We shouldn’t answer alien radio signals - in case they take over our planet, warns Stephen Hawking

If we detected a radio signal from an intelligent species, it would be the most important moment in history - but we shouldn’t answer, says Stephen Hawking.

The physicist says that a meeting between our species and hi-tech aliens might go badly - for us.

Hawking said in an interview this week, ‘One day we might receive a signal from a planet like Gliese 832c, but we should be wary of answering back.’

‘If aliens visit us, the outcome could be much like when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.’

But Hawking says that the mere knowledge that there is intelligent life out there might help human beings - by telling us that we’re not special.

Hawking said, ‘Finding intelligent life would be the single greatest discovery in history - it would force us to change.

‘We would have to give up the idea that we are unique and start acting with more compassion and humility.’