I've just recieved an e-mail with a link to an article on Stephen Hawking (from the Simpsons) about Aliens. He claims that we should stop trying to contact life from other planets as they will just come here, strip our planet of resources and bugger off. Now, I'm not entirely comfortable with picking holes in theories from people like Hawking and Einstein (I disagree with Einsteins theories on time travel), or indeed Ms. Robinson (disagree at your peril!!) but it seems to me we're already trying to do that ourselves, and this is my problem with the whole theory: Prof. Hawking and Ms. Robinson are judging the aliens on purely human terms.
It occurs to me that any species sufficiently advanced enough to travel the distances required in the time frame required will be sufficiently evolved enough to have stopped behaving like that. The thing stopping us from having evolved that far is that we're too busy fighting, raping and eating each other to be getting on with exploring our extended environment. This planet has limited resources and burning those resources to travel a couple of miles to the shops to spend "Money we don't have on things we don't need" (George Carlin) is not a particularly efficient way of using those resources. As the Irreverend Bill Hicks pointed out, we can take all the money we spend on guns and bombs and use it to feed the hungry, house the homeless and together explore space, both inner and outer. Any species that can travel through space, in my opinion, must have already achieved this.
And that explains why they have never landed here: as a member of a peaceful, spiritual, spacefaring race, would you land here, where we enslave, ridicule or just plain murder anything different?
Let's reach for the stars, with our feet on the ground, and take a step forward for humanity. Failing that, Bill Hicks again: "Will you let the aliens land, please? They might be here to pick me up."
Protest at the London Arms Fair - photos by Jay Ginn