Is there life in outer space?
This month’s question just happens to be one of the most frequently asked questions as I speak with people about the creation vs. evolution controversy as well as “science & the Bible”.
It’s a very interesting question for Christians… many of whom wonder what they are “supposed” to think about this. Is there anything in the Bible that says there can’t be life out there? Is there anything that says this definitely is life in outer space? Many Christians just don’t know.
The evolutionary mindset clearly provides the biggest impetus behind the belief in, and search for, life in outer space. The reasoning is simple… if life evolved here on this planet, why not others as well. After all, it’s a big universe and they are discovering other planets outside our solar system. (I don't personally believe life did evolve here or even possibly could have, but this is their line of reasoning.)
For Christians who believe God used evolution as His creative process, they naturally tend to believe that there probably is life out there somewhere. (I discussed problems with believing God used evolution in previous articles (see Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 for more info.).
It is not my intention in this brief article to offer a detailed explanation of why there is most likely not life anywhere else in the universe, but I will summarize the main points and highlight comments from a few very prominent evolutionists/scientists/atheists. (For a more detailed look at this question, see our DVD entitled “Top 10 Questions”).
You can read the Bible from cover-to-cover and you won’t find anything in it that even hints at God creating life anywhere else in the universe. Admittedly, there are no verses that say, “I, God, absolutely did not create life of any kind anywhere else in the universe.” However, there’s nothing else in there that can be used as legitimate support to conclude otherwise. It clearly states that He created everything in six days and He only mentions creating life here on Earth. It also clearly states that Eve is the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). Therefore, we can conclude that if there were other “people” out there, they would have to have come from Eve, which is quite a stretch to believe. Regarding other forms of life somewhere else… the Bible does not even hint at it. Some logically ask, “If we’re the only life around, why did God make the universe so big?” That’s a good question. One response I have is that as big as it is, many people still refuse to see it as evidence for an all-powerful Creator… would a smaller universe have done a better job? I also say, facetiously, that I think God had to use all of His power to hold Himself back to “only” make it as big as it is! Ultimately, it was to show us just a little glimpse of His Glory (“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1).
Scientists have been searching the heavens for years and years, looking for signals coming from intelligent life (ref. the SETI program – the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). They have yet to record anything that is actually evidence of having come from an intelligent being.
Carl Sagan (astronomer who produced the original “Cosmos” series and huge SETI proponent) was asked how would he know if the signals he was receiving were coming from intelligent life. His response was that if there were any patterns or any complexity, it would have to have come from an intelligent source. However, when he considered his own DNA (millions and millions of times more complex than some signal) he believed that it was just an accident… something that nature does on its own. Here’s an example of a truly very intelligent scientist… not making any sense; being very inconsistent in his own logic.
Francis Crick (co-discover of the structure of the DNA molecule) used to believe that life evolved by accident on this planet. Interestingly enough, he later changed his mind believing it was designed, because of its incredible complexity! However, since he was an atheist, he didn't have the luxury of believing God created it, so he chose to believe it was created by aliens in some distant galaxy almost 4 billion years ago and sent to our planet on spaceships! That makes a great story! Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with science (not being testable, repeatable or observable), but has everything to do with his philosophy and worldview.
My last example is from Richard Dawkins (one of today’s world-leading atheists, evolutionary biologist, formerly of the University of Oxford). In the documentary produced by Ben Stein (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed), the following discourse occurred between Stein and Dawkins:
Stein: “What do you think is the possibility that intelligent design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?”
Dawkins: “It could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology and designed the form of life that they seeded onto, perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe, but that higher intelligence would itself had to have come about by some explicable or ultimately explicable process. It couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously. That’s the point.”
So what Dawkins is saying is that it could be that life as we know it was actually designed, but if so, it would had to have been designed by more complex beings somewhere else in the universe, who themselves came into being by a naturalistic, Darwinian-type of process. Wait a minute! If life here is so complex it couldn't have evolved on its own, how is it that more complex life did evolve by accident somewhere else in the universe? If these more complex life forms could evolve by accident, then why not the supposedly lower forms we se here on Earth? This represents an inconsistency in his logic.
I couldn’t say it better than the Apostle Paul, when he wrote (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” (1 Corinthians 3:19)
So is there life in outer space? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I have no tangible reason for believing there is.
As with all of our other articles, much more could be said about this, but if you have any questions related to this month’s article or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!