Creationists & Life on Other Worlds

The traditional creationist view of things has been taking a terrible beating lately. Their “science” comes the time of the Babylonian Empire when Genesis was written, and it has only been slightly modified from the scriptural description of a recently-created, Earth-centered universe in which our unique and perfectly designed world is the central focus of divine attention.

Scriptural literalists have been in a slow but steady retreat over the last four centuries, starting with the Galileo affair, which failed to suppress knowledge of the solar system, and continuing through the discovery of the age of the earth, the evolution of species, etc. Most creationists are no longer flat-Earthers, and they’ve grudgingly accepted the existence of the solar system, but despite the increasing pace of scientific discoveries, they seem determined to retreat no further.

The most recent catastrophe for die-hard adherents of the Babylonian view is the recent discovery that there are Maybe Billions of Habitable Planets. In response to these new findings, the creationists have been thrown into chaos. Some (predictably) are in total denial — see ICR Flat-Out Predicts: “No Alien Life Exists”. On the other hand, AIG Accepts Possibility of Alien Life, but not intelligent life.

Today we have two more creationist reactions to show you. The first is another one from Answers in Genesis (AIG), described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. You can find this in AIG’s News to Note, February 2, 2013 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.” It’s the fifth item at their news summary, titled Looking for water in all the right places. They’re discussing the Mars rover’s discovery of evidence that Mars may have once had liquid water.

A more informative discussion of what’s been going on can be found at PhysOrg: Fossilized conduits suggest water flowed beneath Martian Surface. We’ll ignore AIG’s description of the rover’s activities and skip to their reaction. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The likelihood that Mars once had a different environment allowing the presence of liquid water does nothing to support the idea that our solar system formed billions of years ago.

Right. Mars went from wet to dry in only 6,000 years. No problem. AIG continues:

The belief that life evolved on earth is also based on unverifiable assumptions. If evidence of microbial life — past or present — on Mars is eventually found, evolutionists will of course claim that life proves evolution happened. But in reality, such a finding would simply be evidence that life is (or once was) there, not a demonstration of that life’s origins.

Isn’t that neat? Evidence of Martian life hasn’t been found yet, but their denials are already being scripted. One more paragraph:

The Bible does not say whether God created life on any other planets, but the Bible does tell us God created all life on earth during the first six days of Creation week, the same week in which He created the rest of the universe, about 6,000 years ago. Discovery of evidence of water and even life on Mars would not disprove or undermine that biblical truth.

In other words, AIG says: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. I am the great and powerful Wizard of Oz!

The other creationist reaction you should know about is at the blog of the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Their new post is Earth Is Barely “Habitable,” Say Scientists. Could Have Fooled Us.

Bear in mind that the Discoveroids are big promoters of The Privileged Planet, by Discoveroids Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards. That’s a book about the allegedly unique nature of the Earth, so they’re pretty much committed to the “life on Earth only” dogma. That gives them far less wiggle-room than Hambo allows AIG to have.

The Discoveroid post is their reaction to this article in Astrophysical Journal: Habitable Zones Around Main-Sequence Stars: New Estimates. It suggests that the Earth may be at the inner edge of the Sun’s habitable zone, and therefore the region around a star within which planets with liquid water and thus life may exist could be larger than previously estimated.

That is potentially disastrous for the allegedly privileged position of the Earth in the universe, so naturally the Discoveroids are horrified that now there could be even more habitable planets than recent research indicates. Their criticism is brief and not worth reading, but it shows their attitude — which is amusing because it’s instinctively creationist.

So there you are. The more we learn, and the more interesting the universe seems to be, the more the creationists close their eyes, wrap themselves tighter into the fetal position, and scream.

See also: ICR’s New Position on Alien Life.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Creationists & Life on Other Worlds

  1. Had a most frustrating conversation with a man who seemed to be arguing that since the life that would be on these other planets wouldn’t be like life on Earth, even finding life on other planets would not do anything to disprove that the Earth was any older than 6000 years. Absolutely maddening. Hard to think that once upon a time, I might’ve made the same argument myself.

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    I would have expected them to line up differently. AIG hangs their hat on the Bible, and *no* mention of other planets with life, therefor it can’t exist. The Discoveroids believe a deity can be a likely cause of life here, and life on other planets would be reproduced evidence (scientific) that it can be done. Just when I get a handle on the crazy, they out crazy me.

  3. Jim Thomerson

    Do the Mormons believe that there are many other inhabited planets in the universe? I got the idea from a source which was not pro Mormon.

  4. gregariouswolf

    The devil put evidence of water on Mars.

  5. David Williams

    If a good Mormon man, has a good Mormon wife, then perhaps someday too he can graduate to godhood and populate his own planet.

  6. AiG’s position on extraterrestrial life is apparently evolving. See http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/are-ets-and-ufos-real written in 2007 by Jason Lisle. He states:

    … 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.

    He goes on at length about ETs and concludes:

    The magnificent beauty and size of a universe, which is apparently devoid of life except for one little world where life abounds, is exactly what we would expect from a biblical worldview.

    They’ve gone from no life to, well, maybe microbial life. Maybe they believe that microbes are not alive, the same way that plants are not alive. (or was that ICR?)

    Bottom line is that Jason was right in 2007, that the literal biblical view is hard to square with the possibility of life on other worlds.

  7. The DI article is just standard deception. The article they purport to review does not state that the earth is outside of the habitable zone, and even clarifies that they did not factor in albedo resulting from cloud cover, which would reflect a percent of solar radiation and allow the inside of the zone to be closer to the sun. The article they link does not say anywhere that the earth is “barely inhabitable”. The DI just invented the entire spin. The use it to allege, also almost certain to be completely false considering the DI wrote it, that not factoring in the effect of clouds “has confounded global warming catastrophists.” Really? Actual scientists who study the atmosphere don’t consider the effect of clouds? I guess they forgot their high school physical science class. Statements like that, including the label “catastrophists”, are a clear indicator of complete pants-on-fire hokum.

  8. About the Mormons and life on other planet.

    One of their texts, The Pearl of Great Price, book of Moses Ch 1: 4 says, ” And behold, thou art my son; [god speaking to Moses] wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.”

    In some circles, this has been taken to mean that we lowly creatures could not know more than Moses. For some people this remains true. But they also used it to say we will never know if life exists elsewhere.

    I think our little friends at DI and AiG may actually have something of a point, however, about god’s word coming in a sort of intuitive way. They have certainly taken to heart the part about words that never cease.

  9. Good catch about Jason, Ed.

  10. If creationists believe that god created the universe, then (s)he or it could have populated more than just our little world with intelligent beings — not that I’m a creationist, mind you. (S)he/it could have written a different bible for each world. why not?

  11. “Do the Mormons believe that there are many other inhabited planets in the universe? I got the idea from a source which was not pro Mormon.”

    You mean this?