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Alien life would face same struggles as humans

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We have reached the point, it seems, when almost every day an astronomer from somewhere has found a new planet. Most of them appear to be gas giants along the lines of Jupiter and Saturn in our own solar system. Yet there are some which, even from as far away as they are to us, might be Earth like enough to sustain life as we know it. That is, sentient life, beings who are as self aware as ourselves.

That these are exciting discoveries cannot be disputed. But where we have an issue about them is in the interpretation over how finding other life in the galaxy would shake our core beliefs here on our own good Earth. It has been said that we would have to completely rethink our philosophies, and even our religion, should there be other life forms similar to ours somewhere else in the universe.

Why? Would not the same God have created them too? Why would they not be as subject to sin and failure, the whole universe being imperfect, as we are? Further, why should we presume that the challenges they face aren't any different from ours? Getting food and shelter, worrying about how the kids are growing up; why should alien daily life be so much different than ours?

The best guess is that they would still have personal, political, and social struggles akin to ours. Granted, they may be superior or inferior to us in myriad ways and forms, but there is simply no reason to think that the cultures of another world would be, at their core, significantly different from ours. The whole science fiction array which we have been exposed to over the years, the presumption that they would be either smarter and better than us, or have greater technology and be a conquering race with it, is most likely exactly that: presumption and fantasy for the sake of exciting books and movies. We have no real reason to believe that even their science would not be all that different from ours, even if a little ahead of or behind our discoveries. Would the laws of physics be different elsewhere in creation?

So while finding Earth-like planets is certainly exciting, it should not change our outlook on the relationship between God and Man. It only means that He has seen fit to share Himself more generally than some may have thought. There would still be the animal desires competing with the spiritual appetite of those people. There would still be the happiness along with the drudgery of daily life. If we do ever find sentient life beyond our world, they will almost certainly be like us, at least in temperament if not in appearance. That may not be particularly exciting, once the veneer of newness wears off. Many of our scientists don't seem to want anything less than the fantastic. That speaks only of their prejudices, and we can learn from that without even venturing to Alpha Centauri.

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