A new book of essays edited by Jim Al-Khalili aims to give insight on aliens, space exploration, transhumanism, robot overlords and a whole host of other related subjects to a public saturated with misinformation and misunderstanding resulting from sci-fi tropes. A recent Time.com article by Sarah Begley looked at 5 of the myths that Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life seeks to correct. Unfortunately as I looked at their proposed truths, I realized that their evolutionary assumptions led to a few false conclusions.
MYTH NO. 1: Aliens would eat us
Here Begley cites astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell:
“In order for aliens to get nourishment from eating us, their bodies would have to be capable of processing our molecules (like amino acids and sugars). And that requires having a similar biochemistry–a long shot for a species that hails from a different world.”
The trouble with this assumption is that if God’s Word is true, life was created and, while there is variation within created kinds, microbes-to-man evolution does not occur. The practical outworking of this concept is that rather than developing randomly, life is designed. If this is the case (and the Bible is the only authority that is supernaturally authenticated by fulfilled prophecy and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ), there is no reason to suppose that the biochemistry of creatures from another world would be any different from that of the creatures God created on Earth.
In other words, there are no guarantees that Aliens wouldn’t be willing and able to eat us.
MYTH NO. 2: Aliens would breed with us
“…given that we can’t even reproduce with our nearest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee, it’s “overwhelmingly improbable” we could do so with aliens.”
The creationist agrees with this assessment. Creatures were created according to their kind so there are fixed biological limits to which creatures can interbreed.
This means that Vulcan halfbreeds like Spock are impossible… unless Vulcans were originally human after all. In a series of stories published as The Seedling Stars, James Blush introduced the concept of “pantropy” which means “grow everywhere ” or “change everything.” The basic concept is that as man colonized unsettled spaces on Earth and beyond, he will genetically alter himself to live in each new environment. I used thus concept in my Otherworld series, where man has created Homo sapiens adaptis, mutants designed to farm the oceans, live in near airless Martian mines, fight our wars and thrive in any other place Homo sapiens considers too hostile. While the results of pantropic colonization efforts could appear quite alien, they would potentially still be able to interbreed (meaning they would be fully human after all).
Even so, true extraterrestrials would not likely be able to interbreed with Earthers. An exception to this rule is any creature that could make itself human somehow. In fiction, we have the example of Peter Quill aka Starlord of the Guardians of the Galaxy whose father is a Celestial (Ego the Living Planet) who made a part of himself fully human and later procreated with Peter’s mother. In the Bible, we have the Nephilim of Genesis 6, fallen angels in human form who procreated with human women which resulted in a race of giants.
MYTH NO. 3: Aliens would look like us
“Human evolution depended on so many unique and unpredictable factors, it’s near impossible that an extraterrestrial species would have human-like features…”
Again if the extraterrestrials were designed rather than evolved, there’s no reason why they couldn’t look largely like us. Rather than seeing homology as evidence if conmon descent, the creationist views homology as evidence of a common designer using a common code resulting in common design elements. If aliens still have DNA (and there’s really no reason to presume otherwise), it’s possible alien creatures would display familiar elements.
MYTH NO. 4: Aliens would be “living” creatures
I actually agree with the assessment that we are far likelier to encounter robots created by aliens than their biological creators. Robots have the advantage of being immortal and singleminded (so no mutinies on generation starships). They also would be better able to handle the harsh rigors of space travel even at higher velocities. Frankly, artificial intelligence may be the only thing capable of figuring out a way around the obstacles to space travel as viewed according our current understanding of physics.
MYTH NO. 5: Aliens would steal our water and metal
While modern sci-fi features aliens who invade the planet to strip it of resources, some scientists disagree:
“Most of our metal is in the Earth’s core, not its crust; asteroids would be far better targets for mining. And icy moons, like Jupiter’s Europa, would be easier places to stock up on water. They’re uninhabited, and they don’t have Earth’s strong gravitational pull.”
One of the scientists who contributed to the Aliens book believes that if aliens came to Earth theg would come as researchers to learn about Earth and its culture. “Presumably,” quips Sarah Begley, “we would hide our alien movies.”
This assessment of the situation leaves out the fact that Earth is suited for life and that colonization could be a major objective of aliens “visiting” this planet. In fact, it might be more prudent to gather resources from asteroids and icy moons once they’ve established a home base on a less hostile nearby world.
So all in all, beginning with a Biblical Creator as opposed to millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution gives us a much different set of answers to these questions.