Saturday, August 11, 2012
Life on Purpose
“Life had to have begun elsewhere in the universe; just look around at its vastness and you must confess that it is ignorant to think there is only life on earth.” This is, in a nutshell, the popular argument for aliens and UFOs today. The proponent argues from the scope of the universe and daunts the listener with the vast reaches of outer space to make them confess that, at least, the possibility of extra terrestrials is plausible. Is it? On the surface this is a good, if not simple argument by inferring from the size of the universe and our own existence to posit that life occurred elsewhere.
There is one hidden and unspoken assumption that is embedded in this line of thinking that perhaps most advocates of alien life do not consider: the evolutionary theory that under girds the possibility of life on planets other than our own. In short, since organic evolution began life on earth over billions of years by chance accidents (billions of such accidents) making matter out of nothing and then making life from non-life, then it must have happened in other reaches of space. The odds must be less than zero since humanity exists as proof that evolution made at least one touchdown; and if it did it once, it can do it again.
Even many Christians uncritically subscribe to this thinking and believe other Christians extremely naïve to think that no other life forms can exist in this universe other than our own. Before we consider the theological answer about life in space, let us answer the first question with another: “What if life began on purpose?” What if a designer intended to create life on this planet, aligned the conditions of this planet to sustain organic life, and then created us on it? Design eliminates the argument of plausibility due to size and our own existence. It matters not how vast the universe is, or the fact that we exist if an intelligent designer planned our universe and created it. If life began “on purpose” then life wasn’t a long series of cosmic accidents and miracles; it was one tremendous miracle of intervening creation that began what we presently see.
Our government spends a ludicrous amount of money searching for signs of life in space, convinced that we are not alone in the universe. Conspiracy theorists contend that aliens already walk among us, housed by our government. Seeing as how no habitable planet has been found for life to exist on in all the charted reaches of space, coupled with the time it would take to traverse such distances with the height of our technology, this hunt for life in space amounts to tilting at windmills and wasting tax-payers’ dollars. Consider the Redshift theory, for instance. If I am following this correctly a Redshift tells our scientists how swiftly a body in space is moving away from our planet, following the course of the Big Bang as space continues to expand. A body heading toward our planet is called a Blueshift. As far as I have read every body in space surrounding earth is in the process of Redshifting, which is impossible unless earth was ground zero for the Big Bang. This brings up the plausible objection that we currently misunderstand the Redshift phenomenon.
Furthermore, beings with the ability to move faster than the speed of light (a necessary trait if they ever plan getting to far off planets in less than some thousands of years) would be possessed of technology so far beyond anything we have dreamed of that their arrival would summarily herald our demise. The advancement of science on our planet has only created more efficient means of killing people swiftly and in larger numbers for the sake of progress. If we infer from thousands of years of our own historical experience, why should another mortal, fallible race be different? Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So many people searching the stars in a wistful yearning to learn that we are not alone utterly ignore the God of the Bible and His desire to reveal Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ; historical proof that we are in fact not at all alone in this vast universe, but not in the way the naturalists and atheists desire to believe.
Finally, if the universe was created by chance, undirected processes over course of billions of years it would have taken the light we presently see on earth about 94% of the age of the universe to reach us from the most distant stars; leaving a mere 6% of that vaunted 10-15 billion years to create stars, have them go through their life cycles and explode, leaving us with second generation chemical elements, form a second generation of stars and transmit the light from these heavy element stars to earth an immense distance away. 600 million years is that 6% (roughly); hardly any time for life to evolve on distant planets and become so advanced as to circumvent natural laws and make their way via space travel to our world.
Finally we shall come to the Biblical, theological reasons why I disbelieve in alien life. I believe the Bible refutes this teaching if a student of the word is willing to listen to what Scripture has to say concerning the topic. Mind you, many Christians marginalize Scripture and tout reason, science, tradition, etc in its stead. To such Christians I would say that you are committing idolatry by putting down your perfect God and replacing Him with man’s fallible and corruptible methods.
To begin with Genesis chapter one opens with the six day creation account. God made all things in six day/night cycles. If there is intelligent life “out there” in terms of other mortal creatures it is only as old and advanced as we are. The six day creation account is reaffirmed in Exodus 20:11 and again by Jesus in Mark 10:6 when our Lord explains that Adam and Eve were made “from the beginning of the creation.” It is a pointless pursuit and shameless abandonment of our confidence in God’s word to plead the Day-Age Theory or the Gap Theory; we are simply trading in one authority for another (i.e. God’s record of creation for man’s theory of organic evolution). Genesis 1:14-19 describes the creation of the heavenly bodies (including outer space) so the creation of extra terrestrials would have to occur during days 4-6.
The Bible declares that the heavens were created to mark the passage of time on earth, Genesis 1:14. The heavens (outer space) were also created to demonstrate the glory and power of our God, Psalm 19:1. Paul might have had this idea in mind when he penned his famous narration in Romans chapter one: “For since the creation of the world (Greek kosmos) His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” Romans 1:20.
Finally the Bible tells us that through Adam’s sin “the whole creation groans and labors,” Romans 8:22. Also, “through one man sin entered the world (Greek Kosmos),” Romans 5:12. Here we have the entire creation, the whole universe travailing because of Adam’s sin. As God’s steward appointed to care for the creation God had given him, Adam’s sin had universal ramifications. The entire universe is now suffering the crippling effects of entropy as everything winds down toward destruction and increasing chaos wreaks havoc. A strange fate for aliens to suffer for the sin of a man half way across the universe.
Also, Jesus is named the last Adam and the second man, 1st Corinthians 15:45, 47. There were no others created in sinless innocence and there will be no others. Jesus was only the second, and the Bible affirms that He is also the last. It leaves no room for theological cartwheels here. The first man brought sin into the world; the second and last man brought universal redemption. There are in fact other beings besides ourselves in this universe. They are the holy and fallen angels who either serve God or Satan. They can masquerade for the sake of deception, 2nd Corinthians 11:14. They can and do attempt to influence mankind frequently, Job 4:15-16; 1st Samuel 28:8; Acts 16:16, etc.
Searching the skies derails multitudes from searching out their own spiritual condition and considering how they will face God on the judgment day. Aliens perhaps seem less judgmental and remove man’s sense of isolation in this universe; but it is not our geographic position in the cosmos that ingrains such a sense, it is our sinful nature and need of redemption in Jesus Christ that creates it. May we focus instead on our Lord and give Him the glory He deserves when He comes in that day to be admired by His saints. God bless.