We're going to try something new here at the blog that dare not speak its name: a Sunday topic for general discussion not tied to current events, evolution or religion.
Today's topic is a new trope I've noticed wending its way through SF. If we assume that intelligent life is not rare and that faster-than-light space travel is not difficult, then there is likely to be a highly xenophobic space-traveling race. This race will see any other intelligent species as a threat to itself (because it is a threat to any other intelligent species) and do its best to wipe such a race out as early as possible. In other words, our attempts to contact other intelligent beings might be a signpost saying "Hey, kill us next."
I have two questions. First, is this scenario likely assuming, for the sake of argument, that other intelligent life exists? Second, should we change our actual behavior (SETI, space probes with star maps, radiating radio waves, etc.) because of the chance of FTL capable xenophobes?