Hollywood and science fiction books have long dreamed of life on other planets.  Blockbusters like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “E.T.”, the “Star Wars” movies and “Independence Day” have glamorized the notion that “we are not alone.”  And to try to count all the books that have been written that talk about alien encounters and the like would be like trying to count all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.  While exciting and intriguing, harboring the yearn for alien life forms has no scientific evidence, is illogical and is likely contrary to God’s Word.

Perhaps the biggest question that we should be asking is not if there is life “out there,” but what our purpose is in being here. 

Just this week, there are reports that Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, may harbor alien life.  One article reporting such a possibility had the follow comments:  “NASA’s Cassini spacecraft found Titan lacking in hydrogen and acetylene, two ingredients vital to methane-based life, scientists say. The discovery sparked theories among researchers that a life form could be consuming the compounds as food.”  This article posted on the internet went on to say, “A paper published in Icarus, Cornell University’s journal of solar system studies, reports that hydrogen molecules were disappearing on Titan’s surface. And a second study in the Journal of Geophysical Research found the planet short on acetylene, which methane-based life forms would use for energy…”

So a science journal is suggesting that there could be methane-based life forms.  Even though NASA states that the idea of methane-based life forms is entirely hypothetical.  As we all know, a hypothesis is an educated GUESS based on the given information.  So, based on information given in the article above, since Titan lacking in hydrogen and acetylene, then aliens must be consuming them.  They have to be.  Let’s publish an article about it!   The problem is, this is still an educated GUESS.

In this article, there was no mention of scientific models, experiments or observations that led to the belief that methane-based organisms contributed to the lack of hydrogen and acetylene on Titan.  The scientists just noticed that it is lacking.  Using this reasoning, one wonders if there are foreign felines on the moon’s surface because there is also a lack of cat food there.

To its credit, NASA pointed out in the article that “some NASA scientists are cautioning that the existence of alien life on Titan is just one explanation for the moon’s curious lack of hydrogen and acetylene, and is probably the least likely theory to be correct.”  In a direct quote, NASA went on the record to say “Scientific conservatism suggests that a biological explanation should be the last choice after all non-biological explanations are addressed.”

So Christians who believe the Bible for what it is, God’s inspired Word, must be wondering about the connection between scientists and the search for alien life forms.  What is the big deal?  Why spend hundreds of millions each year in public and private funds to communicate and find aliens?

Dr. Richard Dawkins is a name many have likely heard.  He is a professor at Oxford University, an atheist, and the author of numerous books.  In the documentary film “Expelled” featuring Ben Stein, Dr. Dawkins stated that life could have been started by alien seeding!  He does not allow one of his brain cells believe that anything in our universe was designed or created, but that it all happened by chance.  Never mind that it would take much more faith to believe that our origins came about by chance, and that it would be more likely that God, as He stated in His Word, “created the heavens and the earth.”

One government-funded university, the University of Wyoming, had an article on its website that asserts, “English 4050/5560, otherwise known as ‘Interstellar Message Composition,’ is the first class to enlist creative writers in a potential cosmic conversation.”  It further goes on to state, “‘We’ve thought a lot about how we might communicate with other worlds, but we haven’t thought much about what we’d actually say,’ says Lockwood, a professor of natural science and humanities.”  So our hard-earned tax dollars are being used to teach, in effect, Alien Communication 101.  Imagine the uproar if an elective course in Communication with God Almighty 101 were offered in a government-funded university!

There are those in the scientific community who would like to say that a combination of life being seeded on Earth and evolution explain the origin of life.  Some scientists are starting to believe that there are too many holes in the theory of evolution to explain away, and they are starting to slowly migrate away from evolution, and trying to find a different model to explain the origins question.  In any case, scientific theory for our origin continues to “evolve”, while, for thousands of years,  God’s Word has stated “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Many scientists feel that discovery of alien life forms is crucial to replace or enhance the theory of evolution.  While not all scientists conform to this thinking, most of the mainstream scientific community are atheists.  Their approach to interpretation of scientific findings originate from a worldview that would love to do nothing more than prove that there is no God and discredit the Bible.

Half baked ideas and unconfirmed theories abound in an attempt to do away with God and the doctrine that He, and He alone, is responsible for all things.  God’s claim that He personally created man with His own hands, then turned around and fashioned a woman has no place in the scientific community.  The clear and literal interpretation of God’s Word is that He did it all by His own will and plan.

God created man to be a living soul, but makes no mention of any other creatures such as aliens.  The Bible nowhere mentions the notion that there are ETs created by a God who created everything and “without Him was not anything made.” All of God’s creative work is addressed in Genesis, and all living beings were created to live on Earth.

The Bible also states that our sun (a star) was created to be the “greater light to rule the day” (Genesis 1:16).  Our local star was created on the fourth day with a specific purpose for our Earth, the only planet which has been discovered that can sustain life.  All the other stars were created with a specific purpose for man, God’s hallmark of creation.  The other stars of the universe were created by God to “be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14).  God made all the other stars with a specific purpose for us, not to fulfill the specific purpose of another creation.

God sent His Son to die on the cross to redeem US from sin.  And if there were aliens created by God (who, once again made everything) then they would also be affected by the curse of sin, because the Bible tells us that “for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Rom. 8:22).  The reason for the pain is sin, which man committed in the garden in Eden.  But then God “so loved the world (the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family) that He gave His only begotten Son…”  John 3 further says that “He who believeth on Him is not condemned…” and that “this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light” (vv. 18, 19).  If aliens are created beings, why is there no mention of their creation in Genesis?  The Bible specifically points to the redemption of created man, not created aliens.

Perhaps the biggest question that we should be asking is not if there is life “out there,” but what our purpose is in being here.  And the Bible has the answer:  “Whether you eat, or whether you drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The answers are there, we just have to search for them, and trust God.


3 Responses to “ETs, aliens, and life on other planets?”

  1. 1 John Morrelles
    June 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Robbie, that should Richard Dawkins rather than Hawkins.

    “The Bible nowhere mentions the notion that there are ETs created by a God who created everything…”

    There are a lot of things that aren’t mentioned in the Bible. I’m not sure it’s a good logical argument to say that because the Bible doesn’t go into it that we can rule out the existence of something, though I agree with your general perspective that we have quite enough to chew on with regard to what the Bible *does* say.

    I am intrigued by space exploration and the possibility that God did more with the universe than he has revealed to us thus far. My faith is just not affected one way or the other by the issue.

    I also find Stephen Hawking’s thoughts on the matter of interest. His perspective is that if there is intelligent life beyond our solar system, we would probably do well not to attract attention to ourselves just yet. Hawking points out that the common assumption that alien life would treat us benevolently is likely incorrect. The point is a bit different but the conclusion is similar to yours — we should probably be minding our own business.

    • June 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      “I don’t think ET came all this way just to pick a fight.”
      – Captain Steven Hiller [played by Will Smith], “Independence Day” [1996]

      “We are of peace. Always.”
      -Anna [played by Morena Baccarin], “V” the television series [2009]

      The idea of alien benevolence is overrated. In ID4, the aliens came to wipe us out and use up our planet’s resources. In V [both the 1980s series and the current one], they come under the pretense of peace, but ultimately plan on making us a part of the menu. Unfortunately, both scenarios are likely more realistic than the sort of rosy future Star Trek offers by comparison. Hawking simply stated the obvious. In fact, he finally stated something some of us had been saying for a long, long time. SETI’s not only a lost cause at best; at worst, it’s a beacon to our own destruction.

      While an argument from silence would be weak on its own, Robbie has also raised a sound Biblical point that sapient ETs would pose a soteriological problem for Christendom. They would be subject to the Fall. If they had a conscience, they would be guilty under Universal Moral Law. How would they be saved? These two points combined would appear to preclude sapient extraterrestrial life.

      • 3 John Morrelles
        June 24, 2010 at 10:07 am

        Humanity’s future as depicted in Star Trek is pretty rosy, but there are many episodes of the many series that depict exactly the problem Hawking lays out. The idea that contact with an advanced civilization is generally a net negative for the less advanced civilization is, shall we say, a *prime* theme of the series, eh?

        You seem to be saying that because we don’t have an answer for the soteriological problem that it proves something about the universe. That strikes me as an even shakier logical construct than an argument from silence. Who’s to say that a sapient ET couldn’t or wouldn’t be saved?

        It’s an interesting line of thought. Many of the great unwritten science fiction works in the dark recesses of my spare thoughts deal with the conflicts that arise from people of faith going out into space.

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