Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: PJ Media — Rick Moran @ 9:30 am

My latest is up at Pajamas Media, a little change of pace on Stephen Hawking’s recent comments regarding the possibility that any space aliens we contact might be hostile.

It is an old debate in the SETI community - one I discuss in detail:

A sample:

Brin thinks that the active SETI proponents are being, if not irresponsible, then misguided in their efforts at this kind of interstellar outreach. In an article for Seed magazine, David Grinspoon quotes SETI pioneer John Billingham, a senior scientist at the private SETI Institute in California, as advocating that we adopt a Hippocratic Oath when it comes to reaching out to the cosmos: “First, do no harm.” Billingham believes that “[a]t the very least we ought to talk about it first, and not just SETI people. We have a responsibility to the future well-being and survival of humankind.”

And that’s the bottom line. Hawking, Brin, Billingham and others in the passive SETI community are upset that the active SETI proponents are refusing to even discuss their plans either at meetings or in the more formal setting of the IAA. They are dismissive of concerns about the nature of extra-solar intelligence and whether, as Hawking speculates, it may be hostile.

Incredibly, the major resistance to discussing the issue is coming is coming from a small group of Russian scientists who believe that it is perfectly logical to assume aliens would be benign due to their adherence to “universal altruism”:

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