The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams begins with, “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindboggingly big it is.” Adams never explains why space is so big, but it’s a question I intend to answer.
I was won over to this theory put forth by my eldest progeny (so you know she’s brilliant). Accepted, there is intelligent life scattered throughout the universe. Therefore, space needs to be so vast so none of the civilizations are within each others light cone.
This is by design to prohibit sentient life forms from finding each other. It’s one of God’s many jokes. It’s like God has all these girlfriends in different cities and he doesn’t want them to find out about each other and compare notes. After all, if God is a god who provides no concrete evidence of his existence, therefore, requiring faith from us, he certainly wouldn’t want us comparing notes with aliens.
Twice, there were phenomenal leaps in our concept of the size of the universe. First, when Max Plank realized the “stars” he was looking at were entire galaxies. Again, when the Hubble telescope’s famous deep field photo showed us the 14-billion-year limit of our currently known boundary. Anyone who’s tried to drive across west Texas can easily grasp the concept of just how long a 14-billion-year trip can take especially without a galactic 7-11 out there for a potty stop.
Once, when I was very young, fascinated with astronomy, dreaming of becoming an astronaut, and my mom was the keeper of all knowledge, I asked her, “Do you think there is life out there?” She answered in a way only maternal wisdom can. “If there is, I know God has provided them a way to salvation, too.” If we could find these aliens and read their sacred text, we might find lizard Jesus or spider Mohammad and then we’d cross reference everything and discover God was cheating on us all along.
Consequently, there would be no need for faith. We’d probably become very disillusioned knowing God was taking his other girlfriends out to better restaurants. When we discovered the world made of pure diamond, we’d get really pissed about that civilization getting better jewelry. Yes, this would all end in tears.
The seemingly eternal emptiness of space between sentient life forms ensures we will never discover each other and God can keep laughing. After all, he’s a funny guy. To prove this, I postulate that the one constant in the universe is not something so simple as hydrogen or helium. It isn’t even gravity. There’s a couple of galaxies where the gravitational constant is a variable just because God finds that hysterical. The speed of light isn’t even constant. There are zones in the universe where light has to pay a congestion tax, slows down, and gets complained about for not being a hybrid fuel source.
The one constant in the universe is the platypus. The platypus exists on all worlds with intelligent life. This provides a nexus of conversation for all alien Darwinist and alien Creationists. Each uses the bizarre animal to support their position that God does or doesn’t exist. And that, my friend, is God’s belly laugh.