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 trying to find them, stop broadcasting signals to keep our existence a secret, less the aliens discover us and come here to wipe us out. This 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 came to their land, so it will be understandable that earthlings, like Hawking, might fear aliens coming to this planet. This fear stems mainly from superimposing human mentality on the aliens, in addition to watching a lot of Star Trek and Star War movies. Needless to say, 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 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 arrive at one other continents, the Europeans only needed some relatively primitive sailboats. But for the aliens to reach Earth, dozens or countless light years away, they might need quite sophisticated spacecraft. The critical question, therefore, is: Can a barbarous civilization develop higher technology?
Human history will not support the concept it really is feasible for barbarians to achieve higher technology. Two of the most barbarous epochs in human history were a) the hundreds and hundreds of years preceding the dawn of civilization, and b) the thousand-year period following the fall from the Roman empire. Both in epochs, technological progress was virtually nil. Only once human civilization became less barbarous, with all the demise of rule by hereditary delinquents called royalty, using the demise of slavery, with all the spread of education towards the masses, and so on, should we start to see technological progress.
For certain, there might be complete degenerates outside in space but they should be nothing to fear because it is unlikely that they will ever be able to leave their very own planet let alone survive the nuclear weapons stage should they ever obtain that far. Technological barbarians, just like the Klingons of Star Trek, may possibly exist in Hollywood and nowhere else. Now another question arises: Are friendly aliens something to fear?
Some have suggested that contact with aliens would produce a dramatic upheaval in human society. My personal opinion on this is: Not really. Perhaps decades ago there would have been some commotion although not today. Greater than sixty numerous years of ancient astronaut and UFO propaganda has produced a world where alien contact may turn out to be merely another news event. As for the “upheaval,” I could think about three stuff that might happen:
1) The armaments industry could be affected. In the knowledge that advanced alien civilizations exist, chances are that humans would want to bind together as being a species and can stop killing one another. Indeed, it seems virtually certain that wars between humans can come to an end, and also the countries in the Middle East will finally make peace. Jobs within the armaments industry will have 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 start to melt off together with other inequities in human society. We will likely see higher taxes on the usvyot and more focus on education, technological development, and the colonization of outer space.
3) Organized religions may be affected. Fundamentalist concepts like creation could be pushed to the background, but overall, religions may still proliferate 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 understanding that such technology could be used to find means of self-sustenance excluding the barbaric plundering of inhabited planets. The opportunity that SETI (Look for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) could eventually get an alien signal is nothing to fear and, towards the contrary, could even be something to welcome.