Are humans so dumb that aliens have written us off? Celebrated astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to think that may be the case.
"I wonder if, in fact, we have been observed by aliens and upon close examination of human conduct and human behavior they have concluded that there is no sign of intelligent life on Earth," Tyson said in a recent interview with Business Insider (see video above).
And then there's the possibility that intelligent aliens might not simply ignore us but might harm us, just as humans sometimes harm what we consider lesser forms of life. As Tyson went on to say in the interview, "You don't walk by the worm on the street and say, 'Gee, I wonder what he's thinking.' No, you step on the worm."
Tyson -- director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and host of the radio program "Star Talk" -- has said previously that, given the size of the universe, it would be surprising if no other intelligent life forms existed. In his book Death By Black Hole, Tyson wrote, "to declare that Earth must be the only planet with life in the universe would be inexcusably bigheaded of us."
Some scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have said that humans would be smart to remain wary of extraterrestrial life. In 2010 Hawking opined that aliens might be "looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."
But Tyson has a different take.
"Hawking is all worried that aliens might suck our brains out," Tyson said in the interview. "That concern comes from when any of us explored the world ... and came upon a civilization less advanced, it was bad for the less-advanced civilization. They either were completely wiped out, or subjugated, or enslaved. ... So I think his fear about aliens is a reflection of his actual knowledge about how humans treat each other, not real knowledge about how actual aliens would treat us."
Another possibility is that aliens have already visited us and gone unnoticed. As Tyson joked in the interview, "[M]aybe they have visited us in Times Square but no one noticed, because everybody who hangs out in Times Square is a little crazy."
(Hat tip, Raw Story )
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place