On November 19, 2009, a commenter named Tristan V. of Australia challenged one of the premises of Gary Bates’ article, “Did God create life on other planets?”
“Hello, I wanted to comment on this paragraph:
‘Or, their creation is much older than the 6,000 years of the biblical six-day timeframe; the aliens were created before man and had sufficient time to develop their technologies. However, God created Earth on Day 1 and later the heavenly bodies on Day 4.’
If my understanding of Dr Russell Humphreys and Dr John Harnett’s models of how our cosmos might have come to be formed is correct, then it implies that other places may be much older than our earth currently is (by their time) even though they were created after earth was (our time). If this is correct, then the statement above doesn’t really form a solid argument as the current creationist understanding would allow such long times in distant places in the universe. Thats not to say ET evolved there though.”
Gary Bates responded by admitting:
“You make a good point. In Humphreys’ time dilation/distant starlight model, I suppose any “created” aliens say out near the event horizon of the universe could have millions of years of their time to develop their technologies.”
So first Bates admits that the point is valid. And the point is valid if the cosmological models cited involving time dilation are accurate in any sense. According to time dilation theory, there could be long extinct or existing alien civilizations that were created (note Gary Bates’ use of question-begging quotes around this word) by God and in existence by their reckoning millions of years before us. In essence, ancient aliens from a creationist cosmology.
Now we should point out that we’re not talking about the sort of ancient aliens that are promoted by folks who believe that God is really just an advanced extraterrestrial that interacted with mankind around whom a supernatural mythology arose. That’s blasphemy. The fact of the matter is that the Bible remains the only Authority that is supernaturally authenticated by fulfilled prophecy and the resurrection of Christ. No other authority can make that claim, including the guys with the ancient astronaut hypothesis.
Getting back to the subject, we note that Gary Bates admits that Tristan V has made a good point; however, since it doesn’t fit into Bates’ creation/evolution dichotomy, Bates then shows how disingenuous his flattery is by trying to pick the point apart:
“However, it is a bit of a moot point though. Firstly, for God to have created any intelligent sentient beings other than humans would violate the gospel—remembering that the whole purpose of creation was to bring forward a bride for Christ (not many brides). I pointed out the theological problems with that idea in the article.”
So basically, Bates says, You have a “good” point, but it’s bad. So, yeah.
We have pointed out the logical fallacies commited in Gary Bates’ “theological problems” in several articles on this website.
Here they are:
- Why ET Probably Doesn’t Need To Be Saved Anyway
- In Which Gary Bates Responds To My Post About the Bible and Aliens
- Would the Existence of Aliens Make God a Polygamist?
- Wouldn’t God Have Mentioned Aliens If They Existed?
- Alien Salvation: Answering a Cartoon Argument Against ETs
And there’s more where these came from.
“Secondly, even if they were millions of years advanced in their technologies (presuming that my theological interpretation of the gospel is wrong and God did create them), then regardless of how advanced they are they would really be unable to visit the earth.
Um, whether we could visit each other is irrelevant to the point of whether such ancient aliens might exist in a created universe. The UFO phenomenon is irrelevant to the question of the existence of alien life that has not visited us. We were considering the theological implications of the possibility of extraterrestrial life long before the advent of the saucers.
The trip would have to take billions of years because faster than light travel is an impossibility in our time/space universe. Many people think that because there is advancement in propulsion systems as our civilizations become more technologically advanced, that somehow we will be able to zip around at warp factor nine in our hyperdrive spaceships. This really is the stuff of science fiction. Regardless of how advanced a race’s technology is we will simply not be able to switch off the laws of physics. In addition, such trips, if they could be done, would require multiple generations of aliens piloting the spaceships to be able to get here due to the billions of years it would take.”
Gary Bates here poisons the well, conflating science speculation with science fiction. Science fiction is a specific genre of speculative fiction that is not intended to be taken as fact. Speculative fiction also includes the fantasy and horror genres. Occasionally, there is some overlap. For example, Frankenstein qualifies as both sci-fi and horror. Science speculation and science fiction are not always equivalent. Speculative science more typically mirrors the hard science fiction sub-genre than, say, a space opera like Star Wars.
In naysaying faster-than-light technology and the concept of generation ships, he pretends as if such problems will remain insurmountable. That places him on par with naysayers who said we’d never put a man on the moon because of the “insurmountable” problem of cosmic radiation (and because God stopped man from reaching the heavens at Babel), or that the “sound barrier” doomed any attempts to fly faster than the speed of sound. We believed in that “brick wall in the sky” for about 50 years, until October 14, 1947, when fellow West Virginian Chuck Yeager successfully flew faster than the speed of sound in the Bell X-1.
Also, though a generation starship would take multiple generations (hence the name), no one estimates that even that method would take billions of years. This is hyperbole.
“Lastly, even presupposing my first two points are wrong, any advanced aliens visiting the earth would break God’s dominion mandate (as described in the article).”
The dominion mandate argument against ET is just ridiculous. Angels are much more powerful than mankind, yet we were given dominion over the earth. Angels are kept in check by God’s authority and will, not our “rank” or our own power. Does Bates suggest that then that aliens could resist the will of God or displace man’s God-given dominion? What small God does He serve?
See the list of articles provided above for more on this fallacious argument.
“Also, in Russ Humphreys’ Evidence for a young world he shows that erosion has been happening too fast on Earth for the standard evolutionary cosmological dates of 4.5 billions years. In short, any ET worlds with biospsheres like the earth’s etc. would have eroded away billions of years ago. I suppose though, they could have left their worlds and inhabited others and just keep heading inwards where the world are younger. Oops, trouble is by the time they would reach them they would have eroded away too etc.”
The Humphrey’s article Bates cites mentions the Earth’s erosional rate but doesn’t really make the argument he’s refering to. The argument is made in another article by Tas Walker (not Humphreys) called “Eroding Ages,” where he argues:
“Old-earthers claim that the continents are over 2.5 billion years old, yet using their own assumptions, the continents should have eroded away in 10 million years. Note that this 10 million years is not the estimated age of the continents.”
While I believe the Earth is young because of the authority of the Bible, I don’t think we should use this example as evidence for this claim. The trouble is that we know that while the Earth is Young, it was created with apparent maturity. Thus, our position does not stand or fall on whether the Earth’s apparent geological age is younger than it should be by the measurements of uniformitarian geology.
Furthermore, as someone who’s taken a college level geology class, Walker’s argument does seem rather simplistic. He downplays processes that build up land masses like lava flows, etc., to make his case, which makes it amount to little more than a straw man argument.
The irony is that Gary Bates basically imagines a scenario where aliens are forced to travel progressively toward us, like they’re being herded like something like a galactic version of PUBG’s red circle of death. This means that, if the Lord tarries, we could eventually get our definitive answer to the question of whether intelligent life exists out there.
Either way, presuming that Gary Bates’ theological interpretation of the gospel is wrong (it is), there is no real reason why God could not have created aliens that are very ancient indeed!