Stephen Hawking, the noted physicist, has expressed an in-depth personal fear of aliens, so much in fact that he hinted that we should stop searching for them, stop mailing 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, therefore it is understandable that earthlings, like Hawking, might fear aliens visiting 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 transform 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 also 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. But also for the aliens to arrive at Earth, dozens or numerous light years away, they could need quite sophisticated spacecraft. The critical question, therefore, is: Can a barbarous civilization develop higher technology?
Human history will not support the notion that it is actually possible for barbarians to achieve 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 of the Roman empire. Both in epochs, technological progress was virtually nil. Only if human civilization became less barbarous, using the demise of rule by hereditary delinquents called royalty, with the demise of slavery, with the spread of education to the masses, and the like, can we begin to see technological progress.
Without a doubt, there might be complete degenerates outside in space but they ought to be absolutely nothing to fear as it is unlikely that they may ever be able to leave their own planet let alone survive the nuclear weapons stage if they ever get that far. Technological barbarians, such as the Klingons of Star Trek, may possibly happens to Hollywood and nowhere else. Now another question arises: Are friendly aliens something to fear?
Some have suggested that exposure to aliens would result in a dramatic upheaval in human society. My opinion on this is: Not necessarily. Perhaps decades ago there could have been some commotion however, not today. More than sixty numerous years of ancient astronaut and UFO propaganda has produced a world where alien contact may turn out to be just another news event. With regards to “upheaval,” I can think about three things which might happen:
1) The armaments industry may be affected. Knowing that advanced alien civilizations exist, chances are that humans would want to bind together as a species and can stop killing each other. Indeed, it seems virtually sure that wars between humans will come to an end, as well as the countries in the Middle East will finally make peace. Jobs inside the armaments industry would need to be moved to infrastructure, space exploration, and consumer-related industries.
2) Social structures might be affected. Disparities in between the developed world and also the third world may begin to melt away along with other inequities in human society. We shall likely see higher taxes on the usvyot and more awareness of education, technological development, and also the colonization of outer space.
3) Organized religions might be affected. Fundamentalist concepts like creation could be pushed into the background, but overall, religions may continue to proliferate being a mechanism for consolation and moral guidance.
Hawking acknowledges that aliens could have extremely advanced technology. The main flaw in his thinking will not be understanding that such technology may be used to find methods for self-sustenance not including the barbaric plundering of inhabited planets. The possibility that SETI (Hunt for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will eventually get an alien signal is certainly not to fear and, for the contrary, may even be something to welcome.