Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

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Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby cooran » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:51 pm

Hello all,

This is a perspective I've always agreed with. To think that beings on other worlds' capable of space travel will only have lovingkindness and no greed and hatred is an illusion - or more likely, a delusion.

Hawking warns over alien beings

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, 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."


“ The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like ”
Stephen Hawking

In the past probes have been sent into space with engravings of human 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 rational.

"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 predators.

But Prof Hawking conceded most life elsewhere in the universe is likely to consist of simple microbes.

In the recent BBC series Wonders of the Solar System, Professor Brian Cox, a physicist from the University of Manchester, also suggested life may exist elsewhere within our solar system.

He said organisms could be present under the ice sheet that envelops Europa, one of Jupiter's moons.

Professor Cox added: "Closer to home, the evidence that life could exist on Mars is growing.

"We will only know for sure when the next generation of spacecraft, fine-tuned to search for life, are launched to the moons of Jupiter and the arid plains of Mars in the coming decades."

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/u ... 642558.stm Published: 2010/04/25 09:35:02 GMT © BBC MMX

with metta
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby cooran » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:15 pm

A little more:

April 25, 2010
Stephen Hawking Update: "Alien Contact Not a Wise Idea"

Stephen Hawking proclaims in a new television upcoming Discovery Channel documentary series, that in a universe with 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars, it is unlikely that earth is the only place where life has evolved.

"To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational," he said, according to Great Britain's The Sunday Times. "The real challenge is working out what aliens might actually be like."

"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet," Hawking said. "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 colonise whatever planets they can reach."

In his famous lecture on Life in the Universe, Stephen Hawking asks: "What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?"

If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct, Hawking says "there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?"

Why hasn't the Earth been visited, and even colonized? Hawking asks. "I discount suggestions that UFO's contain beings from outer space. I think any visits by aliens, would be much more obvious, and probably also, much more unpleasant."

Hawking continues: "What is the explanation of why we have not been visited? One possibility is that the argument, about the appearance of life on Earth, is wrong. Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low, that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy, or in the observable universe, in which it happened. Another possibility is that there was a reasonable probability of forming self reproducing systems, like cells, but that most of these forms of life did not evolve intelligence."

We are used to thinking of intelligent life, as an inevitable consequence of evolution, Hawking emphasized, but it is more likely that evolution is a random process, with intelligence as only one of a large number of possible outcomes.

Intelligence, Hawking believes contrary to our human-centric existece, may not have any long-term survival value. In comparison the microbial world, will live on, even if all other life on Earth is wiped out by our actions. Hawking's main insight is that intelligence was an unlikely development for life on Earth, from the chronology of evolution: "It took a very long time, two and a half billion years, to go from single cells to multi-cell beings, which are a necessary precursor to intelligence. This is a good fraction of the total time available, before the Sun blows up. So it would be consistent with the hypothesis, that the probability for life to develop intelligence, is low. In this case, we might expect to find many other life forms in the galaxy, but we are unlikely to find intelligent life."

Another possibility is that there is a reasonable probability for life to form, and to evolve to intelligent beings, but at some point in their technological development "the system becomes unstable, and the intelligent life destroys itself. This would be a very pessimistic conclusion. I very much hope it isn't true."

Hawkling prefers another possibility: that there are other forms of intelligent life out there, but that we have been overlooked. If we should pick up signals from alien civilizations, Hawking warns,"we should have be wary of answering back, until we have evolved" a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilization, at our present stage,' Hawking says "might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus. I don't think they were better off for it."

Posted by Casey Kazan. Source: New Scientist
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... ature.html
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby bodom » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:45 pm

Anythings possible.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:18 am

bodom wrote:Anythings possible.

:anjali:

if anything is possible doesn't that include the possibility that nothing is in fact possible?

what a pessimistic world view you have bodom :tongue:
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:18 am

Thanks for those articles Chris

Perhaps dear ol' Professor Hawkings has been inspired by listening to a bit of T Bone Burnett:-


Humans From Earth

T-bone Burnett
(Soundtrack to: Until The End Of The World)



We come from a blue planet light-years away
Where everything multiplies at an amazing rate
We're out here in the universe buying real estate
Hope we haven't gotten here too late

chorus:
We're humans from earth
We're humans from earth
You have nothing at all to fear
I think we're gonna like it here

We're looking for a planet with atmosphere
Where the air is fresh and the water clear
With lots of sun like you have here
Three or four hundred days a year

chorus

Bought Manhatten for a string of beads
Brought along some gadgets for you to see
Heres a crazy little thing we call TV
Do you have electricity?

chorus

I know we may seem pretty strange to you
But we got know-how and a golden rule
We're here to see manifest destiny through
Ain't nothing we can't get used to

We're humans from earth
We're humans from earth
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:58 am

Ben wrote:Perhaps dear ol' Professor Hawkings has

Or perhaps he's watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Avatar too many times... :guns:

But if we're going to quote songs:
Well, I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying
In the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying
All around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream
The loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home in the sun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home in the sun

Neil Young, After the Goldrush


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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:10 am

Well done Mike!
I can always count on you with an appropriate Neil Young or Bob Dylan quote!

And yes, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, indeed!
Or for that matter, that gawdawful "V".
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby alan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:24 am

I know T-bone. Well, kind of know him. Saw and interviewed him in a small club in San Diego many many moons ago.
The song Ben quotes is from the album "The criminal under my own hat". Good one.
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Annapurna » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:40 am

cooran wrote:A little more:

April 25, 2010
Stephen Hawking Update: "Alien Contact Not a Wise Idea"

Stephen Hawking proclaims in a new television upcoming Discovery Channel documentary series, that in a universe with 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars, it is unlikely that earth is the only place where life has evolved.

"To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational," he said, according to Great Britain's The Sunday Times. "The real challenge is working out what aliens might actually be like."

"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet," Hawking said. "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 colonise whatever planets they can reach."

In his famous lecture on Life in the Universe, Stephen Hawking asks: "What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?"

If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct, Hawking says "there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?"

Why hasn't the Earth been visited, and even colonized? Hawking asks. "I discount suggestions that UFO's contain beings from outer space. I think any visits by aliens, would be much more obvious, and probably also, much more unpleasant."

Hawking continues: "What is the explanation of why we have not been visited? One possibility is that the argument, about the appearance of life on Earth, is wrong. Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low, that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy, or in the observable universe, in which it happened. Another possibility is that there was a reasonable probability of forming self reproducing systems, like cells, but that most of these forms of life did not evolve intelligence."

We are used to thinking of intelligent life, as an inevitable consequence of evolution, Hawking emphasized, but it is more likely that evolution is a random process, with intelligence as only one of a large number of possible outcomes.

Intelligence, Hawking believes contrary to our human-centric existece, may not have any long-term survival value. In comparison the microbial world, will live on, even if all other life on Earth is wiped out by our actions. Hawking's main insight is that intelligence was an unlikely development for life on Earth, from the chronology of evolution: "It took a very long time, two and a half billion years, to go from single cells to multi-cell beings, which are a necessary precursor to intelligence. This is a good fraction of the total time available, before the Sun blows up. So it would be consistent with the hypothesis, that the probability for life to develop intelligence, is low. In this case, we might expect to find many other life forms in the galaxy, but we are unlikely to find intelligent life."

Another possibility is that there is a reasonable probability for life to form, and to evolve to intelligent beings, but at some point in their technological development "the system becomes unstable, and the intelligent life destroys itself. This would be a very pessimistic conclusion. I very much hope it isn't true."

Hawkling prefers another possibility: that there are other forms of intelligent life out there, but that we have been overlooked. If we should pick up signals from alien civilizations, Hawking warns,"we should have be wary of answering back, until we have evolved" a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilization, at our present stage,' Hawking says "might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus. I don't think they were better off for it."

Posted by Casey Kazan. Source: New Scientist
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... ature.html


Thanks for sharing, Cooran.

Hi all!

I'm a huge cosmos fan since childhood, and infected my oldest nephew with this so much he studied and majored in astrophysics... :geek:

7 pages of Cosmos images can't lie... :mrgreen:

I agree with Professor Hawkins in most things and think he's right when assuming we may not meet friendly minded and compassionate aliens only, if we ever do.

I think we only have to look at our own species:

We can meet both very kind and compassionate beings and very unkind and violent human beings.

If we conclude from ourselves to other intelligent lifeforms, we must also conclude, that with the arising of intelligence, a conflict between 'good' and 'bad' will arise as well.

It is a logical necessity, because intelligent life always can discern between more than one option of action, which leads to 'better' or 'worse' options, -subdivision: better or worse FOR WHOM? And this conflict brings about spirituality. So intelligence is always combined with a spiritual awareness.

And so we should be prepared that within one species of possible Aliens the same phenomenon is more than likely to appear:

Friendly minded and greedy species of Aliens.

Which brings us to this in Professor Hawkins elaborations:

Why hasn't the Earth been visited, and even colonized? Hawking asks. "I discount suggestions that UFO's contain beings from outer space. I think any visits by aliens, would be much more obvious, and probably also, much more unpleasant."


I think it cannot be concluded that we haven't been visited.

I think it is entirely possible that any Aliens that may have visited us came by unnoticed or barely noticed.

It could even be that descriptions of 'angels' [insert better word] in the Old Testament were descriptions of Aliens.

It could even be that through genetic manipulation we are descendants of those.

We don't know, and we are speculating and then we might as well speculate into all directions, not only into the direction of nomadic Aliens which exploit planets.

Metta,

Anna
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:49 am

Its ok everybody, they have promised me that it isnt a cookbook.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Annapurna » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:52 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
bodom wrote:Anythings possible.

:anjali:

if anything is possible doesn't that include the possibility that nothing is in fact possible?

what a pessimistic world view you have bodom :tongue:


"Anything is possible" sounds neutral to me....? :| ....
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby alan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:30 am

If Aliens do come, they will probably check out our media before making contact. If they are nice creatures, they'll see what we watch on TV--like FOX news for instance, and immediately set a course in the opposite direction, perhaps after making a note to wait a few more centuries and check in again.
But if they are mean aliens, they will take one look at FOX news and decide right there and then it is perfectly acceptable to eat our craniums and suck our precious bodily fluids.
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:10 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Ben wrote:Perhaps dear ol' Professor Hawkings has

Or perhaps he's watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Avatar too many times...

Independence Day fits Hawking's notion quite well. ET stay home.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 05, 2010 3:00 pm

I definitely prefer the type of aliens in Star Trek. Some of them are really cute. Other than that, I am a bit surprised by the professor's answer to the question: "why haven't we been visited by aliens?" He comes up with a lot of unnecessary conjecture. The answer to this question seems quite straightforward to me: relativity. The vast distances of space make physical transport within the limits of the speed of light either impractical or impossible. Thus, hardly any science fiction story can do without a "warp drive". :)

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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby alan » Thu May 06, 2010 2:05 am

Einstein's physics are our current best model. We've had other models that everyone thought was true in the past.
But anyway, what kind of an answer would you expect from him? It's on the Discovery Channel--he would have been encouraged to speculate.
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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Pannapetar » Thu May 06, 2010 4:05 am

OK, let me do some speculation.

What if there are intelligent life forms on other planets whose evolutionary development is simply incomparable to life on earth? After all, there exists little reason to assume that evolution must run along similar paths on other planets. One of the more fatuous visions of Star Trek is that the galaxy is full of hominids. That's even more unlikely than warp drive. Not that I dislike Star Trek, on the contrary, but given what we know about evolution - what are the odds? OK, let's suppose that there are certain givens, such as the development of cells, sense organs, metabolism, and nervous systems. All of these seem to make perfect sense on other planets, but each such system is likely to develop in a different way, because of the different environmental circumstances on other worlds and because of chance.

Let's assume further that -given enough time- complexity and eventually intelligence emerges. Such intelligent creatures are likely to be shaped by competition because of evolution itself and that property fosters greed and aggression. However, they are also likely to be shaped by cooperation and social properties, because of the emergence of sapience. The latter fosters altruism and mental capacities. Which side outweighs the other? Imagine a species that can hook up their nervous systems directly to the environment like in the "Avatar" movie. Such a race would exist on a level of interconnectedness that we can't even dream of. Or imagine a species that has mastered astral projection on account of their brain chemistry (if they do have brains at all). They would not even need star ships to visit us. Or imagine a species that has developed the technology to modify its own genome in controlled ways. The possibilities are endless.

Far out, I know, but this is "The Lounge".

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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 06, 2010 4:10 am

Greetings Cooran,

cooran wrote:To think that beings on other worlds' capable of space travel will only have lovingkindness and no greed and hatred is an illusion - or more likely, a delusion.


The opposing view is that if an alien race were spiritually unenlightened, they would have already succeeded in destroying themselves prior to developing the means for interstellar travel and survival.

Admittedly this view was probably more popular in previous decades when the threat of nuclear holocaust was more imminent, but we can see even now that mankind is going to have to encounter many more challenges of its own making because interstellar travel becomes viable.

:alien:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Annapurna » Thu May 06, 2010 10:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:(Professor Hawkings)......perhaps he's watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Avatar too many times... :guns:
Mike


Now, that I've finally watched Avatar and found it great, and now that's I've watched "Signs" again last night, I thought of this thread again.

And it made me think of Jules Verne. He wrote science fiction- when? A long time ago.

But most of his fiction is already old snow now.

We've been there, done that.

Likewise, all sorts of other things, now only science fiction, could materialize, we simply don't know what's out there.

We're like little frogs happily croaking away on our waterlily leaves and with no idea what is happening in other ponds...

EVERYTHING is possible.

We only have to look at ourselves.

The same species that brought forth a Buddha has also brought forth a Hitler.

In one and the same Army can be rapists and those who keep others from raping.

An army could one day do interstellar traveling-missions- and contain morally base and morally superior beings, and the revelation who is who may come too late, just like Avatar had the good human with a holistic view, (and concerned about "savages") and the bad human, with a limited view and only thinking of the own gain.

To me, that makes the most sense.

A spaceship wouldn't be crowded with only wise, compassionate scientists.

There is also military staff on it and mechanics. And always weapons, which can be abused.

with metta,

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Re: Prof. Stephen Hawking warns over alien beings

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri May 07, 2010 5:15 am

Even if Aliens were friendly we would likely expose each other to serious diseases.


:|

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