Sunday, 25 April 2010

BTP 8: All Hail Our Alien Masters!

We would like to interrupt your usual episode of Beside The Point to bring you this important announcement on behalf of Zorlag and the mighty Gal-Ash Empire:

"Pathetic Humans. I, mighty Zorlag, come to you with a message courtesy of the sneaky and traitorous one you call Drew. The Gal-Ash Empire has conquered this blog and will soon conquer this entire planet! Now, observe as I reward Drew for selling out humanity and helping us in our conquest...Yes Drew, I know I agreed not to fire you out into space if you helped us but that's Beside The Point..."

Fear not intrepid reader, it's not real, there is no Gal-Ash Empire and obviously Drew would never, ever, think of selling out his fellow man in the name of his own skin. Ahem. So why has BTP come over all extraterrestrial? Well, it all boils down to a certain scientist by the name of Stephen Hawking deciding that Aliens are probably out there.

Apparently, in a Discovery Channel documentary series scheduled to begin next month, Hawking drops the bombshell that he concedes that we are most likely not alone in the universe. According to the Sunday Times, Hawkins points out that with his mathematical brain the sheer numbers involved make it rational to suspect that aliens are indeed living somewhere in the cosmos.

Now, I don't know about you but I'm of the kind of ilk where if someone like Hawking says something is true I more or less accept it. Let's face it, Hawking is so smart that he probably knew how to finish Myst before the developers had even finished making it. He also put my mind at ease by saying that the Large Hadron Collider wasn't going to blow up and it hasn't...yet. So really, Hawking's comments should neither surprise or concern us except for one fact: He thinks it would be a really bad idea if we met our neighbours.

And that's not the end of it, to further put the fear of God (Zorg?) into us, he paints a convincing picture of why this might be and how it could come about. Regarding is argument that alien life might be hostile to humanity Hawking is reputed to have said "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet." When you think of how civilization has expanded and what it has done to native populations it encounters you have to agree he has an irritatingly good point. He then goes on to imagine an Independence Day like scenario where aliens travel the galaxy in search of resources. He says: "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."

Shut the hell up Hawking! You're starting to scare me now, I don't want you telling me that aliens can and probably will enslave us all! Lie to me, tell me sweet little lies about how aliens will come with peace love and Nintendo. But perhaps there is some hope, I might not be as smart as Hawking, but I do sometimes wonder if aliens would really act in the same way we have done. Surely we are looking through human eyes from human perspective, after all it seems a little arrogant to assume that if E.T. can traverse the stars and visit worlds that he would really have need of anything we have to offer or that they would treat us in the same callus manner that we treat each other. The point would be that they are more advanced then us and we would have to hope, for our own sakes, that would mean more cultured and less violent.

Or they could be the kind of visitor who comes over, watches your T.V., eats your food and doesn't clear up after themselves, who knows? Either way, it could make for an interesting television documentary but shouldn't be something to lose sleep over. Not until the probes come out anyway...

If you want to check out the series for yourself, then catch Stephen Hawking's Universe on the Discovery Channel beginning Sunday May 9 at 9pm. Just remember to bring a ray gun.

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