There are few people in the world who would truly think of Hawking as an 'idiot' (excluding maybe some of deeply religious faith), even those in the science communities that disagree with his work. In fact, I think the only people that would really think Hawking is an idiot, must be idiots themselves. No, I'm not saying that you're an idiot, as you only suggested Hawking could be one (much like Hawking only suggested this particular scenario of hostile ETs).
We toss around absolutes, like "If they [aliens] are that advanced, they would blah, blah, blah." Frankly we don't know. We don't know anything about extraterrestrial civilizations. We don't know how an alien people might have advanced, how advanced they are, or what they're using to detect sentient life in the universe.
Stephen Hawking doesn't know everything. I'm sure he would freely admit that. Yes, he's a theoretical physicist, and one of the more notable minds of the 20th and 21st century -- but that doesn't mean he isn't allowed to speculate. He has just as much right to speculate as anyone, and shouldn't have to suffer the angry attacks of those who cannot tell the difference between a possible consideration and a solid statement presented as fact.
I think that Hawking is just the pin-doll du jour. Where once the world seemed in love with this man who overcame so much and helped non-savvy people understand cosmology better, he has now become the easy target for a scared and frustrated little world. Recently, He made headlines again with his statement "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." As you can imagine, it rattled more than a few feathers and saw a plethora of headlines like "Hawking says there is no God!" You'd think this was the first time anyone made such a bold statement. In reality, it is a belief that has been held and vocalized by many in the science communities for a very long time, and argued more vehemently by prominent figures such as by Richard Dawkins. And yet, the spears were all aimed at Stephen, as if he single-handedly brought atheism to the table.
*Edited for spacing
Edited by BunnyGirl, 28 June 2011 - 07:28 PM.