Monday, May 03, 2010

Earth Versus The Flying Saucers...As Told By Stephen Hawking

  WASHINGTON (AP) - Stephen Hawking says it is too risky to try to talk to space aliens.

Oops. Too late.

NASA and others have already beamed several messages into deep space, trying to phone E.T.
The U.S. space agency, which two years ago broadcast the Beatles song "Across the Universe" into the cosmos, on Wednesday discussed its latest search strategy for life beyond Earth.

"The search for life is really central to what we should be doing next in the exploration of the solar system," said Cornell University planetary scientist Steve Squyres, chairman of a special National Academy of Sciences panel advising NASA on future missions.

The academy panel is looking at 28 possible missions - from Mars to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. And NASA is focused mostly on looking for simple life like bacteria in our solar system rather than fretting about potential alien overlords coming here.

Just days ago, Hawking said on his new TV show that a visit by extraterrestrials to Earth would be like Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas, "which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans."

The famous British physicist speculated that while most extraterrestrial life will be similar to microbes, advanced life forms would likely be "nomads, looking to conquer and colonize."

Now, ya see this is what ticks me off.

Well one of 'em. Respecting Hawking's intellect is one thing but asking the guy to comment upon something he has not a damned clue about, is quite another.

The chances of intelligent life with technology superior to ours has been thrashed around by people who actually DO have a clue, going back to the famous remark by Fermi in the late 1940's. If the universe is almost 14 billion years old, and earth has only been around for a bit over 4 billion years itself, then the older fellas should have been here a loooooooooong time ago. 

Its called doing-the-math. A 10 billion year head start means that were a spacefaring species to travel about at only half the speed of light...something WE could actually do if need be...they'd have traversed 5 billion light years doing the hither and yon thang. The nearest ones most certainly would have heard our older radio transmissions by now then replied in turn, so the fact that all we hear are intergalactic crickets speaks volumes.


#1), Hawking is Brit, and that means frightened of his own shadow enough to make any groundhog proud, and B.) obviously hasn't taken the time to really give this a full frontal mental going-over. 

With ALL of the universe at their beck and call, why in all hells WOULD so super-dee-duper a techno force want to take on ANY middling technology like our own? Aside from the science fiction ramifications, but of course.

Throughout time, relatively higher tech races on earth have FOREVER displaced inferior ones, so Hawkins mentioning the American Indian is laughable.  But maybe the guy didn't major in History. No one knows everything, so he would get a pass if he left it at that. Worrying about the Beatles arousing the Universal Bad Guys more so than Amos & Andy, every last one of The Big Bands, Bob Hope, The Shadow, Fibber McGee and Molly, and half a scazillion old vaudeville stars looking to cash in on the new thing called radio, is more ridiculous than can be explained, unless Hawking is beginning to circle the bowl. 

Whatever. At least now the Brits have a real reason to not even begin their own space programs.

Pissing off an intergalactic Hitler would truly be the last straw.

And, as a post script, perhaps Hawking's intergalactic gangbangers have heard of The Little Big Horn. Or that the Hawaiians killed Captain Cook. Anyone asked the Romans lately if they've found that Lost Legion yet?

Doesn't matter what technological advances one brings to the table, because you're going to get scuffed up should the WOGS fight back.

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