Former SETI boss says aliens don't want to eat or enslave us

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Dec 17, 2012, 3:16 PM EST

Though big-screen aliens are typically trying to turn us into dinner or slaves, a former Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) director says the movies have it wrong—if anything, aliens will probably just pop in to say hello.

Former SETI director Jill Tarter released a statement saying all those alien invasion movies are just a reflection of our own fears, and likely not the motivations of any extraterrestrial culture.

"Often the aliens of science fiction say more about us than they do about themselves. While Sir Stephen Hawking warned that alien life might try to conquer or colonize Earth, I respectfully disagree," Tarter said. "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."

More than likely, if there are aliens out there, they've probably already found some other cultures before us. So we simple humans would just be another race in their database.

"Considering the age of the universe, we probably wouldn't be their first extraterrestrial encounter, either," Tarter said. "We should look at movies like 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."

So, good news—we should be looking to the sky for the Vulcans to show up and give us a hand, and not the Independence Day aliens to swoop in and uber-nuke us. Well, here's hoping.

(Via Universe Today) `