Current scientific evidence indicates that the Universe is 13.7 billion years old and that the galaxies formed 12 billion years ago. Yet, our home star, the sun, is less than 5 billion years old, the Earth formed just 4.6 billion years ago, unicellular life did not evolve on our planet until 3.6 billion years ago and we humans did not appear until 130,000 years ago. Countless suns, their solar systems and the life that inhabited their planets likely evolved and disappeared long before our own sun and planet came into existence.
Among the 100 billion galaxies and trillions of stars that stretch across the ever-expanding Universe, there are surely millions of other planets that sustain life which, in many if not most cases, has progressed farther along the evolutionary tree than has life here on Earth. In other words, it is almost a certainty that many human-like civilizations inhabit this Universe, most of which are more advanced than our own.
It is understandable that religious persons might find these rational facts too threatening to contemplate but it is disconcerting to hear scientists and scientific journalists question whether life exists elsewhere in the Universe. Sitting here on our smallish planet that circles a modest-sized star on an outer band of a massive galaxy, it is absurd to suggest that we might be the only intelligent beings that inhabit the billions of galaxies. The Universe surely teems with life and it is only our irrational self-importance that keeps us from embracing that fact.