Now that we know extraterrestrials don’t exist in our solar system, UFO enthusiasts claim they’re on a planet orbiting another star. For an idea of how far away they’d be, visualize a shrunken universe with the sun one inch (2.5 cm.) from Earth. Earth’s next-closest star would be 4.5 miles (7.2 km.) away. Its actual distance is 4.3 light-years, so even if aliens traveled here from there at the speed of light, fast enough to travel from Earth to the moon in 1.3 seconds, the journey would still be more than four years. Moreover, if there’s no Creator, the odds are overwhelmingly against life existing on a planet orbiting a nearby star, furthering the difficulty of a trip here. From a secular perspective, life anywhere is far more unlikely than winning the lottery, and when two people in the same area winning the lottery is more unlikely than one, what are the chances that a cosmic neighbor won the same “cosmic lottery” of producing life? And if it actually happened, it would be more unlikely still for that life to be intelligent. Atheists and Christians should be in agreement that aliens haven’t visited Earth, albeit for different reasons. (I’ll give my biblical view on this topic at the end.)
Life is nothing short of miraculous. For creationists, its existence elsewhere is a question of whether or not out Creator chose to put it on Earth alone. For atheists, life elsewhere would be another difficult problem to explain away as a natural event, supposing it’s unrelated to life on Earth. The atheists who assume any planet with the right conditions for life must have it are forgetting that life still has to somehow arise from nonliving chemicals. It’s so improbable that evolutionary biologists are absolutely amazed there’s life on our own planet, and we don’t even know of another like ours. If there’s one out there that produced life and had a food source for it, the planet would again be lifeless when its first organism died if it had no method of reproduction. And if this first organism reproduced, that fortunate accident would have to be followed by many others to form an ecosystem that supports higher life-forms, like here on Earth. It’s common knowledge that plants exchange gases with us and animals, but little attention is given to the fungi and bacteria that feed on dead life-forms. Without them plants, animals and other organisms wouldn’t decompose to return nutrients to the ground after they died. What’s more, these fungi and bacteria would have needed a different food source to survive before higher life-forms existed.
In the absence of a Creator, the most plausible scenario for life elsewhere is it has the same origin as life on Earth, especially if that life resembles us except for minor differences like gray skin and large eyes (the typical description). It’s far-fetched enough that life independently evolved elsewhere without it also independently evolving the same body structure. It’s why evolutionists teach that we’re related to apes. (Ironically, they also teach that whales and dolphins are descendants of land animals that independently evolved bodies resembling those of true fishes. To say these lung-breathing mammals evolved from a fish would contradict the evolutionary family tree, but if mammals and fishes can have similar bodies without being related, it contradicts the doctrine that humans and apes are related based on body structure.) Some people believe we are related to an alien species, many of whom give aliens credit for a lot of inventions, including those of the genius Nikola Tesla. He no doubt fueled speculation when claiming he received radio signals from Martians. Unknown at the time was the signals were emitted by stars, making Tesla the first radio astronomer.
Aliens continue getting credit for human innovations like fiber-optic cables, which can transmit thousands of times the information as copper cables but were just an improvement on existing technology. Samuel Morse is credited with inventing the telegraph in 1837 by interrupting the flow of electric current through copper wire. The spaces between long and short jolts of current formed a code that represented numbers, letters and punctuation. Morse was only one of many at the time experimenting with sending messages by electric current, and the experiments had gone on for decades. Light was later used in place of electricity with the heliograph, a popular instrument for wireless communication in the late 1800s that reflected sunlight with mirrors to make the long and short flashes of Morse code. Also in the late 1800s, Alexander Graham Bell, after inventing the telephone, invented the photophone. Instead of using modulated electric current through telegraph wires, it used modulated sunlight reflected from a mirror to create a wireless telephone. It didn’t work in bad weather, though, and not long after that radio waves were being used to transmit information. Guglielmo Marconi is credited with being the first the transmit telegraph signals with radio waves in 1895, producing current in the metal of receiving antennas. As with electricity, many others were experimenting with radio waves around the same time, including Nikola Tesla. And since light travels at the same speed as radio waves, it shouldn’t be surprising that someone was determined enough to find a way of sending it through glass fibers to transmit information. This isn’t a technology that suddenly appeared on Earth. It came from a history of the theories and experiments of many people.
No alien technology exists on Earth, and rather than giving aliens credit for fiber optics, maybe God should be given credit for what already existed in nature. Protruding from the deep-sea sponge’s glass skeleton are thin strands of optical fibers that transmit light from end to end, attracting other life-forms that the shrimp feed on, and the waste from the shrimp then helps feed the sponge. So a sophisticated system of fiber optics already existed before humans knew of it, as did the transmission of information through jolts of electric current (this is how your nervous system operates). There was also sonar used by bats, dolphins, whales and porpoises to navigate and find food. And humans have always known about biological aircraft. Leonardo da Vinci sketched his idea for a flying machine inspired by birds centuries before the first airplanes, yet there are people who insist the concept of flight must have come from aliens. It’s doubtful we would have aircraft of any kind without the inspiration of flying creatures here on Earth. Engineers are getting ideas from terrestrial creatures, not extraterrestrial technology. Dragonflies are the perfect example. They easily outmaneuver all aircraft designed by humans, who now study these insects’ airflows with the hope of reverse-engineering God’s handiwork.
Speculation of extraterrestrials coming here is further fueled by wild imaginations that interpret ancient drawings to be depictions of aliens and spaceships, and the millions of UFO sightings in modern times is said to be evidence that aliens are still coming here. It’s ignored that nearly all of these unidentified flying objects later become identified, a fact that goes to prove it’s incredibly easy for something in the sky to be mistaken for a spaceship, whether it’s a hoax, an atmospheric illusion or something else. As for the small number of sightings that remain a mystery, why assume they’re from outer space? That’s in the nature of true believers who see only what they want to see. But in the event a UFO is a genuine aircraft, it’s most likely a military secret. Regardless, UFO enthusiasts will reject that more rational explanation in favor of one far more unlikely, so even if some country’s government declassifies an advanced aircraft that had been mistaken for a spaceship, many of them would claim the technology was extraterrestrial in origin. It’s almost expected of people who assume every mysterious object in the sky is a spaceship, and if a government official is caught telling a lie about the object in question, that becomes their “proof” that it was indeed a spaceship. All it would really prove is the government is hiding something, not that what they’re hiding involves extraterrestrials.
Since the Bible is silent on the issue of life elsewhere, there’s no harm in Christians believing it’s a possibility. However, if God intended for us to have contact with an alien civilization, don’t you think the Bible would mention it? It’s alleged references to alien aircraft, such as Ezekiel 1, are a product of overactive imaginations. What’s more, Christians would have difficult questions to ponder if extraterrestrials came here. God gave us dominion over every other species on Earth (Gen. 1:26), so would we be justified in killing and dissecting an alien for research, as we would an animal? Or would it be murder to kill a species more intelligent than our own? Why would God allow another civilization to interfere with ours, distracting us from our purpose here on Earth? While it’s true that most stars in the universe don’t provide us with light at night, and also that the sun isn’t the only star with a planetary system, the purpose of the additional heavenly bodies may be for us to discover and be in awe of God’s creation. Scripture does say, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.” (Ps. 19:1)
Although the Bible doesn’t say Earth is the center of the universe (a man-made doctrine), its focus is definitely Earth. King David exclaimed, “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the Earth!” (Ps. 8:9) If God wanted us to acknowledge a civilization on another planet, why would one of His prophets declare “the whole Earth is full of His glory” (Isa. 6:3) and disregard His glory on another populated planet? The “God of Heaven and Earth” (Ezra 5:11) is the “King over all the Earth” (Ps. 47:7) and “works salvation in the midst of the Earth” (Ps. 74:12). Scripture says the Earth was formed to be inhabited (Isa. 45:18), but says nothing of any other planet. The message is clear that we should focus on humanity’s salvation rather than a civilization that may or may not exist. If there’s one out there, its purpose has nothing to do with ours.
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