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Intelligent life is more likely to be like the Borg than Vulcans, according to Stephen Hawking. Hawking says humans should try to avoid contact with intelligent aliens.  (Source: National Geographic)
Don't count on friendly aliens, like ET, says Hawking; they're likely looking to conquer, colonize, and exploit

Stephen Hawking, 68, has long suffered from a motor neurone disease that has extremely limited his powers of communication and movement, but that has never stopped him from  making important contributions to scientific theory.  Hawking just finished up a three-year project, a TV series called Stephen Hawking's Universe, which will air on Sunday May 9 at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel.

In the show he will offer up some controversial assessments on extraterrestrial life and what it might be like.  

Hawking is a firm believer that alien life does exist.  The universe contains hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of millions of stars, many which have been shown to have planets in orbit.  Numbers virtually guarantee that life has evolved elsewhere, Hawking believes.  He states, "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.  The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like."

So what might these extraterrestrial species be like?  Hawking believes that most are likely "simple" species, similar to those that have evolved on Earth; ranging from microbes to land animals.

However, Hawking believes there is likely intelligent life out there.  And he's frightened by that possibility.

The aliens in Hawking's vision would be much like the malefic beasties in the blockbuster science-fiction flick 
Independence Day.  He describes, "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 colonize whatever planets they can reach."

He says that humans should try to avoid alien contact as we colonize space.  He states that such contact would be "a little too risky".  What would result?  He states, "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."

In addition to his theories about vicious aliens, Hawking suggests that based on examples of life surviving on Earth in extreme environments, life could be found in unbelievable places, such as in the center of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

Hawking's colleagues concur on this point.  Lord Martin Rees, a British royal astrophysicist, told his students in lecture earlier this year that humans might not be able to recognize or understand forms of life they stumble across in space.  He states, "I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive.  Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains."

How close could primitive life be?  Professor Brian Cox, University of Manchester's "rockstar physicist" suggests we look in our own solar backyard.  He says that Mars, Europa (a moon of Jupiter), and Titan (a moon of Saturn) are likely places to find it.



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We will not...
By Amiga500 on 4/26/2010 9:54:47 AM , Rating: 5
Go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

As long as will smith is around, no worries of alien invasions ;-)




RE: We will not...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/26/2010 10:04:15 AM , Rating: 5
"Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo. You got me out here draggin' your heavy ass through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad... and what the hell is that smell!!??"

;-)


RE: We will not...
By Anoxanmore on 4/26/2010 10:48:58 AM , Rating: 5
"I coulda been at a barbeque."

"But I ain't mad."

=^-^=


RE: We will not...
By Motoman on 4/26/2010 11:36:51 AM , Rating: 5
You did NOT shoot that green sh1t at me!?


RE: We will not...
By Chernobyl68 on 4/26/2010 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
Who's the man? Huh? Who's the man? Wait till I get another plane! I'm a line ya friends up right beside you! Where ya at, huh? Where ya at?


RE: We will not...
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/26/2010 10:33:39 AM , Rating: 1
This is the only reason to keep Steve Jobs around by feeding the Apple machine... apparently only a Mac will be up to the challenge of uploading the computer virus needed to save humanity.

He's smug, arrogant, and refuses to wear anything but turtlenecks, but one day we'll be thankful that Apple didn't go belly up.


RE: We will not...
By gamerk2 on 4/26/2010 10:49:17 AM , Rating: 3
Then when the Mac tries to interface, it will break horrifically due to lack of third party device drivers.

Woops...forgot Macs aren't good for interfacing with non-Mac devices, or the fact the OS is full of holes...


RE: We will not...
By icanhascpu on 4/26/2010 2:57:56 PM , Rating: 3
See that, people? The mac could save all humanity and people would still find a reason to b1tch about it :P


RE: We will not...
By themaster08 on 4/26/2010 6:15:15 PM , Rating: 5
See that, people? This article has nothing to do with the Mac and people still manage to find a way to bitch about it :P


RE: We will not...
By MadMan007 on 4/26/2010 2:29:10 PM , Rating: 1
But aliens will use Flash and only be vulnerable to Flash exploits. By the time we encounter aliens Flash will have been banished from all of Macland, or hipster space explorers will only use iStuff with no Flash, therefore Apple devices will be of no use. Besides which, not only do Apple devices not get viruses, they are immune to even being carriers of viruses.


RE: We will not...
By General Disturbance on 4/26/2010 5:06:32 PM , Rating: 1
We already have been invaded and enslaved.

Elohim.


RE: We will not...
By Sazar on 4/26/2010 6:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
Begging your pardon my good sir, but I do declare that it was Jeff Goldblum and his fantastic "give it a cold" theory that brought down the evil aliens. AND he detected it first.

As long as good ol Jeff's around, we don't have to worry about aliens or dinosaurs. Bugs on the other hand, different story.

And, Will Smith was basically driving miss Daisy to do the deed in Independence day ;)


RE: We will not...
By Gul Westfale on 4/26/2010 7:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
xenu will save us!


RE: We will not...
By tmouse on 4/27/2010 7:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
But who will save us from Jeff Goldblum ?


Colonization
By Kunou on 4/26/2010 12:29:23 PM , Rating: 3
I can believe there's intelligent life out there, that it might develop the resources to undertake interstellar travel, and that by then it will have outgrown the resources of its home planet. I find it less likely that such life will be looking to colonize ours. A society with the capabilities for that sort of construction and travel will find far more resources from asteroids, comets, moons with limited gravity wells, and so on, and and more living space in artificial constructions than on planetary surfaces Even past that, adjusting alien biospheres to be compatible will likely be as hard as constructing orbital habitats.

Assuming aliens would want a planet is a bit like bats seeing modern humans moving into town and thinking we're going to kick them out of the cave since otherwise we'd have to sleep outside. It would have been true before we learned to build houses.

Now, once we move beyond the planetary surface ourselves, more advanced competition out there could be very bad for us indeed. But we'll need to get there before we worry too much about it.




RE: Colonization
By MadMan007 on 4/26/2010 2:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting point. You're saying that to worry about some aliens coming and attacking earth for resources we have to assume that they are both irrational, because the cost:benefit is worse than going for 'free' resources, and further that they are malevolent, because in order to get the more costly resources they must be willing to 'attack.'


RE: Colonization
By lightfoot on 4/26/2010 4:19:01 PM , Rating: 1
Some observations:
1. Alien intelligence may not be able to recognize us as life forms. Or they may not care that we are life forms.
2. Just because intersteller travel is possible does not mean that life in space is desirable.
3. Terraforming may be less cost prohibitive than in-space habitation.

The bottom line is that if aliens visit our solar system it will be for a reason. No matter how you look at interstellar travel, it will not be cheap.

If we sent a multigenerational or sleeper ship over the vast distances to reach even the nearest star it would likely be for colonization. If life existed in that system we may not know it until we get there. Then the question becomes, do you proceed with the mission or turn back? Keep in mind that the resources to return may not be available. If the life encountered in the other system was unrecognizable, what would prevent terraforming and other colonization activities from commencing?

What would happen to us if aliens tried terraforming Earth? If a giant machine were dropped into our atmosphere that started generating vast amounts of chlorine gas or sulfur dioxide?

Don't believe for one moment that the aliens would have a "Prime Directive" and would value the life on our planet over the life on their ship. If forced to make the choice they would choose themselves, just as we would.


RE: Colonization
By bh192012 on 4/26/2010 8:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, it will not be cheap. Certainly not worth it for conquering purposes, it would make much more sense to terraform a nearby system. Unless you think advanced aliens live nearby and we haven't detected them, and they haven't detected us yet.... which I consider impossible. We can already detect rocky planets in other star systems. Trust me, if a civilization exists that could fly here and conquer us, they already know we're here. (Hey look, our ginormous telescope detected free oxygen and CFC's on that goldilocks rocky planet.) That leaves equally advanced or primitive neighbors at best. Anything advanced either knows we're here already or they're so far away that it doesn't matter.


RE: Colonization
By lightfoot on 4/26/2010 11:13:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Certainly not worth it for conquering purposes, it would make much more sense to terraform a nearby system.

It is so cost prohibitive that it would not be worth it for any purpose. My only point is that if aliens somehow did arrive here it would be just as costly to leave. They wouldn't leave under any circumstance. They would establish a permanent colony or die trying - again just as we would.

You seriously overestimate our ability to detect life, we can detect atoms and molecules through the use of spectral analysis, not direct observation. Some molecules like water, free oxygen and methane may be good indicators that life is possible, but life would be VERY difficult to confirm. Even if life was detected it would only make the destination planet that much more desirable (both from a scientific and colonization stand point.)

And lastly just because life is confirmed, does not mean that compassion will be shown to that life form. Just look at how humans use every other species on this planet. So what if we are intelligent? So are dogs. If we were lucky we might be kept as pets. If we weren't lucky we would become work animals (like horses, donkeys or elephants.) And every one of those examples are mammals like us, toward which we show an incredible amount of compassion due to their similarities to us. Imagine if we were thought of as insects - or worse - what compassion would be shown then?

More likely than anything else, the aliens wouldn't give us much thought. We would be an obstacle to be overcome, not even worthy of being considered a rival.

My main point is that we show the most compassion to beings that we have the most in common with. It is highly unlikely that we would be in any way similar with a species that evolved on a totally different planet. Compassion is not a given. More likely are fear and misunderstanding, neither of which are conducive to building a lasting peace.

It is entirely possible that a significantly more advanced civilization could even wipe us out purely by accident.


cosmic roadblock
By invidious on 4/26/2010 10:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to know what Hawking has to say about the concept of a cosmic road block.

For those unfamiliar, it is the idea that we use our planet's resources faster than they replenish and that those resources are finite. So we have a finite amount of time to either learn how to use resources slower than they replenish or learn how to utilize the resources of other planets. There would also eventually be another cosmic road block relative to our solar system and perhaps gallaxy.




RE: cosmic roadblock
By Hafgrim on 4/26/2010 11:04:13 AM , Rating: 3
Cosmic roadblocks, interesting! Just like in Starcraft when you run out of resource & ore its game over... Only on a much bigger scale!

I say let USA not just land on asteroid Apophis with astronauts, but let us slow it down and drop it into earth orbit and onto one of our deserts or lakes for recovery that would be the ultimate resource drop. The ultimate show of human creativity & ingenuity and whos the boss - space rocks or humans! =)


RE: cosmic roadblock
By bodar on 4/26/2010 4:34:21 PM , Rating: 3
As cool as that would be if we could somehow pull it off, all I can think of is: how do you tell the world that you're totally sorry, but you dropped an asteroid somewhere on the planet?

"Oops, my bad?"


By PAPutzback on 4/26/2010 9:55:18 AM , Rating: 2
Is this really common knowledge? I'll have to ask my mom if they talk about this in The Villages.




By invidious on 4/26/2010 10:18:08 AM , Rating: 3
I think his point more the limits of perceptions and understanding on a biological level. A human brain is capable of understanding quanum theory, even if most humans chose not to learn it. A chimp's brain can not capable of understand quantum theory regardless of effort or training.


By thorr2 on 4/30/2010 2:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
even a caveman can do it!


If you're living in Buenos Aires
By corduroygt on 4/26/2010 10:54:53 AM , Rating: 5
I suggest you move out soon...




RE: If you're living in Buenos Aires
By bodar on 4/26/2010 5:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm doing my part... are you? Would you like to know more?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMTz9nIUkGc


The Ignorance is overwhelming.
By VelociRapture on 4/26/2010 5:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
What is truly amazing, is reading these posts by some people (for the sake of having some class I won't point them out) that think their little brains can fathom whether there is or is not such a thing as life elsewhere, and best of all, anything about them. The paradox in what one person in particular wrote is truly amusing, first he points out how essentially foolish Mr. Hawkins is for his Colombus statement and how he is extrapolating from what we know of ourselves, (not to mention the need to attach political views, lol) and proceeds to detail how they would not need this, or act like so, as if he was not extrapolating from what he thinks he knows of people. Obviously, without knowing and aliens, I'm not sure he is qualified to state how a completely alien race would behave or not. Apparently, the mere thought that they could travel long distances somehow means A, B, and C.
It's nice to come up with cute theories, but it's much more honest and open minded to simple acknowledge that you haven't the foggiest idea what an alien race would do if they came here. If there are lots of different alien races out there, there is a decent chance that they would not all be benevolent, you think? We may luck out and encounter one that would want to help us, one that may turn away in disgust, and one that wouldnt think twice of squishing us like the little tiny ape descended life forms we are. (Apparently just because they have high tech, its not possible thay they may want to acquire us and add us to their dominion or anything, noooooo, just unthinkable!)
We think we know a lot, but there is a lot more we don't know. If anything about the predicted scope of space is true, we're akin to the size of a dust mite compared to the size of the planet.
It all boils down to a simple point: we don't know. The day we know may be a really good day or a really bad day.




RE: The Ignorance is overwhelming.
By AssBall on 4/27/2010 5:32:48 AM , Rating: 3
Although I think I can agree with what your point might have been, your post was so hard to read that by the time I was done with it the 3rd time, I was angry because of the ineptitude in which you presented it.


By VelociRapture on 4/27/2010 10:30:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I want to agree 100% with you, but you're right, it is not an easy to read post at all, lol.
You did make me laugh out loud here though, thank you!
I'll have to work on eschewing obfuscation!


Hawking is not the first to warn us
By WinstonSmith on 4/26/2010 10:38:58 AM , Rating: 3
Back in the 70s when a message to ET was transmitted from the Arecibo radiotelescope, some other scientist warned that this probably wasn't a good idea. Don't recall his or her name.




RE: Hawking is not the first to warn us
By AssBall on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hawking is not the first to warn us
By AssBall on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
By AssBall on 4/27/2010 4:39:33 AM , Rating: 2
If you guys would have read the original stuff that Mr. Hawking suggested, or watched his new program, my crappy joke would have made more sense to you downrating whores.

Paraphrasing, He suggested that it could be likely that many civilizations that evolve in a competitive environment could be like a short fuse once they discovered how to screw around with nuclear energy. He said that maybe when dudes learn E=mc^2 they tend to blow themselves up and have to start over.

I just threw ET and botox in there because its funny as hell to me, and Al Gore in there because it was random and stupid. Jeez... settle down and lighten up.


Ancient Aliens on History Channel
By tviceman on 4/26/2010 1:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone watching this series about the Pyramids, Puma Punku, the Aztecs, Easter Island, etc.? I personally don't see how we HAVEN'T been heavily visited by aliens. Perhaps they were around to help out our early civilizations build stuff, only to see that the tech they let us borrow was perverted by our people for evil use, so they backed off.

Honestly, with billions and billions of planets and stars, I don't think a super advanced alien race would waste time killing us off just to harvest our resources when so many other planets exist. I could be wrong, but just saying...




By MadMan007 on 4/26/2010 2:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, your first paragraph made me think of the many ancient mythologies where the 'gods' give humans some form of technology, such as fire from Prometheus, but that ultimately resulted in their demise because with the technology humans no longer needed gods.


Hawking Stephen's Universe
By US56 on 4/26/2010 3:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
We've been hearing about that series for a while and this is the best thing they have to hype it? If he's right then it may already be too late. We've been broadcasting RF for over a hundred years and if they missed that then those big EMP events in the forties, fifties, and sixties should have done the trick. They may already be on their way. That is, if they haven't already been here.




RE: Hawking Stephen's Universe
By JediJeb on 4/26/2010 5:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't it on already this weekend? I think the date is wrong.


Too much ID4 for Hawking...
By sleepeeg3 on 4/29/2010 2:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, lets think about this logically... Aliens that have perfected faster than light travel will surely have already found a virtually unlimited energy resource (fission?). There are likely tons of lifeless planets that they could use to harvest whatever resources they need so wiping out ours seems unlikely. However, the one thing that they will likely not be able to do is manufacture complex lifeforms - which is where we come in. More likely they would look at us in the same way we look at the less intelligent animals of our planet - novelty objects to put in a zoo! Maybe those hillbilly's in the midwest have something to their alien abduction theories after all...




By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/2010 9:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
Finally something that makes sense.
I've thought for years that if life forms should visit us and decide we're not worthy to live, WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
I mean, faster than light travel and they have to worry about some 18K mph nuclear missiles? On the other hand, they'd be laughing their asses off so hard at our puny attempts at defense that they'd probably leave us alone.

It'd be like that scene in the Jojo Dancer movie where he tries to intimidate the mob with a starter pistol. Guys just laughed their asses off and gave him some money. True life Richard Pryor story.

Honestly, as big as the universe is, we'd be lucky to find each other....


I'm switching careers...
By Spivonious on 4/26/2010 9:45:55 AM , Rating: 3
...to rock-star physicist!




Woe...
By McGixxer on 4/26/2010 9:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
you just blew my F'n mind man ;)




By Fenixgoon on 4/26/2010 11:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to…toil in their underground sugar caves.




What about them?
By DXRick on 4/26/2010 1:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
If we find them first, I pity them! Can you imagine what we would do to them, given our history? :P




Its not a stretch...
By callmeroy on 4/26/2010 1:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
to predict what Hawking is saying. I mean seriously how hard is the concept that alien life forms if they exist (I believe they do) wouldn't want to seek out more resources?

As to the "debate" (I hardly think there is one) whether aliens exist or not --- first....the proper phrasing on our human knowledge is either "according to what we know" or "we think".

We think the universe is 13.75 billion years old....we aren't certain.

According to what we know its not feasible to exceed the speed of light.

The size of the universe can't be comprehended by us.

Can you honestly tell me you can understand how vast 5 trillion miles are? That's about the amount of distance light travels in a single year. Our galaxy alone is 100,000 light years across (....we think. :) )

So the universe is a super big place.....you want me to believe we are the only kids on the block?

I'd sooner believe Sarah Palin will be our next president!

(or that the Eagles will ever win a Super Bowl)

The funny thing --- we REALLY don't know much about the universe at all, so saying "I don't believe we are alone the universe is too big...there are too many planets..." is just as credible as some seasoned scientist with 50 degrees and a mountain of research saying why he believes or (doesn't) that aliens exist.




We're already in deep crap
By YashBudini on 4/26/2010 2:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
With radio waves broadcasting Sarah Palin every species out there will to the conclusion we're all idiots.




Not sure if this has been said
By jjmcubed on 4/26/2010 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
This really isn't news. This might have been said again, but he has been preaching the same for years.




Mass Effect
By rudolphna on 4/26/2010 12:11:51 PM , Rating: 1
Hopefully if there IS alien life, most of it would be similar to what they are in this game, not Independence day. Hell, all we need to do is go to mars, dig around the south pole, and off we go! And doncha know that Pluto's moon, charon, is actually a Mass Relay? PAh.




Aliens..
By vladio on 4/26/2010 1:03:19 PM , Rating: 1
Aliens...uuuu
From the trillions-and-trillions of theoretical possibilities...this is a few.
But, Before You get too excited..
REAL,DATA on the subject..(In layman’s terms)very little,if any.
it's just opinions...
Highly sophisticated in some ways,remarkably crude in others.
Bottom line:Expect the Unexpected.
p.s.
What we can learn from what we don't know?!
/*All opinions are mine only -VJO*/




Dane Cook's prediction
By Zerovoltage on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
Really?
By Proxes on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
BREAKING NEWS!
By Quadrillity on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By xler8r on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By Quadrillity on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By callmeroy on 4/26/2010 1:49:16 PM , Rating: 4
No its not that.

We just hate you.


RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By Quadrillity on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By Anoxanmore on 4/26/2010 4:44:31 PM , Rating: 1
The cake is a lie...

=^-^=


RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By Quadrillity on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
Disagree
By wgbutler on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Disagree
By amanojaku on 4/26/2010 10:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
How about a more practical approach: would aliens give a crap about Earth? As a race:

1) We're too stupid; we have brains that we just don't use
2) We're too weak; slaves need to be hardier than our fragile bodies
3) We're too poor; Earth's natural resources are scarce

I'm with Trey Parker and Matt Stone: aliens just want to see us on TV.


RE: Disagree
By Mitch101 on 4/26/2010 11:04:20 AM , Rating: 4
As one scientist put it.

An alien race capable of traveling across the universe isn't interested in talking with us. Its the equivalent of us wanting to talk to the ants.


RE: Disagree
By freeagle on 4/26/2010 11:09:44 AM , Rating: 3
yet there are some people fascinated by ants and are studying them as part of their job... I don't think we would be as uninteresting as you think


RE: Disagree
By Motoman on 4/26/2010 11:38:16 AM , Rating: 5
...just think of the size of the magnifying glasses they must have. We can't repel magnification of that magnitude!


RE: Disagree
By MadMan007 on 4/26/2010 2:41:12 PM , Rating: 3
That's why they abduct and anally probe us. There's a lot of 'shit' to discover ;)


RE: Disagree
By MegaHustler on 4/26/2010 11:13:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're right. As long as we keep up those Single Female Lawyer episodes, we're probably going to be alright.


RE: Disagree
By Hieyeck on 4/26/2010 12:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
We're hardly poor in resources, but then any alien race capable of travelling across light years wouldn't need resources. They'd mine a rock closer to them and probably use nanotech to make whatever they need. All they need is matter is a star close by.

Which is what we're going to end up doing - Strip mine Mars/Venus and turn Mercury into a giant power plant to juice up nano-factories.


RE: Disagree
By OrSin on 4/26/2010 10:41:42 AM , Rating: 2
Those same scientist says the odds of life happen are so low that we should not even exist. So guess what. They are wrong. I would not put much faith is their "odd assumptions".
The laws of physics is re-evaluated every few years, at least of on the quantum level. Already they have found particles that can move faster then the speed of light. Don't let the chimpanzee in you show though. :)


RE: Disagree
By edywolfy on 4/26/2010 11:42:00 AM , Rating: 3
If you take earth's first appearance of life as an example, i would say life is a probable concept given the minimum proper circunstances. I mean, as soon as planet earth cooled down, like 4 billion years ago, the first self reproducting molecules appeared.

If life chances of happening are so low, i think earth would be floating around empty some more billions of years.

Theres always that theory that life was transported to earth by a meteor.

Or we could be the lucky ones i guess.


RE: Disagree
By freeagle on 4/26/2010 10:44:55 AM , Rating: 2
Assuming life does exist out there, his prediction might not be that far from truth. Every organism needs resources to survive. The more intelligent it is, the more it needs ( true, I have only one specie to draw this conclusion from ). But there are symbiotic relationships between species, and it is also probable that that we see as a waste might be resource to them.

Now to the point of life existing out there or not... Both sides have interesting and, to an extent, valid points, but none has anything to base it on. We do not know how life is created. It might be simple and spontaneous in almost every environment, or extremly rare event. You can choose what feels right for you, you can believe it, but that wont make it true.


RE: Disagree
By gamerk2 on 4/26/2010 10:47:15 AM , Rating: 3
Depends; there are plenty of Physics theories which permit FTL travel, and even Quantam Mechanics provides mechanisms for transporation between two places at a FTL pace (Wormholes, etc). And lets not forget the all mighty time dilation...

The odds of life elsewhere are pretty high; its basically chemistry, get something that does nothing but replicate itself, throw in evolution, and viola!


RE: Disagree
By Xavi3n on 4/26/2010 10:48:33 AM , Rating: 5
To be honest, we cant even say how the universe works properly (Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Dark Aether come to mind), so who is to say that we have a complete understanding of the universe and the physics that lie within?

Every-time we come up with a theory about how things work in the Universe we find something that shatters those theories, so who is to say there isn't a way to travel faster than light? to think we know the Universe so completely, is utterly presumptuous, most physicists would laugh you out of the room for those types of ideas, there is ALWAYS more to learn, there are things in the Universe that just dont jive with the laws of physics.

Finally, if the chance of Intelligent Life developing on other worlds is even 0.0001%, there will still be hundreds of thousands of civilisations in this galaxy alone, let alone the Universe as a whole.

Also, I find Stephen Hawkins theories to be rather weak, he's looking at Aliens through what we know and what we did, Aliens could very well do things for reasons that would seem completely Alien (lol) to us, so they might help us, study us or conquer us, but I don't think conquering is just a certain outcome.


RE: Disagree
By haukionkannel on 4/26/2010 12:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, I find Stephen Hawkins theories to be rather weak, he's looking at Aliens through what we know and what we did, Aliens could very well do things for reasons that would seem completely Alien (lol) to us, so they might help us, study us or conquer us, but I don't think conquering is just a certain outcome.


Well I think that Hawkins tells more about us. If I would be a space alien I would not like to meet any Earthers. Because the Earthers are guite dangerous race...

We can not say anything about extraterrestial life and what kind of "persons" they are, but we are capable of analysing humans and basically that is what Hawkins has done here... Our history as on "outsider visitors" in new areas has not been very pretty.


RE: Disagree
By HighWing on 4/26/2010 2:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
According to the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy earth is:

"Harmless"

A recent revised entry states:

"Mostly Harmless"


RE: Disagree
By icrf on 4/26/2010 3:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
I can't for the life of me find it, but I saw a video within the last year of Hawking answering a similar question. His then response was something akin to:

Yes, intelligent life almost certainly exists, but it's not very likely we'll ever come into contact with it. If our history is any indication, advanced civilizations tend to self-destruct. The odds of intelligent life living close enough to us to reach us before their civilization falls is not very high.


RE: Disagree
By Ard on 4/26/2010 10:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
I would say the numbers are against you. Even if we surmise that the chances of life forming are one in a billion, that still leaves a billion times life will form/evolve (and that's taking the low estimate, as the high end estimates that there are a trillion, billion planets in the universe based on what we've observed so far).

As to the ability of sentient life to reach us, I would simply look to the anthropic principle (taken out of context for this example but useful nonetheless). If aliens were able to reach us, it is undoubtedly the case that they would have the technological means to do so. It also goes without saying that they would be far more intelligent than our species. And, when you get right down to it, if an alien species developed closer in time to the formation of the universe (there's about a 9 billion year gap between the age of earth and the age of the universe), it makes sense that they would be more intelligent because they would potentially have millions to billions of years of a head start on us.

While it's certainly delving into the realm of science fiction at the moment, who says that there isn't an ability to bend (or warp to use Star Trek parlance) space to effectively travel faster than light without breaking that "law". Just because we can't fathom, now, how to traverse ridiculous expanses of space in a reasonable time period, doesn't mean that we won't be able to someday.

All that to say, I think it's definitely more likely than not that there is other life in the universe of some of that life will undoubtedly be sentient. Is there any proof yet? Of course not. That's why I don't say it in absolute terms (nor do you in taking the opposite position). It's simply more likely that there is than there isn't based on the numbers. For me to think otherwise is to take a very egocentric and irrational approach to the sheer vastness of the universe.


RE: Disagree
By Aloonatic on 4/26/2010 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said...


RE: Disagree
By Ard on 4/26/2010 11:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
Why did you guys rate him down? He didn't say anything ridiculous. He just doesn't think it's likely for there to be other life and he questions the ability to travel millions of light years without dropping dead due to old age first.


RE: Disagree
By Lucid48 on 4/26/2010 11:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
The Emperor of Mankind needs to show him self. Show us the Imperial truth and prepare us from the coming onslaught. We must destroy all xenos scum and take our rightful place in this galaxy!

Tha hadron collider will allow us to unlock the secrets of the warp and move to victory!


RE: Disagree
By aegisofrime on 4/26/2010 11:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
One of the problems I have with his post is this:

" There is probably no other life in the universe, certainly not intelligent life, as the likelihood of life of any kind evolving from chemicals is so prohibitively low that it has probably never happened anywhere else."

Prohibitively low... Based on what evidence? We do not know of one other Earth-like planet. So how can he make that kind of statement when the knowledge that we have of the Universe is frankly, pathetic?


RE: Disagree
By Lucid48 on 4/26/2010 11:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly...our galaxy it self is almost so large we can barely comprehed it......knowing that there are billions of gallaxies....now thats absurd to think that nothing else would not be there is such a vast amount of space.


RE: Disagree
By wgbutler on 4/26/2010 1:07:57 PM , Rating: 1
The reason why they rated me down is because they want me to be wrong. They like the science fiction movies and want things like Star Trek and Star Wars to be true.

For that matter, I love science fiction too. I'd love for there to be other habitable planets that we could reasonably travel to and colonize. It would be awesome if there were other intelligent species in the universe that we could communicate with and learn from.

Unfortunately, none of that is true. Mankind will never leave this solar system, nor will any space aliens come to visit us in our solar system. Nor will we ever colonize Mars or Venus, to say nothing of the other planets, although I guess its possible that we could eventually put some kind of a small base on Mars kind of like we have in Antarctica, if we ever got our act together and decided to seriously push the space program.

wgbutler


RE: Disagree
By darkweasel on 4/26/2010 3:08:17 PM , Rating: 3
I think they rated you down because you have a fairly negative tone and you state "as fact" things that are your opinion.


RE: Disagree
By aegisofrime on 4/26/2010 3:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly that:

"Unfortunately, none of that is true. Mankind will never leave this solar system, nor will any space aliens come to visit us in our solar system. Nor will we ever colonize Mars or Venus, to say nothing of the other planets, although I guess its possible that we could eventually put some kind of a small base on Mars kind of like we have in Antarctica, if we ever got our act together and decided to seriously push the space program."

What reason do you have for saying that? You can see into the future? Your omniscience tells you that we are absolutely alone in the universe?


RE: Disagree
By JediJeb on 4/26/2010 5:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately, none of that is true. Mankind will never leave this solar system, nor will any space aliens come to visit us in our solar system. Nor will we ever colonize Mars or Venus, to say nothing of the other planets, although I guess its possible that we could eventually put some kind of a small base on Mars kind of like we have in Antarctica, if we ever got our act together and decided to seriously push the space program.


Mankind will never fly.
Mankind will never fly faster than the speed of sound.
Mankind will never escape the atmosphere.
Mankind will never reach the moon.

Nobody truly knows the limits to Mankind's abilities.


RE: Disagree
By iano80 on 4/26/2010 7:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
The earth is only a few thousand years old (give or take).

the earth was created in six days

Mankind was the first living thing.

Everything revolves around the earth.

Mankind will never fly.

There's nothing smaller than the atom.

The concept of superluminal travel is impossible.


RE: Disagree
By HighWing on 4/26/2010 2:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
To put it bluntly, the reason he's rated down is because he "is" wrong. I know he just posted that we "want" him to be wrong, but the truth is he is wrong by the simple fact that he assumes he is right.

As it's already been stated there is hard evidence to prove mathematically that there "is" life somewhere out there. However, to assume that is right is debatable, which is his argument. But to assume it's wrong is also far from the right as well, as the simple truth is we do not know for sure one way or the other. So to just assume one side is right over the other is scientifically wrong, as even in testing most scientists do allow for the possibility to be wrong. These scientists will say that they "believe" this to be true and that there is evidence to "suggest" that it is true. But ask them if they are 100% positive it's a fact, and I bet you they would then go back to saying the evidence "could" support that. Simply meaning, it's not a fact, and to assume so is wrong!

Secondly he was also rated down because as he stated. "Physics says that faster then light speed is impossible!" and from that he kinda went on to say that it will never happen. To this all I can say is that at one point in time "Physics" stated that heavier then air flight was not possible! Fact is there are already many possibilities out there that do allow for FTL travel, while they may not be proven facts, the truth is they have not been "unproven" either. Thereby to state that FTL is not possible, is quite simple a false statement. Truth is, science can prove that it might be possible, we just have no means to test it to prove which side "is" fact.

Bottom line is he was rated down because he was assuming that since some people say it's not possible, then it's not, and in a way goes on to say it's pointless to think otherwise. To this all can say is if everyone stopped projects because they were told it's not possible, then we would probably still be living in caves! As many of today's innovations were once thought, "Not Possible"


RE: Disagree
By wgbutler on 4/26/2010 3:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

But ask them if they are 100% positive it's a fact, and I bet you they would then go back to saying the evidence "could" support that. Simply meaning, it's not a fact, and to assume so is wrong!


At some point you have to go with what is within the realm of probability and not get carried away with hypotheticals. There are some very smart people (I've mentioned some names in my other posts) out there saying that the SETI program is a waste of money and should be shut down because the likelihood of another intelligent species existing anywhere else in the Universe is basically NILL.

You can try to argue with them if you like but you have to explain why they are wrong and it is statistically probable that another species of intelligent life exists.

quote:

To this all I can say is that at one point in time "Physics" stated that heavier then air flight was not possible!


I don't think physics ever stated this. The fact of the matter is that anyone could look up in the sky and see birds flying around and realize that heaver than air flight was possible.

quote:

Fact is there are already many possibilities out there that do allow for FTL travel, while they may not be proven facts, the truth is they have not been "unproven" either. Thereby to state that FTL is not possible, is quite simple a false statement. Truth is, science can prove that it might be possible, we just have no means to test it to prove which side "is" fact.


Unless Einstein's theory of special relativity is fundamentally wrong (and its been proven correct over and over again in various experiments), anything with mass travelling faster than the speed of light is physically impossible.

But forget about FTL speed for a moment. We do not even possess the technology to travel at half the speed of light. Even if we focused all of our research and and energies on developing a means to travel at .5C in space, that would take centuries, if not millenia, to accomplish.

And even if we developed the capability to travel at the speed of light itself, that would only make a few of the nearest stars accessible to us (and even then it would take years to get there). The VAST majority of our galaxy would still be out of reach even IF we could travel at the speed of light.

quote:

bottom line is he was rated down...


Actually I don't mind being rated down. I feed off controversy and negative ratings tell me that I've plucked a few nerves... : )

quote:

To this all can say is if everyone stopped projects because they were told it's not possible, then we would probably still be living in caves! As many of today's innovations were once thought, "Not Possible"


My position is not that we should stop scientific and technological progress. Quite the contrary.

But I still hold to my position that we will never leave the solar system. Let's be frank here, we can't even balance our national budget and make social security or medicare solvent. And if we can't do those very basic things, colonizing a planet around Alpha Centauri is impossible.

wgbutler


RE: Disagree
By iano80 on 4/26/2010 7:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At some point you have to go with what is within the realm of probability and not get carried away with hypotheticals. There are some very smart people (I've mentioned some names in my other posts) out there saying that the SETI program is a waste of money and should be shut down because the likelihood of another intelligent species existing anywhere else in the Universe is basically NILL.

Conjecture, a tenuous one at best - given the scale of the known universe (and the fact it's already happened once in abundance).

quote:
I don't think physics ever stated this. The fact of the matter is that anyone could look up in the sky and see birds flying around and realize that heaver than air flight was possible.

They looked up at the sky and made the claim with what they knew at the time and were later proven wrong.

quote:
Unless Einstein's theory of special relativity is fundamentally wrong (and its been proven correct over and over again in various experiments), anything with mass travelling faster than the speed of light is physically impossible.

Relativity also allows for wormholes and the manipulation of spacetime. You're partially correct that 'anything with mass travelling faster than the speed of light is physically impossible', this doesn't mean it's impossible for space itself to move faster. I said partially as it does not include particles travelling faster than the speed of light by default (i.e tachyons). Of course the technology to exploit this doesn't exist yet - but then neither did an atomic bomb a mere hundred years ago.

quote:
But I still hold to my position that we will never leave the solar system. Let's be frank here, we can't even balance our national budget and make social security or medicare solvent. And if we can't do those very basic things, colonizing a planet around Alpha Centauri is impossible.

All of our accomplishments so far have been acheived with let's face it far worse social backgrounds. I hate to be this blunt but this argument is dead before it left the ground (pardon the pun).


RE: Disagree
By ghost101 on 4/26/2010 12:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
"So even if they had light speed capable starships it would take thousands of years for them to even travel here."

You do know how long the universe has existed?

Hawking is talking about nomadic aliens who could have become nomads millions of years ago.


RE: Disagree
By Lucid48 on 4/26/2010 12:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is that most humans beleive that things only existed as long as we have.

Like you said the universe is 13.75+ BILLION years old and there are billions of galaxies and trillions of solar systems.....Wake the hell up and open your minds. We are very likely not the only ones in this and there are probobly many civilisations that have or still exist before we ever were.


RE: Disagree
By wgbutler on 4/26/2010 1:24:41 PM , Rating: 1
quote:

Like you said the universe is 13.75+ BILLION years old and there are billions of galaxies and trillions of solar systems


It is true that the Universe is 13.75 billion years old and there are trillions of solar systems. But for a sizeable part of the universe's history any kind of life couldn't have existed for various reasons (the universe was too hot, atoms didn't exist yet, galaxies hadn't formed yet, etc).

Additionally, only spiral galaxies produce the material to make planets, and the vast majority of a spiral galaxy in uninhabitable as any planets near the galactic core (where 95%+ of the stars are) will be fried by galactic radiation while any planets too close to the edge will lack the heavy elements needed to form life. All of the extra-solar planets we have discovered so far are nowhere near being able to support life.

It takes a very special set of conditions for a planet to be habitable for complex life, and the Earth is the only planet we have yet discovered that has these conditions.

For the enthusiasts who love to claim that there are probably hundreds or thousands of intelligent species out there, I suggest looking up "Fermi Paradox" and "Rare Earth Hypothesis". Also read up on the opinions from scientists like Frank Tipler and Francisco Ayala.

What they say makes sense. If you can explain why they are wrong and why things like plentiful Earth-like planets, abiogenesis, advanced macro-evolution from bacteria to intelligent species are probable events in the resources alloted to the Universe, then write up a scientific paper and get published before someone steals your ideas!

And I haven't even touched faster than light travel. If you can disprove the theory of relativity and explain how this is feasible, I'd love to hear it!

wgbutler


RE: Disagree
By Lucid48 on 4/26/2010 1:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose that you have heard of the multiverse and string theories.


RE: Disagree
By iano80 on 4/26/2010 7:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is butler, non of what you've quoted (including relativity) really disprove these events. Plentiful earth like planets don't need to exist - that mere 5% of stars is quite frankly a hell of a lot of stars (and I'm not sure where you can say with certainty only spiral galaxies can contain planets)

As for all the extra-solar planets we've discovered so far - we haven't yet got the resolution to detect objects much smaller than Jupiter around a star, it's WAY, WAY too early to say we won't detect earth size planets. Coupled with the fact we've examined a pathetically minute amount of stars and I'd say your assertion was premature.

As for the Fermi paradox and Rare earth hypothesis there are many reasons not to use the absence of contact as proof we will never encounter intelligent life (not least amongst which the infintesimal amount of time we've been looking).

Of-course I'm not going to say I can prove intelligent life exists, nor am I going to say FTL travel is possible - I have no more evidence than you do. That my friend, is the point.

At this point with our paltry knowledge of the universe to say with definity either way isn't science - it's religion.


RE: Disagree
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/27/2010 10:24:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
TextIt takes a very special set of conditions for a planet to be habitable for complex life, and the Earth is the only planet we have yet discovered that has these conditions.


That is if you assume only life forms like us exist. Maybe in other solars systems there are life forms that look like rocks to us, they need no air, and are so slow we can not seem them move (move a mile in two years). They can live in temps sub 5,000 F and up to 750 F. They live for 100,000 years... Now of course this sounds crazy to us but the point is we do not know all forms of life, so do not assume we know all forms of conditions needed to support life.


RE: Disagree
By callmeroy on 4/26/2010 1:53:41 PM , Rating: 1
That is mind blowing to me....

There are so many stars and planets in the universe is beyond trillions.

Holy crap how much little faith and hope one must lack to write it off as nope "its just us".

All that aside...just for the "fun" of imagining the possibilites..I can't imagine no other life but us.

(As a side note: if we really think we are this special we humans sure have a funny way of expressing our appreciation to our planet....)


RE: Disagree
By wgbutler on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: Disagree
By callmeroy on 4/26/2010 3:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
You are right....the vastness of the universe (that we know of) compared to where we can scan or broadcast (even in terms of light years) is still analogous to comparing a single grain of sand (the amount of space we have the ability to scan,explore or broadcast to) on an entire beach (the universe).

So yeah with that kind of coverage you'd think we'd be getting "hits" of intelligent life all over the place....

:)


RE: Disagree
By wgbutler on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: Disagree
By bh192012 on 4/26/2010 10:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
... or that they see us just fine, detected our oxygen/carbon atmostphere and H20 and have known about a living Earth for billions of years, but their Stephen Hawking spooked them into keeping quiet. If he's going to keep us quiet, and we (like him) use our sample of 1 to extrapolate every other civilization, then we can conclude they're all quietly hiding from us and each other. Fermi-solved, where's my medal.


RE: Disagree
By jjmcubed on 4/26/2010 3:44:38 PM , Rating: 3
So SETI has been going on for what 20 years? Our signals have been going out for no more than 100 years(Radio/TV). As in our signals have only gone out 100 light years. Just our galaxy is 100,000 light years across.

Our signals have gone one billionth into our universe and you know that there is no one else?


RE: Disagree
By Steele on 4/26/2010 3:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they're single-celled protoalienzoa.

Maybe they're aliendinosaur-hunting Paliniens.

Maybe they're still living in caves and terrorizing the alienheathens in the next valley.

Maybe they're nomadic pastoral aliensheepherders.

Maybe their Alienroman Legions are laying siege to barbarians.

Maybe Alien Columbus just discovered Alienmerica.

Maybe they're in the middle of Alienworld War One.

Maybe they've advanced FAR beyond our ability to listen in.

Or maybe you're right and they don't exist.

The universe is too big to use words like "never."


RE: Disagree
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/27/2010 10:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, where are they then? I mean we've been listening for decades for radio waves coming from possible intelligent sources in the SETI program and have come up with zilch so far. Try googling "Fermi paradox" when you get a chance. Also check out:


Oh, I was listening in on my interstellar radio and I did make contact.. sort of. I received a message that said: "Mr. and Mrs. Sellerrrizaukcbacknnowchi, where out to lunch. Call back in 45 earth years."
Dude, think about it, even if we knew where a planet was located with intelligent life we still may not be able to communicate with them. We all live on one single planet and how many different languages, traditions, beliefs, religions, schools of though and such do we have? We have a hard enough time communicating amongst ourselves let alone another form of intelligent life.


RE: Disagree
By jeff834 on 4/27/2010 2:25:31 AM , Rating: 1
You're not entirely correct about your ideas of physics. The laws of physics say it isn't possible for matter to ACCELERATE to the speed of light, but there are many theories for FTL travel that don't involve acceleration at all. Even in science fiction you see some reasonable theories that could be possible one day. The idea of a "warp bubble" that envelops an interstellar ship and then moves space around the ship instead of moving the ship itself. The idea of artificial wormholes is actually described very well in the terrible movie Event Horizon. Basically they say you can travel from one point to another or you can "fold" space to make those two points the same point and travel through a hole to get there. Are those 2 theories science fiction? Of course they are. But there are "science fiction" movies about traveling to the moon before 1969, and in the 18th century we thought flies were spontaneously generated. The moral is we know next to nothing about the universe, and what we think we know about physics and many other things changes almost daily.


No Offense
By Reclaimer77 on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: No Offense
By Amiga500 on 4/26/2010 3:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Man = bad . The premise of any Liberal mind.


What does a man's political view have to do with what is basic historical fact? Is that your prime argument for anyone you do not agree with?

Name one exploration of new areas of earth (by the supposedly civil and comparatively advanced Europeans) that did not go well for the indigenous rival? Australia? South America? North America? Africa*?

*In addition you could talk about the extinction of Neanderthal due to Homo Sapien spread from Africa to Europe thousands of years ago.

As for what we have that they might want.... extended living space on what is a pretty nice planet. Y'know. The exact same reason as that of the Europeans that moved to Australia/South America/North America/Africa....


RE: No Offense
By aegisofrime on 4/26/2010 3:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
I thought one of the assumptions of Liberalism, in international relations at least, is the inherent goodness of humans.

There's a theory that for a species to be able to truly become space-faring, they would have to be united enough to be able to muster the immense resources for serious space exploration and travel. Such unity would mean that either they have learnt to put aside their differences and coexist peacefully, or one of their nations have managed to conquer their world.

Anyway, let's not make any assumptions based on ourselves. We are but one planet out of trillions. I'm surprised that such close-minded words can come out of Stephen Hawking.


RE: No Offense
By Reclaimer77 on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: No Offense
By Frankenshteen on 4/26/2010 6:05:57 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
UUGHH !!! Didn't I already make this distinction? Steven is projecting what would happen if an super advanced alien race came to earth, based on how we handled things THOUSANDS OR HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO when we were less advanced, more ignorant, and less tolerant. Do you understand the problem with this line of thinking??


I must have missed the headline about the global eradication of war for territory.

Hawking was expressing how things might go down based on the only species he is able to use as a frame of reference.

Would things unfold in this manner? Maybe. Maybe not. Noone knows. Not Hawking. Not even you, Reclaimer77.

I don't think Hawking ever claimed to be an expert on extra-terrestrial life.


RE: No Offense
By iano80 on 4/26/2010 6:19:06 PM , Rating: 5
I think the point Stephen is trying to make is that the likelihood of a benevolent race showing up is less than a malevolent one. Imagine the scenarios of 3 advanced (interstellar) races passing by:

Incredibly advanced race A: Neutral - nothing to see here bunch of monkeys, move along.

Incredibly advanced race B: Benevolent - the best thing we can do for these people is leave them alone to develop themselves.

Incredibly advanced race C: Malevolent - nice planet.. useful servile race (if properly motivated).. we'll take it!

Of course you also have to take into account that just because you're advanced doesn't mean you're above hopping across the border if you see something you like (or perceive as a possible future threat). We might have been bad years ago - unfortuntely hundreds/thousands of years later - we're still at it (unless two world wars and several 'minor' conflicts since don't count).

And let's not even start on a 'space religion' - covenant anyone?

It all comes down to who's more likely to make an appearance and why. Stephen seems (rightly or wrongly) to think that maybe we shouldn't stick our heads above the parapet until we can actually compete on something close to a level playing field. I kind-of agree.


RE: No Offense
By bh192012 on 4/26/2010 7:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
As a person with American Indian ancestory I don't get Hawking's point. What about my life is so bad? That I'm not going to die when I get to 33? That I have a nice freezer full of Pizza Pockets? What?


RE: No Offense
By Frankenshteen on 4/26/2010 4:22:08 PM , Rating: 3
Your points are diminished by your misdirected animosity.

Dr. Hawking was merely speculating. I'm not sure why his viewpoint is so absurd to you. His mankind, extra-terrestrial intelligent life analogy makes perfect sense. Read your history. This in not limited to colonial times.

Life in general is opportunistic and a species will do what it must to benefit the continuation of the species. Around the world, introduced species have wrecked havoc on indigenous ecosystems.

Your assumption that an advanced e.t. race capable of and actively engaged in interstellar travel is not in need of or pursuing anything in the universe is, at best, improbable.

quote:
Man = bad . The premise of any Liberal mind. Sigh, I expected so much more from him.


quote:
Ok, ignoring the obvious liberal clique about whites vs. Indians and how terrible "we" are.


Really? Come on. Don't make this into something that it's not.


RE: No Offense
By Reclaimer77 on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: No Offense
By JediJeb on 4/26/2010 5:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is the height of arrogance to claim that our own "history" should be applied when making an assumption about an alien species. This is all speculation . For all we know the "survival instinct" could be something completely foreign to another planet. Just because it works one way on Earth, does NOT mean it's a universal truth. Which is as possibility that shouldn't be hard to grasp for a man like Hawking.


Exactly! Mr. Hawking's is speculating what he believes, and you are speculating what you believe. Since there is no point of reference concerning alien life, then both speculations are equally valid. You can not postulate that one point of view is more valid than the other, so attacking one over the other is wrong. But when you so vehemently attack Mr. Hawking's opinion you are more or less proving his point. If you can become so aggressive over simple words, who is to say equal or greater aggression can not be displayed over something of a much greater importance as an entire planet.


RE: No Offense
By Iaiken on 4/26/2010 6:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can not postulate that one point of view is more valid than the other, so attacking one over the other is wrong.


ZAT IS A BINGO!


RE: No Offense
By Reclaimer77 on 4/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: No Offense
By iano80 on 4/26/2010 6:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
If this was a scientific paper I'd agree, but this is one mans opinion. Even one of your quotes begins with 'I imagine they might'.

He's not saying the universe is full of nasties, he's expressing an opinion that he thinks the odds are they just happen to be the ones that will probably show up and theorising on why. After all, who wants to live on a poxy asteroid when you can live on that nice blue planet with plenty of beachfront property and lots of servants on hand (at least they better be if they don't want another probing).


RE: No Offense
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: No Offense
By Frankenshteen on 4/26/2010 6:48:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
First off, anyone, ANYONE, bringing up the Indians in that way is left of center. I mean, you're joking right? Using the Native American card in a discussion about potential aliens?? Discussion over.


Joking? No. I didn't think of it in terms of race or political ideology until I read your ludicrous post. I read Hawking's quote in the spirit which I believe it was meant. That is, one example out of thousands throughout history where one people conquered another. The only one throwing race cards is you.

quote:
Pursuing what though?? What do we have that "they" could not possibly find on one of their planets, moons, or asteroid??


Your guess is as good as mine. Organic material perhaps. Life feeds on life. To completely dismiss the possibility of an aggressive e-t species with an interest in earth is silly.

quote:
Ya, that's what I thought. You have no idea.


Go change your tampon.

quote:
This is all speculation.


Exactly!


RE: No Offense
By JediJeb on 4/26/2010 4:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Baring the OBVIOUS ripoff of Hollywood this opinion is, it also is a contradiction. You can't have a super advanced space race, capable of massive Star Wars ship technology, who ALSO can't develop renewable resources. Think about it idiot! If you can travel across galaxies, aren't you past the point of needing ANYTHING on your planet that you can't replace, substitute, or engineer? Also, wouldn't you be capable of fixing any problem to the planets environment that you supposedly caused to get to your advanced state in the first place ? The answer to these questions is YES.


Ok I can think of one counter to this. Suppose the aliens have limited time to leave a dying solar system and the engineering they come up with to make it possible involves the cannibalizing of their entire planet, and to continue their travels this technology would require them to continue to cannibalize entire planets to maintain their existence. This would make the answers to those questions NO simply out of necessity.

It has happened here before, that for one civilization to survive it must decimate another. Faced with following a path of utter compassion for others leading to your certain annihilation or a path of destruction of others leading to your survival, most choose the latter out of desperation. Therefore I believe the Mr. Hawking's assumptions are somewhat grounded in logical estimations. How many times do people do the right thing for purely altruistic reasons?


RE: No Offense
By bh192012 on 4/26/2010 8:03:45 PM , Rating: 1
Why would they fly 4,000 light years, passing up countless other systems with more resources to head to the one that would actually resist? Try to understand the size of the universe first, and the amount of energy it would take just to get here.

It's like trying to make the argument that if you get stranded on a deserted island, you shouldn't try to communicate to the outside world, because they may come kill you and take your 1 palm tree. Aliens do not want our resources period. I could at least accept an argument that they hate other creatures (religiously?) not from their planet as being possible.


RE: No Offense
By AssBall on 4/27/2010 5:24:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Aliens do not want our resources period.


What? I sure want THEIR resources. But it's nice to have an expert here. Now please take the anal probe out of your ass.


RE: No Offense
By JediJeb on 4/28/2010 4:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why would they fly 4,000 light years, passing up countless other systems with more resources to head to the one that would actually resist? Try to understand the size of the universe first, and the amount of energy it would take just to get here.


Well my point wasn't that they were passing up other systems just to get to ours, it was that maybe they were using up each system to get to the next. It was postulated as only one of millions of possible ways to move your race through the universe, to show that there may be one possible reason why they would be dangerous when everyone else was trying to say there would only be peaceful reasons for alien races to travel through our own system.

I also have a good understanding of the size of the universe, I have studied astronomy as an amateur for many years.

Energy requirements are very high, why else would you need to use up all the available resources in an entire solar system to move on to the next. If you read my original post it plainly stated that the alien race found one way to escape their own solar system that required the use of all resources in that solar system to move to the next, thus requiring the use of that next system to move to another and so on and so forth. Of course with our limited understanding now we do not know how much energy it takes to actually move from one solar system to another. It may require more energy than exist in a single solar system or it may require only a 9v battery, nobody knows what the future of technology holds. Before the invention of the wheel it took a large group of people to move a one ton object. Now with wheels I can push my vehicle which weight over a ton by myself( given it is on flat ground).


RE: No Offense
By General Disturbance on 4/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: No Offense
By bodar on 4/26/2010 5:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These monkeys are at once the ugliest and the most beautiful creatures on the planet


http://www.ernestcline.com/dmd/


RE: No Offense
By Phoque on 4/26/2010 5:36:11 PM , Rating: 1
Reclaimer77, sometimes, I think you are an asshole. But mea-culpa, I surely am sometimes too.


RE: No Offense
By magreen on 4/26/2010 7:12:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
...a super advanced but ALSO primitively viscous alien race...

a primitively viscous alien race... ewww, sounds sticky :)
kinda like that primordial soup they serve in high school bio...


RE: No Offense
By thurston on 4/26/2010 8:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Think about it idiot!


You even called Stephen Hawking an idiot, now I don't feel so bad about when you did it to me.


RE: No Offense
By zodiacfml on 4/26/2010 9:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
i couldn't agree more but to me all his words seem publicity to me for his new show as the ideas don't make sense as you said.
one thing i agree to what he said is, alien life could be as diverse. if there's alien life advanced enough to get us, they knew of our existence centuries or thousands of years ago.


RE: No Offense
By AssBall on 4/27/2010 5:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
No offense intended, reclaimer, but watch his new stuff this article is talking about before you start assuming things. You are taking hand picked quotes out of context. That is what your hated liberal minded enemies are famous for.

There is nothing illogical about anything he says... the dude is not like suddenly a dipsh!t now. He explains alot of what he means really well and gears it toward a non scientific audience.

You can't have a super advanced space race, capable of massive Star Wars ship technology, who ALSO can't develop renewable resources.

ORLY? Would you please explain to us how to manufacture hydrogen for your thirty billion strong species after your sun goes nova and your gas giants have already been completely harvested?

But seriously, the new stuff he has is about interesting and informative facts and speculations for an averagely educated audience. Don't read too much into it before you lose respect for the guy. You say it is "projecting". Well yes that was the whole bloody premise for the effing thing.

Why his politics concern you so much is also strange, considering most of what you said was opinionated assumptions, and, hell, he's British anyway.

Check out the new show, if nothing else it will make your kids feel like you did when you first saw him on NOVA, or read Brief History of Time.

Oh, there's no bombs or earthquakes or boobs happening today? Try not to avoid being baited by sensationalized media coverage.


RE: No Offense
By tmouse on 4/27/2010 9:10:00 AM , Rating: 2
Why I do not agree entirely with all of reclaimers points I do feel it's too bad Hawkins allowed his personal views to be whored for publicity for his show (he is smart enough to figure out speculating on evil aliens would get allot of news coverage). It happens all too often with celebrities, their public "presence" gives their opinions far more weight than they ever should have. I'm a bit surprised he has this view and cannot see how he could even possibly determine any probability on the motivations of unknown life forms. Extrapolating from our point of reference is pure folly. Yes there is life elsewhere, most will probably be simple forms. Very little will be sentient by our standards. Far less will probably be similar to us and less than that will probably follow a pattern of development that one can extrapolate our experiences onto them to determine their motivations and behaviors (and even within this small population there is probably a complete spread of civilization from tribal to far more advanced). So I think the probability that most of the life we encounter will not be harmful (or really helpful) is far greater.
Why does everyone think if their more advanced than us they will be incapable of recognizing us as intelligent life? We have begun to appreciate the rights of our own primitive cultures in a relatively short period of time and we even protect "lower" life forms far more than ANY other life form on earth (note I'm not saying we do not destroy many more but there is not a single biological example of any other species that actively preserves another species it doesn't get a direct benefit from ,while we have).
The enslavement statements are totally ridiculous, even using our own history. Slavery WAS a necessary evil to advance societies before industrialization, after all there would be little time to develop arts, philosophy and science to the levels the "advanced" cultures of their time did if they had to grow their own food. If we came across an extraterrestrial "primitive" species that had simple societies or anything we could recognize as technology I really do not feel our first thoughts would be lets enslave them and rape their resources (and I should note I am far from a believer in the inherit goodness of man). To me it would be highly improbable for a space faring race to still be using slaves.
As for the colony ship reaching us and finding it too costly to go back, I highly doubt any intelligent race would send massive colony ships out blindly to be surprised by the presence of advance life on the destiny world. First contact will probably be more remote than an invading army, after that the results will run the full gambit from help them, ignore them to destroy them, there is absolutely nothing to base the outcome on. The bottom line is take his view with as large a grain of salt as mine, neither of us has ANY information to draw ANY conclusions, although I wish fellow scientists would stick to speculating only in our own fields where we have at least some knowledge to base our ramblings on.


RE: No Offense
By Anoxanmore on 4/27/2010 10:44:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Slavery WAS a necessary evil to advance societies before industrialization, after all there would be little time to develop arts, philosophy and science to the levels the "advanced" cultures of their time did if they had to grow their own food

No, as soon as you said that, you are offically an idiot.


RE: No Offense
By AssBall on 4/27/2010 3:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know.... it has some truth to it.

Pyramids
Feudalism
Industrialisation

Historically he makes a good point. And I wasn't aware that the "official office of idiot christening" was here to disinlighten us. I hope for your sake it pays well though.


RE: No Offense
By tmouse on 4/28/2010 8:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
I do not know if I should even dignify your response with an answer. It's easy for us to sit in our comfortable age and pass judgment while we feel morally superior since we simply do not have to do things other did. In THEORY a civilization could advance by a mutual agreement that some will do the grunt work to provide the basic necessities while others devote themselves to "higher activities" that advance a society above meager substantive existence. In practice it has never happened. Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Europeans and Americans ALL used slaves (sorry if I left out anyone but it's not exactly a great honor to be on the slavers list). I feel confident we would not be where we are today if it were not for the inspiration of the inventors living off the sweat and blood of an underclass. Hopefully we continue to reduce this process but in many ways we still profit either directly or indirectly from developing nations with cheap labor that employ less than nice methods on their people or use poorer neighbors. The hope is we May someday be in some form of equal and symbiotic relationship with each other, but even though its better today , let's hope others we may meet have worked out the solution (sorry if that's a little Disneyesque)


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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