REACTIONS TO HAWKING STATEMENTS

It is logical that there would be reactions to the statements given by the scientist Stephen Hawking about aliens.

But of course, we are talking about reasonable reactions, those that come from scientists, not from the fanatic fringe.

And we’ve found some of those reactions in an article written in The Christian Science Monitor, by Tom A. Peter, Correspondent, on April 26, 2010.

Here some excerpts of the text:

When Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s leading astrophysicists, worries that alien “nomads” could potentially arrive at Earth “looking to conquer and colonize,” should humanity worry?

Is Mr. Hawking wrong to speculate about whether extraterrestrial life might pose a threat?

"Well, at this point," says Fabio Favata of the European Space Agency, "such musings are probably premature. There's no data either way."

“Many, many scientists are of the opinion that life is very likely to be common, but, quite frankly, until you discover it, it’s as much a philosophical statement as anything else. As a scientist you base your views on actual measurements,” says Mr. Favata, head of the ESA’s science planning and community coordination office. “Whether there are other life forms or not, I would say, is one of the oldest questions that mankind has asked itself.”

“Before worrying about communicating with extraterrestrials, I think most scientists are first of all trying to establish whether there is any form of extraterrestrial life and that is likely to take, still a certain number of years before one can make any definite statement, and I’m talking here whether there is anything in terms of primitive life let alone intelligent life,” says Favata.

“Ignoring the possibility [alien life] and hiding your head in the sand, waiting for them to find us certainly isn’t a scientifically intelligent way to proceed or a good cultural way to anticipate something like that either,” says Mary Voytek, senior scientist for astrobiology at NASA. “Our approach to it has been to be prepared. We’re not going to get caught, say like the native Americans when Columbus came to their shores. We’ve been actively listening and hopefully we get some information before any eventual encounter ever happens.”

Martha Haynes, an astronomer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, says:

“We are in a position to learn a lot more about what else might be out there in the cosmos and in particular we’re on the verge of finding … planets which support the kinds of conditions which might allow life as we know it to exist,”

“Aliens that we contact are likely to be far in advance of us, and may well have the capability to find out a great deal about us even if we don't talk formally with them, so I think talking would be OK. Moreover, it could be very interesting,” David E. Pritchard, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes in an e-mail to the Monitor.

0 comments: