May 13, 2008

Are We Alone?

Interestingly, just yesterday (I think -- may have been this morning) I heard a kindly yet authoritative voice on the radio saying that, essentially, there can be no life on any planet other than earth because the Bible says God created life on earth and earth only.


Just cut off a bunch of science fiction at the knees, there, guys . . .

Yes, the Bible does not mention alien life from other planets. And that's supposed to mean it doesn't exist? I mean, the Bible also doesn't mention that Jesus smiled, so does that mean he never did? (Actually . . . some people have said this.)

I know, I know . . . they aren't just coming from the words on the page, they are also saying that earth is created to be a unique place in our universe -- the home of humanity and, therefore, the home of Christ: God in flesh.

And I do believe that God created earth to be unique. And it is a special place. 

But to say, definitively and authoritatively that he created this ginormous universe and did not create any other life at all in it is, well, a little like putting God in a box.

Ironically, today I found this article from the Associated Press, which states that the Vatican has said that it's okay to believe in aliens and that you can believe in God and aliens.

Now, I don't know what's true or not. I don't know how many aliens can dance on a pinhead.

But I do know that God has created an amazing universe. A beautiful universe. A universe with more secrets than we will ever know. A universe he wants us to learn about and explore and observe. A universe populated with fleshy beings and spiritual beings and fleshy spiritual beings (to put in a nutshell the classifications of the Classical thinkers).

And there just might be some little green men out there who are worshipping God in their own, strange way, discussing the possibility (or impossibility) of life on other planets.

~ Ben


Eric Merced said...

I so agree with your point of view. I am often frustrated at People who stubbornly insist there is no life out there. How do they know? How can they be so sure?
As you put it, how can a God that created such an awesome Universe leave it... Empty?
I guess we will truly know when we are before him.
Nice post Ben ;)

Travis said...

Good post, Ben!

You know, the Bible never mentions angels being created, let alone on Earth. And that voice on the radio was very wrong(!)--the Bible doesn't say "God created life... on earth only"; it merely limits its coverage of created life to that which took place on Earth.

Now, me? My personal, eschatological cosmology ;) goes a little sumpthin' like this:
1) Aside from those creatures mentioned in Scripture, we're the only sentient life in the universe;
2) All "alien encounters" can be chalked up to some combination of
  (a) psychological issues
  (b) secret military programs
  (c) demonic activity
3) When the New Jerusalem is brought down to Earth, it will be our home... but some of us will go exploring, James T. Kirk style. I dunno about you, but even without other people-like creatures, it'd be fun to go bushwhacking with Gabriel on Gliese 581 c.

But hey, I don't believe in the existence of parallel universes, either. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good story using them as the primary plot device. ;)

I think any "Christian" sci-fi worth it's salt would have a well-read believer experience a crisis of faith upon first meeting an alien race, if only because of imagination-killers like the dude on the radio. (I'm guessing it was a dude -- Christian chicks aren't allowed to be "kindly authoritative" on the radio these days.) ;) Even assuming the existence of sentient alien life, a typical committed Christian from our period in time would need a personal "Copernican revolution" before they could accept such a thing, and I think it's a mark of maturity for a writer to take such things into account, and allow for some sort of "whoa"-uttering Neo or Frodo to balance out the Morpheii running around like they own the place. :D