Stephen Hawking (shown below in 2008) has been vocal about fears that an advanced alien human being might wipe out humanity.(Image credit: NASA/Paul Alers)
This week, famous physicist Stephen Hawking assisted launch a major new effort to find for indicators of intelligent alien life in the cosmos, also though he thinks it"s most likely that together creatures would try to destroy humanity. 


Since at least 2010, Hawking has spoken publicly about his fears that an advanced alien human being would have no difficulty wiping the end the human race the method a human could wipe the end a nest of ants. At the media event announcing the new project, he noted that human beings have actually a terrible background of mistreating, and also even massacring, various other human societies that are much less technologically advanced — why would an alien civilization be any type of different? 

And yet, it seems Hawking"s desire to recognize if there is smart life in other places in the universe trumps his fears. This particular day (July 20), that was part of a public announcement for a new initiative dubbed Breakthrough Listen, i m sorry organizers stated will be the most powerful search ever before initiated for indicators of smart life in other places in the universe. <13 means to hunt Intelligent alien Life>


The new Breakthrough hear initiative would only search for indicators of intelligent life, no broadcast signals from Earth, and scientists other than Hawking have expressed concerns about hailing the attention of alien civilizations. However, a 2nd initiative, Breakthrough Message, will organize a competition open to anyone in the world, to make suggestions for the contents of messages to be sent out from human beings to various other intelligent beings.

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Scientists right now have no idea what alien life-forms can look like, or exactly how they could respond to contact from person civilization. 


"Such progressed aliens would certainly perhaps become nomads, looking come conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach," Hawking claimed in 2010 on an illustration of "Into the Universe v Stephen Hawking," a TV show that aired ~ above the discovery Channel. "If so, it renders sense because that them to manipulate each brand-new planet for material to build an ext gendergeek.orgships therefore they could move on. That knows what the borders would be?"

Hawking voiced his fear at the Breakthrough event, saying, "We don"t know much about aliens, however we know about humans. If friend look at history, contact in between humans and less intelligent organisms have frequently been destructive from their suggest of view, and also encounters in between civilizations with advanced versus primitive technologies have gone badly for the much less advanced. A world reading among our messages could be billions of year ahead of us. If so, they will certainly be vastly much more powerful, and also may not see united state as any much more valuable than we view bacteria."

Astrophysicist martin Rees countered Hawking"s fears, noting that an advanced civilization "may know we"re here already."


Ann Druyan, co-founder and also CEO the Cosmos Studios, that was component of the notice panel and also will job-related on the Breakthrough post initiative, seemed much much more hopeful around the nature the an progressed alien civilization and the future that humanity.

"We may gain to a duration in ours future where we outgrow our evolutionary baggage and evolve to become less violent and also shortsighted," Druyan stated at the media event. "My expect is the extraterrestrial people are not only more technologically experienced than we room but more aware that the rarity and preciousness that life in the cosmos."

Jill Tarter, former director the the center for SETI (Search because that Extraterrestrial Intelligence) also has expressed opinions around alien civilizations that room in stark comparison to Hawking"s. 

"While sir Stephen Hawking warned that alien life might try to conquer or colonize Earth, i respectfully disagree," Tarter stated in a statement in 2012. "If aliens to be to come here, it would be just to explore. Considering the age of the universe, we most likely wouldn"t it is in their first extraterrestrial encounter, either.

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"If aliens were able come visit Earth, the would average they would have technical capabilities innovative enough no to require slaves, food or various other planets," she added.

The brand-new Breakthrough listen initiative is reserved to operate for 10 years and also will search for signs of non-naturally developing communications in both radio frequencies and also laser transmissions. The initiative will certainly scan the 1 million stars the next to earth in the Milky Way, and also the 100 closest galaxies. 

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Calla Cofield join the crew the gendergeek.org in October, 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in gendergeek.org-time, scientific research in comic books, and also all the mysteries of the cosmos. She has been underground at three of the biggest particle accelerators in the world. She"d really choose to recognize what the heck dark issue is. Prior to joining gendergeek.org Calla functioned as a freelance science writer. Her occupational has showed up in APS News, the opposite magazine, scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. Native 2010 come 2014 she to be a producer for The Physics central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural history in brand-new York City (hands down the finest office building ever) and SLAC nationwide Accelerator activities in California. Calla learned physics at the college of Massachusetts, Amherst and is initially from Sandy, Utah. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter