Last year, the world-famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking made a couple of the most unsettling statements of our time. First he argued that it’s “perfectly rational” to surmise that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. But most tellingly, Hawking, one of Earth’s most brilliant minds, warned humanity 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.
Continuing, he explicated
We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.
As a sci-fi and science nerd, I heed this man’s thoughts. It only makes sense that advanced alien life would detect our green-ass, water-logged, Spinning Spherical Space rock, attempt to subjugate us, and then rape our planet for its natural resources. This prospect makes many Earth Under Attack science fictions all the more compelling, for example Independence Day, Children of Men, or the best-selling sci-fi video games Halo, Half-Life, and Mass Effect.
Here’s one extrapolation of Dr Hawking’s foreshadow, which I mix with a series of potential scenarios for the human species, listed with what I believe to be the most likely to least likely scenarios:
Either humans will
1) Self-destruct. vastly reduce their population or destroy themselves through wars slash industrialization, most likely concerning scarce resources (aside: it seems all the more possible that this will occur in the 21st Century); or
2) Get enslaved. make contact with an alien race, bringing about the subjugation or destruction of humanity (whether by introduction of extraterrestrial diseases or military force) and the sacking / colonization of Earth by one or more alien species (granted, there’s a chance we successfully resist an alien attack); or
3) Get their shit together and evolve into a unified species that adapts to climatic change and readies Earth for extraterrestrial contact. The prereqs? Humans would need to effect sustainability and social justice as their modus operandi post-haste, strengthening their resilience by remodeling cultures around sustainability and economic cooperation, restoring the biosphere as much as possible, and pursuing the development of advanced technology and weaponry only for the sake of planetary defense.
What do you think about Hawking’s statements? Shocking?
What do you think about my predictions? Do share your thoughts in the comments, and thanks for reading.