The Bible And Extraterrestrial Life -- By: Arthur Manning
BSP 11:2 (Spring 1998) p. 29
The Bible And Extraterrestrial Life
Does life exist beyond planet earth? Mankind has probably pondered this question throughout the ages. Perhaps we began to consider it more seriously after the advent of the telescope. We discovered that some of the bright points of light in the night sky are not luminous bodies but apparently more similar to our own planet and, therefore, more likely to harbor living creatures. In the 20th century we have been bombarded with outer space; from H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers to Superman, Star Trek, E.T. and Star Wars. The entertainment industry has been tremendously successful in demonstrating the powerful appeal this topic has on large numbers of a certain life-form inhabiting planet earth.
Not only the general public is interested in this topic. Many serious scientists are, as well. According to Cyril Ponnamperuma (1991), “The National Academy of Sciences of the United States has set down the search for extraterrestrial life as the prime goal of space biology.” Ponnamperuma added:
BSP 11:2 (Spring 1998) p. 30
The scientific question at stake in exobiology is the most exciting, the most challenging, and the most profound issue not only of this century but of the entire naturalistic movement that has characterized the history of western thought for over three hundred years. If there is life on Mars and if we can demonstrate its independent origin then we shall have an enlightening answer to the question of the improbability and uniqueness in the origins of life. Arising twice in a single planetary system it must surely occur abundantly elsewhere in the staggering number of comparable planetary systems.
Ponnamperuma even noted his own goal for finding extraterrestrial life is to “...retrace the path by which life appeared in this earth.” Essentially, then, the search for extraterrestrial life from this perspective is a search for evidence for evolution. From an atheistic, evolutionary perspective, natural processes produced life on earth and perhaps a similar milieu also produced life elsewhere. This scenario conflicts not only with the Bible, but also with the second law of thermodynamics.
From a theistic perspective, extraterrestrial life may exist in the universe. From this point of view God created life on earth and could just as easily have created life and the necessary conditions to sustain it in many locations throughout His creation. Indeed, a theist might ask, “why would God create an extensive universe and then create life on only one extremely minuscule planet?” This seems as absurd as purchasing a thousand acres for a zoo and then placing no other life ther...
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