As of September 27, 2019, NASA has confirmed the existence of 4,057 exoplanets, planets outside our Solar System with temperatures similar to ours , -3° C to 40° C, and therefore potential sites for water. All of them were detected within only the last thirty years. A dozen of them are considered habitable. The closest is Proxima Centauri b, at 4.22 light-years (700,000 times the distance between Earth and Mars !), the furthest Kepler 1638 b, at 2,866 light-years. One light-year, remember, is 10,000,000,000,000 kilometers. Even traveling at the speed of the space-probe “New Horizon”, on its way to Pluto at 17 km/sec., it would take us 78,000 years to get to Proxima Centauri b. Forget about having a BBQ anytime soon with our possible next-door neighbors, either in their backyard or ours.
The recent discovery of exoplanets is a reminder to us of how much we still don’t know about our immense Universe, and how incredible it would be that they and the rest of the Cosmos were the result of some “divine will”. More and more I feel that “God” has nothing, nothing on Earth or anywhere else, to do with all this. We are part of a world that chemistry and physics created. From mankind’s beginnings, 200,000 years ago, people have imagined, with the blind faith of primitives and the blind folly of the majority of our contemporaries, that a Divine Creator was behind it all. Honest to God, when will they ever learn ?