In his Amazon bestseller Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection, Gary Bates tries to make an intrinsic connection between a belief in extraterrestrial life and the theory of microbes-to-man evolution. The implication is that a belief in the possibility of alien life is the result of an evolutionary worldview rather than a Biblical worldview. Since Bates is the CEO of Creation Ministries International, it is understandable that he would want to connect the subject matter of Ufology and exotheology to the creation/evolution debate; however, the “evolution connection” Bates promises in the subtitle of his book is probably one of the weakest points he raises.
Bates devotes a tiny section (entitled “Aliens and the evolution connection”) of the first chapter, spanning a mere two and a half pages (!), to his promised thesis. Even so, he fails to establish an intrinsic connection between evolutionary premises and the belief that alien life is possible.
Instead, Bates notes that both materialistic secular scientists like Carl Sagan and UFO cults share a “belief that evolution has occurred for countless eons on the earth and all over the universe. This point cannot be emphasized strongly enough – it is the basis for virtually all belief in alien life, whatever form one thinks that life may take.”
So he basically says that non-Christian evolutionists believe that aliens came about by evolution. Of course they do. The idea of life evolving elsewhere by naturalistic processes is consistent with their worldview; we certainly wouldn’t expect them to suddenly suggest that supernatural agency was involved in the origins of any potential alien species, right?
Bates uses their predictable beliefs about how extraterrestrial life must’ve originated if pure naturalism is true as a springboard to suggest a dichotomy between an evolutionary belief in extraterrestrial life and the Biblical view of life’s exclusivity to Earth.
He then notes that since life is not as common in the universe as evolutionary theory would at first suggest (i.e., he invokes the Fermi Paradox) that THE Biblical view of aliens he’s advocating must be true.
I do think that we must be Biblical in our thinking; however, the Bible is silent on the subject of extraterrestrial life. It does address the subject indirectly. The Bible says that God made everything that exists, so we do know that if aliens exist, they did not come about by microbes-to-man evolution. If aliens exist, God created them. As far as the Fermi Paradox is concerned, He need not have made alien life ubiquitous; life in the universe could be as rare or as common as He wills. It could even be exclusive to Earth, but we cannot say this dogmatically. The Bible tells us that aliens were created by God if they indeed exist, but it does not comment on whether they exist or not.
To summarize, given the Fermi Paradox, there are three options:
- Aliens exist and evolved by natural processes but have not been discovered because some natural factor limits their prevalence in the universe. This is obviously unbiblical.
- Aliens exist, were created by God and have not yet been discovered because life is not common by divine intent
- Aliens do not exist because God only created life on this planet by divine intent.
Given the silence of Scripture on the subject of the existence of extraterrestrial life, either of the two latter possibilities are consistent with a Biblical worldview.
Despite Gary Bates insistence that a creation/evolution dichotomy will dictate whether we affirm the possibility of alien life or not [viz., creation=no aliens; evolution=aliens], he has failed to demonstrate that a belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life demands evolutionary assumptions. As it turns out, the idea of created extraterrestrial life is as consistent with a Biblical worldview as evolved extraterrestrial life is with an evolutionary worldview. One is left wondering whether the proposed “evolution connection” in the subtitle of his book is simply a clever marketing gimmick to make the fringe subject of Ufology more appealing to his target market.
In any case, this idea that God created aliens (that we have thus far not discovered) is a valid Biblical alternative the false dichotomy of having to choose between anti-alien dogma and to an evolutionary worldview. It is certainly consistent with the character of a God who created micribes well in advance of the technology man needed to develop in order to discover and appreciate microscopic life. It is certainly wiser to leave open the possibility of created aliens life than to paint ourselves into an unnecessary theological corner on a subject upon which the Scriptures are silent.
Interested in learning more about exotheology and Ufology from a Biblical worldview? Do you want to know why the UFO phenomenon is irrelevant to the question of extraterrestrial life? Do want to know why its ok for Christians to believe in the possibility of alien life and why some well-meaning theologians object to this idea? Then pick up a copy of Strangers and Aliens: A Christian Sci-fi Author Examines the Argument for Extraterrestrial Life!