Stephen Hawking, the noted physicist, has expressed an in-depth personal fear of aliens, so much so that he hinted that we should stop searching for 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 as well as others, all had something very real to fear when the Europeans came to their land, therefore it is 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 too many Star Trek and Star War movies. Obviously, 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 is certainly, however, a noticeable distinction between Europe as well as the other continents on the one hand, and between Alien Spacecraft and Earth on the other. The distinction is distance. To arrive at the other continents, the Europeans only needed some relatively primitive sailboats. As well as the aliens to arrive at Earth, dozens or countless 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 concept it really is feasible for barbarians to achieve higher technology. The two most barbarous epochs in human history were a) the thousands of years preceding the dawn of civilization, and b) the thousand-year period after the fall from the Roman empire. Within both epochs, technological progress was virtually nil. Only if human civilization became less barbarous, using the demise of rule by hereditary delinquents referred to as royalty, with all the demise of slavery, using the spread of education to the masses, and the like, can we start to see technological progress.
For certain, there might be complete degenerates outside in space but they must be nothing to fear as it is unlikely that they may ever have the ability to leave their particular planet let alone survive the nuclear weapons stage if they ever obtain that far. Technological barbarians, just 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 contact with aliens would cause a dramatic upheaval in human society. My opinion about this is: Not really. Perhaps decades ago there might have been some commotion however, not today. A lot more than sixty many years of ancient astronaut and UFO propaganda has produced a world by which alien contact may turn out to be merely another news event. As for the “upheaval,” I can think about three stuff that might happen:
1) The armaments industry may be affected. In the knowledge that advanced alien civilizations exist, it is likely that humans will want to bind together being a species and can stop killing one another. Indeed, it seems like virtually certain that wars between humans can come with an end, and also the countries from the Middle East will finally make peace. Jobs inside the armaments industry would have to be moved to infrastructure, space exploration, and consumer-related industries.
2) Social structures may be affected. Disparities involving the developed world and the third world may begin to melt off as well as other inequities in human society. We are going to likely see higher taxes on the usvyot and a lot more focus on education, technological development, and also 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 continue to proliferate as a mechanism for consolation and moral guidance.
Hawking acknowledges that aliens could have extremely advanced technology. The major flaw within his thinking is not really realizing that such technology can be used to find methods for self-sustenance not including the barbaric plundering of inhabited planets. The possibility that SETI (Look for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will eventually pick up an alien signal is certainly not to fear and, for the contrary, may even be something to welcome.