London: According to Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, aliens are out there — but instead of seeking them out, humanity should avoid any contact with them.
Hawkin’s suggestions come in a new documentary series in which he reveals his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries, reports The Times.
“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”
As for the answer, he suggests, most of it will be the equivalent of microbes or simple animals — the sort of life that has dominated Earth for most of its history.
In the docu, he adds 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.”
Hawking, now 68, who is paralysed by motor neurone disease and has very limited powers of communication, 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.”
John Smithson, executive producer for Discovery, said: “He wanted to make a programme that was entertaining for a general audience as well as scientific and that’s a tough job, given the complexity of the ideas involved.”
First Published: Sunday, April 25, 2010, 12:50