ExoPolitical Waves II

April 28, 2010

Alien Invasion: Why the Wall Street Journal is Dead Wrong Re: Stephen Hawking

Filed under: Uncategorized — bearmarketnews @ 12:47 am

The Wall Street Journal

Speakeasy

April 27, 2010, 10:45 AM ET

Alien Invasion: Why Stephen Hawking is Wrong

By Paul Davies

Houghon Mifflin Harcourt

When British cosmologist Stephen Hawking warned against contact with extraterrestrials in a new Discovery Channel documentary, he was repeating a well-worn argument. “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.”

But Hawking’s reasoning is flawed on a number of counts. First, we can ask why the aliens would come here with guns blazing. What could they possibly want? Hawking suggests that Earth’s resources might be a reason. “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.”

It is a chilling image, reinforced by science fiction stories from “War of the Worlds” to “Independence Day,” but the argument doesn’t really wash. A super-civilization capable of making starships would certainly have the means to observe Earth in detail from many light years away, and they would have known all about our planet’s resources for as long as they had possessed advanced technology.

Here we hit another common misconception. Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and there were stars and planets around long before the solar system even existed. Assuming intelligent life is likely, as Hawking suggests, then some alien communities would have emerged a very long time in the past. If resources are the motivating factor, then at least one group of aliens would surely have spotted Earth as a desirable destination millions of years ago, and come here when they could have had the planet for the asking, without pesky humans to complicate the takeover.

Another problem with Hawking’s picture is the sheer distances involved. The galaxy is huge by human standards. The nearest star is over four light years away -– about 25 trillion miles. Within the scientific community, even the optimists believe the nearest civilization could well be hundreds of light years away. Because nothing can travel faster than light, the Hollywood image of aliens plying the vast interstellar voids in star fleets is absurd. It’s far more likely that alien civilizations would limit contact to radio communication rather than engage in the sort of close encounters favored by movie makers.

Everett Collection
“The War of the Worlds” poster art from 1953.

But suppose by some fluke aliens did come to visit Earth in the near future, then comparisons with Columbus are in any case wide of the mark, and reflect the rampant anthropocentrism that pervades much speculation about alien life. Just because we go around wiping out our competitors doesn’t mean aliens would do the same. A civilization that has endured for millions of years would have overcome any aggressive tendencies, and may well have genetically engineered its species for harmonious living. Any truly bellicose alien species would either have wiped itself out long ago, or already taken over the galaxy.

By comparison, humans would quite likely be considered dangerous warmongers, posing a possible menace to our galactic neighbors in centuries to come. If so, then ET may act to eliminate the threat if we didn’t mend our violent ways. Ironically, the greatest danger from an alien encounter may be ourselves.

Paul Davies is author of “The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence.” He also chairs the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, and is a Professor at Arizona State University.

Last paragraph above, emphasis mine, Bear says: either way, we lose…

Boeing and Lockheed are both working on a gravitational drive over 100 times FTL. Lockheed initially considered a “tachyon” drive.

Then there were rumors of “stargate” technology and worm holes. Rumors also abounded regarding “looking glass” technology that suggested that the existing Stargates be closed. …something about cracks in the space/time continuum and cosmic warming.

Turns out, however, they are here and have been for quite some time. How’s that been working out for us?

What do they want and why are they here? Because they are and need more “space”. They’re getting anything they want. Kinda like the corporatists.

More later…

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1 Comment »

  1. Additionally, it seems as likely that they will behave in some ways that are as bizarrely different from human intelligence (morally or ethically) as many of the simple programs in “A New Kind of Science” are different from the systems that have been traditionally been studied in human mathematics and science.

    When the greys were asked regarding their rationale for abductions and cattle mutilations, they said “that’s what we do”.

    Comment by bearmarketnews — April 28, 2010 @ 1:03 am | Reply


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