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Thread: Some Christian fundamentalists: no extraterrestrial intelligence

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Some Christian fundamentalists: no extraterrestrial intelligence

    David A. Weintraub has written a book, Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It?. Google Books gives us some snippets of it, and they include some other fundies' arguments. Advanced ET's imply a big no-no among fundies: evolution. Then ET's having advanced wisdom or conquering death being a challenge to Xianity. Then the Fermi Paradox and then how Genesis 1 implies that the heavenly bodies were not created to be homes for ET's. Then how belief in ET's is supposedly a result of belief in "evolutionism".

    Would Finding Alien Life Change Religious Philosophies? about David Weintraub's book.
    Public polls have shown that a large share of the population believes aliens are out there. In one survey released last year by the company Survata, 37 percent of the 5,886 Americans who were polled said they believed in the existence of extraterrestrial life, while 21 percent said they didn't believe and 42 percent were unsure. Responses varied by religion: 55 percent of atheists said they believed in extraterrestrials, as did 44 percent of Muslims, 37 percent of Jews, 36 percent of Hindus and 32 percent of Christians.
    Some of these variations may be due to the demographics of the various groups -- it would be interesting to try to sort that out.
    Weintraub found that some religions are more accommodating to the idea of E.T. than others. Those with an Earth-centric spiritual point of view are the most likely to be made uncomfortable by questions about the discovery of aliens. Certain evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, for example, are of the opinion that God's sole intent was to create people here on Earth. Some believe that if God created life anywhere else, it would say that in Genesis, Weintraub said.
    But other fundies may disagree. David Weintraub notes the speculations of the founders of Seventh Day Adventism. But present-day SDA's may not agree, and they may be closer to the anti-ET fundies. Something that also applies to the various SDA offshoots, like Garner Ted Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God and its offshoots.

    Catholics and mainline Protestants tend to have much less trouble with the idea of ET's, and believers in other Abrahamic religions and also Asian religions also have little trouble with the idea.

    -

    Did God create life on other planets? - creation.com by Gary Bates.

    About the argument that a mostly-uninhabited universe would go to waste, GB argues that God can do whatever he wants to. BTW, in the 18th cy., many people believed that the other planets were inhabited because God would not let them go to waste by being uninhabited.

    GB continues with arguing that ET's would not have inherited Original Sin from Adam and Eve, that they would still have suffered from its effects, that Jesus Christ could only have died for A and E's descendants, and that he died only once, not lots of times on other planets.

    Then GB discusses the Heb 11:3 "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." and Jn 10:16 "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd." where the italicized words are sometimes cited as references to other inhabited planets and to ET's. But I agree with GB that that's overinterpreting those verses.

    Then GB discusses someone's argument that ET's aren't guilty of original sin and won't need salvation, but that they won't be going to Heaven or Hell either. However, GB notes that God has created us in his likeness, and advanced ET's would be more in God's likeness than we are, so advanced ET's cannot exist.

    Then GB seems to assert young-earthism.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    It's not just Gary Bates: Did God create life on other planets? - creation.com -- Addressing the question of "Could there be ‘simple life’ elsewhere in space?",
    And in any case, any ‘microbes on Mars‘ were likely as a result of human contamination. What would be their purpose? The entire focus of creation is mankind on this Earth; the living forms on Earth’s beautifully balanced biosphere are part of our created life support system.
    It's also these:

    Extraterrestrial life - CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
    Belief in aliens is firmly rooted in evolution, a premise rejected by this web site. The following discussion is in context of the premise that Creation is true, the Bible is accurate, the universe is young and evolution is false. This being the case, the notion of alien life forms is rejected.
    EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE - What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets?
    The Bible does not teach that intelligent life exists elsewhere in our universe. Although our all-powerful God could have created such life had He desired, it seems rather obvious from Scripture that He did not. The timetable for this present universe is measured by God's dealings with us. It appears that God has created the human race, on the planet called Earth, as the sole beneficiary of His fellowship. This fellowship is of such a unique design that we are told that God's only true extra-terrestrial creations—angels—are eager to observe it in action. It is our privilege to be the center of attention in our vast and wonder-filled universe.
    Are we alone, or is there life elsewhere in the universe? • ChristianAnswers.Net
    The devil has his own repertoire of deception in the form of various occult practices and a multitude of religious rites. It could be that behind those unexplainable UFO reports there is the work of the arch-deceiver.
    Can Life Exist on Other Planets? | The Institute for Creation Research
    While we cannot prove biblically that God did not create life elsewhere, the strong implication of Scripture is that He did not. These very different predictions of the special creation and evolution models mean that the search for life elsewhere amounts to a powerful test between the two theories of origin.
    Evolution = ET's, creationism = no ET's.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Irrational people have been presented with evidence that they are wrong a vast number of times throughout history, and their response is always to ignore/deny the evidence until it becomes completely overwhelming, and to then claim that it is completely in keeping with their delusional belief, and carry on regardless.

    Evolution is an example of a theory that is new enough that there still remain a noticeable corps of deniers; The discovery of ET intelligence might speed the demise of the denial phase, but it won't shake the core beliefs, which didn't rely on evidence or reality in the first place.

    The concept of heliocentrism is an example of an idea that has passed further down this path - very few deniers remain; but despite the widespread belief in the distant past that a universe centred on the Earth was an essential element of Christian faith, and was directly implied by the creation myth, Christianity seems to have survived the demise of that idea almost unscathed, and few people today argue that the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun somehow disproves or even discredits Christianity.

    The central predictions of faith are infinitely malleable, and can simply be discarded if shown to be complete tosh.

    That's why faith is useless as a means for obtaining knowledge.

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    Formerly Joedad
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    Surveys like presented in the OP are really measuring scientific literacy and scientific literacy among groups of people. Any person who is aware of how vast the universe is will have a difficult time not accepting the fact that it is likely filled with life just like this speck we inhabit. But if your universe is still small it becomes much less a decision and more an affirmation.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Alien Life | Answers in Genesis
    links to some articles in AiG:

    Is Anyone out There? | Answers in Genesis
    When we contemplate life on other planets, what are we really looking for? Many believe that some alien culture will tell us the secrets of our purpose in this universe; others believe that these space beings hold the key to health and eternal life; and some even claimed to hear from our “space brothers.”

    Could it be that some are searching so diligently for extraterrestrial life because they are hoping to find some form of salvation from the stars—longer life, health, peace, or even identity? Some search “out there” because they think they can’t find those things here.
    When I look at what fundies say about other religions and belief systems, I can't help but suspect that they are afraid of competition. Here, the author seems afraid of rival accounts of superbeings from the sky bringing great messages.
    Seeking in Vain

    Although it is often easy for us to dismiss reports of UFOs or alien encounters, perhaps instead of dismissing them outright, we should look to the underlying assumptions and needs of those who make such claims. Many have been taught that life arose on this planet spontaneously and evolved into complex organisms. If it happened here, they believe, surely it could happen elsewhere in the universe. They also believe that since life evolved, there is no purpose or hope for them beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell; when they die, that’s all there is. These aliens and UFOs are their hope for something beyond themselves.
    Seems as if he believes that ET's don't exist.

    Are ETs & UFOs Real? | Answers in Genesis
    Many Christians have bought into the idea of extraterrestrial alien life. But is this idea really biblical?

    ...
    The Evolution Connection

    The idea of extraterrestrial life stems largely from a belief in evolution. Recall that in the evolutionary view, the earth is “just another planet”—one where the conditions just happened to be right for life to form and evolve. If there are countless billions of other planets in our galaxy, then surely at least a handful of these worlds have also had the right conditions. Extraterrestrial life is almost inevitable in an evolutionary worldview.
    One can be a creationist and believe in ET's. In fact, that was common during the 18th century. Many people believed that God would not let a world go to waste, and that for this reason, he created inhabitants for all of them.
    However, the notion of alien life does not square well with Scripture. The earth is unique. God designed the earth for life (Isaiah 45:18). The other planets have an entirely different purpose than does the earth, and thus, they are designed differently.

    ...
    When we consider how the salvation plan might apply to any hypothetical extraterrestrial (but otherwise human-like) beings, we are presented with a problem. If there were Vulcans or Klingons out there, how would they be saved? They are not blood relatives of Jesus, and so Christ’s shed blood cannot pay for their sin. One might at first suppose that Christ also visited their world, lived there, and died there as well, but this is antibiblical. Christ died once for all (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:27–28, Hebrews 10:10). Jesus is now and forever both God and man; but He is not an alien.

    ...
    Extraterrestrial life is an evolutionary concept; it does not comport with the biblical teachings of the uniqueness of the earth and the distinct spiritual position of human beings. Of all the worlds in the universe, it was the earth that God Himself visited, taking on the additional nature of a human being, dying on a cross, and rising from the dead in order to redeem all who would trust in Him. The biblical worldview sharply contrasts with the secular worldview when it comes to alien life. So, which worldview does the scientific evidence support? Do modern observations support the secular notion that the universe is teeming with life, or the biblical notion that earth is unique?
    In other words, there are no sentient ET's because if there were, Jesus Christ would have to die for their sins on their home planets, and die, die, die lots of times.

    I doubt if other religions have that sort of problem with ET's. A Muslim could say that each planet has its own counterpart of the prophet Mohammed, without having to be Mohammed himself. Muslims recognize predecessor prophets, so additional prophets on other planets would not be a problem. A Buddhist could say much the same thing about the Buddha, that Siddhartha Gautama does not have to be reincarnated on other planets, though he might have done so if he wanted to.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Irrational people have been presented with evidence that they are wrong a vast number of times throughout history, and their response is always to ignore/deny the evidence until it becomes completely overwhelming, and to then claim that it is completely in keeping with their delusional belief, and carry on regardless.
    Like saying that ET's are really demons.

    Quote Originally Posted by joedad View Post
    Surveys like presented in the OP are really measuring scientific literacy and scientific literacy among groups of people. Any person who is aware of how vast the universe is will have a difficult time not accepting the fact that it is likely filled with life just like this speck we inhabit. But if your universe is still small it becomes much less a decision and more an affirmation.
    Seems like the fundies would want to believe in a "terrarium universe" that is the Earth and not much else. In fact, that's what the writers of the Bible had believed.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Did God create life on other planets? - creation.com
    Extraterrestrial life - CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
    EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE - What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets?
    Are we alone, or is there life elsewhere in the universe? • ChristianAnswers.Net
    Can Life Exist on Other Planets? | The Institute for Creation Research
    Is Anyone out There? | Answers in Genesis
    Are ETs & UFOs Real? | Answers in Genesis
    Should We Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence? | Answers in Genesis
    Any Little Green Men Out There? | Answers in Genesis
    God and the Extraterrestrials | Answers in Genesis
    Are Aliens Going to Hell? | Answers in Genesis
    Alien Abductions: Freaky or Fiction? | Answers in Genesis
    Do I Believe in UFOs? Absolutely! | Answers in Genesis
    Life on Other Planets? | Answers in Genesis
    Breakthrough on Creator's Code! | Answers in Genesis
    Secrets of the Universe | Answers in Genesis
    Aliens in Your Bedroom? | Answers in Genesis
    Why We Can't Phone the Aliens | Answers in Genesis
    Talking to Aliens? | Answers in Genesis
    Would Christianity Survive Discovery of Aliens? | Answers in Genesis
    Why Couldn’t Jesus Save ET? | Answers in Genesis
    Daily Growth in Evidence for Extraterrestrial Life? | Answers in Genesis
    Aliens in Other Universes | Answers in Genesis
    Did God’s Plan Include Life On Other Planets? | Answers in Genesis
    The Search for Alien Life | Answers in Genesis

    Collection of these fundies' arguments against ET's:
    • God can do whatever he wants to, like create a mostly-uninhabited universe.
    • Other planets cannot have sentient inhabitants, because Jesus Christ would have to die for their sins as well as for ours. That would mean that he'd have to do a lot of dying.
    • Advanced ET's would be more in God's likeness than we would be, and that cannot be.
    • Evolution implies ET's, while creation implies no ET's.
    • God is only interested in humanity and humanity's home planet, something that is evident from the Bible.
    • Some UFO's are piloted by demons.
    • Some alien abductions my also be due to demons.
    • Hope that ET's might bring lots of goodies: "salvation from the stars".
    • UFOlogy is a sort of substitute religion for some.
    • The Bible already states some things that we might expect to learn from ET's.
    • Searching for ET interstellar broadcasts is a big waste of taxpayers' money.
    • Organisms' genomes have abundant evidence of intelligent design, making searching for ET's superfluous.
    • Likewise, God has already communicated with us, so searching for ET's is a waste of time.
    • Why search for ET's when one can search for God?
    • The Bible doesn't mention ET's.
    • We have yet to find convincing evidence of ET's.
    • The purpose of the stars is to be celestial markers for timekeeping.
    • Interstellar travel is physically impossible.

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    Senior Member Colonel Sanders's Avatar
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    The idea of Jesus cheating on us with other life forms is just too much to take. Here we sit faithfully while Jesus is out carousing with the Greys?

    Aren't we enough for Him?!?!?

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    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Aren't Angels and Demons extra terrestrial life forms?

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Aren't Angels and Demons extra terrestrial life forms?
    Not in the usual sense, of an entity that inhabits the physical context of our universe and whose origin is at another place in it.

    I'd call them supernatural entities instead. The idea of such entities is as old as humanity, I'm sure.

    But extraterrestrial organisms or sentient entities are a much more recent idea (Cosmic pluralism). The first person to think that there are other Earthlike entities was likely Democritus or some fellow Atomist. Here is our main source for Democritus's cosmology: CHURCH FATHERS: Refutation of All Heresies, Book I (Hippolytus)
    And he maintained worlds to be infinite, and varying in bulk; and that in some there is neither sun nor moon, while in others that they are larger than with us, and with others more numerous. And that intervals between worlds are unequal; and that in one quarter of space (worlds) are more numerous, and in another less so; and that some of them increase in bulk, but that others attain their full size, while others dwindle away and that in one quarter they are coming into existence, while in another they are failing; and that they are destroyed by clashing one with another. And that some worlds are destitute of animals and plants, and every species of moisture. And that the earth of our world was created before that of the stars, and that the moon is underneath; next (to it) the sun; then the fixed stars. And that (neither) the planets nor these (fixed stars) possess an equal elevation. And that the world flourishes, until no longer it can receive anything from without.
    The Epicureans, like Lucretius (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), also believed in a plurality of inhabited worlds.

    But the likes of Plato and Aristotle didn't, and their opinions largely prevailed until Galileo started using his telescope on celestial bodies. He discovered that the Moon has lots of mountains, that Venus has phases like the Moon, that Jupiter has four moons, and that Saturn has something-or-other around it. That pretty much nailed it for the plurality of worlds.

    Lucian of Samosata's True History, written sometime around 150 CE, is likely the first speculation about sentient extraterrestrial entities that we know of. He imagined the King of the Sun and the King of the Moon fighting over who gets to colonize Venus.

    That sort of speculation returned after Galileo's discoveries. Johannes Kepler wrote Somnium (novel) featuring daemons that live on the Moon. In the 18th cy., it was widely believed that *every* planet was inhabited by sentient entities. William Herschel believed that not only the planets, but also the Sun, was inhabited.

    We have since learned that most of the Solar System is very hostile to the sorts of organisms that live on our planet. But we have learned of numerous other planets in our Universe, outside the Solar System.

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