We are either alone in the universe or we're not -- either way, it boggles the mind.
The discovery hundreds of planets around other stars recently has increased the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe.
In October of 2010, the United Nations is planning to appoint Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman, the head of the UN's Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), in a potential new role as chief alien ambassador of the universe.
In a speech to fellow scientists, Othman stated, "The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hopes that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The U.N. is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination."
According to Professer Richard Crowther of the U.K. Space Agency, "Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a 'take me to your leader' person."
I first heard of this appointment on three different TV news channels last week. In each instance, the news anchor giggled during the reporting of this item. Apparently the possibility of intelligent life existing somewhere beyond our spinning orb, within the vastness of zillions of other spinning orbs, is beyond the comprehension of the talking faces in network TV.
On a clear night, depending on your location and ability to scan freely from horizon to horizon in all directions, the average person is able to view approximately 3,000 stars with the naked eye.
Currently, astronomers can account for 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe. A sextillion is a 1 followed by 21 zeroes. That's 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe. That's more than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the entire Earth. This is not the total number of stars in the universe -- it's the number within the range of present day telescopes. The true number could be a zillion times higher.
There are nearly 7 billion people on this planet; that's 10 trillion known stars for every human being on Earth. For every single person, there are 10,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe. Each star could have multiple planets within their system, just as we have multiple planets in our own solar system. Numerous planets have already been discovered in the closer regions of space.
If only one out of every million known stars (solar systems) has just one planet with intelligent life (one in a million), there would be approximately 70,000,000,000,000,000 planets with intelligent life in our known universe.
Plus, many theoretical physicists believe there are other (parallel) universes and multiple unperceivable (parallel) dimensions as well, all of which could possibly contain intelligent entities.
To assume human beings on Planet Earth are the only intelligent life-forms in the universe is preposterous. In fact, to assume human beings are an intelligent life-form is also preposterous.
There is a legend among certain ancient civilizations that if we ever learn the origin of our universe we will be instantly destroyed.
Remain ignorant, my fellow earthlings -- save the universe. He who giggles at the unknown is a fool.
Somewhere in this universe, the Galactic Federation is giggling at the notion of contacting Planet Earth for any other purpose than having a good laugh. The surest sign there is intelligent life in the universe is that it has not yet tried to contact us.
Quote for the Day -- "The universe is an intelligence test." Timothy Leary
Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where the center of the universe is a nearby hollow tree. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111