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 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 as well as others, all had something very real to fear when the Europeans got to their land, therefore 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 forgetting watching too many Star Trek and Star War movies. Needless to say, it is pretty much 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 exists, 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 reach one other continents, the Europeans only needed some relatively primitive sailboats. But for the aliens to arrive at 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 really is possible for barbarians to attain higher technology. Two of the 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 pursuing the fall in the Roman empire. In both epochs, technological progress was virtually nil. Only once human civilization became less barbarous, using the demise of rule by hereditary delinquents called royalty, with all the demise of slavery, with the spread of education to the masses, and so on, should we begin to see technological progress.
Without a doubt, there might be complete degenerates outside in space but they should be absolutely nothing to fear because it is unlikely that they will ever have the ability to leave their very own planet let alone survive the nuclear weapons stage if they ever have that far. Technological barbarians, like the Klingons of Star Trek, might only exist in Hollywood and nowhere else. Now another question arises: Are friendly aliens something to fear?
Some have suggested that connection with aliens would produce a dramatic upheaval in human society. My opinion about this is: Not necessarily. Perhaps decades ago there might have been some commotion although not today. More than sixty years of ancient astronaut and UFO propaganda has produced a world where alien contact may turn out 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. In the knowledge that advanced alien civilizations exist, chances are that humans would want to bind together as being a species and will stop killing the other person. Indeed, it appears virtually sure that wars between humans will come with an end, and the countries of 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 the third world may begin to melt off together with other inequities in human society. We will likely see higher taxes on the usvyot and much more focus on education, technological development, and the colonization of outer space.
3) Organized religions could be affected. Fundamentalist concepts like creation are likely to be pushed into the background, but overall, religions may still proliferate as being a mechanism for consolation and moral guidance.
Hawking acknowledges that aliens might have extremely advanced technology. The key flaw in the thinking is not understanding that such technology could be used to find ways of self-sustenance excluding the barbaric plundering of inhabited planets. The chance that SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) could eventually pick-up an alien signal is absolutely nothing to fear and, to the contrary, may even be something to welcome.