Testerman Sci-Fi Site
Testerman Sci-Fi Site

Part 4 of Arthur C. Clarke Quotes:

On Extra-Terrestrials:

"I think that the sort of unmotivated malevolence (of aliens from space) which is typical of many science fiction stories is unlikely because some of the invaders in space that we've encountered in fiction would simply have destroyed themselves before they got anywhere else. And as I've suggested in quite a few essays, with a very high intelligence would also go higher moral values because, without these, intelligence is self-destructive. However, at the same time, one must admit that in a practically infinite universe almost anything is theoretically possible to happen somewhere. One can imagine, for example, a case where even a benevolent and intelligent race, if it lost its home planet, would have no alternative, or at least think it had no alternative, but to conquer another solar system. I think this is unlikely but certainly not impossible." (taken from The Panic Broadcast by Howard Koch, 1970 - about the 1939 Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio show)

"Of the half-dozen UFOs I have seen....no one who has not been through such an experience can really appreciate how a combination of unusual circumstances, inaccurate information, and heightened emotional states can completely delude observers who consider themselves intelligent and level-headed ...... One theory that can no longer be taken very seriously is that UFOs are interstellar spaceships. If there are as few as a milllion of these roaming round our galaxy, I shall be very much surprised; but when they do turn up, we'll know in sixty seconds. They won't hang around for centuries, looking for a place to park." (The View From Serendip, 1977)

On Human Society:

"I also believe - and hope - that politics and economics will cease to be as important in the future as they have been in the past; the time will come when most of our present controversies on these matters will seem as trivial, or as meaningless, as the theological debates in which the keenest minds of the Middle Ages dissipated their energies. Politics and economics are concerned with power and wealth, neither of which should be the primary, still less the exclusive, concern of full-grown men." (from Profiles of the Future, 1983 prologue)

More Space Exploration:

"It may well be impossible to have a virile, steadily advancing culture limited to a single world......With the expansion of the world's mental horizons (from space exploration) may come one of the greatest outbursts of creative activity ever known. The parallel with the Renaissance, with its great flowering of the arts and sciences, is very suggestive......If men cease to dream, if they turn their backs upon the wonder of the universe, the story of our race will be coming to an end." (from "The Challenge of the Spaceship," 1946, reprinted in Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds, 1999).