Stephen Hawking's alarming warning against looking for extraterrestrial life

Stephen Hawking warned about the search for extraterrestrial life, as a civilisation more advanced than ours could probably come with hostile intentions.

Should humanity really try to make contact with the suspected extraterrestrial world? For several years now, the members of the METI (Messaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project have taken up this rather daunting challenge by sending targeted messages to recently discovered exoplanets that may harbour life.

For the past fifty years, another very similar project, SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), has deployed extensive resources to detect the presence of advanced extraterrestrial civilisations in other solar systems. And while all of these attempts have so far failed, this is not necessarily bad news, according to statements by the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking.

Searching for extraterrestrial life: a mistake?

A few years before his death in 2018, the man who was unanimously recognised as one of the most brilliant minds of his generation considered the search for extraterrestrial life to be anything but a good idea. He stated so in 2010 in the Discovery Channel documentary series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.

According to the physicist, extraterrestrial life forms could pose a serious threat to our world, which is full of various resources. The resources can simply attract these potential extraterrestrial civilisations, and they can come and drain all the resource.

In addition, if aliens had the knowledge to find us and then make interstellar travel to meet us, they would inevitably be technologically far superior to us.

Similar to Columbus' arrival in America

Stephen Hawking referred to the development gap that would separate us from such a civilisation.

If extraterrestrials were to visit us, the result would be similar to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America, which did not go down well with the Amerindians

He added:

We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life could become something we would not want to encounter.

This article was translated from Gentside FR.

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