Are People alone in the Universe

Are we alone in the universe? I’m pretty certain the answer is no just based on sheer probability. “They” are probably out there; the question is what form will “they” take when we finally find “them”. Since humanity has only itself as an example of intelligent life, we can only make guesses about the probable occurrences of life on other planets. Nowadays scientists believe planets to be plentiful throughout the galaxy and if just 1 percent of stars in our galaxy have Earth like planets, that would mean billions of them. At lease some of those billions should have developed life. The Drake Equation is a very famous equation that attempts to estimate how many technological civilizations exist by inputting different factors such as the rate of star formation or the number of planets that can potentially support life. There is great debate about the usefulness of the equation and scientists have gotten wildly varying answers ranging from 10 civilizations to over a thousand. But before you submit your application to Starfleet you should understand that even if there are say, 1000 civilizations out there, each would in all probability be hundreds or thousands of light years from us and each other. To get an idea of how far that is, the most distant man made object is the Voyager spacecraft which has been traveling for 30 years and has covered only.16% of a light year.

Even if there are no intelligent beings there should be an amoeba or bacteria on some of them. Maybe a slime mold if we’re lucky. It’s possible that extraterrestrial life may have developed in our own solar system at one time. There is some evidence that Mars may have evolved ancient microbes when that planet had liquid water. Astronomers also believe that a planet orbiting the star Gliese 436 to be composed of mostly water so one can only wonder what evolution may have created in those oceans. There’s even speculation that some forms of life may not even need water to survive because their physical chemistry is based on elements different from life on Earth.

With all of these truths taken together it seems inconceivable that mankind is the only show in town. I cannot believe that God would have created such a vast universe but left it essentially empty of intelligent life. Somewhere out there life exists in some form waiting for humanity to encounter it; I only hope that I will be around when that day comes.