. . . and they weren’t there again today.

It’s called the Principle of Mediocrity:

The mediocrity principle is the notion in philosophy of science that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of our solar system, the Earth, any one nation, or humans. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special or has somehow violated the laws of the universe. — Wikipedia, “Mediocrity Principle”

First of all, it’s a “notion,” not an established scientific fact and is therefore properly lumped into the “philosophy of science.”

It assumes “nothing very unusual” about how the solar system got here — but how do solar systems get to be anywhere? Since no one (except the Creator) was around to see the formation of the solar system, in the absence of hard evidence, anything anybody says about the topic is necessarily speculative.

Perhaps you’ve heard or read this:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Adams is buying into the Principle of Mediocrity big time here, but scientifically established facts undermine his assumption. The sun is a G-type main sequence star. Out of the 200 billion stars assumed to comprise the Milky Way Galaxy, only four percent or so fall into the sun’s class (red dwarfs are the norm). One out of fifty anythings can hardly be called typical or ordinary or worthy of disregard. “Special” might be a better way to put it.

Since observational science can’t empirically verify the formation of the universe, the solar system, and the earth itself, it is profoundly foolish to generalize from no established facts whatsover to the origins of humanity and nations and the “place of humanity” in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, it’s more than foolish: it’s a prime example of arrogance motivated by hubris. Of course, it’s really (wink wink, nudge nudge) a ham-handed attempt by materialists at backdoor atheism, an effort to diminish the Creator to the status of an unnecessary hypothesis.

I’ve observed over time that atheists will promote “anything but God” hypotheses until they’re blue-faced. Why? You’ll have to ask them.

Nevertheless, atheists are still hoping against hope we “ape-descended life forms” will one day not long hence hear from across the vast cosmos the first whisperings of LIFE OUT THERE:

As 2011 came to a close, two Earth-size planets orbiting a sun-like star were discovered less than 1,000 light years away.

And this was just a couple weeks after it was announced that another planet orbiting another star at the right distance to allow for liquid water and therefore the possibility of life.

The excitement of astronomers and other scientists was palpable.

But then all their hopes came crashing back down to – well, to Earth, still the only game in town as far as hospitable planets are concerned.

It turned out that those two planets of the right size are too close to their sun for life to survive there.

And as for the one at the right distance, it is 2.4 times the size of Earth, which would likely make it gaseous like Jupiter and uninhabitable. — Tom Flannery, “Why E.T. Isn’t Phoning Home”, WND, January 6, 2012

Equally palpable was the disappointment:

All of these questions, all of this confusion, all of this hand-wringing is based, of course, on materialist (atheist) philosophy. It evolves, so to speak, from the view that – as [Charles] Krauthammer put it – we are “a lonely species in a merciless universe.” There is no God, so we are on our own and must fend for ourselves – unless there’s some similarly “lucky” planet out there where, as with Earth, all of the necessary elements to sustain life are present at astronomically unimaginable (i.e., impossible) odds.

You see, the problem for materialists is that the narrative into which they invested all their hopes – a chaotic universe formed by pure chance – has been decimated in recent decades by the discovery of dozens of finely-tuned equations governing our universe (Earth’s axis, the force of gravity). Not only that, but the accompanying knowledge that if any one of these equations were slightly altered, life on this planet would simply not be possible. Sir Isaac Newton saw the sun at the proper distance from Earth to give our planet the right amounts of heat and light (a little closer, we’d burn up; a little further away, we’d freeze), and he declared: “This did not happen by chance!” — Flannery, ibid.

To salve their consciences as well as save face, atheists resort to another “anything but God” hypothesis:

To try to explain this away, atheist scientists have come up with the theory of the multiverse. This hypothesis says, without even a shred of evidence, that there are actually many universes out there, and ours just happens to be “just right.” So it’s not surprising that they think there may be another “Lotto-winning” universe or two out there that hit the cosmic jackpot as we supposedly did.

Yet even the multiverse theory, as speculative as it surely is, doesn’t explain the origin of the laws of nature, or tell us why a universe made of matter should obey laws. — Flannery, ibid.

The multiverse hypothesis can never be proved either in principle or in practice, but taxpayer dollars are being used to promulgate this ridiculous notion as if it were established observational science. Watch The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene (PBS) to see how far atheists will pass off a slipshod philosophy as a substitute for what they are pleased to call “science.”

It really is “science fiction”! And so, unfortunately, is too much of what shows up in government-approved textbooks.