As more people evidence a willingness to entertain the idea that aliens might have visited the Earth, creationist organizations like Answers in Genesis, who have hung their hats on a no-aliens position, are scrambling to present their supports with firm reasons why this isn’t possible.
Especially since well-known theoretical physics professor Michio Kaku was also tweeted that we ought to be open this possibility:
Ken Ham is the CEO of Answers in Genesis and is rather infamously anti-alien. He believes that aliens cannot exist because the implications of the Gospel is that they can’t be saved, and why would a just God create aliens bound for hell? Ham is wrong about the Gospel implications for aliens, but that is a topic we’ve explored elsewhere.
Ken Ham’s answer to the challenge posed by Michio Kaku is rather typically myopic. After noting that Kaku believes in millions of years of microbes-to-Martian evolution, Ham paints the entirequestion as just another facet of the creation/evolution dichotomy that so many creationists tend to employ (even when there’s no implicit dichotomy inherent in that particular question). In other words, he paints the question as a matter of “Us versus Them”: they believe in [aliens, in this case] and millions of years of evolution, and we don’t. The problem is that after Ham answers the question from the perspective of UFOs as aliens who evolved, he stops there and never considers the implications of several models of creation cosmology to consider whether UFOs might be aliens who were created! In other words, he was so busy being anti-evolution that he forgot to consider the question from a creationist perspective.
Let me explain.
Extraterrestrials & Creation Cosmology
As Answers in Genesis’ own Danny Faulkner notes in Chapter 21 of the New Answers Book 4, there are at least 5 creationist cosmological models explaining the distant starlight problem in light of the Bible’s revelation of a 6-day creation and a young Earth:
- Light in transit (or mature creation)
- Speed of light decay (cdk)
- Relativistic models
- Alternate Synchrony Conventions
- Dasha Solution
Let’s take a moment to look at these models to see whether they allow enough time for Michio Kaku’s proposal.
Light in Transit
“Light in transit” is “the idea that God created the universe mature, or fully functioning.” An implication of this model is that if extraterrestrials exist, they were made fully mature at whatever technological level God decided when he made the planets which orbit the stars He made on the 4th Day of Creation. This explanation isn’t that popular amongst creationists because it’s not really creation science. It’s an appeal to supernatural agency and critics scoff that it may as well be Last Thursdayism …nevermind that the revelation of Scripture is that God didn’t create everything last Thursday but over 6 days about 6000 years or so ago (if you add up the genealogies in the Book, etc).
As an artist and science fiction author, this makes sense to me. DaVinci didn’t have to paint the Mona Lisa as a child and wait for her to grow up on canvas. He created her exactly as he wanted. When I write a book, my human civilization can be as advanced as I care to create it, to say nothing of aliens or any fantasy races I might put in my books. As a subcreator (as Tolkien termed the art of literary world building), the settings and civilizations I introduce are only bound by current processes of time once they become a part of the story.
UFOs with an extraterrestrial origin are possible under this theory. I find it especially intriguing that God has created a mountain that the book of Revelation calls Wormwood somewhere out there in space. Did He also create the alien-sounding locusts which emerge from the crater its impact creates? It’s just speculation, of course, but it fits with a Sovereign Lord who identifies Himself via Hebrews 12:2 as the Author and Editor of our faith (and I would add, of our life stories).
Speed of light decay
Admittedly, the “speed of light decay” model wouldn’t really allow for the development of extraterrestrials advanced enough to reach us. This is “the idea that the speed of light was much faster in the past and has been slowing down primarily in a uniform fashion (but possibly in steps) to what we observe today.” As Faulkner notes, this model is largely rejected by creationists now because it has several problems.
Relativistic models like Russell Humphrey’s White Hole cosmology and John Hatnett’s Model utilizing Carmelian physics both apply Einstein’s relativity to a bounded universe, resulting in time dilation. Essentially this means time would have been “running at different rates with six days passing on earth but more time passing elsewhere. Much of this dilation of time [in Hartnett’s Model] would have occurred during creation week, as opposed to Humphrey’s model where it occurred all along at a more steady rate.” [Brackets mine for clarity]
While these models have admitted problems, both propose a scientific model where the Earth is actually young while the rest of the universe is actually much older. In theory, this allows for aliens on those far flung worlds who are much older and perhaps much more advanced than Earth.
Some creationists might object that the Bibke says the “stars also” were created on Day 4 of the Creation Week, but that plant life was created on Day 3 while animals were created on Days 5 and 6, possibly resulting in 2 very different problems for the possibility of extraterrestrial life. I’m going to say from the outset that both objections rely on a hyperliteral approach to Scripture and that they both end up being irrelevant. One objection supposes that any potential exoplanets created on Day 4 to orbit their stars would be devoid of plant life since plants were created on Day 3 on Earth before stars were even a thing, so they kind of missed the boat. And of course without plant life, they would hardly see how animal life is possible. Of course, Day 3 sets a precedentthat plant life was an establishedpart of creation, meaning exoplanets could be green after all. The second objection supposes that any potential exoplanetscreated on Day 3 would be devoid of animal life because animals were created until Day 5 and 6 and the Bible only mentions the creation of life on Earth. Frankly, both objections rely on the fact that Scripture doesn’t mention any sort of life being created on the potential exoplanets (the latter of which the Bible also doesn’t specifically mention); It only mentions life on Earth. But that’s an argument from silence, a logical fallacy a person commits when they express a conclusion that is based on the absence of statements in historical documents, rather than their presence (Gary Bates consistently misidentifies this one as an argument from ignorance, which is a logical fallacy where one asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true).
The problem here is that the Bible never claims to be an Encyclopedia Galactica, containing all possible knowledge. It calls the moon a light in the sky; nothing on the Bible’s passages suggests that it is solid, yet the fact that man walked on the moon does not invalidate its truth because the Bible also nowhere claims the moon is ONLY a light in the sky, merely that it provides light at night,, which it does. The Bible also doesn’t mention microbes, the Americas nor (with respect to Ken Ham) Australia. Yet they exist. Likewise, nothing precludes God from having created aliens despite not specifically mentioning them.
As I stated earlier, these objections are irrelevant. They don’t rule out the extraterrestrial question. The fact is that if we discovered extraterrestrial life, we wouldn’t say, “Oh, no, the Bible has been falsified!” because we know that these “objections” are just the weak handwaving gamble of folks who don’t believe in aliens and don’t think it likely they shall ever have their views challenged on the subject. I’m not that cynical.
Now to the question at hand, could creationist cosmologies involving time dilation allow for the possibility of UFOs as extraterrestrials? Well, yes. Taken at face value here, Michio Kaku’s statement about aliens who are millions of years more advanced than us cannot be ruled out. In fact, from a Biblical point of view,, we should note that if such aliens do exist, they were created by the sovereign will of God and their presence here isn’t random. They were meant to come here and the very reason why isn’t likely to involve saving us. Rather God could intend them as a judgment as He ordained pagan empires to conquer and subjugate Israel for their sin. He could also have intended that they hear the Gospel, for if Adam’s sin was imputed to them, Christ’s righteousness can likewise be imputed to them by grace through faith in Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice. Whatever the case, if UFOs are being piloted by aliens, they didn’t evolve; they were created and ate now here by God’s design.
Alternate synchrony conventions
Alternate synchrony conventions amount to Jason Lisle’s “Lisle-Einstein Synchrony Convention, otherwise known as the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC), which is based on an alternative convention that is position-based physics as opposed to velocity-based physics.” The analogy given is a 5 hour flight which nevertheless leaves at 1pm on a given day and arrives at the very same date and time. “Here is the difference: according to Einstein, when you approach the speed of light, time goes to zero. So if you rode on top of a light beam from a star that was billions of light years away from earth, it took no time for you to get here. So that five-hour flight was a “no hour” flight for light. It was an instantaneous trip.”
As a point of irony, if this principle allows light to travel from stars to Earth instantaneously, does it provides a possible mechanism for advanced aliens to cross the vast distances of space to get to the Earth in no time. If UFOs/UAPs are extraterrestrial craft, eyewitness accounts corroborated by radar, etc., indicates that their flight capabilities seem to defy mankind’s current understanding of physics.
The Dasha Solution
Danny Faulkner’s Dasha Solution proposes that just as plants apparently grew from seed to full grown plants in the space of less than a day during the Creation Week, perhaps God simply sped up the time things normally take during the Creation Week because He can. Faulkner points out that supernatural agency is allowed and even expected within the Christian worldview “…[M]uch about the creation week was miraculous, hence untestable today. If one were to attempt to explain the light-travel-time problem in terms of a physical mechanism, one might as well look for a physical mechanism for the virgin birth or Resurrection.”
What does that mean for extraterrestrial life? It means God has the power to do whatever He wants. If it was his will that extraterrestrial life exist and visit Earth, He’s certainly capable of having set the necessary conditions during the Creation Week to make that happen.
So let’s see how things panned out. It turns out that most creationist cosmologies allow for the possibility of alien life and even for sufficiently advanced aliens that could have technology that allows them to reach us.
- Light in transit (or mature creation)? Yes
- Speed of light decay? No
- Relativistic models? Yes.
- Alternate Synchrony Conventions? Yes
- Dasha Solution? Yes
Now Ken Ham, Gary Bates, and others may say that the Biblical view of aliens is that they can’t exist; however, the very thing that disproves their strong assertion on this subject is the fact that if aliens did show up, there are several passages of the Bible that we would note suggested a hint of their presence after all.
Which is (again) why it’s unwise to make dogmatic statements about any subject the Bible doesn’t explicitly rule out as possible.
This isn’t to say I necessarily believe UFOs ate piloted by little Grey men from another world. In fact, my answer is similar to that of the late Stephen Jay Gould when asked whether he believed in extraterrestrial life: “Insufficient evidence.” But that’s okay. We aren’t meant to give pat answers to everything. Sometimes we can only say, “Maybe. I don’t know.” And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But the affirmative answer to the question of whether UFOs are extraterrestrial in nature doesn’t have to invoke evolution at all. More than one creation cosmological model is compatible with Michio Kaku’s statement about advanced aliens. I just needs God to have created life in other areas of the universe that are relatively much older than the Earth. Creation cosmological models involving time dilation or supernatural agency certainly give us a young Earth created in 6 days while the rest of the universe could have relatively millions of years of history at the will of the God who is the very Author of the universe. Don’t be surprised if aliens do exist after all, for this universe is the handiwork of the same Creator who made microbes and distant nebulae in anticipation of man’s invention of the microscope and the telescope by which to discover wonders the Bible had not even hinted at!