Beware of Aliens
In a recent article by the Times UK, the physicist Stephen Hawking reaffirmed the certainty of alien life, but cautioned that the seeking out of such life by human beings could be disastrous. Hawking says that the high probability for advanced alien life comes down to the law of averages. Given the massive size and expanse of the cosmos it's only logical that evolved life, like humans, exists somewhere out there.
According to Hawking, humans should be cautious because "a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat," and that "contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity." He suggests that there could be alien species that wish to raid Earth for its resources and then move on. He points out that "we only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet." Of course this is possible according to the law of averages. But if we accept this possibility we may be selling ourselves short and submitting to a fear based dogmatic view of contact.
Image: "Klaatu" by scott*eric on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.