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Extraterrestrial life

“Are we alone in the universe?” is a question that’s been asked long before I was born in 1973, and it’ll be asked long after I’m dead. Millions of dollars have been spent in the private, non-profit Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program, which is designed to “listen” to sounds in deep space. The hope is that some of those sounds might come from an intelligent source, thus proving that there is, indeed, intelligent life out there. (Some say that we are desperate to find extraterrestrial intelligent life since virtually no intelligent life exists on earth).

One of my sons told me that since there are many planets outside our solar system and, doubtlessly, billions upon billions of other planets yet to be discovered, there has to be intelligent life in the universe. If you’d asked me 20 years ago, my answer would’ve been an emphatic no. Now, it’s not something I can answer with a yes or no; my answer is more likely to be somewhere between It’s possible and I don’t know. Sometimes I tell people it’s possible, while other times I simply say that only God knows for sure.

Years ago, while a student at a Christian college, I posed this question to a man who, today, is a spiritual mentor and the older brother I never had. “Do you think there’s intelligent life out there?” I asked him.

“That’s an irrelevant question,” he replied.


“Because, if God had thought it was something important enough for us to know, he would’ve mentioned it to us in the Bible. Scripture is silent on the issue.”

I suppose this is a question we’ll get answered someday. For now, we focus on life here on earth.

In a way, I find the search to be dangerous. As we’ve seen from science-fiction films like Alien, what if we do find extraterrestrial life and learn that it’s hostile and bent on destroying us?

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