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Discovery Magazine 8/1/2005

Is There Life Out There

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

Claire couldn't believe she was finally enjoying a real campout. Her family had already gathered around a campfire to eat smores as they shared stories with one an­ other. Now, as she lay back in her sleeping bag and looked up into the clear night sky, she began to notice the thousands of stars above. She could see far more stars away from the lights of the city. But seeing all of those stars made Claire wonder...could there be life on other planets? She didn't believe in the little green men from Mars, but she wondered if there might be some other life forms on distant planets. As she was pondering this, her parents came over to kiss her good night, and so she asked them. Claire's dad suggested they throw another log on the fire as they gathered around to discuss the matter.

Claire's mom began by explaining that God created the Earth specifically for man to live on. In fact, when we read the Bible we learn that man was one of the most important parts of God's creation. She went on to explain that God created the stars and heavenly bodies to help humans calculate time. Claire's mom read two passages from the Bible. First she read Psalm 8:3-4, which states: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him?" Next, she read Psalm 147:4: "He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name." Her point was that even though the Universe is bigger than we can even imagine, humans are extremely important to God. God has named and numbered every star, but she reminded Claire that God knew how many hairs were on her head as well (Matthew 10:30)! She also pointed out that God once used the stars to relate to Abraham how numerous his descendants would be (Genesis 15:5).

Claire's dad began roasting another marshmallow, and shared with Claire that although man has looked for decades for life in space, we have never discovered anything that would suggest there is life anywhere but on Earth. He reminded her that the Bible never mentions any other life forms on other planets, and that God is the only Giver of life (Acts 17:28). Armed with this new appreciation for man's important place in the Universe, Claire wiped sticky marshmallow residue from her mouth and returned to her sleeping bag to enjoy God's creation.

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