Planet Earth could be an elaborate zoo created by a hyper-intelligent alien civilisation, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has claimed. And such aliens, he added, might even be inflicting “weird politics” on us as a form of entertainment.
Tyson, who was amongst the guests at the Starmus conference in Tenerife, Spain, said he remained pessimistic about humanity making contact with intelligent alienlife, arguing that our relative lack of intelligence could either be bad news for discovery or allow us to exist in blissful ignorance.
“I fear the day we come upon a species such as that. Maybe I don’t fear it, I just hope that all they would do for us is create a zoo where we are happy. And maybe that is what they call Earth”
Tyson was in part responding to statements made by Stephen Hawking in July last year. At the time Hawking said the discovery of alien life could destroy humanity, but that we should keep searching for it anyway.
But Tyson is said the likelihood of that happening were low. “A sufficiently intelligent civilisation would have positively no interest in us at all," he said. "In the same way as when you’re walking down a street and there’s a worm there.”. And even if you wanted to kill all the worms, he continued, you’d soon get bored and do something else.
“Maybe our biggest protection against being killed by alien civilizations is their conclusion that there’s no intelligent civilisation on Earth,” Tyson continued. “Suppose in fact that intelligence has come to the galaxy. Who are we to then decide that we are intelligent? We define our our intelligence. Of course we’re intelligent because we define it.” he said.
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