Stephen Hawking Warns About Making Contact With Aliens

In the future outlined by Star Trek, humanity literally makes it a mission to "seek out" alien life. It seems every week the heroes of Star Trek in the 22nd, 23rd and 24th centuries met new aliens. However in a new Discovery channel show premiering tonight, noted physicist Stephen Hawking (himself a Star Trek guest star), says all this seeking out alien life is a mistake.


Hawking – fear the aliens

Tonight the Discovery Channel premieres a new show, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. The premiere episode is all about "Aliens", and according to Hawking, we should fear them. Hawking postulates:

We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.

Watch a clip of Hawking’s vision of the alien invasion of Earth.


Future episodes will deal with more Trek related issues, such as time-travel. Here is a promo for the show.

The show premieres at 9PM on Sunday night (4/24). More info and clips at

Hawking on Star Trek

Stephen Hawking may be worried about aliens, but he is still a fan of Star Trek. He even appeared in the TNG episode "Descent, Part 1". Here is the clip.


VOTE: Aliens – friends or foes?

For years humans have been trying to make contact with aliens. The SETI program is searching the skies. We have sent out signals for decades. And the Voyager spacecraft even carried special messages to possible alien travelers (and Star Trek The Motion Picture showed us how that can come back to bite us).

So is Hawking right? Should humanity be worried about contacting aliens.



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My only idea on this is that I believe for a race to make it into space they would have to unite and evolve far past the state of greed that humanity exists in. Plus if they were going to take us over I think they would have done it by now. But only time will tell.

Bring `em on! We’ll destroy ourselves eventually anyway. An alien invasion could be a great diversion from that!

Hmmm… this will come as a shock to most readers here.

According to post-Star Trek spin-off dogma (as with TNG onward), aren’t more advanced (“evolved”) species necessarily more peaceful and benign? Put another way, only “primitive, uneducated” species are threatening or even violent because they “fear the unknown”.

It is certain no one, even clinging to the most naive, Utopian, socialistic, political ideology, can claim Stephen Hawking as an ignorant paranoid militarist. Yet his prudent threat assessment of unknown but presumed advanced alien race would no doubt bring apoplectic fits to certain persons known to us at this site and elsewhere.

I for one agree with his advice to keep a low profile and avoid unnecessarily “tugging on Superman’s cape”, as the old song reminds us so wisely.

Just sayin’ — but sincerely so,
C.S. Lewis

I think we should be very careful about applying human standards of behavior to potential alien life. They most likely would be so different from us that there would be no basis for understanding. I certainly wouldn’t rely on the “dogma” of television shows for my opinion.

If aliens did invade our world, the question is, would Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum be able to stop them? :-)

There is nothing wrong w/ meeting aliens…cause if we do I don’t think they will hurt us…and if they do…hey we tried to be nice:)

HA HA….Stephen Hawking says oh no dont like them they will probably be like us only more advanced hahah….sheeesh………

Guess that means James Cameron and Avatar is right….Man is nothing but a greedy resource user/taker….

Oh to those of you in other articles mentioning how you have no desire to see Avatar….I just got the blu ray..the colors and clarity are incredible..the story still works to me….its beautiful, funny, scary and yes pc….Mankind tries to kill or relocate the natives again..this time mankind loses….

I have to admit I much prefers Gene Rs Optimism to this. Oh well……

I don’t think it will be our choice either way. I think it’s 50-50. They could be like Vulcans or they could be like the Borg. Who knows?

There’s the possibility of disease and microbe exchange that could kill either us or them as well.

I think Hawking raises good points. I don’t think we can use Star Trek or Hawkings show as a definitive example of what to expect.

Alien means ALIEN…how can we know what to expect?

Hawkings is a theoretical physicist, not a “space anthropologist” (is there such a thing?). So he’s perfectly welcome to his opinion, but in the end his guess in this area is as good as yours or mine. We don’t have enough information about planets beyond our little system that might support carbon-based life, and have not yet discovered any other forms of life on the planets we do know about. All this fearful speculation is a little premature. But of course, we silly humans are always looking for the next big thing scary thing!!;)

Why does it have to be carbon based life?

“If they’re more advanced than us,they should be nearer the Creator.”

THe War of the Worlds (1953 film)

The guy that spoke that line was vaporized by a Martian heat ray minutes later!

The most interesting thing about this was touched on in First Contact. “It united humanity in a way that nobody thought was possible” Racism would disappear because our frame of reference would suddenly be expanded to us (humans) and them (aliens)


April, perhaps you were reaching for the title “Astrobiologist”. Wiki Astrobiology, there’s tons of reference out there.

We are the aliens. Ask the trilobites.

Stephen Hawking is wrong, for alien beings to reach us they must have evolved to a higher state and be benevolent and respect/understand how rare and precious life is. Besides, there are galatic laws protecting planets from invasion. For every malevolent alien race there are thousands more benevolent races to help balance things out.

Scifiguy–it doesn’t have to be carbon-based. Who knows, there might be a planet full of Hortas out there somewhere!
Combatkarl–yeah, that sounds right…:)
Hopefully my point is still valid…

Sounds like he knows something we don’t. *panics*

Watching the show now. Magnificent stuff. BTW, he says something along the lines of “maybe Star Trek and Star Wars, two of my personal favorites, got it right” (meaning there are lots of advanced races roaming the stars.)

The problems with Hawking’s logic here are definitely multi-faceted:

First, he implies that the only logical evolution of a species like ours can be towards a state of a cut throat, intergalactic imperialism. Now, if that’s true, then that can be the only state our own species could ever reach anyways, and if that’s truly the best we’d ever become, then there’s hardly any intrinsic moral problem with another race enslaving or wiping us out if our only potential destiny is to inflict that upon others. For that matter, I don’t really care for future generations of my species if that’s the best they’ll achieve anyways.

Secondly, even if he considers the possibility of benevolent aliens, he implies a probable propensity towards the aforementioned imperialism. The problem with this is that it ignores the entire reason that we’ve long assumed that an advanced race must be benevolent in the first place: because technological evolution must be met with social evolution. If one were to project the course of humanity, one could only see us becoming what Hawking describes in these aliens if mass technological advancement was paired with complete social stagnation, if not flat out regression. This is hardly probable.

Lastly, it doesn’t matter, because we’re not going to stop. Borg, Vulcan, or otherwise, we WILL meet whoever’s out there, because of the same quality which got our civilization this far technologically. We’re a very curious species, and we may only be tiptoeing into space, but we’re out there. This meeting that Hawking dreads is the fate of our kind, so we might as well look to it optimistically.

What about hot space chicks? Cause that makes it worth the chance, imho.

I for one will welcome our new insect overlords, and I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TrekMovie commentator, I can be helpful in rounding up other trekkers to toil in their deep underground sugar caves.

Hawking must have just finished watching “Independence Day” or something.

Why the assumption that a race must be “advanced” (in a friendly / diplomatic way) or “benevolent” to reach the stars? There’s nothing to stop a violent, aggressive race from creating technology to get them here and take us over. IMHO.

For such an intelligent individual, it’s disappointing to see how he can also be so short-sighted. I know I’ll leave this world when I meet my Lord in heaven, and it’s my hope He may allow my spirit to roam the stars and see what I’m missing out on, but my soul cries for a day when my children won’t have to wait for their eternal life to have that opportunity.

It’s natural for us to crave knowlede, to experience adventure, to explore, to satisfy curiosity, and to expand ourselves outward. Anything less just kills the human spirit. A world where we would look up into the sky and never have any hope of ever being a part of what it out there sounds like a living hell on earth, to me.

Roddenberry had an optimistic view of the future. I see it as naive. I’m not saying I don’t hope he’s right, I just think that odds of us meeting “kind” aliens are slim to none.

Why would aliens come to our planet unless they want something from us? If they had the technology to get here, they could probably take whatever they wanted by force. We can only hope that any aliens we meet will have no concept of violent invasions and just stumble across us and say, “Hi.”


Those “insect overlords” you speak of are building a spherical weapon somewhere out in deep space and are preparing to deploy it soon….

Someone save us all…

20. Are you also en-“thralled” with space chicks in tinfoil bikinis?

For all those who say that aliens have to be more “enlightened”, first i agree with #23. Second look at the ferengi, albeit yes they are fictional, but they are not “enlightened”, they view the universe as a massive money making scheme. It would be no stretch of the imagination for a civilization to have different factions that exist on several planets as military installations.

Haven’t seen this yet, but maybe Hawking is playing the odds. No matter how many enlightened superior alien civilizations are out there, if there’s one malevolent one, we’d be at their mercy. And really, by the time the good guys found out we were under attack, the world as we know it would long have been ended. On the other hand, if we find the good guys first, we can get help to ready ourselves for the bad guys when they come — and I have to believe that more of them are enlightened than not.

#28 Exactly!

Just as all humans are not “imperialists” or “Commies” or “Fascists”, I would assume that would be the case with aliens as well. Maybe multiple agendas from the same race?

Maybe some races have a hive mentality…that’s certainly possible.

My thinking is they will just show up one day. They will either communicate with us or not.

I think we would know their intent in short order. Maybe what is considered evil to us is not to them. Maybe they just do what they do?

Here is the problem, if the advanced alien civilization is so advanced to travel millions of light years to another solar system, they will will not need what we have to offer.

It’s like a billionaire running 10 years to the other side of the world to steal a shiny penny/candy from a baby, who cares, not worth the effort except to see it for yourself and understand the shiny penny/candy and to know what is out there.

The only way earth is invaded is if we pose a significant threat to the galaxy and/or other planets/races, if we are the benevolent alien race we will be targeted like roaches.

Now if the alien face feeds on our soul energy and our planets electromagnetism, that is a different story. No worries though, I am sure we have guardian angels.


I’m inclined to think that we should have heard something by now.

So far, it looks as though we stand alone in the universe…


MIles surely you cannot be so closed minded, there are zillions of galaxies with trillions of stars, for there to be 1 planet that supports intelligent life is mathematically impossible.

There are reasons contact has not been made, to preserve our way of life and natural development, c’mon folks.

We can be reasonably sure that anything that visits this planet is its own planet’s top predator, as we are on our planet. Our own history of expansion is one of genocide and plunder, not the benevolent exchange of ideas. I imagine our first encounter with aliens will be closer to District 9 than to Close Encounters.

My hope is that our first contact with alien intelligence will be over radio waves, across vast distances that will make it almost impossible for us to have physical contact … and if possible to do so at some point, only after a very, very long time, so everyone can get used to the idea of sharing the universe.

Scott B. out.

No doubt it is a logical theory but it is based on the argument that the aliens are indeed “based” on how we act and developed or that they are nomadic or only wish to exploit other planets resources. What about aliens that are self sustaining and don’t need to take? We still have a ways to go but look at how much we have advanced. We still have violent people, the odd corrupt people in government, but in my 26 years of life I have come across more good people than bad, and that is not bias, the “good” indeed outnumber the “bad.” And with moving closer to green technologies and self sustainment, I highly doubt that most space faring species (if there are any) will have completely depleted their planets resources and have come looking for more.

There are no aliens.

They make good imaginative fiction.

Space in not like sci fi movies. It is barren cold and boringly scientific.

There is no x-wings, millenium falcons, or starship enterprise, phasers lightsabers, klingons or jedi.

But in this whole universe we’re the only civilized and intelligent race out there? Isn’t that’s a bit narcissistic and narrow minded to believe? Maybe we’re alone in our galaxy, but no way in the entire universe. It’s hard to believe in everything that exists everywhere that we’re the only thing that is alive. I just think we’re all probably spaced out wayyyyyyyyyyy to far away to make any sort contact.

Besides, I get the feeling first contact with an intelligent race would probably go something along the lines of Hitchhikers Guide (taken from the movie post-credits scene):

‘It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated. For instance, at the very moment that Arthur Dent said “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel,” a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant Galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle. The two opposing leaders, resplendent in their black jewelled battle shorts, were meeting for the last time, when, a dreadful silence fell, and, at that very moment, the words, “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel” drifted across the conference table. Unfortunately, in their native tongue, this was the most appalling insult imaginable, so the two opposing battle fleets decided to settle their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our galaxy, now positively identified as the source of the offending remark. For thousands of years the mighty starships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the planet Earth – where, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale, the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog. Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time. ‘

I just watched a couple of episodes of Hawking’s new show. It’s EXCELLENT! …really good show about understanding the Universe, also after that…

I don’t think he’s saying “Fear the Aliens!”, I think he’s just saying: we don’t need to broadcast, to advertise, to be a crying baby in the wilderness.

Plus, this (unfounded) fear of the unknown alien is based on projecting OUR OWN NATURE on that possible treat. (Stronger culture conquering the weaker culture).

I believe the aliens want help us and guide us, and that they have been for a long time already. If they could, they would tell us to stop destroying our environment, but the evil power structure won’t allow it.

Anybody who is/was interested in the visitor phenom. it is still going on–off the wall weird/stranger than anyone would guess-supposedly ufos are more prevalent than ever-other govts are releasing their records–anybody remember whitley strieber n his book communion–he has recently claimed proof that alien implants are real and prove not from earth–isotopes were found in one that dont exist on earth-his website–highly recommended–i dont think he is making it all up-he also co wrote coming global superstorms with art bell-made into a roland emmerich movie,day after tomorrow or something like that–strieber doesnt exactly think the visitors are aliens that is too simple for what they seem to do/are—im not a true believer but is facinating to research n discuss-crop circles same thing-they are not all made by guys or students with boards n strings–

Oh who knows we’ve been pretty god damn lucky throughout the past 60 years with the American, German, Korean and Russian conflicts.

I just get the feeling that in this version of this universe we’ll be alright and probably come into contact with some sort of inteligent being that may not want to help us, but wont try to ruin our world.

Although I get the feeling that first contact wont happen for quite some time, probably after we’re all long dead and buried.

I honestly think it could be just about anything. It could be Nazis in space or Ghandis in space, who knows.

Theres good and bad in humanity so why wouldnt there also be both good and bad living somewhere else in the universe.

End of line if we ever meet any enlightened aliens I hope we try to be enlightened enough to at least think about any alternative views on the universe, especially if said aliens have been the ‘watcher’ type having been here before and viewed certain world events and have a more accurate record of it.

Not likely to happen though.

Well… I would rather say… THEY should fear US…
The first time a more advanced species enters our realm of reality they will be nuked from the sky because some dipshit generals decided it would be easier to just take the technology… (or someone will say that they hav WMDs… would do the same trick… has been tested before…)

Ah… and why does everyone assume that technologically advanced equals spiritual enlightenment?

Nobody will believe this so doesn’t hurt to post.

Presumably the S.H. scenario is accounted for, in S.T. by the existance of the Klingon & Romulan Empires, organized-to-exploit, just as Hawking envisions. Presumably, other advanced civilizations exist that don’t want to be exploited, or to expoit. They would form a defensive Federation of planets who would come to the aid of any advanced civilization who didn’t want to be subjugated to an exploitative Empire, This is the basic background-story to Star Trek (& provides the dramatic tension/conflict to stories of voyaging/exploring/terra-forming/contacting).