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Are We Alone in the Universe? Hawking Responds.

Common wisdom holds that if alien life exists (and isn’t it presumptious for us to believe we’re the only life form among 100 billion galaxies?), we should fear invasion or colonization.

Stephen Hawking concurs.

In his new television series for Discovery, called Into the Universe, the “world’s most famous scientific mind” acknowledges the possibility that these alien life forms may even be more intelligent than humans. More than human contact or curiosity, these advanced beings may simply want Earth’s resources:

We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.

The series is Hawking’s life work, and tries to bridge the gap between popular science and his research in theoretical physics, applied mathematics, and quantum gravity.

But what are the hazards of Hawking’s thoughts on alien contact? The renowned scientist draws a striking analogy between potential alien visits and our crimes of the past:

If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.

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» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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