In his famous lecture on Life in the Universe, eminent theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking asks: “What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?”
In a recent episode of BBC’s Human Universe, Professor Brian Cox, physicist from the University of Manchester says, “There is only one advanced technological civilization in this galaxy and there has only ever been one — and that’s us, we are unique.”
Since PSR B1257+12 B was discovered in 1992, orbiting a pulsar 1,000 light years away in the constellation Virgo, more than 1,800 exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system) have been found.
Professor Cox adds, “It’s a dizzying thought. There are billions of planets out there, surely there must have been a second genesis? But we must be careful because the story of life on this planet shows that the transition from single-celled life to complex life may not have been inevitable.
Stephen Hawking has stated in Life in the Universe, “Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low, that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy, or in the observable universe, in which it happened.”
Of course, from a naturalistic perspective, intelligent life appearing on earth was just a random occurrence. Although the odds that we just happened to evolve here are infinitesimally small, for the naturalist, it’s the only plausible explanation.
As Christians however, we know that, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Gen 1:27
On the subject of the genesis of complex life, Professor Cox added: ‘We still struggle to understand how this happened. It’s incredibly unusual.
Incredibly unusual for the atheist/naturalist, yes. But for the Christian, it’s not only unusual but miraculous.