Life in the Cosmos » Introduction

Even before our ancestors began to fashion tools and learn the art of making fire they must have gazed at the wonders of the Earth and the marvels of the star studded heavens and asked such questions as:

Why are we here?

What made us?

Why are we born?

Why do we die?

They made myths and legends of how the Earth and the plants and animals that inhabited almost every nook and cranny of its surface came to be. Above all they wondered about the presence of men and women in the world. At first they endowed every plant and animal with a spirit - later they invented a whole world of gods and goddesses and still later the great religions and philosophies were born. These religions and philosophies tried to answer the ultimate question which is still unanswered:

Why is there something rather than nothing?

They depended on BELIEF and FAITH. Science however came along and began to find out HOW the Universe operated - it left the ultimate question of WHY to religion. That is why at the highest level science and religion are not in opposition to one another.

My other website ( Visions of the Cosmos) covered a very wide field of geology and astronomy. This website proposes to examine in depth the question of LIFE. As such it concentrates on the new science of ASTROBIOLOGY. It surveys the evidence for the possible existence of life on planets other than the Earth. It then deals with our knowledge of life on Earth and what is known of the chemistry and biology of living processes.

Ray Goodwin

Somewhere there are mountains
Glistening in the snow
Somewhere there are mountains
That we shall never know

Somewhere there are rivers
Flowing fast and free
Somewhere there are rivers
That we can never see

Somewhere there are oceans
And sun drenched island sands
Forests full of creatures
In vastly distant lands

Somewhere there’s a planet
Beneath an alien star
The people watch our tiny sun
And wonder where we are

One day perhaps we’ll find them
Across the void of space
Perhaps through ways as yet unknown
We’ll meet them face to face

The author of this web site Ray Goodwin holds B.Sc. Degrees from London University in Chemistry, Geology and Physiology and an M.Sc. in Biochemistry. He has spent most of his professional life teaching in Colleges of Technology. On his retirement he has entered the fields of astronomy, astrochemistry, astrobiology and space sciences. He has spent a great deal of his retirement in visiting amateur astronomy societies and in attending European Space Agency Symposia in ESTEC in the Netherlands and other scientific conferences in England and Sweden. He regularly attends the yearly European Astrofest in South Kensington London and other meetings in the UK. He has written scientific articles and given a number of lectures on diverse scientific subjects.

Readers of this web site are invited to e-mail the author ( and discuss their opinions of the topics dealt with and suggest any changes which they think may be helpful.

Life in the Cosmos Website
Version 01.00 - April 20, 2015.