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. Raodkill

    I fail to see any resource, the earth posseses, that the aliens would want. Water? Very abundant.. everywhere... Metals? Same thing. Maybe, they would try to "harvest" ant technology, that humans came up with.... yeah, right! (or they just want our women!)

    April 27, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Luke Knisley

    Why should we automatically assume aliens would evolve to be exactley like us and what resources would such and advanced society be hunting for on Earth, certainly not fossil fuels!

    April 27, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lloyd

    I hope Hawkings, who is certainly privy to space info not available to the general public, has not been co-opted by the NeoCons, who believe that anything unknown is a threat. As many have stated, any race capable of such travel certainly has resources nearer to home and easier to harvest, and should certainly see our fragile, warlike, relatively earthbound organisms as fodder only for their interactive museums at home. I can see the placard now: "A curious organism, the Human Being believes himself to be the most advanced being in the universe, created perfectly in the very image of God (the Universal creation force), even as he destroys his own kind in said God's name. Unlike other species of his planet, he takes pride in over-utilizing resources, Primitive in cognition and logic. Susceptible to disease. Short life-span. Endangered species."

    April 27, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. NHgirl

    They would already know we are here. They feel our affects of nuclear testing. Hiroshima's blast probably reached them by now. Great wat to make alien contact! "W/T/H
    is that species thinking." Is what they are saying. They would take us out in a minute if they wanted. Oh, and for the germ therory- If the US is smart enough to wear hazmat, I would think universal traveler's would have put some thought into it....

    April 27, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Spiffy Diddlin

    Our dear professor Hawkings has, at long last, clearly jumped the sharks.

    April 27, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nola lady

    Here's the skinny: we can't get along with the people on our own planet. Let's just fix us before we go out and try to make new friends.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. TP

    Personally I feel if a species has evolved to the level of being able to travel to other stars they likely are also evolved in other ways. Evolution isn't just about techonology it's also about becoming a better species. I'm not at all convinced we've not already been discovered and also I'm not convinced they'd be unfriendly.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. DC

    Our own history has shown that when a technologically more advanced group meets one with a lower technology, the group with the lower technology tends to be annihilated.

    We know enough now, that if ET is out there, it is highly unlikely he is from within this solar system. That means if he is able to come here, then he has the technology to cross interstellar space and/or travel through time. This is far beyond anything we can do.

    Even a couple of hundred year’s difference in technology and knowledge would leave us defenseless. Imagine what would happen if Napoleon army, the world's greatest for his time, tangled with the United States military of today. The only question would be whether the war would last five minutes or ten .

    If ET is here, that means interstellar/time travel is possible. If it is possible, then the time will come when we figure out how to do it. At that time we progress from being a bunch of savages on an isolated island to neighbors. At that time, ET may very well exterminate us for the sake of self preservation.

    Considering the fact that our primary occupation on this planet is tribal warfare; I wouldn’t blame them.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Iwanttobelieve

    1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
    6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

    Says nothing at all about aliens or other life forms outside of our world.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. john

    You all seem to assume that technological advancement and "human" morals go hand in hand. What if they are like the Borg? What if they think that we are no more than cockroaches? The fact is that nobody knows, and Hawking's guess is as good as any.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. here

    He's a genius. When he talks the world listens. So you know what? I'm going to take his word for it. Even if they didn't want our planet (which is very unlikely) if they stumble upon us, they could want our star (our sun) for it's energy. Without a sun we might as well be dead.
    Basically any form of alien life even the simplest one could bring forth Earths vital end. Diseases could be spread from the simplest life forms, so it's not just intelligent life he is talking about. You all should pick up his books, the man like i said is pure genius.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scott

    I'd have to disagre with Mr.Hawking on this point. We are finding more and more planets every week or so, so the odds are that there are prob billions of planets and trillions of commets out there for them to harvest natural resourses from, even in out solar system alone there would be an enoumus wealth of minerals for them to gather witout taking earths. Intellegent life at our level is prob rare, and any aliens would prob want to either make contact and learn about us or just get there minerals elseware beacue you know the us would fight them to the end, and althogh they would have no chance theres alot eaiser targets out there for resourses.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. beetle1a

    We've been spewing radio and TV frequency waves into space the entire twentieth century. Talk about annoucing yourself. I for one, refuse to hide. Let's just hope they're friendly. As far as resources go, there are plenty of resources out in space. An advanced civilization should have the ability to reap them.

    Anyway, we are probably the hostie aliens. We're still monkeys throwing rocks at the moon.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ryan C.

    If there are aliens, and they act like humans, then, yes, they likely aren't very friendly. Earth would simply be part of the "imminent domain."

    April 27, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Doug Shiloh

    With Hawking, a major scientist, discussing what sci-fi writers and fans have touted for years, is just another level of hard science agreeing with the speculation. It would good to imagine they were exploring – but exploring for all reasons, including what the Europeans were after (resources, etc.).

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