Hawking surmises that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are likely to be galaxy-roaming nomads, resulting from the depletion of their home planet’s resources. He suggests that these nomads would perhaps conquer and colonize any planet they encounter, including Earth.The fear of being invaded and conquered leads Hawking to caution groups like SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), and humans in general, from attempting to contact alien life. If Hawking is correct, then sending signals into space could be expediting the annihilation of Earth.
But from where did Stephen Hawking develop such a cynical view of extraterrestrials? The basis for his supposition comes from observing an Earth life form – humans. Hawking thinks it is a reasonable assumption that the behaviors of extraterrestrial civilizations would be similarly to the violent and natural resource-hungry behavior of humans.
The aggressive nature of humans, in addition to the near-depletion of Earth’s natural resources by humans, also has Hawking speculating that humanity could be nearing extinction. He feels that the only chance for long-term survival is for humans to spread out into space, finding other planets to inhabit.
While humans do continue devouring the Earth’s natural resources, and while humans have demonstrated horrifically violent behavior, it seems unfair to categorize all humans as savage and wasteful. Likewise, it is unreasonable to assume that all extraterrestrials are violent and resourcefully irresponsible.
Hawking’s cynical assumptions may have some merit, but these huge assumptions based on generalizations seem much too simplistic for such a complex universe.
I think the fact that there is no evidence of a large plundering of resources on earth by ETs shows the liklihood is small. In fact, its probably wiser for ET species to go to uninhabited planets, because life can be invasive. They might pick up cockroaches and spread them to their homeworld, or onto their ship, causing disease or God knows what. Humans are their own worst enemy. There are no credible reports of aliens harming humans, but humans have killed hundreds of millions in the name of God, Glory, Greed, etc. I’d feel safer on lab table in a flying saucer than in walking even with an armed escort in Mogadishu, Somalia.
While I mostly disagree with Hawkings, I agree that humans are on a downward sprial to self inflicked doom due to greed (politicians and CEOs) and over population. To overcome this doom, humans will have to replace greed with compassion. Our own solar system has more than enough resources to subtain humans for at least a million years. In that time interstellar travel will be a reality providing superluminal speeds are possible. We want be around then if greed and hate continues. If we are around, energy want be a problem. Controled Fusion would be as common as bic lighters. natural magnetic forces would run devices. By then it will likely be posible to manipulate the number of protons in an atom to change the elements. All of this will come before manned interstellar travel. Presently we have not even mastered manned interplanetary travel much less interstellar. Our nearest neighbor is over four years away at light speed. At our present day tech, it would take many life times to reach this near neighbor. Our galaxy is over 100,000 light years in diameter. Superluminal speeds is a must. Relativistic time dilation is only significant at speeds close to the speed of light. So we have a long way to go. If the aliens are capable of this then they most likely have already conquered greed and hate as well using the VAST resources to 100% proficient. They would likely know most of there own neighbors and may have already visited here.