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    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.1)
    According to Stephen Hawking, there are almost certainly intelligent lifeforms out in the beyond. He also says that like us, they are or have depleted their planet's resources, so any contact with us will consist of them raping Earth for resources before the move one.

    Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.

    He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: "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."

    He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: "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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  1.  (8137.2)
    I think this is what Hawking has been saying for years. That if we would ever be visited by beings that can actually travel in space, we, by default have the short stick, and therefore should be very afraid.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.3)
    It's also the plot of Independence Day.

    What?
    • CommentAuthorstation
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.4)
    He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”.

    I bet Sagan is spinning in his grave.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.5)
    You're talking like Roddenberry lied to us. That's kids' stuff!

    Crazy stuff!
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.6)
    I think it's a bit premature to say that they would be hostile. Human have at many times in their history been hostile to other cultures, but why would the same be true for an advanced race of aliens?

    Also I don't think such an advanced alien arce would have to rely on planetary energy sources to sustain themselves; couldn't they use, ehmmm, stardust??
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.7)
    That's what I was thinking. If alien races are advanced enough to be able to make the trip to find us, they've probably figured out ways to sustain themselves. Another thing I was thinking of, is that even though it's mathematically likely there are other lifeforms, their circumstances of living will be different than ours. They won't necessarily be relying on fossil fuels and oil like we are, it's possible they have more sustainable forms of energy. Similarly, they could have less sustainable forms, in which case they would be able to make it out here anyway as they'd fuck themselves before they the could even make it off their planet to come fuck us.

    In any case, I found it interesting to hear that this was what he had to say.
  2.  (8137.8)
    If an alien race can conquer intergalactic travel, they surely would have the technology to harness energy from stars and mine raw materials from vacant planets.

    An invasion would have only one purpose: to make human slaves.
  3.  (8137.9)
    It's an interesting point Hawking is making, but while it's likely intelligent life developed in other parts of the universe, it's unlikely those parts are anywhere near us, and like Argos said, an alien species advanced enough to figure out a way to get to us can probably solve any resource crisis. Also, with our own resources partially depleted, their priorities would probably lie on uninhabited planets. Not only they can find what they want there, but they won't have to destroy an entire population and then clean up all the mess (unless they intend to use us as slaves, but again, with their technology, what use could we be to them?)

    And this is assuming those aliens are roughly like us. Within the realm of universal things such as Math, there's still a lot of variety in how a civilization could develop: their moral code, the conditions in their planet (which will shape their evolution), etc.
  4.  (8137.10)
    Oh they've made contact with us already, but as a sign of they advanced intelligence they chose to ignore us.

  5.  (8137.11)
    "what use could we be to them?"

    There is always a market for cheap labor. Our opposable thumbs and storytelling abilities would be the best assets. And by storytelling, I mean the ability to command and instruct others to perform complicated tasks. Animals can't do that.

    "there's still a lot of variety in how a civilization could develop: their moral code, the conditions in their planet (which will shape their evolution), etc"

    Agreed. Totalitarian agriculture dominates on our planet because the hunting/gathering societies couldn't grow fast enough to compete. An intergalactic race would have to win out over other cultures to reach that advanced stage. What it would look like? It would have to be totalitarian, meaning everyone within the culture must join it or perish. And it would have to be the intergalactic equivalent of modern agriculture: growing its own sustenance and ruthlessly killing anything that competes with it. In the long run, pacifist and/or nontotalitarian cultures would be conquered or assimilated.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.12)
    This is assuming that the species we're talking about is of a higher intelligence, rather than just being space locusts... (I play far too much Warhammer 40k)
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.13)
    Oh God space locusts would be terrifying
    •  
      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.14)
    And that they're not sentient fungi that want to drive us mad for no real reason... (I read way too much Lovecraft)
  6.  (8137.15)
    they want to touch our bums
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.16)
    they want to touch our bums


    If that's true, then Hawking must mean we're literally fucked...
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.17)
    Hey, it's not cheating if they're not Terran!

    oontz oontz oontz oontz
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.18)
    There's a Kids In The Hall skit this reminds me of, but I can't get to YouTube from work.

    "Our Great Leader is nothing more than a demented ass-freak! The only thing we've determined with these anal probes is that one out of ten of these humans doesn't seem to mind it so much!"

    "...Do you want to see my collection of Ass Photography?"

    "NO."
  7.  (8137.19)
    "There is always a market for cheap labor"

    Yes, but it's not especially plausible that travelling across the universe to grab slaves would be an economic proposition. It doesn't seem especially like that aliens capable of crossing vast interstellar distances would not be capable of creating robots to do the labor or, failing that, simply clone one of us for their needs.

    "In the long run, pacifist and/or nontotalitarian cultures would be conquered or assimilated. "

    Not really. All of that assumes a finite amount of space and resources, which is the issue here on Earth. Once they're capable of intergalactic travel, they could simple ignore any culture that doesn't want to get involved. Likewise an all consuming culture isn't necessarily necessary to getting off the planet. Which assumes that they have different cultures to begin with.

    Which is the problem with trying to anticipate extraterrestrial life - anything is possible. Maybe they would come and rape us all to death because that's the greatest good in their culture. Maybe their perception works at the quantum level and they would never realise that we even existed. There's no particular reason to believe what Hawking does.
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010
     (8137.20)
    I'm rooting for Gah Lak Tus, myself.