(Epoch Times) Numerous recent astronomical, archaeological and medical discoveries have shaken the foundation of science and given new insight on understandings of the human body, the origin of life and the universe.

1. New galaxies are forming, and the Milky Way is drawing away from the universe

Astronomers observed many new stellar bodies in 2004. In the week of Aug. 25-31, European and American astronomers reported observing five new planets outside of our solar system, including a "super-earth," the smallest planet that has ever been observed.

Scientists have been tracking the transformations of new galaxies. In late 2004, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced that amidst the ancient galaxies surrounding our Milky Way, dozens of infant galaxies are emerging. These galaxies are about 1 billion light years away from us, but they are 9 billion light years closer to us than any other galaxies. Researchers are thrilled by this observation, since the birth of galaxies was thought to happen only billions of years ago.

In February 2004, NASA announced that dark energy, undetectable powerful energy, has caused most galaxies in the universe to recede at an ever-increasing pace from the Milky Way. Astronomers predict that our galaxy will become a loner in the universe.

Scientists speculate that the speed of expansion will eventually reach the speed of light, and all matter will disintegrate. Time will then stop.

2. Humanity is not the only advanced life form in the universe

For ages, people have wondered about the creation of the human race. Exploration of the universe will help us find the answer. Recently, two NASA Mars rovers detected evidence of water and life, which the journal Science champions as the most important finding of 2004.

The second most important finding of 2004, according to the same journal, is the discovery of "little people" fossils in Indonesia. These people averaged 1 meter in stature; their average brain size is a third of that of the modern human. They have been nicknamed Hobbits after the characters in the "Lord of the Rings" books. Archeologists believe that this species existed for at least 70,000 years, and that they disappeared in Indonesia 18,000 years ago.

Archaeologists also found bones of mini-elephants and cows. Surprisingly, the "Hobbits" had created many small, delicate tools. This discovery gives authenticity to legends about little people. However, it also casts considerable doubt on Darwin's theory of evolution.

3. Past Life Regression

Research in near-death experiences suggests that after death a person is still alive in some other form. British scientists report that many people who have been brought back to life in emergency rooms are able to recount in detail how their souls had exited their bodies and floated above the medical personnel tending to their physical bodies below.

Reincarnation treatment is gaining approval from more and more people. In such treatment, patients could find what body parts were injured in their previous lives. In some cases, this treatment has been more effective in diagnosis than CT, MRI and blood tests.

Common painkillers like Naproxen and depression-relief drugs like Vioxx and Celebrex are found to cause serious side effects. Many researchers are questioning the safety of taking medicine. Pharmaceutical companies are under great pressure.

In 2004, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services published the results of a survey on medicine and health. It claims that more than 50 percent of Americans resort to prayer or nontraditional approaches such as Chinese medicine in treating illnesses. Another national survey indicates that nearly two out of three American doctors believe that medical miracles are works of God.