Stephen Hawking, brilliant scientist, has a simple message for humanity when it comes to contacting ET: Shut up. No, really. The pessimistic view arrives alongside his new documentary, wherein he warns we'd be the Native Americans to aliens' Chris Columbus.
Unpleasant! But realistic, in Hawking's mathematical mind, especially if we look inward when we imagine what an ET might look like and how it would behave.
"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." He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is "a little too risky". He said: "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans."
Luckily, this is the worst case scenario, as Hawking theories that most life would be microbial or otherwise very simple& - similar to the stuff that dominated earth during its early lifetime hundreds and hundreds of millions of years ago. All well and good, I suppose, so long as deep space's version of microbiology doesn't have access to a death ray. [Times Online via Boing Boing]