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.

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Filed under: Space • Technology
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. 6cobra

    Iwanttobelieve's comment captures what contact would actually be like. The very fact that aliens arrived with whatever motivations, belief systems, and needs they might have would profoundly change everything for humans. If an alien were standing in front of a Biblical literalist, would that person refuse to acknowledge the alien exists because they aren't mentioned in the Bible? Any beings capable of making that journey would render our own power structures and religions as little more than the games and fantasies of children. Even if the aliens were peaceful, what would be their response when they are violently attacked by radical Christians or Muslims?

    I personally find the proposition that a society can advance only in proportion to its ability to abandon violence. The only society we know of (our own) stands in direct contradiction to this. However, even if aliens were peaceful, humans absolutely cannot be. The human race in our arrogance could never play second-fiddle to another species; we would try to overtake and overthrow them, to claim what they have. It is part of the human condition. And it would make conflict inevitable

    April 27, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jason

    Too many of you are assuming that the resources they want are fossil fuels or minerals. What if the resource they are looking to consume is human bodies?

    April 27, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Yeah, this is a slippery slope. Id like to think they'd be so advanced they would be friendly....but im sure they would have to have a reason to be here. Im sure they dont care about being friends with a lesser race. Infact they would probally see us as we do animals.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Heilama

    Please, aliens if they exist probably wouldn't even give humans the time of day, As backwards and barbaric, racist some humans have proven to be, I am sure a higher intelligence would be above dealing with people like that here on earth. They probably have passed us many times and moved on to other more hospitable and intelligent planets.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ben

    Didnt Will Smith make a movie a few years back with EXACTLY this same plot. Oh yeah, it was called Independence Day. Great movie. 🙂

    April 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Roger

    Hawkings says "IF" but what many people already know is that Aliens have already visited Earth. The most SOLID proof of this is the Roswell incident in 1947 where OUR US Airforce released an official press release to the local newspaper that they did indeed find a 'flying disc' from outer space and have shipped it off to another military base. Find a copy of that newspaper and read all the stories on the front page- very interesting and makes you think. Of course they tried to retract the statement the next day after the entire world started freaking out..

    April 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. JC

    I too agree with MR. HAWKING they are not friendly and most likely they're here already and have been for a very long time,just waiting for humanity to destroy itself we don't need their help for that.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. R. Andrade

    If Aliens are able to make it to earth wheather mean or not, wouldn't you think out of all the planets in the Universe they'd be able to find resources to sustain them. Now we need to get ready to fight the Aliens. This thing about Mars, we should worry more about the Earth.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. ddmobile1

    I wonder what the aliens steve hawkings have said about us?

    April 27, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin

    If they do show up, hope they're friendly. If they're not, we won't be able to stop them.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. mr t

    Ever see the Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man?"

    Nuff said....

    April 27, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. HdBoy

    If they are able to travel through wormholes and end up in some unknown part of the universe, I would suspect they are pretty fearless and capable of anything. There would be no limits to them. I doubt they think in right or wrong. Or peace and war. That's human behavior. Us applying our behavior onto them. Their psyches are probably so far removed from anything we could ever imagine. And that's the truth my friends.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. James

    We have discovered water is present in one form or another throughout most of the solar system. We have discovered methane lakes on Saturn's moon Titan. Earth doesn't have anything that a civilization with capabilities beyond ours couldn't get elsewhere.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Raphael

    The point is: WE are hostiles. WE will try to take over their dead (and maybe living ones) to study. WE will explore their technology and resources.
    If humanity put it's hand on such technology, gaining access to anywhere on the Universe, all non-hostile races will be doomed. And the hostile ones? Well...we might A-bomb them.

    That´s why i think they don´t want to show up.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Shaun

    I have a lot of respect for Mr. Hawking but am inclined to disagree. I believe that aliens with the technological knowhow to travel the stars will be a peaceful species. In addition to that, what is the likelyhood that they require the same resorces to survive that we do. Everything evolves differently. Most likely, another planets life forms will evolve to adaot to the resorces on thier planet. For all we know they may be a silicone based lifeform rather than carbon...or possibly an element that we don't even know about or have on this planet. They may need CO2 to survive and settle on Mars rather than continue on to earth...

    April 27, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
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