About 50 billion, to be specific. If you take the results from the Kepler Mission and do a bit of math, that’s the implication. Hundreds of millions of those planets are predicted to be in the habitable zone, too.
I’ve seen a moderate amount of hubbub about the theological implications of finding life elsewhere in the universe, especially intelligent life. I’ll likely post on this in the future, but for now I’ll just point out two things: 1) the Bible is mute on the subject; and 2) the great Christian apologist, C. S. Lewis, had no problem with the prospect of intelligent life out there. (He did, however, express concern about humankind’s likely behavior toward any alien life we might encounter. Unfortunately, he’s probably right, but I’ll keep watching Star Trek and hoping for the best anyway.)
- “Religion and Rocketry” (appears in the book The World’s Last Night) by C. S. Lewis
- The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis