Universe offers infinite possibilities | Wally’s World

Well, the latest calculation by astrophysicists indicates that the distance across the observable universe is approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 septillion) miles, give or take a few blocks because the figure has been rounded off. And that’s only what we see.

Well, the latest calculation by astrophysicists indicates that the distance across the observable universe is approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 septillion) miles, give or take a few blocks because the figure has been rounded off. And that’s only what we see. The number is so large, most astronomers dismiss it and simply say the universe is endless. Infinite.

Their math also suggests the universe has 100 billion galaxies and each of them has, roughly, 100 billion stars. That’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 sextillion) stars, which is also a bit much, so let’s just say, again, there are an infinite number of them.

Of course, it’s logical to assume most of these stars have a few planets, but we really can’t make any estimate as to how many. Beyond our own solar system, our most powerful telescopes can only detect approximately 3,000 possible planets circling the nearest stars. Still, it seems reasonable to assume there are more planets than suns (stars) – so, for practical purposes, let’s absurdly declare there are an infinitely greater number of planets than there are infinite stars.

Indeed, infinity is beyond our feeble ability to grasp. No one can really imagine something that never ends or something that’s always been, not even Einstein’s algebra. The “big bang” didn’t create everything because there must have been something to go bang in the first place. If there was ever nothing, then there would never be anything, so something as always been. Forever, without end.

Given such incomprehensible vastness, it seems reasonable to believe there must be some other life besides our own somewhere, even it it’s no more than algae or aerobe. Personally, I believe there’s not only primitive life out there, but “intelligent” life as well. Somewhere.

There are a number of respectable, sane and responsible citizens who believe alien spaceships have actually entered our atmosphere and looked around. Such crafts may be mere robots, but some people believe extraterrestrials are flying them.   Still others think aliens have landed here and are walking among us.

Really?

There are even rumors that one of the spaceships crashed in the American Southwest and the U.S. government has the wreckage – and perhaps even some of the aliens – in a top-secret, well-guarded, warehouse in the New Mexico desert.   They believe the government wants to keep the whole issue under cover to avert a worldwide panic.

Really?

Let me assure you, I don’t enjoy mocking respectable, sane and responsible citizens, but I have to admit such “close encounters” seem like so much balderdash to me. Absolute nonsense.

My opinion withstanding, so many Americans have supposedly experienced UFO sightings, and even face-to-face encounters, that the U.S. Congress recently held hearings on the subject. Yes, you read that correctly; for three days, the House listened to witness after witness present first-hand accounts of their extraterrestrial experiences.

If you’re like me, you probably think this is the silliest damn thing Congress has ever done – and that’s saying quite a lot given some of its past performances. Our representatives are so stagnate and befuddled they can’t pass a ban on assault rifles or formulate a budget, but they have time to hold hearings on visitors from outer space.

I have to wonder what planet our politicians are from.


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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