Saturday, December 01, 2007

Extraterrestrial Life - Questions From Neighbors.

Three Hearts asks (See originating document):

Do you believe that Extraterrestrials (aliens) exist? and if not .....Why?

And if there was undeniable proof, would that make the bible Irrelevant.

My friend told me that if aliens landed and made them self knowing to the public, that the World be in total chaos. Because Religious fanatics would be freaking out and could not handle it, because the bible teaches that humans are the only superior existing intelligent being in the universe.

Is this true?

My answer:

A very good question that is difficult to answer in the space provided here.

No, I do not believe that there are sentient extraterrestrials in the dimensions that make up our physical universe. There maybe other species of animals, but I don't believe there is anything out there that is self-aware, like we are.

From a biblical/religious standpoint, when Adam rebelled and rejected God's rulership as of no benefit to the physical creation, God could point to the existence of extraterrestrials as proof his rulership is beneficial! Since He didn't do that, it would appear that they do not exist, or they have also rejected His Universal Sovereignty. If they have rejected it, why did God choose to send his son here to pay the ransom for lost perfection? He could have sent him to another world? Yet the bible tells us that Jesus died for "our" sins, "once for all time", benefiting all of creation. There is no evidence from a religious view that there is extraterrestrial life.

From a scientific standpoint, I find it difficult to believe in the possible existence of extraterrestrials. If man has evolved, the obstacles that stand in the way of sentient life evolving from a single cell organism are so incredible, that even in an infinite universe, they are quite improbable. So, even though I have read Asimov's Extraterrestrial Civilizations, where he argues in favor of the evolutionary odds of multiple occurrences of sentient life, I remain incredulous.

If there were undeniable proof that extraterrestrials existed, this would not make the bible irrelevant. The bible deals largely with events that have occurred during detailing of Earth's final creative epoch. In Genesis it says "In the beginning God created heaven and earth", what happened during this time period, the bible does not say. It's obvious from the fossil record that there were other creative epochs involving other species, such as dinosaurs, but we don't know why God chose those time periods for extinction. But he did. Then Genesis goes into greater detail concerning the preparation of Earth for the creation of man. Many creationists assign a specific time period for this, but Genesis really doesn't say how long a day is during this time period. The use of the term day, could be a reference to a period of time, like one could say "in my Grandpa's day", the use of "day" could be a reference to a creative period of time or epoch, the duration of which we do not know.

Again, the bible is a book dealing with the restoration of God's Kingdom, and only gives us an outline of creation and not the details. It is not a scientific reference to give us all the answers. Even Ecclesiastes 3:11 says in this regard, "He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can't find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end." The beauty of life is learning new things. If God gave us all the answers, then life wouldn't hold much meaning. We do know that God has created other species, the bible does speak of Angels, which were created far beyond any frame of reference we have scripturally or scientifically (as Hawking says in his book "A Brief History of Time", any theory regarding the nature of things prior to the Big Bang would be meaningless, since all laws of physics would no longer apply, even time itself would have no meaning) and exist outside the dimensions of our physical universe. So in that sense, I believe there is extragalactic/extradimensional life.

In summation, I do not believe in extraterrestrial life in our dimension or universe. It would be exciting to find proof of extraterrestrial life, but doing so would not shake my faith in God or the bible, which does not deal with the creation of life elsewhere, either universally, or extradimensionally, but only gives an outline to point to the restoration of God's Kingdom. During that time we will be able to explore these questions more fully and endeavor to learn all the things that have transpired since the beginning of time.

There are always fanatics, religious or otherwise. They are currently "freaking out" about a variety of things that have very little to do with what the bible actually says. Men are always looking for any reasons to dominate one another and often use religious reasons to do so. They may indeed freak out, but not because the bible teaches anything about man being the only intelligent being in the universe, it does NOT! They would freak out as an opportunity to push their own hidden agenda and do it in God's name.

I encourage you to do my research in this regard, both scientifically and scripturally. It's always good to make your own informed decision.


New Jerusalem Bible

Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Isaac Asimov

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

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