In the past couple of days, I’ve come across a couple of articles** about space and space exploration that got me asking the following, kinda random questions …
Why haven’t we found other forms life in space yet? More importantly, why haven’t other forms of life found us? And could the fact that we haven’t had any extraterrestrial encounters be at least somewhat supportive of the theory that humans are indeed a unique species, and that maybe there is a god or divine presence that approximates the concept as detailed by many of Earth’s practiced religions?
Now I kind of understand why we haven’t found life yet (by the way, this entire post presumes that Area 51 conspiracies and the like have no bearing in fact, that we have neither seen nor been seen by extraterrestrials, which admittedly is an awfully big presumption). Our space exploration attempts are still too immature, and we’ve barely begun to penetrate the infinite universe beyond our own galaxy, so our lack of success on the contact front shouldn’t be a surprise.
But given that the universe is infinite, wouldn’t one have to assume that there are also an infinite number of planets that DO harbor life and that at least on a few of those planets (if not an infinite number of them), that those life forms are so advanced that they’ve developed much better means of exploring the universe, including the means to contact us.
I know I’ve always thought that it seems almost incomprehensible to think that we’re alone in this universe, but doesn’t the fact that we haven’t been contacted yet by ETs mean that life may in fact not exist anywhere else? Ok, this is a bit of a stretch of an analogy, and a bit silly to boot, but this line of thought is kind of like how I have to assume that our species never develops the ability to time travel because if we ever did wouldn’t we somehow know about it (or perhaps the second we do develop it and test it out, we rip open the space-time continuum and destroy the universe just like Doc Brown always feared).
And if we are alone, what does that say if anything about the god question? I don’t think the answer to the question of whether life exists outside this planet would by itself prove or disprove god’s existence. However, I have always felt it would be very tough for most organized religions to square their beliefs and their written source materials with the existence of ETs. But isn’t the reverse also true – as long as we are unable to find life outside our little planet, doesn’t that support the mostly religious theory that Earth is a singularly unique place, and humans a special species whose purpose for being here is a divine mystery to be solved?
Or am I missing something very basic here?
** One article was actually a fascinating photo journal of some amazing pictures a NASA spacecraft recently took of Saturn. The other story talked about the fact that researchers have found a couple of planets outside our solar system that appear to be same size of Earth (but likely too hot to harbor life).