Once upon the 50s and 60s, the Contactee movement referred to aliens as “Space Brothers.” The name was rooted in the idea that extraterrestrials were here to help us out. At the very least, they were here to warn us that we were in danger of annihilating ourselves via nuclear war, ecological disaster or some other man-made misery. It didn’t hurt that these ETs looked like us for the most part. Some have described these fair-haired “Nordics” as technological angels, especially those based on the wild tales of George Adamski, who borrowed heavily from the Bible for his lies about Venusian saucer people.
Alas! Technological angels were replaced quite abruptly by diabolical Greys with their medical experiments, interstellar date rape and dread anal probes! The Space Brothers faded into memory, preserved in old scifi films like The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Even so, the question lingers: are thete other creatures out there like us? Maybe not aliens who look like us physically, but might there be some intelligent extraterrestrial biological entities [EBEs] who are like unto men?
In short, are there Space Brothers out there somewhere? And are they also made in the image of God?
In a March 2007 article called “Did God create life on other planets?,” Gary Bates, author of Alien Intrusion, stated that he doesn’t think such aliens are possible because “sentient, intelligent, moral-decision-capable beings… would undermine the authority of Scripture.”
One of the arguments he cited support of his anti-alien position reacted to man being God’s image-bearers:
“…the Bible says we are made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Man was immediately created a fully intelligent being about 6,000 years ago and was involved in craftsmanship shortly thereafter (Genesis 4:22). Since that time, even we have not been able to develop technologies advanced enough to travel to other star systems. If aliens were capable of developing incredible faster-than-light spaceships needed to get here, one would presume they must have been created with vastly superior intellect to ours—which would make them even more in God’s likeness in that sense than we are.”
Note first that Bates equates the idea of being made in God’s image with sentience, intelligence and morality. I’m not sure that’s correct. In fact, I know it isn’t.
Idea that these things are what makes us God’s image-bearers because they’re what separates us from the animals. Yet there is another creation to consider; angels share all if these same qualities and the Bible nowhere indicates that they are likewise God’s image-bearers. We csn say that either sentience makes angels and humans alike God’s image-bearers, opening the possibility of other extraterrestrial image-bearers, or that sentience is not what is meant by being made in God’s image and likeness, making the objection moot.
What is meant by being made in the image and likeness of God is not made clear in the revelation of Scripture; therefore we cannot rule out the possibility of intelligent EBEs based on the idea that they would also be God’s image-bearers.
I personally tend to think that since all of Creation fell in Adam that, even if intelligent EBEs exist, whatever being made in God’s image entails, it is exclusive to Earthlings. Then again, I could be wrong. The Scriptures do not say that man alone or only man was made in God’s image. It merely states that we are made in God’s image and likeness.
In any case, whether or not true Space Brothers exist, we can be assured that they would in no way contradict or undermine the authority of Scripture.