Stephen Hawking, the noted physicist, has expressed a deep personal fear of aliens, so much so that he hinted that we should stop looking for them, stop sending out signals to keep our existence a secret, less the aliens discover us and come here to wipe us out. This short article will discuss whether this viewpoint has any merit.
The North American Indians, the South American Indians, the Africans and others, all had something very real to fear once the Europeans got to their land, so it is understandable that earthlings, like Hawking, might fear aliens arriving at this planet. This fear stems mainly from superimposing human mentality on the aliens, not to mention watching a lot of Star Trek and Star War movies. Obviously, it is really mandatory for Hollywood to change the aliens into man-eating predators for purely business reasons: carnivorous aliens sell more theater tickets than benevolent aliens.
There is certainly, however, a noticeable distinction between Europe and the other continents on the one hand, and between Alien Spacecraft and Earth on the other. The distinction is distance. To arrive at another continents, the Europeans only needed some relatively primitive sailboats. As well as the aliens to reach Earth, dozens or numerous light years away, they would need quite sophisticated spacecraft. The critical question, therefore, is: Can a barbarous civilization develop higher technology?
Human history fails to support the concept it is feasible for barbarians to accomplish higher technology. The two most barbarous epochs in human history were a) the tens of thousands of years preceding the dawn of civilization, and b) the thousand-year period after the fall from the Roman empire. In both epochs, technological progress was virtually nil. Only when human civilization became less barbarous, with the demise of rule by hereditary delinquents referred to as royalty, using the demise of slavery, with all the spread of education towards the masses, and the like, should we start to see technological progress.
Without a doubt, there could be complete degenerates in space but they must be absolutely nothing to fear as it is unlikely that they may ever be able to leave their very own planet not to mention survive the nuclear weapons stage should they ever have that far. Technological barbarians, such as the Klingons of Star Trek, might only happens to Hollywood and nowhere else. Now another question arises: Are friendly aliens something to fear?
Some have suggested that contact with aliens would cause a dramatic upheaval in human society. My opinion on this is: Not really. Perhaps decades ago there could have been some commotion however, not today. More than sixty many years of ancient astronaut and UFO propaganda has produced a world in which alien contact may grow to be yet another news event. When it comes to “upheaval,” I will think of three things which might happen:
1) The armaments industry might be affected. Knowing that advanced alien civilizations exist, it is likely that humans will want to bind together being a species and will stop killing one another. Indeed, it appears virtually confident that wars between humans will come for an end, as well as the countries from the Middle East will finally make peace. Jobs within the armaments industry would need to be moved to infrastructure, space exploration, and consumer-related industries.
2) Social structures might be affected. Disparities involving the developed world and also the third world may begin to melt away as well as other inequities in human society. We shall likely see higher taxes on the usvyot and a lot more focus on education, technological development, as well as the colonization of outer space.
3) Organized religions could be affected. Fundamentalist concepts like creation could be pushed into the background, but overall, religions may continue to proliferate as being a mechanism for consolation and moral guidance.
Hawking acknowledges that aliens could have extremely advanced technology. The key flaw in his thinking is not really realizing that such technology can be used to find methods for self-sustenance excluding the barbaric plundering of inhabited planets. The possibility that SETI (Look for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will ultimately get an alien signal is certainly not to fear and, for the contrary, might even be something to welcome.