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. Darryl Schnell

    Sounds to me like someone is projecting the current state of our society on the always invisible "baddies" out there ready to exploit this world's people and resources, in order to shock and awe people into watching his show.

    What about the very real "baddies" of our own population? Why don't we worry about and deal with them first? Then maybe we'll have plenty of time to – this is laughable – deal with your alien menace.

    I agree with many of you on here. If an alien race is advanced enough to create starships capable of traveling the universe, they've conqured the need to use natural resources like oil, coal, gas, etc. And if they need a new planet to live, I imagine they've already cracked the nut of terraforming. So there would be little need to bother wasting time on Earth.

    Besides if they wait another fifty years or so, we'll probably have wiped ourselves out. No Mess, No Fuss...

    April 27, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Donnie

    Hawking is a nutjob, who everybody else sees as a genius. Seriously, if aliens do come here, they are more than likely here already, and the planets still here, and if their not here, I doubt they'd waste all that technology just to come here and take over. I mean seriously. The guy thinks he knows everything ... just sit back and tell the world you know nothing, please. The rest of us who know the truth are waiting.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rich

    Has Hawking been watching a lot of Independence Day recently?? I mean I know Will Smith and Benjamin Bradford are good actors.. But I too could have surmised this if I believed in science fiction movies too.. WOW.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Equality

    Humans continue to keep hating each other because of skin color, sexual orientation and religion. Do you really think we would be peaceful towards them (aliens) I doubt it.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Adriene

    k, humans can not even get along with each other because of differences in color, beliefs, lifestyles, etc. how in the world are they supposed to get along with a species from another planet? you know... they can't...

    April 27, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Enrique

    There must be benevolent and evil alliens, high levels of knowledge and power could lead them to either destroy or create worlds, Some species may be trying to enslave us and while others may be trying to free us. Good and evil does not really exist, it is just our ego judging.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lee in Ohio

    If aliens were ever to traverse the mighty and awesome expanse of the universe and just happen across us, to them technology-wise, we would look like super primitive ant colonies with pea shooters even with the power to split the atom. We would have nothing to offer these advanced beings except what Prof. Stephen Hawking mentioned… resources.

    Look at it like this, Humans are currently looking at our moon’s water/ice reserves for potential rocket fuel (hydrogen/ oxygen) for our kind to move among the stars ourselves. So, again, as Prof. Stephen Hawking pointed out, we would be just a gas station on one of their universal highways.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Greg

    Phooey - you can't get here from there! Wormholes are pure scifi to get around Einstein. Black holes are not holes but massive objects that tear everything apart that falls into them. The best we can hope for is some sort of instantaneous sub-space communication so we can get on the galactic net!

    April 27, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Timmy

    Don't we have enough to fear from ourselves? Do we really need more danger from other sources right now? Can we deal with our own ugliness first and then deal with ugly aliens?

    April 27, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. John from Ohio

    It's amazing to see all the "he's right" vs. "he's wrong" comments going on here. Most of you are missing the point. The fact is that we have no idea whether alien life would be friendly or hostile; whether they'd be intellegent, ethical and thoughtful or merely some germ carrying insect. We can argue all day about which possibility is more likely, but we can only imagine.

    The real quesion is this: Are we willing to bet our planet that we have the answer right?

    If not, then Mr. Hawkin's point is simply that we should probably not be striving for contact when we have no idea what we're getting into.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. LeVar

    Funny, wasn't this the plot for the movie Independence Day, hmmm, you think he saw the movie.....

    April 27, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. OPmind

    Putting technology, morality and the aliens true goal aside . We seem to forget from our own history, What happened when the Europeans discovered north America. They brought disease that killed thousands of Indians, don’t you think this is something that could happen when beings from another planet would arrive here. As far as am concerned I’d rather they not land.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. karthik

    maybe.it may be true as earth may contain some rare elements ,some different forms of energy which is unknown to us,whose waves are unrecognizable by us.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Roscoe

    Carl Sagan's viewpoint was totally opposed. He was far more optimistic.His take was that any race that had overcome nuclear wars and similar growing pains would be benevolent. That said, anyone who has watched the TV series Stargate knows all too well: There are meanies everywhere.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    I believe if there are aliens and they know about us in some capacity then they are avoiding us at all cost...If they know human history they would...worst case scenario would be to visit our planet and for us to get their technology into our hands...therefore allowing us to leave our planet to spread through other planets like a virus...we are contained at the moment...not saying anything to offend fellow humans but it is in our nature to spread out and colonize and use up natural resources...we take away and rarely give back...if i were an alien and seen our planet they would have 2 choices...either show up and take us over...or study us from afar and never step foot on our planet...

    April 27, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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