Hawking’s earliest astrophysics work posited the existence of singularities, mathematically conforming black holes with Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity…An atheist, anti-war activist, BDS supporter and anti-capitalist, the overlap between Hawking’s humanist politics and scientific interests found expression in his repeated public statements on the possibility of contact with extraterrestrial life.
Hawking took a conflicted position on alien life, at once promoting the search for extraterrestrial life and warning about the potential dangers of first contact with an alien species. His position on extraterrestrial life advocates two approaches: collecting intel and keeping as quiet as possible.
In 2010, Hawking worried what that answer would bring, describing the dangers of first contact with aliens in a Discovery Channel documentary. “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,” Hawking says. “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”
It could be worse than perpetual Trumpism.