Alien Invasions—Should We Be Worried?
Michio Kaku is a futurist, popularizer of science, and theoretical physicist, as well as a bestselling author and the host of two radio programs. He is the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory. He holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics and a joint appointment at City College of New York and the Graduate Center of C.U.N.Y. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Kaku launched his Big Think blog, "Dr. Kaku's Universe," in March 2010.
The latest episode of Sci Fi Science, as usual, has generated e-mails from viewers that I would now like to address:
Question One: You discuss evil aliens that might want to take over the Earth. But can't the aliens be friendly?
Answer: Yes. In fact, I personally believe that alien civilizations will be benign, if only because they have had thousands of years in which to work out their differences. We have another program that addresses the possibility that they are friendly. But since we don't know their intentions, the point of this program was to address the possibility that they might be hostile.
Question Two: Why would they want to invade the earth? To take our resources?
Answer: I personally believe that a friendly alien civilization will choose uninhabited planets in the search for resources. Any civilization advanced enough to reach the Earth would also be advanced enough to mine dead, uninhabited planets. Hence, more than likely they will leave us alone.
Question Three: Why haven't the aliens announced their presence? If they are friendly, then why don't they land on the White House lawn?
Answer: Probably because we are not that significant to them. We are arrogant enough to believe that the aliens will actually want to make contact with us and give us their technology. Maybe we are not on their radar screen, being so primitive. We might have nothing of interest to offer them.
Question Four: What might their intentions be? If you are deer in the forest, whom do you fear the most: the hunter (with his gun) or the developer?
Answer: The hunter may pose the greatest immediate danger, but actually it is the developer who is the most dangerous from the deer's point of view. The developer may be kind and benevolent, but the deer might simply get in his way, so the deer must go. Similarly, one danger we may face is a super advanced civilization that is friendly, but views humanity as being in the way. So let's hope that we do not get in the way of a type III civilization.
Question Five: When might we make contact?
Answer: Perhaps sometime in this century. We now have satellites (the Kepler and Corot) specifically designed to find earth-like twins in space. And the SETI project has gotten a huge grant from billionare Paul Allen to expand its radio telescopes at Hat Creek outside San Francisco. So perhaps in this century we might actually receive messages from an alien civilization. But it's anyone's guess.
It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.
- The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
- The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
- Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.