AIG Accepts Possibility of Alien Life

Yesterday we posted ICR Flat-Out Predicts: “No Alien Life Exists”, about the firm position taken by the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), backed up by scripture passages, that there is no life in the universe except on earth. Were it otherwise, ICR says, “that would essentially vindicate evolution and nullify creation.”

But today we have precisely the opposite position taken by Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

We’re shocked — shocked! — that two such famed, bible-believing creationist outfits could be in disagreement about what the infallible bible says regarding alien life, yet that seems to be the situation. AIG’s position is clearly stated in their latest News to Note, December 17, 2011 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.”

It’s the second item at their news summary, titled “Looking for life in all the right places.” AIG’s article is based on this item from Yahoo News: NASA Telescope Confirms Alien Planet in Habitable Zone. Most of you already know the news, but in case you don’t, the Yahoo story starts out by saying:

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has confirmed the discovery of its first alien world in its host star’s habitable zone — that just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water to exist — and found more than 1,000 new explanet candidates, researchers announced today (Dec. 5).

You already know that ICR has flatly predicted that there can’t be any life in the universe except that which was created on earth. Okay, now in sharp contrast to that, here’s a sampling of what AIG says, with bold font added by us and their scripture references omitted:

NASA’s extrasolar planet-hunter, the $600-million Kepler space telescope, has “confirmed the discovery of its first alien world in its host star’s habitable zone.” Over the past 16 months, Kepler has discovered 2,326 “potential planets” beyond our solar system. Kepler-22b is the first of these to be confirmed “in the habitable zone.”

We already know that stuff. Let’s read on:

Kepler-22b was one of the first exoplanets spotted by the space telescope; therefore, it is the first to be confirmed to be in a “habitable zone.” The presence of an atmosphere cannot yet be determined for exoplanets, and the atmosphere’s components would be a key factor in maintaining Earth-like temperatures. An exoplanet’s size — in this case only 2.4 times the radius of Earth — is compared to estimates of its mass to determine whether the planet is primarily solid, liquid, or gaseous. That information is also not yet known for Kepler-22b. Thus headlines referring to Kepler-22b as “Earth’s twin” may be a bit premature.

Very true. We continue:

So why all the excitement? Why the 600-million-dollar interest in identifying planets in the “habitable zone” when planets 600 light years away cannot be reached for manned exploration except in science fiction? The reason boils down to evolution. Evolutionary scientists believe life evolved by random interaction of water and chemicals on Earth and therefore assume the same may well have happened anywhere conditions are similarly amenable.

Yeah, it’s all about evolution. Everything a creationist doesn’t like is about evolution. Now here’s where it gets interesting:

The Bible does not say that God didn’t create life elsewhere, but the Bible does tell us God created all life on Earth during the first six days of Creation week about 6,000 years ago. God spent that week preparing a place for Adam and Eve, and He created them in His image. Despite the fun of sci-fi and the delightful discoveries in the heavens that “declare the glory of God,” neither mankind nor the universe evolved, and there is no reason to believe life evolved elsewhere.

We’re so confused. Yesterday, ICR told us that according to the bible, life exists only on earth. Now AIG claims it doesn’t say what ICR says it does say. How can this be? Moving along:

Scientists have never observed life evolve from non-living components. Thus, finding the right chemicals and the right conditions for life to exist elsewhere should not suggest to us that it has.

It might not suggest that to AIG, but it would certainly suggest it to everyone else — maybe even ICR. Let’s continue:

And yet, even if life were to be indisputably found on another world, its existence would not prove molecules-to-man evolution ever occurred. Such life would simply be another demonstration of God’s creative power to create life where He chooses.

It’s always wise to have a fallback position worked out in advance, just in case it’s needed. Another excerpt:

Meanwhile, recognizing the whole of creation was corrupted due to man’s sin, we continue to doubt the existence of sentient life elsewhere, despite the exultation expressed by SETI director Jill Tarter: “For the first time, we can point our telescopes at stars, and know that those stars actually host planetary systems – including at least one that begins to approximate an Earth analogue in the habitable zone around its host star.”

They doubt the existence of extra-solar “sentient life,” but not life in general. How will they ever reconcile their position with that of ICR? And until these two creationist titans agree, what’s a confused layman supposed to think? Here’s the end of the article:

The discovery is fascinating, but if we wish to know we are not alone, we’ll get more reliable results by getting to know the God of the Bible.

Comforting words indeed.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “AIG Accepts Possibility of Alien Life

  1. AiG didn’t always accept this view. Ham declared on a 2007 podcast (http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2007/10/27/extraterrestrial-life-does-it-exist/) that the universe was created for signs and seasons, and God would not have created life on those signs. Jason Lisle authored a booklet – probably in 2007 or before – (http://www.answersingenesis.org/assets/pdf/radio/ET_Booklet_lisle.pdf) where he states “The notion of extraterrestrial life does not square well with scripture. The Earth is unique. God designed the Earth for life. The other planets have an entirely different purpose than the Earth, thus they are designed differently.” Also, in 2007, on their “Answers” magazine page, they state: “Meanwhile, a 2018 European Space Agency mission—to find signs of life on hundreds of extrasolar planets—is being planned. Not surprisingly, it’s called the “Darwin mission.” Billions of dollars will be spent on what will be a fruitless search for extraterrestrial life, rather than to believe the ultimate Extraterrestrial placed us here.”

    Now, in 2011, perhaps AiG’s views are evolving.

  2. Curmudgeon: “We’re so confused. Yesterday, ICR told us that according to the bible, life exists only on earth. Now AIG claims it doesn’t say what ICR says it does say. How can this be?”

    You know, but for the benefit of readers who have not been monitoring the anti-evolution movement for years: Peddlers of anti-evolution pseudoscience have never been able to get their stories straight because they simply don’t have what Pope John Paul II attributed to evolution – a “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated” of evidence. So when they don’t check their notes for political correctness, they often come up with embarrsassing contradictions like your example, and this famous one.

    As you know, AiG and ICR are the groups still valiantly peddling that compromise of heliocentric YEC that was cobbled together in the first attempt to create a “big tent” back when the ediucated deniers were mostly OECs and the “masses” still included many geocentrists and flat-Eathers. In the decades since creationism went from honest, mistaken belief to full-blown pseudoscience, most peddlers (especially the DI) have learned to avoid embarrassing contradictions by playing “don’t ask, don’t tell” with their “theory” and concentrating on what they hate about “Darwinism.”

  3. The amazing thing is that these people believe that their god is omniscient and omnipotent but are always willing to put limits on what he can do. I believe that their god is so powerful that he could create a universe of physical laws that runs exactly as we view it and doesn’t include any gods whatsoever. Now that’s a mighty god!

  4. The two different takes on the matter by ICR and AIG remind us that the god of the creationists is not mighty enough to compose a text so free of ambiguity that everyone can agree on what it means.

  5. Retired Prof says:

    the god of the creationists is not mighty enough to compose a text so free of ambiguity that everyone can agree on what it means.

    The only ancient text that’s free of ambiguities is Euclid’s Elements.

  6. Let’s see if we can get them to anathmetize each other!

    @SC:The only ancient text that’s free of ambiguities is Euclid’s Elements.

    I BEG TO DIFFER.

    Ambiguities in the definitions of “point” and “line” are what give us non-Euclidean geometry.

  7. Gabriel Hanna says: “I BEG TO DIFFER.”

    That’s why it’s so much fun having you around. Yeah, non-Euclidean geometry. If that’s your thing.

  8. It’s the universe’s thing, SC, general relativity runs on it. Euclid’s real genius is displayed, I think, in the parallel postulate. Long regarded as a blot on the Elements, since the development of non-Euclidean geometry we can see that in order for Euclid to realize the need for a parallel postulate he must have been a subtle thinker and done a great deal of work. Now he didn’t figure out WHY he needed that postulate, because he didn’t realize that some of his definitions were ambiguous. But neither did anyone else for nearly two millenia.

  9. Gabriel Hanna says: “t’s the universe’s thing, SC, general relativity runs on it.”

    I know. Plane geometry is a special case. Still, it’s gorgeous, and has a lot less ambiguity than Genesis.

  10. “…the whole of creation was corrupted due to man’s sin…”
    All those aliens, and they are SO p…ed at us. “Look at what you guys DID!!!”