Hawking claims in a new documentary that intelligent alien lifeforms almost certainly exist, but warns that communicating with them could be "too risky."
The 68-year-old scientist says a visit by extraterrestrials to Earth would be like Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas, "which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans."
Interesting perspective, Stephen. Now, if you look at how living systems interoperate here on Earth, one thing is quite clear: peaceful, harmonius, mutualistic interaction/behavior across all forms of terrestrial life, is the exception
not the rule. That said, you could just as easily argue that the way life behaves
on this planet isn't necessarily representative of all life in the universe. So, yes, he's right that we probably don't want to be visited by life forms like ours (especially humanoids), but there's
got to be advanced intelligent life out there that doesn't have a penchant for conquering and destroying that which it finds to be strange, right? I mean, do we really think we are the norm - in the whole universe?
Could be that we are an exception to the universal rule. Sure, our currently operational scientific hypotheses which describe what we
think we see all around us, everywhere, tell a grim story of a violent birth and a certain cataclysmic demise of everything. It follows that this paranoid view of the universe should guide Hawking's perspective on how all advanced life in
the universe probabilistically behaves. Math is a language used to tell stories in a very precise manner. This doesn't mean that what the math describes, precisely as it does, is absolutely correct.
Hey aliens, do come and visit Earth. The water is fantastic.