Age of Aquarius

March 3, 2017

NASA’s Spitzer telescope has discovered a “solar system” related to a star in the constellation we call Aquarius, only 40 light-years from Earth.  Within this system, a few of these so-called “exo-planets” orbit inside the “Goldilocks zone” – a region where it is considered neither too hot or too cold to sustain life.  Thus, with liberal use of the words “could”, “might”, “possibly”, and “perhaps”, the prospect of extraterrestrial being is tendered once again.

For scientists, and actually, for anyone, even the discovery of fossilized bacteria beyond earth would warrant enormous headlines.  To date, outside of terra-firma, not a single cell of such material has been discovered, even on Mars.  This is informative because, relative to our Sun, Mars is well within a radius where an adaptable Goldilocks might choose to enjoy her porridge.

Astronomically speaking, our Martian cousin is incredibly close to our teeming abode.  Yet, to the best of our first hand, long-term, on-site, rover-based knowledge, Mars is stone dead.  Like a door nail.

What this demonstrates anew is that even within a vast Creation, where untold numbers of planets exist, many factors have to be in sync before bacteria can emerge.  Thus, the best scientific awareness we have shows that even the presence of simple microbes cannot be assumed, anywhere.

More profoundly, it means that sentient beings under the stars, who can read and ruminate on missives like this one, may be the rarest thing of all.

Isn’t it funny that some doubt the existence of God, when the real question is, why should God’s existence be any less likely than our own?

Fact is, apart from faith, there’s nothing in the known Universe that says we must be here at all.  Yet, we are.  And we take so much for granted.

What with ISIS, al-Qaida, riots and ghastly acts of war being reported on a daily basis, many of us take a dim view of the human state.  Still, even in its worst expression, humanity may well be the most sophisticated and wonderful thing the Universe has witnessed in 14 billion years.

You want a miracle?  You’re it.  So is your neighbor with the noisy dog and smelly cigars.

Space exploration tops my list of our most important planetary pursuits.  Yet, it’s amazing how in our search for what exists in far distant places, we look straight past the miraculous bounty resting at arm’s length.

God came all the way to us, bringing life in Jesus Christ.

Perhaps there is a dawning of consciousness in Aquarius.  Hopefully that awakening will continue to occur right here at home.