The Discovery Channel will present soon a documentary series in which the genial Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant talents of the World, theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, sets out his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

This gave him the opportunity to make some statements about the issue of extraterrestrial life.

I have found the most complete version of what he thinks about that in the British publication Times on Line, from where I took his ideas referred to life in other parts of the Universe, and aliens.

Here they are:

Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. “The universe has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved.”

“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.”

“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.”