In online communities you can find many people who are afraid of an alien invasion. In this club was one of the smartest people in the world. Stephen Hawking, who left us in 2018, did not hesitate to express serious concerns about the possibility that hostile aliens would destroy us once.
And Hawking in this regard is not one. A growing number of scientists are wary of intelligent alien life. Hawking believed that contact with aliens would be the death of us. Moreover, he called for us to stop sending signals to space and attract attention to ourselves until we understand how friendly aliens can be.
The optimist and extraterrestrial life hunter Seth Shostak of SETI has a different opinion. In 2016, he published an article in which he refuted Hawking's ideas about hostile aliens. Shostak adds:
“Of course, I do not deny the aliens' possible hostility, because we still do not know their motives. But they can also live in a utopian world and promote love and mutual help. Who knows? ”.
While Hawking complained for caution, Shostak on the contrary agitates on active searches. After all, mankind has constantly risked to develop, overcoming the oceans and exploring new territories. But what can we say, if the world space agencies are preparing to send the first colonists to Mars. Obviously, we are bored alone on Earth.
But Shostak also points out that it is too late for us to remain silent:
“Since World War II, we have broadcast television, high-frequency radio and radar to the sky. And this is not an attempt to attract the attention of aliens, but the inevitable leak of radio programs into space ”.
But these signals are weak and they have to travel light years to reach potential intelligent aliens. And this is not the greatest deterrent for hostile aliens. Interstellar travel is a complex process, and even using advanced technology, aliens will spend a lot of time getting to us from across the galaxy.
Yes, and there are suspicions that the image of hostile aliens is not a reality, but part of the human entertainment industry. “Alien” is perceived as something alien, dangerous and unnecessary. Some believe that Hawking's pessimism only feeds these convictions and restrains us from fully exploring the universe.
But Hawking was still in the minority. Many researchers support Shostak’s opinion and the work of SETI. Many are surprised by Hawking's position, because he was the author of the project “Breakthrough Starshot”, where scientists are trying to send a spaceship to study the Alpha Centauri system and its potentially inhabited worlds.
Shostak believes that the days of humanity on Earth are numbered. We are not moving towards complete extinction, but contact with new technologies and space research allows us to evolve into a more advanced form. Shostak is confident that we will not recognize our descendants.
It is a pity that Hawking did not share this opinion. When reviewing the future, you can focus on hopes and dreams, or fears and fears. However, it’s still impossible to discard Hawking’s ideas and experiences, because we always need to be able to protect ourselves and the planet, if the unexpected guests still arrive with unfavorable intentions.