Where is everyone?

Where is everyone?

It is self-evident that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, but are we alone in the universe? According to a study at Oxford University, the answer is yes, yes we are. Former atheist cosmologist, Carl Sagan, famously said, there are only two criteria necessary for the sustainment of life, a star, and a planet orbiting the star at the right distance. (I think that’s technically three criteria… but I digress.) He estimated that there should be one septillion planets capable of sustaining life (that’s a one with 24 zeros). That’s a lot of Klingons and Vulcans! Astrophysicist Frank Drake formulated an equation to estimate the likelihood of alien life, “The Drake Equation.” However, there are lots of guesses that have to made to solve the equation. We simply have insufficient information. As a result, the application of the Drake Equation has produced wildly divergent outcomes. This was particularly true in the late 1950s and early 1960s. All the speculation about the vast number of alien civilizations prompted eminent physicist Enrico Fermi to ask the question, “Where is everyone?”. This apparent contradiction between the widely held belief that the universe is teeming with life and the absolute lack of evidence of that life came to be known as the “Fermi Paradox.”

Recently a team from Oxford University, (that struggling little college in England), reconsidered the Drake Equation. They applied our more comprehensive, but still incomplete and imperfect, modern understanding of the universe to the equation. The team admits that there are still a large number of assumptions that must be made to complete the equation. The study’s conclusion reads: “When we take account of realistic uncertainty, replacing point estimates by probability distributions that reflect current scientific understanding, we find no reason to be highly confident that the galaxy (or observable universe) contains other civilizations, and thus no longer find our observations in conflict with our prior probabilities.” Translation: there’s nobody out there, so there is no Fermi Paradox.

Like many other areas of science, the scientific community drew conclusions based on nothing more than unfounded beliefs and then strove mightily to prove their assumptions. This is the exact opposite of the scientific method where we are called to draw conclusions from evidence. For Christians, the Oxford study’s inference comes as no surprise. A reading of the Bible leaves no room for the existence of alien civilizations. The Bible says that God created this planet specifically for us, and the rest of the firmament to declare His glory. In Romans it tells us: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in the hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:20-23 NASB). It is unlikely that God would punish all of creation for the sins of Adam if there were life on other planets. Would Jesus be born and crucified on all of the other worlds? The Bible tells us nothing of this. No, the Bible does not support the theory that there is life on other celestial bodies, sorry Trekkies. The more we learn about science, the more evident it becomes that the Earth is marvelously and uniquely designed, for us, by God. God created everything that exists in six literal days, you can believe it.

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