Article by futurist George Dvorsky published on May 1st 2010 - Five reasons why Stephen Hawking and everyone else is wrong about alien threats
"I felt that I had to say something about Stephen Hawking's recent injunctive against making contact with extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs). For those living in a cave, Hawking is arguing that humanity may be putting itself in mortal peril by actively trying to contact aliens (an approach that is referred to as Active SETI).
Hawking has said that, "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's basically arguing that ETIs, once alerted to our presence, may swoop in and indiscriminately take what they need from us -- and possibly destroy us in the process; David Brin paraphrased Hawking's argument by saying, "All living creatures inherently use resources to the limits of their ability, inventing new aims, desires and ambitions to suit their next level of power. If they wanted to use our solar system, for some super project, our complaints would be like an ant colony protesting the laying of a parking lot." It's best to keep quiet, goes the thinking, lest we attract any undesirable alien elements.
A number of thinkers have since chimed in and offered their two cents, writers like Robin Hanson, Julian Savulescu, Paul Davies, David Brin and many others. But what amazes me is that everyone is getting it wrong..."
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George Dvorsky's blog Sentient Developments
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