In 1966, Time Magazine produced a cover story entitled, “Is God Dead?” Their thinking was that the discoveries of science were on pace to rule out the fact that there was a God in existence that created everything. In that same year, Carl Sagan, a famous astronomer, hypothesized that there were 2 criteria needed for a planet to support life: 1. The right kind of star and 2. A planet the right distance from that star. With this opinion, out of the 1 octillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) planets in the universe, there should be approximately 1 septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) planets capable of supporting life. With these odds, Sagan started a program called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in an effort to find life in our universe using an advanced radio telescopic network. As of 2014, they have found NOTHING.
As our knowledge of our universe has increased, Sagan’s 2 criteria have now grown to 200+ criteria that are necessary for supporting life. Every single one of these criteria has to be met, or life cannot be supported. As you can imagine, this causes those septillion possible planets to plummet to a number of planets possible of supporting life to a few thousand, and the number continues to decrease. In 2006, Peter Schenkel wrote, “Early SETI efforts were marked by overly optimistic estimates of the probable number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy. In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest and to take a more down-to-earth view. Earth may be more special, and intelligence much rarer, in the universe than previously thought.” (Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 30.3, May-June 2006).
We truly live in a wonderful creation by the hands of our Creator. Realizing this as we study and draw closer to Him, helps us to reflect Psalm 75:1, “We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.”