Are We All Alone?

By Curtis Rittenour
Posted May 02, 2016

Fifty years ago, Dr. Frank Drake created a "probabilistic argument" for estimating the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s quite a handful for the average person, but it reads ...

N = R* • Fp • Ne • F1 •  Fi • Fc •  L


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Get that? Neither do we …

But Drake didn’t intend to actually quantify the number of civilizations that exist; he simply wanted to stimulate scientific dialogue on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Recently, scientists have searched specifically for exoplanets. These Earth-like worlds that orbit other suns represent, according to astronomers, our best shot at finding signs of alien life. The journal Nature has just reported the discovery of three worlds close by (40 light years away in the constellation Aquarius) that fall within a “habitable zone” distance from their own sun—not too close and not too far away. Water is essential for life and a planet that is too close to a star would burn up while a planet too far away would be locked in ice. Of course, no one knows for sure if water even exists on these planets.

With advanced technologies, some of the unknowns in Drake’s equation have apparently been resolved, so new researchers have updated his formula to give a more accurate estimate of the possibility of other civilizations existing in our galaxy. Their conclusion? “They found that the chances that a human civilization evolved on Earth and nowhere else in the universe are less than about one in 10 billion trillion.”

For those who believe in the Bible, perhaps we don't need to guess. The book of Job says, "There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them" (1:6). Who, exactly, these "sons of God" are is debatable—but they are clearly sentient beings in God's universe.

Unfortunately, much of the scientific conjecturing about extraterrestrial life removes the most critical element in the equation—God, the Creator of all things. Without a belief in the Master Designer of our planet, our solar system, and all the galaxies beyond, we end up with lots of maybes.

Let’s climb down from fallible human wisdom. It is through humility that we can best discover the truth about life outside our planet. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
Learn more right now about life in the universe by listening to this message by Pastor Doug: Is There Life on Other Worlds?
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