Let me ask you a question. Is there life in our galaxy apart from us? What is your answer? Yes? No? Or is it "I don't know". Religious folks around the world fear this statement. They have nightmares about "I don't know". Religion restricts this as a viable answer. This is why many people shy away from science. They fear the unknown. Whereas I feel "I don't know" is exciting and challenging. It gives my purpose to learn.

Religious people fill the void of "I don't know" with god and they believe this is ok but really it is a cage. It keeps these people from actually acquiring the truth or accepting that the technology or the knowledge we have at this time does not allow us to find the definitive answer yet.

Then there are other things that plague the world. Things that don't follow a formula such as evolution. We know that if you drop a ball it will fall towards Earth and that is comforting to some people because it always behaves the same. But evolution doesn't happen the same. Snakes, crocodiles, sharks, etc have gone relatively unchanged for millions of years but humans, birds, insects, etc change very rapidly on the evolution time scale. Because no organism evolves in the same way at the same speed it sees very chaotic to some which makes them uncomfortable.

I would really like you to add to this idea. I truly think this has a lot to do with the fear of science.

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I don't know if anyone has actually answered your question yet. I am convinced that the answer is yes. There is life in the galaxy besides us, if by 'us' you mean all the life on planet Earth.

However, intelligent life may be very rare. There is no reason that life could not have formed on similar planets and there is no reason to believe that there are not other similar planets in the galaxy. And with hundreds of billions of galaxies to choose from there may be a lot of life, and a lot of intelligent life.

Keep in mind that it took a billion years before life evolved into us. There is no reason that life has to evolve into something very intelligent. One cosmic accident, a meteor or a comet in a deadly strike and evolution has to start over, assuming that the planet doesn't change so much as to be inhospitable to life.

Contrary to the claims of Creationists that the universe is well-ordered, such collisions are not at all rare in the life of a planet. (Look at our own moon!)

So it's a simple matter of odds: odds that life and then intelligent life can develop in the first place; odds that it doesn't get extinguished before it starts; odds that it might be existent at the same time as we are; odds that we could ever know about it because of factors of distance and technology. We've only had radio and been aware of the electromagnetic spectrum for a short part of our existence.

From a religious point of view, we've had a hard enough time coping with skin color - how would we cope with intelligence that looked like a squid or a beetle? We've met other intelligent life - whales and dolphins - and that hasn't worked out so well. Simply admitting that there are other life forms or other intelligent life must certainly be as difficult for a religious person as acceptance of the heliocentric universe was.
How does the Universe work?
How does evolution work?

I always say that I don't know...which is hardly surprising - I don't know how my refrigerator works either.

But having stated that I don't know how the Universe works, I do not immediately contradict myself and declare that I do know that "God did it."

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