- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
The Bible and Aliens Part 1
Life Beyond Earth
For centuries man has looked to the stars and wondered if we are alone in this vast universe. Indeed the possibility of life on other planets and in other solar systems has been the subject of a myriad of documentaries, television shows, movies and Science fiction novels. Many have said that if there is life on other planets then that makes the Bible and the Judeo-Christian belief system wrong. This is because of the fact that the Bible places so much emphasis on man as the only being created in the image of God, and seems to center all of God's activity around man and this planet. Seeing all of this, some think that the Bible denies that there is life beyond earth. And they would further say that it leaves out the possibility that there ever could be.
I would like to take a look into what we can glean from the Bible on this subject, and see what implications it has for our beliefs. We will start with the obvious biblical fact that there is another form of life beyond our own physical existence.
I. God, the Angels and Demons
The Bible declares that there are indeed other intelligent beings who exist other than man, and the animals man shares this planet with. God, of course, is the creator of all of these things. He is the eternal, all powerful and all knowing being who alone has life in Himself. That means that he didn't have to have a source from outside to give Him life. He derived his life from no other being (John 5:26).
At the very beginning of the Bible, in Genesis 1:1 it says: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." And we find in Colossians 1:16 that Paul says of Jesus Christ: "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and for him." So all that is, was created by the Triune God.
The Scriptures also declare that there are myriads of other spiritual beings created by the living God that inhabit this universe as well. They are the angels, God's heavenly messengers, that bring glory to their creator. We see them throughout the biblical record. The Bible also talks about Lucifer, or Satan who was an angel who rebelled against God and opposes his work of redemption even today. Along with him are the fallen angels or demons who, lead by Satan, also oppose God and those who follow God.
II. Physical Beings
Though the Bible plainly says that there are other spiritual beings, what most people think about when asking about life on other planets is whether there are any physical, carbon based life forms such as ourselves. The truth is, the Bible neither confirms nor denies that there is life on other planets or in any of the more than 50 billion galaxies that scientists can see with modern telescopes. What it does explicitly say is that whatever was made was made by God. That would include any other alien life form that may exist.
It has been estimated very conservatively that there are ten sextillion stars in our universe. And of those stars they are now probing the galaxy to find some like our sun with planetary systems around them such as ours. To date only about 100 have been discovered, but scientists are continuing to find them and are beginning to believe that they are quite common.
Let us give a conservative estimate that there are ten million, billion planets in our known universe. And if only one in a million of those could sustain life, then that leaves around one billion planets like our own that could possibly be a home to life forms such as ourselves. Or so goes their reasoning.
While these statistics are fascinating and overwhelming, they are merely that. Statistics are only as good as the conclusions that you make of them. Many scientists who use these figures try to infer from them that life has the possibility of evolving on other planets like our own. In other words, they believe that given the right conditions such as we have on earth, life can come from non-life and then slowly evolve over time to the intelligent life forms such as we see on this planet. Life from non-life not only goes against common sense and science as we know it, it goes against the Bible. The Scriptures clearly teach creation. And all scientific research to this point shows the impossibility of life coming from anything other than another life form.
With all of that being said, does the Scripture leave a possibility that God has created life on other planets? Of course, those who believe in the God of the Bible would say that he can do anything he wants to do. But I believe that there are clues in Scripture that can give us a better understanding as to whether or not he actually did. That will be the subject of my next article.