"Aliens could attack at any time." -- Nick Pope, British defense minister, November 2006
New York Daily News: Contact with aliens could get us killed, says Stephen Hawking in Discovery's 'Into the Universe'
Aliens are out there... and we need to stop trying to talk to them.
That's the advice of famed physicist Stephen Hawking.
"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet," the award-winning British scientist said in a series for the Discovery Channel, "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking."
To drive the point home, Hawking argued that aliens visiting Earth would likely be the same as when explorers first arrived in the New World.
"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," he said.
If aliens in space ships did come to Earth, Hawking suggests, they may be more "V" than "E.T."
"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach," he said, arguing that they may have taken to the stars because they depleted resources on their home world.
However, if humans were to encounter aliens, Hawking believes they would likely be animals or even just microbes.
The Discovery series, which begins airing tonight, will address issues such as space exploration, alien life, as well as time travel.
"Into the Universe" took three years to complete, and was spearheaded by Hawking, who suffers from neuro-muscular dystrophy.