Hawking: First contact with aliens could kill us all

Looks like a punch in the face or a computer virus might not save our asses if aliens ever come a-knocking.

They may just be out there, Stephen Hawking recently told the Discovery Channel. And they may not come bearing coffee and donuts if they answer any of our many beacons to the universe to find other intelligent life. Hawking says we should “look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” and makes an analogy about the fate of the Native Americans after Europeans “discovered” the U.S.:

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he said.

If aliens in space ships did come to Earth, Hawking suggests, they may be more “V” than “E.T.”

“Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach,” he said, arguing that they may have taken to the stars because they depleted resources on their home world.

Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking premiers tonight on Discovery at 9PM EST.