Communion Of Dreams

Everybody’s talking . . .

. . . about Stephen Hawking’s caution regarding contacting alien civilizations.

LONDON (AFP) – Aliens may exist but mankind should avoid contact with them as the consequences could be devastating, British scientist Stephen Hawking has warned.

“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,” said the astrophysicist in a new television series, according to British media reports.


THE aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact.

* * *

Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved.

It’s also hit a number of the big aggregating sites such as Huffington Post, BoingBoing, and MetaFilter, as well as popular science sites Bad Astronomy and Discover. The more intelligent comments/discussions get into such things as Fermi’s Paradox, the Drake Equation, and SETI, and debating the why of what would appeal to aliens about us.

Man, it really makes me wish that Communion of Dreams was currently in print. Because this is all stuff that I discuss, at length, there. The topic of alien contact is as old as science fiction, but it comes and goes in popularity – and right now it’d be great to have my book on the shelves of bookstores.

Ah well. Story of my life.

Jim Downey

2 Comments so far
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I read the article a couple days ago and remembered thinking “well, of course, how often have we read/seen/heard that the aliens think of us as walking snacks?” From “War of the Worlds” to “Independence Day,” the majority of aliens seem to be unfriendly species.

OTOH, they probably look at us much the same way.

And yes, would be good to have your book already out there – how about sending a preview copy to Professor Hawking and asking if he would write a comment?

Comment by Margo Lynn

[…] I still agree with Stephen Hawking on the idea of ‘active SETI’, I think that there’s merit in the idea of exposing […]

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