The Final Frontier or the Twilight Zone of Folly
Is there life in outer space? Or are we all alone in this vast universe? We can’t help but be fascinated with the deep mysteries of space. There is an awe inherent in the nighttime skies that easily lets the imagination roam without boundaries.
Over the years there has been overwhelming curiosity about the possibility of aliens coming down in space ships visiting planet earth. This has been reinforced by the motion picture industry, as we see movie after movie capitalizing on this theme. Who can forget the famous Star Wars series, where we found ourselves interacting with the famous C-3PO protocol droid, boasting over 6 million forms of communication? Or the Star Trek series with its character Spock, a Vulcan from outer space who, as the science officer of the Starship Enterprise, could recall scientific factoids at will and unemotionally interpret everything as “logical” or “illogical.” It appears that there is no limit to the human imagination, as the media industry continues to feed this hunger with a plethora of motion pictures, TV programming, books, and comics.
Evolutionary scientists have weighed in, too, by popularizing the possibility of life in outer space. They have blindly proclaimed that if life could evolve from non-living materials here on earth, then it could evolve elsewhere in the countless galaxies of space. Known for his famous quote: “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be,” the late Carl Sagan (1934-1996)— popular astronomer and atheist forged his agenda for extraterrestrial life with the all-time best-watched educational TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Sagan mesmerized 500 million viewers in 60 countries with the subtle message that life could easily have self-evolved from the materials in the cosmos. Who needs hard statistical facts when the magic of cinematography and dramatically spoken narrative can do a far better job at stirring the imagination to accept the impossible as probable?
Sagan gave the impetus to continue the work of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) by forming a non-profit organization in California in 1984. The mission of the SETI institute, as quoted on their web site, is “to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.” It is disingenuous that their mission statement describes as prevalent, something that they’re renowned for not finding—despite years of listening with their giant radio-telescope. Today, SETI comprises three centers with 150 scientists, educators, and staff who state on the same web site, “We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history—to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.” It claims 135 separate multi-year projects have been funded since 1984 with an impressive list of sponsors, which includes the NASA-Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, US Geological Survey, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard Company and many other well-known names.
Serious effort and millions and millions of dollars are being expended to look for life somewhere else. It is a quest driven by hysteria that was set in motion by Hollywood and fueled by the evolutionists.
Even renowned British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, believes in aliens. He stated “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.” Hawking, now retired, was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years. Today he is wheelchair-bound, almost completely paralyzed from neuro-muscular dystrophy, and speaks through a voice synthesizer. Like Sagan, Hawking preaches that we can do away with God as Creator of the universe. In his new book, The Grand Design, Hawking states “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” Here he attempts to argue that matter and all things around us, including energy, self-formed from the antiquated force of gravity. He makes the proclamation:
Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.
Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe
exists, why we exist.
The basic question of how something came from nothing and then had the ability to organize itself has never been answered with naturalistic science, in spite of Hawking’s feeble and over-simplistic picture of the universe. There are over 50 theories that attempt to explain how the Big Bang caused the expansion of space and how the basic particles of matter were formed, which includes the decoupling or separation of matter from energy. The most logical conclusion is that “In the Beginning God Created.” God is before all things, including the force of gravity to which Hawking assigns creative powers. Hawking continues to miss the logic that everything we observe had a supernaturally created beginning, as it states in Colossians 1:16-17:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (NKJV)
The Blind Will Lead the Blind
Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA in 1953 and Nobel Prize Winner, spent much time in researching a solution. He could not resolve the problem logically with his understanding of earth sciences, so he resorted to the last frontier of space, where imaginations fly, as Sagan and Hawking have exemplified. Crick’s theory of “directed panspermia” suggests that life had to be seeded on earth by extraterrestrial means. As I stated in a recent letter to you, this position is a scientific “cop-out,” devoid of any real explanatory power, since it relegates the origin of life to an out-of-reach, unknowable, and untestable realm. Those making this claim never explain how the laws of science differ elsewhere from those we find operating here, such as to make spontaneous generation of life and upward complexity possible. Crick was a lot closer to the mark when he conceded that life is “almost a miracle”:
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.
The famous British astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle, and his colleague Chandra Wickramasinghe, were faced with the same problem of how life could evolve. Hoyle made a similar statement that drew much attention, when faced with the dilemma of non-life begetting life:
The chance that the higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.
They outlined the same scenario as Crick, stating that genetic material continually flowed to the earth. While the natural inclination of astronomers and cosmologists is often to embrace this type of idea when it comes to the life sciences, evolution’s biggest protagonists tend to use it only as a last resort. The origin of first life is an awkward issue that evolutionists would rather avoid. This is demonstrated in the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed where Ben Stein asks the famous atheistic evolutionist, Richard Dawkins: “Well how did it [life] start?” After fumbling for words, when backed into a corner by Stein, Dawkins could only resort to the “magic genie” of aliens from outer space. He even made reference to a “higher intelligence,” but then commented that it would be an “unpleasant prospect” for that intelligence to turn out to be the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. Dawkins is face to face with the reality that God is his Creator and what does he do? He resorts to a belief in extraterrestrial intelligence. Is this science or just mere foolishness? “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God." Ps 14:1 (NKJV)
A Special Place in the Universe
When we witness the essence of life on earth, we see a reflection of Jesus Christ, who Himself declared in John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life.” He is the Author of our spiritual eternity and has given us physical life on earth, so unique that it magnifies His glory to the fullest. Living things, no matter what form they take, are so different, yet stupendously complex in their organizational state of parts working together to accomplish a common goal. Living systems provide a homeostasis
• where they work internally to remain stable;
• they reproduce marvelously so they can keep going from one generation to another;
• they exhibit growth and development in dramatic stages as in a mammal’s womb;
• they respond to stimuli with a complicated information system fashioned from DNA;
• they have extremely highly efficient energy-converting systems;
• they even repair themselves.
Jesus Christ foreknew that His glory could easily be seen in the creation of life, so that when we witness it, we have a sense of His handiwork that could not possibly be mistaken for inert processes. There is no man-made machine that comes close to that of a single living cell — never mind a living being.
A place to contain life has to be special, and in Isaiah 45:18 we see this declared:
For this is what the LORD says – He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – He says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.” (NIV)
As creationists, we believe in the “anthropic principle” — that the entire universe is uniquely fine-tuned to make human life possible on earth, but nowhere else. Although the Bible doesn’t expressly rule out created life on other planets, the concept doesn’t really seem to fit with the account and purpose of God’s creation as outlined in Scripture. It is clear from Genesis 1 that planet Earth is special among God’s creation, as it was singularly created on Day 1. The rest of the planetary bodies were not created until Day 4. Man is likewise preeminent among all living things, being created in God’s image. The entire cosmos was placed under the curse that resulted from Adam’s sin. The Redeemer, Christ Jesus, came to us (in His incarnate form) through Adam’s bloodline. We who put our trust in Him will ultimately be saved from the curse, because we are also literal blood descendants of the first man, Adam. Why would God put living beings on other planets, make them suffer for the sin of a humankind here on earth, and leave them without any “kinsman redeemer,” as we have been given? The Bible makes it clear that the fate of the whole universe is tied to events that will take place here on earth. I tend to think that God would have told us in His Word if He had created life elsewhere. Moreover, if we can get the ideas of evolution and “billions of years” out of our thinking, there is no good reason to believe in life on other planets. Belief in evolution over eons of time, and belief in life elsewhere in the universe, are twin concepts that feed off one another.
UFO’s . . . Signs of Extraterrestrial Life?
So what is the Christian supposed to believe when it comes to aliens and UFO’s? Haven’t there been too many unexplainable UFO sightings for them all to be dismissed as figments of people’s imaginations? Doesn’t the UFO phenomenon suggest that intelligent life has already visited us from elsewhere? I’m glad you asked! As Christians, we don’t want to be left in a quandary over this tricky subject, but we’d better be careful what conclusion we choose to draw.
Our resource offering this month is a book and DVD combination titled, Alien Intrusion, by author Gary Bates. Mr. Bates really comes to grips with the UFO phenomenon from a Christian perspective. Although many UFO sightings may be the result of hoaxes, optical illusions, mistaken identity, delusion, or overactive imagination, the fact remains that there are a small but stubborn number of experiences with credible eyewitnesses and/or corroborating evidence that cannot be so readily dismissed. Rather than attempting to debunk all UFO reports as hogwash, this book tackles the subject in great detail, examining many specific UFO reports, even “close encounters of the fourth kind” (experiences of alien abductions). It comes to the conclusion — perhaps surprising, in light of all I’ve just said —that something definitely is going on. It may not be what you think, however. Our populace is being prepared for mass deception, but not necessarily by little green beings from another planet.