I wrote this originally on 12/08/2008.
For thousands of years man has pondered the possibility whether life exists on other planets, usually with the question are we alone? To this day the thought of extraterrestrial life intrigues scientists, scientific writers, and the general public as that question has never really been answered. If extraterrestrial life were to actually be discovered in this 21st century life as we know it and our way of looking at things would make a major change as we would have discovered that we are not alone.
As of today there is no evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. “ Earth is the only place in the universe where we know for certain that life exists, and we have no direct evidence for extraterrestrial life of any kind.” (Chaisson McMillan, 2008, p.758) But if life were to be discovered elsewhere it would have a huge impact on life, religion, and politics. One of the areas where it would have the biggest impact is on religion especially here in the West. The whole concept of God creating life on only one planet here on Earth would have to be completely disregarded and the perception of the Earth having a special place in the universe would finally disappear once and for all. Understanding of Biblical stories of angels descending from the heavens or people rising into the heavens would come to be interpreted as stories of aliens from another planet visiting Earth and men being taken into spacecraft. The discovery of extraterrestrial life could also possibly lead to a serious decline in religion in around the world as people’s who had their worldview shaped by religion could possibly come to lose faith in their religion and everything they believed in. Extraterrestrial life discovery could also change our very conceptions of life and existence, and it would make a huge impact also on the field of philosophy. Other aspects of human life would also change depending on whether or not humans are advanced compared to the discovered life or whether the extraterrestrial life is advanced compared to us humans. If they are advanced it could lead to rapid discoveries in fields such as science and medicine.
The discovery of extraterrestrial life could rapidly change our existence here on Earth. It would be the type of discovery that was only dreamed about by men for centuries coming true. It would truly make the 21st century a century of discovery.