Did you hear about the discovery of “Earth 2.0?” NASA announced recently the discovery of an earth-like planet called Kepler 452b. Scientists argue that there are likely many more planets like this one that exist in a similar dimension to a sun as Earth. These earth-like planets would possibly be able to sustain life, in that they could have water and an appropriate temperature range. NASA started the Keplar Mission in 2009, which has cost some $600 million, with its goal of finding and identifying planets capable of sustaining life.
This search, and as some would argue good possibility, for alien life has lead some to argue against the existence of God. One such argument made by Jeff Schweitzer basically argues that when life is found it will prove religion wrong because the Creation account of Genesis is either factually wrong, or at best, omitted any reference to aliens. In fact, he says surely if the Bible was the Word of the Creator who created these other lifeforms, then it would tell about them. He predicts that religion practitioners will “re-write” their believes to accommodate alien lifeforms.¹
Here are my reactions to NASA’s latest discoveries and the discourse going on because of it.
- This shows the determination and hatred Atheists have for God and people of faith that they will quickly turn a planets discovery which is only somewhat similar to our Earth into a proof of atheism. When you sort through the news and really read about this planet you are left asking the famous burger ad question, “Where is the beef?” This is highly speculative and there has been NO proof of life on other plants. One astronomer truthfully said, “It is quite literally anyones guess as to what these planets are like.” Some experts have claimed that the fireball Venus has more in common with us than this new “Earth 2.0″.²
- The Bible in my understanding is silent on the issue of alien lifeforms. Though there are some clear principles that we should understand.
- The Bible claims God created all of life and matter in Creation. He created the animals, the planets, and the stars during the Creation week at the beginning of time (Gen. 1 – 2; Ex. 20:11; Col. 1:16). Man is God’s highest created life form on earth. It is upon man that he bequeathed a soul and spirit!
- The Bible is focused on God’s story with his creation. This story seems focused exclusively upon Earth. God had a plan before the foundation of the world for the redemption and reconciliation of this world (Titus 1:1-3)
- The destruction and ultimate fate of the stars and distant planets are tied directly with the salvation story of this world. When Christ returns and takes his church home in glory this world and the heavens above will be destroyed or dissolved (2 Peter 3:10-12).
- Based on the above principles, it seems highly doubtful that alien lifeforms will be discovered. Despite atheists rush to use them against the Bible, they have still not been discovered! But for sake of discussion, what would it do to my faith if they were in someway discovered? Though it would certainly involve some head-scratching and shock, it would not ruin my faith. The Bible is a book focused on the big questions of mankind and our spiritual needs. It never purports to tell us everything about this world and the galaxies beyond. It is a focused book. I truly believe, that just like when I hear and learn about the distant millions of stars and the vast expanses of light years of our space [things which we have only recently discovered, and utterly blow my small mind], I would react with praise, awe, and glory to the Creator of all things!!
- “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalms 19:1)