
http://www.laboiteverte.fr/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/first-contact-alien.png

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Michel November 30, 2011 at 8:52 am

dont try to think for the aliens because all whe can think of are human thoughts ,the universe is so big and full of resources that it would be useless to kill us for our planet while there are bilions of planets to exploit
without killing they life forms on it , people think to small cos whe are stuck on this planet ( sorry for my bad english ,its not my own language

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A B July 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

What if the technology used by U.S by reverse engineering from Aliens’ crafts, is actually a preparation for war with coming Alien Attack, not war for this Earth, This Stealth and Supersonic Technology is
only in U.S.A in whole, may be they have killed many alien lifes that made Aliens to declare war against Earth, so U.S are now preparing them selves.may be 2012…..

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Gage Higgns July 28, 2012 at 1:14 am

Aliens exist, and we should contact them. Christopher Columbus came to America, and he thought it was a New world. Obviously it was not. Now, let’s Just assume aliens are Very smart. They would know beings live on Earth. they wouldn’t want to harm us.

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mr.just visisting April 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I think they would rock up and be like dude art music partys views ibiza jolling david gueta and scratch there head and ask why are they still fighting again is it safe to say hi captin not sure ill check then your see the rokie say captin I had gueta ticket

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rich May 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I am totally in Dr. Hawking’s and professor Diamond’s camp when it comes to alien contact. Shut down those damn transmitters.

We may think we are all that when it comes to technological prowess, especially compared to other Earth species. We have all of these gadgets banging and clucking around us. Yeah, great.

If some intergallactic civilization happened to swing by our little corner of the Milky Way and they detected our feeble chirps I guarantee that after they perform some sort of evil chuckle they will say one word “MEAT!”

Any beings able to transit the immense distances not only between stars but entire star systems is literally and metaphorically light years ahead of not only us but of our distant descendents. We are all mite-like specks of protoplasm hanging unto this big rock by our feet. We sent a couple dozen men to the moon over 40 years ago. They crept out of the can they landed in, barely touched their toes on the surface, and ran back to Earth never, so far, to return. Now, lets stack that against space-faring peoples traveling through immense stellar distances in spacecraft so insanely more capable and powerful than we can or even might construct at some future time – if the melting greenland and antarctic glaciers don’t drown us out of the game in the next 200 years – and we should very quickly realize that any ET contact or encounter would be comparable to those naked caribes waving hello to Colombus’s ships. One cough and they all went down. Aliens = evil overlords bent on humanity’s enslavement at best and our lickety split, press a couple buttons, emit a bored yawn then annihilation. Keep those star hopping freaks as far away as possible. My advice – Lay low, keep our mouths shut and for god’s sake shut those SETI transmitters down.

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Jason February 19, 2014 at 5:51 am

Yes the Transmitters.
What about the Voyager that Nasa sent approx 45yrs ago to travel around space hoping to contact alien species.
The gold disc with the entire history of our world, our culture, plants, creatures, our DNA, our languages, communication etc,etc.
Good grief, were they all on drugs or something.
It would be like sending out our bank details and internet details around our world and thinking no-one would take advantage.
Stupid people placing us in unspeakable danger.

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Macjames November 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm

I don’t know. This may sound a little heretic-like, but I just don’t think that Hawking is thinking big enough. Aliens would be so different, I don’t think we can even gauge their reactions. I mean, what if their genes aren’t passed down from generation to generation, and so they evolved in an entirely different way then us? Not likely maybe, but maybe possible in some way that is incomprehensible to us. That’s just an example of how different they could be. They might not even understand what conflict, or camaraderie is. In truth, we probably wouldn’t understand their reaction. It’s just naive to think that it would be as human-like as war, or exploiting resources, or even brotherly compassion. We might not even recognize each other as being alive if our respective versions of life are different enough. There is unlimited possibilities, and no one, Stephen Hawking or otherwise, can even guess at what first contact might yield.

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doesn't matter December 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I live in new mexico and everyone at a restaurant called little anitas can read minds and they say they are alien. They actually gave me a really hard time. They said anyone that has any psychic ability is alien. One woman named rosemary told me most of this. She said they are all over new mexico and they own most of the businesses here. Anytime I had my own thought she and the others would give me a hard time it was freaky. They tried everything to get me to believe there thoughts and beliefs and would tell me that there are many ways to believe but really only theirs cause everyone else is wrong. The whole time I worked there I would get sick for no reason. Very scary I just don’t get how they could read my mind.

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r s February 21, 2014 at 11:07 am

I’ve read a lot of posts from different sites on this topic, from normal people to real scientists, and even reachers who use the worlds telescopes and no one has mentioned one of the most important points of all…who would aliens choose to contact?
If there are aliens with the technology to get here then they would also have the technology to moniter us. Any self preserving species would watch us first before making contact to determin if we are a potential threat. That means they would most likely have some basic concept of the way humanities political system is set up. Without dven knowing our languages or what a perident is, they can clearly see just by looking at us that humanity is split into different races, cultures, and countries who work independently to achieve their own personal goals. So how do they make “first contact” without showing “favouritism” or giving one country a massive advantage over the others. The only way to avoid that problem would be to send ships to all modern countries, which humanity would probably just precieve as an invasion force anyway. Also the resources it would take to do that wouldnt be worth it to them. Chances ate, if they are coming its only in 1 spaceship. So where do they land? If they chose North America then theres people out the who would think aliens love white people and resent that (yes there are people that stupid out there). If they land in Asia or Africa, same problem with asians or blacks, and that goes for every established culture Earth has. Aliens don’t need to know much about us to be able to see our species is divided into groups. In order to achieve space flight to other stars it would take the combined resources of an entire planet. We won’t achieve that till we all learn to get along, so aliens will probably consider us unworthy to talk to untill humanity evolves to become united as a whole. It would take extensive reaserch and resources to build a way to talk to each other and we would probably need the aliens to build it for us.
That’s just one reason aliens would avoid us, if they are out there and know about us they either can’t or won’t talk to us.

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r s February 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

As for Hawking’s theory, its somewhat legit but the thruth is the man is starting to get old and he knows his years left are limited. He also knows that hes going down in Earths history books in the same league as Einstine or Darwin as one of the greatist scientists of all time, so hes embarrassed that a lot of his early theories about space and how it works are starting to get proven false as technology advances. He claims his biggest mistake of his entire career was his theory on black holes. So I expect we will be seeing a lot of statments from Mr. Hawking over the next few years regarding his thoughts on his space career

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Abby March 20, 2014 at 12:27 am

Aliens have been here before and we were the only ones who hurt them. Why do we always want to see any thing that looks scary or because it’s unknown, we automatically assume it’s dangerous? I THINK his name was Gerald Addison, but when he was five, he witnessed an alien crash with his father and uncle. Three were dead, one was severely injured and one was trying to communicate with Gerald’s dad. The alien saw Gerald and the five year old immediately felt sadness, loneliness and felt like he was falling. The alien communicated what he felt through telepathy. He was only seeking help.

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Abby March 20, 2014 at 12:41 am

Yeah.. Disregard my last comment. I went to look for his actual name (Gerald Anderson) and it turned out he had lied in many of his interviews. There is multiple evidence that there was a possible UFO crash where Anderson said there was, but not much honesty afterwards. :(

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David May 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm
Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) May 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Hi Cornelius~

“It is people like you that let others that are seeking domination to do so”

How is this an example of seeking connection and not domination?

I look to my recycle bin, what I put on my body etc and say, “what am I doing to contribute to Earth’s mistreatment”

Please share your way of doing no harm~ internet connection for instance without resources being used…

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