I was speaking to a few friends of mine about the possibility of life existing somewhere else in our massive universe. It amazes me to think about the immensity of our universe and how trivial my problems become.
The earth would fit 1 million times in the sun! And scientists recently discovered a star that could hold 100 million of our suns!! Incomprehensible! I understand why man has dreamed of space travel as it is the ultimate adventure and…”the final frontier!”
If they discovered life on another planet or in another galaxy, how would that affect our lives? And by “life” I am referring to plant, animal, germ cells, water, etc.; I am not referring to grays or E.T.s. I can understand the impact of an alien ship landing in Washington, but I am talking about an event much less dramatic. For instance, if 3 years from now scientists put a probe on a nearby planet and discover a plant, will we be excited and able to comprehend the impact on our society?
If life were discovered, many religious beliefs would need to be reevaluated. Many philosophical ideals about human existence would require retooling. The ramifications of otherworldly life would change our understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe. After all, it was not very long ago that humans believed the Earth was the center of the entire universe. And men that argued the fact were killed! So, it is not out of the realm of possibility.
How would religious institutions respond? Abrahamic based religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) use the creation story to explain the uniqueness of Earth and the uniqueness of mankind. Would life on another planet jeopardize this core pillar of creationism? Whatever the reaction, it would definitely bring up many philosophical dilemmas.
I think about these types of things to anticipate how I will respond in the future. I personally believe that humankind is on the brink of amazing discoveries in the neighboring galaxies and that the discovery of otherworldly life is inevitable. For me it is inconceivable and improbable that we are alone in this massive universe. And I think we are due for a game-changing discovery. Either way, it is so incredibly fascinating to contemplate!