Over the past few days, I’ve been watching presentations from the Roswell UFO Festival 2017: “70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.”
This particular post concerns a presentation given by RoswellMission.org founder and conference organizer Guy Malone on June 30, 2917, entitled, “Are Aliens Demons? Evidences That Suggest ‘Yes.'”
While I may comment on the rest of his presentation later, I was really interested in catching the last of it because the presentation description promised that he would ends “with a revealing look at ‘What The Bible Says About Life on Other Planets.'” He begins by basically agreeing with our article on that subject: the Bible says nothing about aliens. Not directly.
Most of the material presented in this section of his presentation appears to come from his “What does the Bible say about life on other planets?” article on AlienResistance.org.
Guy Malone correctly notes that we should attempt to give a Biblical answer to any question or issue posed to us, whether it’s homosexuality or alien life (his examples). The problem is of course that, while the Bible addressea homosexuality, it is silent on the subject of extraterrestrial life. In order to rule out the possibility of extraterrestrial life life indirectly, Malone appeals to what he calls the “Doctrine of Stated Intent.” To his credit, he admits he made up the term. The problem with this proposed Doctrine of Stated Intent is that it’s simply an argument from silence.
The Bible mentions that the Moon gives light, that it marks seasons, and that it declares the glory of God. Some commentators even suggest that Jeremiah 31:35 alludes to the Sun and Moon’s influence on Earth’s tides. But where does the Bible say that the Moon has a surface men can walk upon? Where does the Bible even suggest this as a possibility? How about the possibility of mining the moon? If Moon Express succeeds in mining the moon for Helium-3, will Guy Malone suppose the Bible is now false because the Moon would have a demonstrated purpose that goes beyond its Biblically stated intent? Is he willing to state that man will never mine the Moon based on this “Doctrine of Stated Intent”? Will he stoop to saying that Moon Express would be sinning for giving in to the temptation God put there in the form of Helium-3 by using the Moon for something besides its Biblically stated intent? Or would he concede the fact that his “doctrine ” is actually a logical fallacy, and that the celestial bodies may have other purposes besides their Biblically stated intent, even if that opens up the door for the possibility of extraterrestrial life?
Perhaps he could save us all the trouble and concede his error now.
The details of his argument against the possibility of extraterrestrial life unrelated to the UFO phenomenon is just as bad as the premise.
Malone simply repeats the same tired arguments other anti-alienists have made, basically making it clear that he thinks you have to choose between aliens and the Bible.
His first argument is that the only stated purposes of the stars is to give light and mark the seasons. We addressed that argument most recently in the article: More Than Lights in the Sky, where we noted that the Moon is included in the Scripture he cites:
” Yet we can walk on the moon. It has substance. So too with the other planets and other moons in the Solar system. Their chief benefits to Earth (i.e., marking seasons, giving light, declaring the power and glory of God) do not appear to be the sum of their qualities. Nor did the Bible ever say this was the case.”
His second argument pulls from a common misinterpretation of Isaiah 55:18. We note the logical fallacies which support this misuse of Scripture in the article Why Isaiah 45:18 Say Nothing About Aliens.
His third argument is that the Bible says that he populated the heavens with angels (non-biological extraterrestrial entities) but says nothing about extraterrestrial biological entities, which is a bona fide argument from silence. We’ve addressed better argued versions of this argument in an article in which we answer the question Wouldn’t God Have Mentioned Aliens If They Existed?
Moving past the material on his slides, Guy Malone also provided an argument from authority.
“There is a bigger picture of why the Church’s answer to this question is so important. The expert, majority opinion of Christians who have studied the alien phenomenon extensively, is that what the world popularly calls “aliens” today, is in fact deceiving spirits, teaching doctrines of devils. And also that they are setting the world up for a strong delusion that will embrace the New World Order, one-world government, anti-christ ruler when he appears.”
So he claims that a majority of those who looked at this issue exgaustively have decreed that aliens are demonic? Gary Bates made the same appeal to faulty authority.
That’s not historically accurate. While a handful of modern Christians have decreed that the UFO phenomenon (specifically where it concerns the experiencer phenomenon) is demonic, this is a separate question from the question of whether alien life exists that has not visited Earth. Calling the UFO phenomenon the “alien phenomenon” simply begs the question. Malone’s attempt to conflate the two issues is transparent.
Historically, exotheologians from CS Lewis to medieval scolars like William Vorilong have argued for the compatibility of Christianity with the concrept if extraterrestrial life. Polls reflect the fact that most Christians, even most creationists, have no problem with the idea of ET. The majority he refers to are members of the First Christian Symposium on Aliens, an event he organized and populated with like-minded speakers to promote the very idea that the aliens of the UFO phenomenon are demonic! This is nothing more than confirmation bias.
Even if Malone’s position were supported by a majoriry consensus, it wouldnt make his position right. Galileo was right in the face of an overwhelming consensus. I’m demonstrating that the Christian consensus on the possibility of extraterrestrial life have built that consensus on logical fallacies. Prove me wrong, but don’t suppose you can hide behind the crowd.
As a valued added bonus, Guy Malone tacked on two appeals to consequences.
1. If you say aliens exist, you’re playing into the Coming Great Deception. The Strong Delusion is going to happen whether extraterrestrial life exists or not. Whether fallen angels pose as aliens or someone stages a false flag alien event, if the idea of extraterrestrial life is actually involved in the Strong Delusion, the existence of alien life itself is a separate question unto itself. We should not forsake the truth based on a appeal to possible consequences of the very idea we’re proposing. Some use a similar argument, saying that if aliens existed, people would use it as evidence of microbes-to-man evolution. If aliens exist, we would rightly counter than God created them.
Having said that, where in the Bible does it say that aliens, real or otherwise, play a role in the End of Days? Because Scripture says nothing about extraterrestrials. Are we to forsake the very possibility of extraterrestrial life simply because this sci-fi End Times scenario is a faint possibility? By the way, it turns out that the polls suggest that most Christians would not chuck their Bibles at the sight of aliens landing on the White House lawn, so perhaps these guys ought to reconsider this argument.
2. If you say aliens exist, someone could decide to join a UFO cult. In Malone’s words, “leaving the door open for a belief in extra-terrestrial biological life always leads to bad fruit, and New Age cult thinking.”
Always? Really? That’s an overstatement.
Saying aliens exist without qualifying that any alien messages or related teachings that conflict with the Bible are necessarily false could lead someone down the path Malone has described, but the slippery slope argument on its own presumes that no one would ever provide that caveat when saying that God could have created aliens.
By way of analogy, evolutionists claim that some fossils are transitional forms and therefore proof of evolution. They also claim the rock strata are evidence of millions of years. The Bible teaches that all animals were created by God according to their kind and that the Earth is roughly 6000 years old. Malone’s slippery slope argument us akin to saying don’t teach your kids about geology lest they become atheists and evolutionists. Rather we would teach our children geology while teaching them the truth of God’s Word and instructing them to reject any teachings and imaginations which contradict God’s Word, for the Bible remains the only authority that can claim to be supernaturally authenticated by fulfilled prophecy and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We have nothing to fear from the possibility of extraterrestrial life or even a study of the UFO phenomenon so long as we hold the Bible as our ultimate authority.