The Universe Must Have A Purpose

In September of 2013 two discoveries piqued the interest of would-be alien hunters.  

First, scientists announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet in our own cosmic backyard, merely 4.2 light years away. The planet, Proxima b orbits Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our own solar system. A few days later news broke that scientist in Russia had detected a star, about the size of our sun, emitting an unusual signal from 95 light years away. 

A few scientists reason that Proxima b orbits close enough to its star to have potential heat to sustain liquid water which could mean some form of life exists there. And the signal from the Russian discovered star? Could it be a call from ET?

Supporters of Darwin’s theory of evolution, desperate to show that Earth is just one of thousands of planets that could support life, reason that if life evolved on Earth by mere random chance, it must have evolved elsewhere as well.  This theory also has yet to be proven. 

A few scientists believe it to be unlikely that Proxima b could support life because there is only a very slim chance that it has an atmosphere, as its star periodically erupts with deadly flares of radiation that bombard it with X-rays more than 400 times stronger than those which our sun pelts earth. Astronomers also believe the planet may be tidally locked to its star, meaning it’s always sunny one side and always dark on the other.

Similar feelings exist with the Russian discovered signal detected in only one of 39 passes using a radio telescope. Many things like satellite communication, military operations and natural phenomena could account for the signal. One researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies extraterrestrial intelligence (and yes, there is such a study), told the Washington Post that while there was always a possibility, nothing about it makes him think it is more than a slim chance that the signal came from ET.

The truth is humanity may well be alone in the universe.  According to Ethan Siegel, a theoretical astrophysicist, evolutionary theory requires three steps to happen before a technologically advanced civilization can develop. First, a few hundred specific proteins have to be present at the same time and in the same location and then must combine to form a living cell.  Then, that cell must survive long enough to evolve into complex, multi-celled organisms which must then evolve into intelligent creatures.

First a few hundred specific proteins must be present at the same time and in the same location and must combine together to form a living cell.  Second, that cell must survive long enough to evolve into complex, multi-celled organisms and third, that organism must evolve into intelligent creatures.  “Abiogenesis may have been common, or it may be such a rare process that even if we created 100 clones of a young Earth, or a thousand or a million, our world might be the only one where it occurred.”

Stephen Hawkin may have asserted that the “human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet,” but Harvard Astronomer Howard Smith, points out that humanity is something momentous in the cosmos.  “An objective look at just two of the most dramatic discoveries of astronomy, the big bang cosmology and plants around other starts, suggests the opposite.  We seem to be cosmically special, perhaps unique, at least as far as we are likely to know for eons.”  The universe, he writes, “far from being a collection of random accidents, appears to be stupendously perfect and fine-tuned for life.”

The improbabilities of life in the universe leave only two choices according to biophysics researcher Kirk Durston. “Either earthlings won a lottery against mind-staggering odds, or there is a Creator of the Cosmos who has a purpose in mind for humanity.”

Source:  Research Suggests Earth Created Specially to Sustain Life by Julie Borg, World News Service; Humanity Maybe Alone in The Universe, by Ethan Siegel, Forbes; Harvard Astronomer: We Seem to Be Cosmically Special, Perhaps Even Unique by David Klinghoffer, Evolution News

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