Stephen Hawking, the noted physicist, has expressed a deep personal fear of aliens, so much in fact that he hinted that we should stop searching 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 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 arrived at their land, so it is understandable that earthlings, like Hawking, might fear aliens visiting this planet. This fear stems mainly from superimposing human mentality on the aliens, not to mention watching too many Star Trek and Star War movies. Obviously, 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 is, however, a noticeable distinction between Europe and the other continents on the one hand, and between Alien Spacecraft and Earth on the other. The difference is distance. To achieve one other continents, the Europeans only needed some relatively primitive sailboats. But also for the aliens to achieve 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 will not support the notion that it is actually feasible for barbarians to accomplish 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 once human civilization became less barbarous, with all the demise of rule by hereditary delinquents known as royalty, using the demise of slavery, with the spread of education to the masses, and so on, can we start to see technological progress.
For sure, there could be complete degenerates outside in space but they should be absolutely nothing to fear since it is unlikely that they may ever have the capacity to leave their own planet let alone survive the nuclear weapons stage when they ever have that far. Technological barbarians, just like the Klingons of Star Trek, might only appear in Hollywood and nowhere else. Now another question arises: Are friendly aliens something to fear?
Some have suggested that contact with aliens would result in a dramatic upheaval in human society. My opinion about this is: Not really. Perhaps decades ago there would have been some commotion however, not today. More than sixty numerous years of ancient astronaut and UFO propaganda has produced a world where alien contact may come to be just another news event. With regards to “upheaval,” I will think about three things that might happen:
1) The armaments industry could be affected. Knowing advanced alien civilizations exist, it is likely that humans will want to bind together as being a species and definately will stop killing the other person. Indeed, it appears virtually confident that wars between humans will come to an end, as well as the countries in the Middle East will finally make peace. Jobs inside the armaments industry will have to be moved to infrastructure, space exploration, and consumer-related industries.
2) Social structures could be affected. Disparities between the developed world as well as the third world may start to melt away together with other inequities in human society. We are going to likely see higher taxes on the usvyot and 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 carry on and proliferate being a mechanism for consolation and moral guidance.
Hawking acknowledges that aliens may have extremely advanced technology. The key flaw within his thinking will not be realizing that such technology may 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 nothing to fear and, for the contrary, might even be something to welcome.