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The Scriptures of the theistic faiths were written at a time when the tools of science were inadequate to supply any reason to suspect that the sky and the stars were anything but elements of a great dome over the Earth -- far away to be sure, maybe hundreds of miles, and perhaps with other distant bodies moving about beneath its provenance -- but a stately dome nonetheless, the stars suspended equidistantly therein. Creation is therefore written as God-made explicitly and exclusively for the benefit of man. Every point of light existed to illuminate man, and it followed that everything which existed was within eyeshot of humanity.

Now we know better. Much better. There are stars, entire galaxies, so vastly distant that we will never have any sense of what they contain, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years, not in a million years, not in a billion years. We have, just within the past few years turned our most powerful telescope on a single dot in the night sky, a single point which appears from our vantage point to be an empty, inky spot in a surrounding sea of darkness, far from familiar stars. And in that dot, magnified millions of times over, we saw a whole new world of galaxies flush with stars, galaxies beyond galaxies, some mere pinpricks in the distance behind others which could at least be made out as the clouds of burning orbs which they were. We have not reached the limit of our power of magnification. But the most distant of these bodies teaches us that we will never have time to find what hides behind every dot of darkness in the heavens, and yet there is without doubt a similar new world at the farthest end of each of them.

This leads to a question which shatters the ancient myths of the special purpose of the Universe being in service of man. For if that was so, why then would a God bother to spend the extra effort required to make galaxies of stars and planets which we will never visit, or even see from afar? Pandeism provides an answer where theistic faiths are stunted by the certitude that the collective end of mankind is bound up on this mossy rock.

Since Pandeism puts forth the idea that examination of the Universe through a series of logical steps suggests that the Deus (the Creator or creative force) became the Universe in order to share in the experience of life therein, then the Universe must be designed, by its own natural law, to facilitate an experience to be had. It must be of a structure which will lead to abiogenesis and evolution by natural selection leading to the development of self-reflective intelligent life -- and to life with a level of awareness vastly superior to our own, one to which we have simply not yet evolved. Supposing that the Deus (what theists would call "God") essentially blew itself up (albeit temporarily on a cosmic scale) in the Big Bang which started it all, so is thereafter not around to guide life into existence, and must count on that happening on its own according to the laws of physics written into the Universe at the Creation.

Two distinct driving factors must underscore the scope of such Creation:

First, the Deus sought to create a Universe which would maximize the instances of intelligent life developing without need of further intervention. The formula used would have that as its primary consideration, irregardless of the size of the Universe which might be generated. And if, as logic suggests, the Deus used the optimum formula of physical constants (gravity, subatomic mass, strength of the electromagnetic and nuclear forces), the size of the Universe would just be a side-effect of the formula, and one of no great concern.

Second, the creator sought to create a Universe which would maximize the instances of intelligent life developing without need of further intervention. The bigger the Universe, the more places in which this might occur. Life must thus exist in other solar systems, perhaps in this galaxy, perhaps in others, but life equally likely to travel to other stars.

Third, to gain the maximum benefit of sharing in this experience, the Deus would wish for life to blossom and spread throughout a large portion of the Universe -- throughout a big Universe full of wonder and beauty giving its inhabitants many opportunities to discover and feel awed at the sight of things within, feelings which the Deus shares with us. Perhaps fewer things will inspire more wonder than the meeting of two civilizations, each an alien to the other, hopefully in a spirit of peace.

Though this may not happen in my lifetime, I have high hopes for the destiny of mankind to be shaped among the stars. Just as humans have long interpreted an internal longing for God as a sign of God's existence, so may the internal longing of many to believe in life on other worlds be, in fact, a subconscious reception on our part of the beacons of sentience originating on those far-away orbs, dangling about their own flaming suns!

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