April 26th, 2010
11:15 PM ET

Aliens probably no friends of yours, Hawking says

Think you'd like to see aliens make contact with Earth?  Stephen Hawking might get you to think again.

Aliens, the way he sees it, might be traveling the cosmos right now - not for exploration's sake but because they've run out of resources at home.

And if they're flying around looking for resources, guess what their intentions would be if they see Earth?

The British physicist advances his thoughts on aliens in his new Discovery Channel series, "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking," which began airing Sunday.

In a video clip on Discovery Channel's website, Hawking imagines that aliens might have the technology to harness energy from whatever star they're near. The process, he proposes, could open a wormhole that could let them travel large distances - perhaps to here.

The clip shows spacecraft leaving a wormhole and approaching Earth as ominous music plays.

"Like us, they would probably have evolved from a species used to exploiting whatever it can," a narrator says.

Hawking's warning contrasts with the excitement some are showing about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Just last week, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) said it was releasing its data to astronomers and researchers all over the world, hoping more people would join the search.

Hawking's series on the Discovery Channel continues this coming Sunday at 9 p.m.  ET.

Post by:
Filed under: Space • Technology
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Kevinbgood621

    Funny I thought the same thing about twenty years ago . Since then I've figured out that if the Aliens are so advanced to escape time constrants that they will have advance information on our planet , media and governments . Better to hope that if Aliens do appear that they are advanced and friendly than to make them out to be bad guys . If they are really advanced they might just avoid us until we do become more " intelligent and peacefull "

    April 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark

    Maybe We, the Earth, are a part of their experiment. They came to see their experiments. In prophercy, the end of the world is near. It could be the Alien want to end up these, I mean us, all the thing on Earth; their experiments. Besides, Alien have a lot better technology forward, i think that's because of their languages. Human needs to have evolution in languages to get us further, faster and push all aspects more forward.

    April 27, 2010 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Darrelle

    With all due respect to Mr Hawking, if he is able to state that there probably is alien life in the universe and then in the same sentence also state that they probably are not friendly – he really does not know at all. If humanity had anything to fear from Intelligent life in the universe it would have manifested by now! What would they be waiting for?
    These kinds of statements really do nothing to encourage intelligent thinking at all and I think Mr Hawking is irresponsible to make such a claim. Especially when you look at the behaviour of the human species, I would say the Aliens have more to fear from human madness.
    I would say this press release has been doctored, as the powers that be know Alien contact is on the increase and will continue, so to place some fear into the psyche of the people is certainly a plan.

    April 27, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Zam

    Stephen Hawkins theory mind boggling, makes u think depp.

    April 27, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. American Dan

    Dude, this is, like, what every single science fiction thriller has posited in the past sixty years. Thanks, Hawking, for an incredibly trite insight.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. JJ

    I wonder if Stephen has considered that maybe a small craft of aliens, albeit powerful as they may be. Would be more inclined to join forces, rather than what does not make sense for individual or groupings of craft from other worlds.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Moreo

    If these guys are out of resources, but still can manage to harness energy from any star their near, why bother with this rock of ours?

    April 27, 2010 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike D

    I don't think it will be like Columbus, at least he thought the natives were as human as they were, savage, but at least human. Aliens with the technology to travel here won't view us with that level of respect. I'm sure there will be conservationist among them that would want to preserve a fraction of the human species, at least at a fraction of when it once was. We take up too much space on the planet and are not really necessary to the Eco system. They would probably value honey bees more than humans for their worth to Eco system.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. David Brett

    I have great admiration for Professor Hawking, but I think he's quite wrong on this point.

    Any species that could travel between stars would likely have solved its resource problems long ago. (Put differently, solving resource issues is likely much easier than the very difficult prospect of traveling between stars.)

    Also, any such species would likely have overcome its inclination toward war and violence: otherwise it would have destroyed itself long before reaching such an advanced stage.

    Dangerous aliens are good for science fiction stories, but the likelihood is that any species so advanced beyond our level of technology would also be advanced beyond our level of ethical development.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. JG

    Any race that has the ability to warp the fabric of space and time in order to cross the infinite cosmos and visit us would have no problem wiping us out of the universe. I think Half-Life 2's "7-Hour War" is being generous to the humans.

    But would they attack? Who's to say. It depends on how the collective culture of that race has developed over the eons. Humans came from a race of territorial monkeys that guarded what precious little they had with their lives – hence our penchant for blood. But, what if we had evolved from the tiny organisms that make up a man-o-war? Our very nature would be one that we need one another to survive and thrive – in which case we would try to assimilate anyone else we came across into our own culture.

    They will have been conditioned by countless events in a past that we know nothing about. Not even the great Steven Hawking can guess this answer.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lone

    Not exactly a novel idea, at least in that way its being presented here. You can go to a bookstore, point at random in the Sci-fi section, and likely read the same idea (I know I've read at least 2-3 myself), or just watch Will Smith talk trash in Independence Day. If they are hostile, and at that point of using stars directly, even a movie miracle wont be enough.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. spaceman

    It sounds like what we would do if we found another planet with resources. We would probably act friendly, then slowly squeeze the life out of their land. Even though they would out number us we would press on with our war machine. Sound familiar?
    We can all sit at home and believe in the good of man, but dont worry, big business and corporate greed are involved in space expansion too. Think of the wealth hidden in the galaxys.

    April 27, 2010 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Aeroman

    Hahaha!!! Well the joke would be on them! We're about out too!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. 8472

    I like Stephen Hawking a lot and I agree with his logic. But mankind already has too many internal problems here on earth that need to be worked out before they can even start catching up in technology with these visitors. We have a much higher chance of getting destroyed by ourselves than by aliens. I can't even recall the last time we go 10 years without a war.

    April 27, 2010 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ryan

    I don't see how they could have made it as far as they have if they were hostile. In order to develope to such a degree, they would have to be respectful of others or else they would have either wiped themselves out, or have been wiped out by someone else by now.

    April 27, 2010 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18