Michio Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York and all-around pop-science icon, has issued a warning about extraterrestrials — and efforts to seek them out.
“I think that’s a terrible idea,” the 74-year-old astrophysicist said.
“We all know what happened to Montezuma when he met Cortés in Mexico so many hundreds of years ago,” he said, alluding to the disastrous demise of the 16th century Aztec emperor, which was instigated by what seemed to be a friendship of convenience with Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.
Cortés’ amiable acquaintance would devolve into the fall of the Aztec Empire as Spanish colonizers usurped power over native peoples — all based on what historians describe as a big miscommunication between the disparate cultures. Or, that Cortés lied to the Spanish monarch as justification to wage war against the Aztecs.
Either way, those worlds colliding ended in tragedy for some 200,000 Aztecs.
And, like the European settlers to the Americas, Kaku hypothesizes that our other-worldly visitors may also approach amicably, although they could harbor more insidious intentions.
“Now, personally, I think that aliens out there would be friendly, but we can’t gamble on it. So I think we will make contact but we should do it very carefully.”
And the potentially disastrous meeting could also happen sooner than you might think.
While discussing Elon Musk’s plans for a “multi-planet species,” by sending about 1 million humans to colonize Mars via Musk’s SpaceX rockets, Kaku notes that the job would also require “a million hammers” and “a million saws.”
Source: New York Post