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| Space on May 24, 2012

Aliens won’t want to enslave us, says world-famous alien hunter

SETI Institute’s Jill Tarter disagrees with Stephen Hawking, and movies and TV shows, that depict angry aliens hoping to enslave or eat us.

Poster for the movie Men in Black 3 from Columbia Pictures. The movie is scheduled for release Friday, May 25, 2012. These guys are always saving the world from aliens who want to conquer, eat or destroy us.

Astronomer Jill Tarter – who stepped down earlier this week as director of the SETI Institute – said today (May 24, 2012) that she disagrees with those who depict extraterrestrials as angry warriors ready to enslave us, or eat us. In a press release from the SETI Institute, announcing their June 2012 SETIcon, Tarter said:

While Sir Stephen Hawking warned that alien life might try to conquer or colonize Earth, I respectfully disagree. If aliens were able to visit Earth that would mean they would have technological capabilities sophisticated enough not to need slaves, food, or other planets. If aliens were to come here it would be simply to explore.

Considering the age of the universe, we probably wouldn’t be their first extraterrestrial encounter, either.

She pointed to the bumper crop of summer 2012 alien movies, including Men in Black III, Prometheus and Battleship, as:

… great entertainment and metaphors for our own fears, but we should not consider them harbingers of alien visitation.

Jill Tarter, who stepped down as SETI Institute director this week, says any aliens who come here will be aiming to explore, not conquer. Photo credit: SETI

1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. This movie depicts wise aliens who tell earthlings they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

She said those who favor the idea of angry aliens will have a chance to defend their vision at SETIcon, a public event sponsored by the SETI Institute. The Institute is known for its science-based search for radio signals that would betray the existence of intelligent beings on distant worlds. SETIcon will take place June 22 through 24 in Silicon Valley, California. Tickets are available now. Click here for more.

Bottom line: Former director of the SETI Institute, Jill Tarter, says she does not believe extraterrestrials who come to Earth will be looking to do us harm. Instead, she says, they’ll be here to explore. Tarter says those who stand behind the concept of angry aliens will have a chance to debate with friendly alien folk at SETIcon this summer. SETIcon will take place June 22 through 24, 2012 at the Santa Clara Hyatt Hotel, and will feature a celebrity banquet honoring Jill Tarter.

Jill Tarter to step down as SETI director