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. Don

    Uhm, wow. Let's think about this from our perspective. If we needed more resources and had the advanced technology to travel vast distances among other things, would we really travel to an inhabited planet way the hell out of our way to get more resources?? And then have to battle the indiginous species already there to extract those resources? Not likely. Way too inefficient.

    In our own solar system we have an abundance of planets and moons with water, natural gas and pretty much every other resource we could imagine and we wouldn't have to travel very far to get it. In fact we are approaching the day rapidly when we will be able to farm some of these resources already either to bring back or to sustain a base of some sort.

    I think the only way an alien race(a) would become hostile would be if another alien race(b) were to arrive on a planet inhabited by alien race(a). then they would become aggressive. i.e an alien race landing on earth lets say. I highly doubt we would greet them with open arms. More like scepticism and paranoia.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kent Brockman

    And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords

    April 27, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |

    OMG.....what if we're just merely cat food?

    April 27, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. SteveM

    I think what Hawking is saying is that we can't just assume they're friendly. They may be, I think they probably would be (if they do in fact exist) but we have to consider the possibility that they may not be. I doubt he's saying they are hostile for sure so watch out. He's just saying don't discount the possibility. Good advice but I doubt it would help us much if they showed up and they were indeed hostile.

    Something else to think about... If Rome hadn't fallen, we'd be on other planets by now. Their technology was way ahead of anybody else at the time. Extrapolating into the future, they would be way ahead of where we are now. And....what if Hitler had won the war? What if Nazi's found a super-drive, faster than light? What would either of these cultures do if they found a planet, rich in resources with only primitive natives to worry about? So maybe Hawking isn't too far off with his speculations.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. McCluck

    @ Stefan "With all the evidence Stephen Hawkings cannot figure out there is a God, but will no evidence he thinks there is aliens. It seems after all he is not that intelligent...."

    -He thinks this because we already have proof that life exists in our universe (on our planet). If one planet out of all the planets we know of has life then it is statistically likely that life is everywhere. Not much of a logic stretch.

    As for not believing in god: show proof and the logic minded will follow. Show nothing and you will be laughed at for believing something so stupid without proof. Show one instance where there is proof of god and it follows that god exists.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Greg

    Sounds like Mr. Hawking has been watching too much Avatar

    If aliens have the technology to get here and can harness fusion, then they have all the energy they need to fix their own world.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. James

    Why would aliens want to come here? We have polluted waters and swine flu.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Frank

    It would sort of be poetic justice to the human race. We have always taken without any concern or consideration of the ramifications of our actions.

    Humans and Virus's are the only life forms on this planet that don't live in harmony with its environment.

    Such a shame, because we are better than that, but seem to lose sight of it.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Patrick

    I believe if space aliens did take over Earth that they would leave room for humans....right next to the mashed potatoes.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Phil Smith

    Not only is the story funny, but so our the vast majority of comments posted here.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Guy B.

    We assume that if aliens from somewhere come here that they are intelligent. We use items like a tv and have no idea how it works. Perhaps they have tools that have taken generations to make but really have no idea how it works their ships are just a tool. Love these kinds of debates because until we do know any goes, and from what I see here everyone has much the same opinon, anything and everything is possible until we know. If they do show up best have a passport or they are going to be turned away when they try to enter some country too funny.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jay

    From what I understand, planet Earth is pretty far off the beaten track in the universe, if you look at a map we are totally separate from the center of the galaxy – way in the "boonies" as they say. The odds tell us that there are aliens out there, personally, I tend to believe that it is possible that they actually do exist. Why would aliens want to come way off the beaten track to visit humble old Earth? Any resource we have certainly exists closer to the center of the galaxy, including DNA. It's possible to assume that we are too far away from everything to be of any interest to aliens. Although I do say that Hawkins has a point. Why would anyone travel millions of light years to go to another planet? Reasearch? Probably not. Plunder? More likely...

    April 27, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. PolO Avilés

    Years ago Hawkings said that within the next 25 years will be invaded and conquered by aliens.
    The math is simple: Universe (or multiverse) is so vast, we can't be the only ones, nor the most advanced or the baddest.
    So, probably will end enslaved, farmed and BBQed by a bunch of drunk metalic-blue lizards... What a nice future, thank you Mr. Hawkings !

    April 27, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nfor Susungi

    My feeling is that the aliens are already here. But having studied and observed our lifestyls and our wasteful and destructive nature, their conclusion about the human race is that we are going to wipe ourselves out anyway in the next 200-500 years. Just think how many species are already extinct on this planet. So their strategy is to sit tight until we are extinct and they will take over planet earth. Even if this process takes a thousand years, this is nothing in the timescale that the extraterrestrials are already used to.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Answerman28

    Hawkins is right. Humans would do the same,,, if we developed warp drive and discovered other life, our instinct to survive would still be our strongest most natural state and we would still kill and eat if we had to. Also, when the white man came to the U.S we almost wiped the indians out with our diseases. They had no immunity and it devestated thier populations. This happened from contact from fellow humans from the same planet. I dont think aliens could come here and not catch human virus's and we would have no immunity from thier diseases either.. They may be here already but feel we cant handle the power of thier knowledge. Especially after learning what we've done to our environment and each other.. If they are here and that much smarter than us, they would be instantly turned off by our religions, greed, arrogance, stupidity, predjudice and attitudes in general..

    April 27, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
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