Hawking Warns of Alien Encounters as American Space Weapon Launched
    By Brian Taylor | April 25th 2010 12:31 PM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Brian Taylor is a writer of philosophy and a social critic. He can be reached at He blogs at

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    Just a couple of quick news stories:

    In keeping with the theme of 2010, that humans should be ashamed of themselves, Stephen Hawking, it seems, is generally pessimistic about man. In a recently completed documentary series for the Discovery Channel, Hawking speculates about both the inevitable reality of alien life and what an encounter with advanced life would be like.

    "He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “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 colonise 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.”"

    Quote from:

    Our second story today is about the launch of the X37B craft, the "mini shuttle" as I call it.

    "Somewhere above earth is America’s latest spaceship, a 30ft craft so
    classified that the Pentagon will not divulge its mission nor how much
    it cost to build.

    The mysterious X37B, launched successfully by the US Air Force from
    Cape Canaveral on Thursday, using an Atlas V rocket, looks like a
    mini-Space Shuttle — but it's mission is top secret."

    Initial article about "the secret launch"

    Apparently, with all the buzz surrounding the launch of the X3, nobody noticed a rocket launch from California carrying the space based weapon "Prompt Global Strike", a missile system that can reach any target on the planet within one hour.

    "The prototype was launched from Vandenberg air force base in California
    on a solid-fuel rocket booster made from a decommissioned ballistic missile.  There was no comment from US Strategic Command, which controls the programme, on either the success of the test or a timetable for future deployment.

    “It is premature to discuss the actual implementation of this capability
    until  the technology has sufficiently matured,” a Pentagon statement said.

    The Washington Times reported last week that Darpa is building two
    Falcon vehicles, the second of which is scheduled for launch early next year.

    US officials have sought to reassure Russian and Chinese authorities
    that the new weapons will be developed in small numbers and will be kept well away from US nuclear launch sites so there is no confusion that might triggeran accidental nuclear war."

    Secondary article about the technology.

    And finally, from wikipedia,

    "The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars States Parties to the Treaty from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any  other celestial body, or to  otherwise station them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other  celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use  for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or  establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional  weapons in orbit. The treaty also states that the exploration of outer  space shall be done to benefit all countries and shall be free for  exploration and use by all States."


    Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads,  looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.
    And, suddenly, the plot of Independence Day can no longer be called stupid.
    Interesting quote from Hawking. But what resources would they be likely to need? And why would habitable planets necessarily have more of it?
    Women, obviously...
    Gerhard Adam
    Real estate.  What was the biggest squabble with the Native Americans (and still is)?  Who is sitting on a particular square of land.  If the point of such extraterrestrial explorers were colonization, then it wouldn't look good for the local residents.

    However, it should be clear that any alien visitors would represent a cultural invasion, so it would be impossible to tell what might interest them, or what they might find valuable/useful.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Real estate.
    At least extra demand for land might fix the housing bust.
    Didn't extra demand for housing cause the housing bust?  An unlimited pool of money and having to fill out a mountain of paperwork if you turn anyone down made lower end houses available to everyone, which drove up the cost for people least able to afford it - and because rules were rules, house flippers were also able to acquire properties they would never have had the cash flow to sustain a decade earlier.

    Adding aliens with unlimited loans is only going to make that problem worse.
    Gerhard Adam
    There's the catch ... get paid in money only good on the alien's world.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Didn't extra demand for housing cause the housing bust?
    Going by the Fed's logic, the solution for a bust is to create the conditions for a boom, and that when that boom busts it's someone else's problem.

    But much of the current demand for housing has been artificially manipulated. And the aliens would add genuine, rather than artificial, demand. 
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, I guess that would depend on how you mean "demand".  If it's in conventional market terms, then it might work.  If it is intended as an order to vacate ... not so much.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads,  looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.
    That's contradictory since it is unlikely that they would be nomadic wandering the universe and simultaneously interested in creating settlements.  Those two elements have never existed simultaneously in such encounters (unless in our scenario it were a settlement mission).
    Mundus vult decipi
    I think I have approached this entire Hawking hype from a rather unique angle. You can read it only at
    No you can't, as it comes up Access denied!

    ...but there's reference to it here

    Access denied....possibly due to some ranting...I suspect