Extrasolar planets and Messianic Age intelligent life

In my introduction to Modern Kabbalah, “God, Sex and Kabbalah”, I devoted an entire chapter to Extra Terrestrial Intelligent Life, the Messianic Age and God. In 1983 when the book was published, there was no scientific evidence that any other stars had planetary systems. Today, only thirty six years later, astronomers have discovered 4,000+ planets.

This is an indication of just how common planets are – with most stars in the Milky Way galaxy hosting at least one world in orbit around them. The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia, run by the Observatoire de Paris, is already well passed the 4,000 mark.

All this supports my assertion, based on Kabbalistic teachings, that God didn’t create a universe with millions of billions of stars and leave it devoid of intelligent, spiritually aware lifeforms, with only the one exception of Planet Earth.

Earth size planets at the right distance to support carbon based life have already been discovered and many more will be discovered in the next few years.

A recent report in Science News Web edition by Nadia Drake explains that: “Planet hunters have unlocked a treasure chest of alien worlds to reveal more than 50 newly discovered planets, including at least 16 not much bigger than Earth and one small, sparkling nugget: a 3.6-Earth-mass planet, parked just inside its star’s life-friendly zone.

“We can say that most sunlike stars have planets, and most of them have low-mass planets,” says astronomer Francesco Pepe, a member of the Geneva Observatory.

An accompanying study that appeared in Astronomy & Astrophysics presents the team’s long-awaited characterization of its planetary population – and suggests that more than 50 percent of sunlike stars have at least one planet.

The little guys among them – with masses between Earth’s and Neptune’s – occur primarily in multi-planetary systems. This suggests that roughly 70 to 80 percent of low-mass planets might live in multi-planet neighborhoods, Pepe says.

“The handwriting is more than on the wall now. We can see that most stars have planetary systems, probably like our own,” says astronomer Debra Fischer of Yale University. “This paper is a home-run hit.”

The new collection suggests that lighter planets are more common in extrasolar systems than heavier Jupiter-like ones. Though the discovery of Earth-sized planets with oxygen in their atmospheres remains in the near future, when such planets come out of the darkness astronomers predict they will be yet more common.

As instruments become more precise and planet-finding missions like Kepler continue to stare at stars, finding Earth-like planets in life-friendly orbits looms. “The floodgates are about to open,” Fischer says. “Between what the Kepler data provided and these Doppler surveys, we’re really on the threshold of seeing a whole population of planets in this so-called habitable zone.”

Within a decade, astronomers hope to aim telescopes like the planned European Extremely Large Telescope at target exoplanets to sniff out the presence of oxygen or other biomarkers in their atmospheres from across intergalactic space.

Now, there are no instruments capable of doing this – but soon there will be, and a large part of my assertions will be vindicated.

Of all the predictions I made in “God, Sex and Kabbalah” thirty six years ago, two were the most important. One was that while life would be wide spread, intelligent life would be relatively rare. Almost all scientists now believe this.

The other prediction I made was that any intelligent lifeforms that we may encounter would be peaceful; because if their highly advanced technology was not offset by even more advanced and effective religions; they would have destroyed themselves long before making contact with other highly advanced technology civilizations.

Thus, each of the many intelligent, spiritually aware, ethically advanced lifeforms in our galaxy; must successfully pass through a Messianic Age; and emerge as a peaceful civilization.

We should not be afraid when they contact us.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 250 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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