Picture this scenario. You’re pottering around your house minding your own business when suddenly there’s a flash of coloured lights on your balcony. From a flying saucer-like object, out step little scaly men, their heads wobbling on green stem-like necks. “Take us to your leader,” they say. Do you engage them in banter, invite them in for a gin and tonic or direct them to Lalit Modi for a possible inter-galactic IPL series? None of the above if you were to take astrophysicist Stephen Hawking’s advice seriously.
Professor Hawking says that instead of scanning the skies hoping that some alien life form will contact you, please don’t have stars in your eyes about what could exist in the swirling galaxies light years away. Avoid all contact with ETs. They are likely to be predators who may raid the Earth for its resources. The poor man seems to think that this will frighten us Earthlings. But we don’t need any scaly number from Andromeda to come around and loot and plunder. Why, we could teach them a lesson or two in the subject of the scorched earth policy on vital resources. Hawking also thinks that a visit from some supernova could be risky. Clearly, the aliens he has in mind have not been to some of our inner city areas where some of the sights would be enough for an automatic gender change in any alien.
If the aliens are indeed predators, we have sent them enough signals that they would be quite at home here. Look how efficiently we have used up our forests, sucked dry our clean water bodies, gently fouled the air and stuffed our faces with transfats. We have nothing to fear. So, to the professor we say, we’re not all that keen to have more plunderers in our midst, we are doing a good job ourselves. But if they decide to drop in, they might be shopping for spares to get back up into the black hole if we have our way.