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Possibility of Life on Other Planets Essay

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Most of us have had the pleasure of lying on our backs and gazing up at the stars on a clear summer night.  We pick out familiar celestial figures and hope to possibly catch a glimpse of a shooting star. But is it possible that there is more behind these pinpricks of white light that dot the heavens?  It is estimated that there are around 100 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy alone and there are countless galaxies in the universe.  With the vast endlessness of what we call space, there is a possibility of other life out there.  Only four main atoms (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) make up 95 percent of life (Michaud 33).  If one of the trillions of planets in the universe has these building blocks and the proper atmosphere it is very probable that intelligent life has the chance to form and develop.
For centuries scientific discoveries and religion have clashed, especially discoveries that shape the foundations of our universe.  In the early 1600’s Italian mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei testified to the Roman Catholic inquisition that the Copernican model of the Solar System was correct and that the Aristotle model the church followed was incorrect.  By saying this, he attested that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system and postulated theorems about the physics of falling bodies and other astronomical observations to support his claim.  Despite his evidence, Galileo was confined to house arrest for heresy in 1638 (Galileo).  Over time, however, multiple astronomers in differing parts of the world confirmed Galileo’s theory to give us the model of the solar system we have today.  Galileo’s struggle demonstrates how even the most logical arguments backed with a plethora of evidence can...


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...en Religion and Philosophy?” Theology and Science 6.4 (2008): 439-50.

“BBC – History – Charles Darwin.” BBC – Homepage. BBC. Web. 18 Nov. 2011.
“Galileo Timeline.” The Galileo Project. Ed. Albert Van Helden. 1995. Web. 18 Nov. 2011.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

Managing Sacred Sites. New York: Continuum, 2001.

Lemarchand, Guillermo A., and Jon Lomberg. “Universal Cognitive Maps and the Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe.” Leonardo 42.5 (2009): 396-402.

Michaud, Michael A. G. Contact with Alien Civilizations Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials. New York, NY: Copernicus, 2007.

Parker, Barry R. Alien Life: the Search for Extraterrestrials and beyond. New York: Basic, 1998.


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