Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Are We Alone in the Universe?

As far back as I can remember I would look up at the stars and wonder, just how many earth like planets that just might be out there orbiting these billions upon billions of stars. And how many of them just might have life-forms, or even have intelligent life living on them. Back in the 1970s, when I started learning about science and cosmology, through science we already had a real good understanding of how the stars were formed, including how our own star was formed – and it was believed that just about every star in the universe was formed just like our own sun. So I wondered, just how many of these stars might had formed planets out of the leftover dust and gas clouds, just like our own solar system had formed.

Back in the 1970s and 80s, we hadn’t yet developed the technologies needed to detected planets orbiting any other star outside of our own solar system; however, through science, we were almost certain that there were many other planets out there and countless other solar systems.

Then in 1995, with the discovery of the first planet orbiting a star outside of our own solar system – that added weight to another idea in which I firmly believe – that anywhere in the universe where the conditions are just right for life to exists, it most likely does exist. But what kind of life is the only question?

I personally believe that the odds of us finding other human-like life forms living on other earth-like worlds are not all that great. But still, I personally believe that the universe is simply seething with life forms, and including intelligent life. The odds that the conditions here on earth which have allowed us to evolve into what we are today, also happening anywhere else in the universe, are very slim, but not totally out of the question. And if intelligent life did or does exist, did they ever move beyond the current state that we are in today? And if so, how long did it take them to become rational, and move beyond their myths and silly religious superstitions?

One thing which goes without question is the fact that in the last 100 years, we have gained more real knowledge about life and the universe in which we live in, than in all of the other years of our human history combined. And another thing which goes without question, is the fact that we were only able to advance this far, after breaking free from the strangle hold that the church and religion had held on free thought for so many years. Just think of how much further we would have advanced by now, if 3000-4000 years ago, we had started advancing science and technology, instead of creating gods. And what will it take to drag these ignorant and deluded, religious morons into a true post dark-age era – what if we did in fact discover, radio signals or some other form of intelligent communication, beaming from another planet orbiting a distant star somewhere in the universe – would that be enough?

I personally believe that if beings from an advanced civilization, did in fact happen upon us folks living here on earth, that they wouldn’t even attempt to make contact – think about it, how many of us, go out of our way, just to avoid making contact with the religious?