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Humans love the idea of exploring the vastness of the universe and finding evidence of life on other planets. So how much do we really know about it?

To date, NASA has discovered more than 3700 “exoplanets”—those likely to support life as we know it—and 2700 planetary systems. The search for more of these worlds continues, because at least a hundred billion galaxies exist, and each galaxy is full of stars. Do the math yourself!

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

So far, Earth is the only planet we know of that harbors life—but recently, the field of astrobiology made a breakthrough when it found ancient organic matter on the surface of Mars. The findings on the red planet definitely boost our quest in the search for life beyond Earth, since Mars is just one planet in this vast universe.

So the million dollar question still remains: Is anybody out there? Is there any end to this limitless universe? This is not a question of idle fancy. Carl Sagan, the renowned American astronomer, once said “Space exploration leads directly to religious and philosophical questions.”

The Baha’i teachings say:

Witness the wondrous evidences of God’s handiwork, and reflect upon its range and character. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 162.

Baha’is understand that the universe is full of mysteries and unanswered questions for us to explore. The more we explore, the more amazement we experience. This limitless universe is not just a fixed number of years old, the Baha’i teachings say, but very, very ancient. The prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, wrote:

The learned men, that have fixed at several thousand years the life of this earth, have failed, throughout the long period of their observation, to consider either the number or the age of the other planets. Consider, moreover, the manifold divergencies that have resulted from the theories propounded by these men. Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 163.

Many schools of thought, both scientific and religious, debate the idea of life beyond Earth. So far, we have little evidence to prove that such life exists—but remember, lack of evidence doesn’t prove non-existence. Humanity continues amassing that evidence in its scientific and spiritual quest to discover whether we’re truly alone in the universe or not, and the Baha’i teachings say that we will continue to progressively and scientifically advance, which means one day we may encounter those other creatures Baha’u’llah referred to in the quote above. We will only know the nature of these extra-terrestrial beings with further advancements in science.

One of the important tenets of the Baha’i Faith is the harmony of science and religion—which compels many Baha’is to expand the world’s consciousness on these hidden mysteries in our search after truth. We may be very close or very far from this breakthrough discovery—but it will happen at some point. Our efforts will not be in vain because “All men have been created” as the Baha’i teachings say, “to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.” – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 215.

While that important scientific research continues, now more than ever we Earthlings should first aim to achieve planetary unity here at home. That Baha’i principle—the unification of all people into one human family and all nations into one global government—constitutes the most powerful solution for addressing the critical issues of human life. Later, if we do establish contact with our galactic neighbors, then our next goal could be inter-planetary unity.

The essential unity of humanity transcends barriers of nationality, religion, or race, in the same way this mighty universe is guided by the physical laws that govern the Earth. Baha’u’llah reminds us, regardless of the nature of any potential extra-terrestrial beings, we are all guided by the same spiritual law, which asks us to recognize and love the Creator of our vast universe:

O Son of Man! Wert thou to speed through the immensity of space and traverse the expanse of heaven, yet thou wouldst find no rest save in submission to Our command and humbleness before Our Face. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p. 13.

29 Comments

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  • Timothy Telymonde
    Sep 22, 2018
    Here’s where life is produced on all planets that possess liquid water https://vimeo.com/257346178
  • Ed Lawrence
    Aug 28, 2018
    At mans state of development I hope we dont discover other intelligent life forms.We cant even get along amongst ourselves.Also , if in fact there are intelligent life forms out there wouldnt they also be curious as us about the possibility of intelligent life other than thier own home planet? It seems the more intelligent race would be the race to initiate contact. Just hope that the alien life forms are peace loving.
    • Ethan Fueher
      Sep 28, 2018
      Well, if you look at where we are in the universe, were basically in the back wood hicks part of the galaxy, i wouldnt be suprised if were barely noticed. Imagine how busy the center of the universe could be, like downtown, and how traffic is in the wayy back dirt roads of the country
  • Roland Miller
    Aug 10, 2018
    This was one of the stupidest things I've ever read. Especially that last part, submission and humbleness before their face. Who the hell tells other people that? As if ive ever even heard of these nobody Baha'i. Are they pygmies or something? Psh. Way to go posting trash like this.
  • Martin Chemnitz
    Aug 05, 2018
    Dear Sagar, thank you for an interesting article! One number I particularly is fascinated by is the notion of "every fixed star". Bahá'u'lláh doesn't specify what a "fixed star" is but that every one of them has its own planets. Of course not provable but one might conclude that our sun and the discovered suns with exoplanets are "fixed stars". There are an estimated 2 to 300 billion stars only in our galaxy. About 10 % is very similar to our sun, meaning there's a reasonable chance of 20-30 billion sun systems only in our 1 galaxy. Of course no ...man can compute the total number of creatures! The development of science within a very short time spand truly is amazing but Bahá'u'lláh told us about this more than 120 years ago. THAT is amazing!
    Read more...
    • Sagar Bhatia
      Aug 06, 2018
      Thankyou, Yes ! These "wonder evidences" are amazing !
  • Mark Berger
    Aug 05, 2018
    The New Message from God is the only teaching that can explain the reality and dangers of life in the universe as it really exists. A real eye opener if you’re looking for the truth about aliens. Newmessage.org
    • Martin Chemnitz
      Aug 06, 2018
      For your information Baha'is would disagree with you; "The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh will last until the coming of the next Manifestation of God, Whose advent will not take place before at least "a full thousand years" will have elapsed. Bahá'u'lláh cautions against ascribing to "this verse" anything other than its "obvious meaning", and in one of His Tablets, He specifies that "each year" of this thousand year period consists of "twelve months according to the Qur'án, and of nineteen months of nineteen days each, according to the Bayán" from "Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the ...expiration of a full thousand years".
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  • Jay Tyson
    Aug 04, 2018
    The Baha'i Writings also speak of "universal cycles" in which civilizations develop for 500,000 years and then disappear. (See Some Answered Questions, among other publications). Those civilizations must have been extremely advanced. Did they die out? Stop having children? or perhaps move on to a suitable habitat elsewhere in the solar system? Or elsewhere in the galaxy? We might find that, although life exists on other planets, we are all still related to each other.
    • Jordan Adam DeGuia-Urgo
      Aug 25, 2018
      Sounds like some Mass Effect universe script right there. Civilizations vanish at the growth of 500,000 years. The reapers must be real then?
  • Chris Badostain
    Aug 04, 2018
    inner space is the next frontier---"outer space" is merely projection
  • Lawrence Tucker
    Aug 04, 2018
    Verily I say, the creation of God embraceth worlds besides this world, and creatures apart from these creatures. In each of these worlds He hath ordained things which none can search except Himself, the All-Searching, the All-Wise. Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds........
    ... — Baha’u’llah (GWB. LXXiX)
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    • Sagar Bhatia
      Aug 04, 2018
      Beautiful !! Thanks for sharing
  • Lawrence Tucker
    Aug 04, 2018
    “God is infinite, so His universe must be too. Thus in the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of His kingdom made manifest: He is glorified in not one but in countless suns, not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand, thousand I say an infinity of worlds.”
    — Giordana Bruno 1584- 1600 (burned at the stake) ...
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    • Lorenzo Magana
      Sep 02, 2018
      Our human civilization is like a new born baby. We crawl , stand up, take our 1st steps, walk, jog, run, and sprint. We have lived for thousands and thousands of years on Earth and our cognitive development phase is still struggling to stand up on our feet and allowed God to hold our hand and guide us in the right direction to find Peace and Love with each other. When we feel love and peace we appreciate each other. The day humanity conquers their own fears, we will learned to stand up together, walk, jog, and ...sprint like a team. And conquered space travel like our extraterrestrial relatives.
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  • Robert Green
    Aug 04, 2018
    This essay thrills my soul ☺️ thank you
    • Sagar Bhatia
      Aug 04, 2018
      Glad you liked it :)