Aliens almost certainly exist but
humans should avoid making contact, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.
In a series for the Discovery
Channel the renowned astrophysicist said it was “perfectly rational”
to assume intelligent life exists elsewhere.
But he warned that aliens might
simply raid Earth for resources, and then move on.
“If aliens visit us, the
outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out
well for the Native Americans,” he said.
Prof Hawking thinks that, rather
than actively trying to communicate with extra-terrestrials, humans should do
everything possible to avoid contact.
He explained: “We only have to
look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we
wouldn’t want to meet.”
In the past, probes have been sent
into space with engravings of human beings on board and diagrams showing the
location of our planet.
Radio beams have been fired into
space in the hope of reaching alien civilisations.
Prof Hawking said: “To my
mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly
“The real challenge is to work
out what aliens might actually be like.”
The programme envisages numerous
alien species including two-legged herbivores and yellow, lizard-like
But Prof Hawking conceded most life
elsewhere in the universe is likely to consist of simple microbes.
The Discovery Channel said it will
broadcast “Stephen Hawking’s Universe” in Britain next month.