Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Methane, Water Found on Distant Worlds

Methane, CH4, and water, H2O have been detected in deep space, As any 8th grader ought to know, Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen are the three key chemical elements necessary for life as we know it. Six oxygens and six carbons bound together with 12 hydrogens produce a sugar molecule, C6H12O6.

The BBC reports today on the discovery of methane on a planet 63 light-years from us while LiveScience details the discovery of water vapor detected around nearby stars, about 400 light-years distant. Exciting discoveries that add more proof that we are not alone in this universe.

If these two compounds are this common just in our neck of the world, then it is easy to imagine billions of planets strewn throughout the universe that have evolved life. To what degree of evolution? The mathematical probabilities are great that many would be at our present state of evolution.

Of course this brings up the spiritual question, timely for this Holy Week: did all of those human-like creatures sin like the Bible reports? Did they, too, eat of the forbidden fruit? And, consequently, did Jesus or some other 'son of God' have to be born on that planet, suffer and die for their sins too?

Whoa! Now there's a topic for discussion.

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