Hawking, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, has made an extraordinary claim, the BBC
The 67-year-old physicist, appearing in a series for the Discovery Channel
, has claimed that he finds the prospect of alien life existing "perfectly rational".
However, he has a warning. He said:
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.
We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet.
Prof. Hawking's view is that, far from trying to make contact with aliens, humans should try to avoid this at all costs.
To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational. The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.
Hawking also theorized
, according to the New York Post, "Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."