Alone or not alone: Astrophysicist talks mysteries of universe, alien civilizations

Interview by Mark Grigoryan

Мathematics is the language of the mysteries of the universe, astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute, said in an exclusive interview with Public Radio of Armenia.

She said the astronomers have so far discovered more than 5,000 planets that circle around other stars like the Earth circles around the Sun.

Are we alone in the universe? “There are billions, an incredible amount of stars in our galaxy alone, and there are billions of galaxies. So, what we know is that one out of two stars has at least one planet and that one of the five stars has a planet that is at a right distance, not too hot and not too cold. I cannot tell you whether there is other life in the universe, but I would say the biggest surprise would be if we find nothing, because then you have to figure out what in billions of possibilities, life never got started, and we would be it.  I think it would be surprising and quite sad,” the scientist noted.

Speaking about the interconnection between science and religion, she said “they easily combine.”

“Science is only valid where we have data, where we have proof, and religion asks us to believe where there is no data, where there is no proof. So, for me that’s really not a conflict, I can do both, because I think they are two very different kinds of realities,” Lisa Kaltenegger said.

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