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. Carter B

    Any race outside of our solar system has not only surpasses us technologically, more than likely has surpasses us ethically and spiritually. The ways of going to a foreign land and conquering for benefit is the ways of humans in our ethical adolescences compared to races that are far more developed than we are. Sounds to me like Hawkings has taken the vantage point to promote the fear factor that the powerful elite use to keep control of what they control. It is time to wake up and smell the coffee people. We are not alone in the universe, and the reason it is kept from us is money, power, and control. The powerful elite do not want you to learn from far superior races because with that knowledge comes true freedom, and the elite loose control, power and money, bottom line

    April 27, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brad

    Resources can be other things besides energy items. If a alien planet has the tech. to cross space, they probably have cured all desease and are over populated. Living planets are rare, the aliens could be looking for food, meat and potatoes!

    April 27, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Krystal

    Keywords: "He imagines"

    as in, it's his imagination, haha.

    Besides, why is it always aliens that are the most technically advanced? You don't know if we're ahead of the game and we'll be the ones visiting THEM 😉

    April 27, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. max shockley

    Does it really matter? If that kind of intell exist,and they have the ability to harness energy to travel light years in a split second, its a good bet that their measure of defence or agression would be more than capable of producing the desired result.

    April 27, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Moki

    Hawking is assuming that aliens have egos like humans and we just don't know . . .

    April 27, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rabid snail

    What if this advanced alien race had a religious belief that their convictions were absolute... and they offered us to convert or die as non-believers? Sorry, I was just thinking about what pilgrims may have seemed like when they landed on "savage" ground.

    April 27, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. terry

    well i guess he's got a right to his opinion, but honestly Steven Hawkins doesn't know everything about the Universe, especially about how "aliens" feel and what their "misson" would be on coming here. to assume that intelligent life on other planets is evolving with the same degree of intelligence as we are, and feeling as we feel, is presumptive and just a guess....besides, who said everyone on Earth is from Earth, we could have aliens living here amongst us right now and not know.

    April 27, 2010 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jnan R. Saha

    I think Stephen Hawkins is wrong. Intelligent beings probably will be unfriendly if we have encounter with them. But Intelligent Aliens will never pose a danger to Earthlings. Because any two Star Systems is so damn distant apart. But a meteorite originated from a World with Life could travel thousands or millions of years with micro Organisms in Freeze Dried form can crash on Earth. In such Scenario any Earthling will not have any Immunity to those Organisms and could cause wholesale Mass Extinctions. But this kind of event is so rare that it can happen in Millions or Billions of years. It is possible a Meteorite with such Organisms crashed on Earth 3.5 Billion years ago and seeded life here on Earth!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Anderson Clayton

    If they are interested in Oil and Natural gas they'd better RUN.
    America has already taken possession of Iraq's reserves.
    America is in the process of convincing the world Iran also has WMDs and soon Americans will have their both hands on Iran's reserves.
    If aliens do not arrive soon it will be TOO LATE!

    April 27, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    Unreal...he's been watching too many movies lately...genius. He is just worried that if another life form made it here he would no longer be the smartest one on Earth. Joins the ranks Hawkings...ha ha ha.

    April 27, 2010 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. ZippydeBrain

    If they are somewhat close to us that may be the case. If they are desperate and low on resources they will go for the closest source of resources. If that is us, we are screwed...not that we cannot make this place uninhabitable though.

    It is far more likely though that and race capable of getting here would have to travel distances so large that it would be for reasons OTHER than a resource shortage. If they were closer, or traveling around enough that we might be their next stop, odds are we would have noticed them by now.

    April 27, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    Simply put, being able to create a technology that could potentially harness energy from stars (some sort of solar power if you will) does not mean that technology can be used for creating new resources.

    Eventually, the raw resources of this planet will be exhausted. Eventually our sun will die. At that point humans will have to leave our solar system or die. By that time (billions of years for the sun, undetermined time for raw resources) we may be able to harness energy more efficiently (we are already working on it) and possibly get transportation working for large crafts (we can do it now for small particles).

    How much of our resources are spent on trying to create new raw resources? There is a small percentage of the population just working on conservation because that is the best we can do.

    To simply dismiss out of hand that because they could have the technology to travel the universe they will have solved their resource problem is naive at best. Dr. Hawking was just extrapolating from human nature and the course we are on. Because, let's face it, the other technologies we spend our time on are for entertainment or war.

    April 27, 2010 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. herb powers

    they might have the technology but WE are the ones writing the cool rules, and the aliens know it!
    for sure they would show up in droves in their intergalactic-Mayflower for religous freedom, gay marriage, medical marijuana AND corporate welfare. Earth, the coolest overexploited/polluted ball of rock in the UNIVERSE!!

    April 27, 2010 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. Hatemm T

    Aliens visiting Earth will be very intelligent thats something we all agree and when they study the facts as all scientists do they will find Humans as the worst species on Earth contributing to all this Planets disasters so it implies they will be eager to wipe us out to save other creatures and elements. If they are fair and peace loving they will eliminate us from this equation as we proved to be unworthy of existence and thats the reason I trust why HAWKING has this theory

    April 27, 2010 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Semiprecious

    So a race with the technology to roam the galaxy at will, wants to come here to fight for our already depleted resources?... What exactly would they find here that they can't get for free in a million other places? Oil? Women? Booze?

    April 27, 2010 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
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