“We can safely say however, that if alien spaceships in fact landed on Earth… the reality of alien interaction would be undeniable to all those who dwell on earth. At this point, we would expect all Bible believers to set their Bibles aside and never give God a second thought.”
The preceding quote is from the Extraterrestrial Life article on CreationWiki. Even as Wiki articles go, it’s really bad. I stumbled upon it during my research for Strangers and Aliens. By the time I got to the second paragraph, I knew the article was going off the rails.
The very first thing it does is set up a straw man argument that a belief in the possibility of alien life is only plausible if one believes in microbes-to-man evolution, and that an anti-alien view of the cosmos is THE Biblical View™ on the subject:
“An important note, as this is a web site dedicated to the defense of Christianity and the Creation message via Genesis, the alien-life-form debate is firmly centered in the belief of evolution. If evolution is false and the universe is young, then Genesis is true and humanity is alone in the universe. If evolution is true and the universe is old, this alone provides plausibility to the notion of alien life forms (if life evolved on Earth, why not elsewhere?).
Thus we are presented with a challenge and a choice. Belief in aliens is firmly rooted in evolution, a premise rejected by this web site. The following discussion is in context of the premise that Creation is true, the Bible is accurate, the universe is young and evolution is false. This being the case, the notion of alien life forms is rejected.”
Of course, this is a false dichotomy because while Christians rightly reject the notion of evolved aliens, there’s no reason why we couldn’t affirm the possibility of created aliens. In fact, the very first work of science fiction, Somnium, included extraterrestrials and it was written by a creationist, Johannes Kepler (yes, THAT Kepler). Furthermore, statistics show that a good number of creationists affirm the possibility of created extraterrestrial life. Similarly, not all evolutionists affirm the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Generally speaking, anti-alien evolutionists appeal to the Fermi Paradox which is sometimes combined with the Anthropic Principle. In other words, their reasons aren’t that much different from anti-alien creationists.
I realize that Wiki pages can be edited by just about anyone, but in this case this particular page was last edited 2 years ago by Temlakos (aka Terry Hurlbutt), one of the admins. In other words, this is the Gospel truth according to CreationWiki, which is a project of the Northwest Creation Network.
The basic idea is:
- Aliens = Evolution
- No Aliens = Creationism
Gary Bates is largely responsible for this false equivocation. The very subtitle of his Amazon bestseller is “UFOs and the Evolution Connection.” It is the weakest point of his book, amounting to bald assertions of his claim without any sort of arguments backing said claim. As we noted in another post, he utterly failed to demonstrate his point.
Both Bates and the CreationWiki article fail to account for the fact that their argument leaves out at least one (and arguably two) other option(s): It ignores those like me who affirm that if aliens exist God created them for He created everything, and the fact that an admittedly small minority of evolutionists, being fully cognizant of the Fermi Paradox and the Anthropic Principle, are willing to entertain the possibility that man is alone in the universe. Certainly, proponents of Simulation Theory affirm evolution on Earth but suppose that life probably doesn’t exist beyond the focus of the simulation. This is the nearest evolutionary equivalent to the no aliens creationist position. In fact, Nick Bostrom, one of the scientists who proposed the Simulation Hypothesis, wrote the following:
“One person who had been a hardcore atheist his whole life, told me, when I explained the simulation argument to him, that it was the best argument for God’s existence that he had ever heard. He became an agnostic.”
So the reality of the situation is that there are at least four different positions
- Evolution but no aliens
- Evolution with aliens
- Creation with (not by) aliens
- Creation without aliens
Guess what? Those positions line up with the results of polls on the subject. Given here in order of greatest support to least:
- Evolutionists who believe that extraterrestrial life might exists (whether they believe such life is common or rare) as a result of natural processes (45%).
- Creationists who believe that extraterrestrial life might exist if God created it (30%).
- Creationists who do not believe that extraterrestrial life exists (11%).
- Evolutionists who do not believe aliens exist due to the Fermi Paradox and the Rare Earth/Anthropic Principle (6%)
So the sad truth is that the only Christians who might “set their Bibles aside and not give God another thought” are the minority of believers who needlessly preach and believe this anti-alien dogma.
Unfortunately, the Extraterrestrial Life article on CreationWiki.org is riddled with logical fallacies, including a few I hadn’t run across anywhere else. Look for a few more posts concerning their arguments in the next few weeks.