Today we’ll discuss the views of two different creationist organizations on the topic of extraterrestrial life. First we’ll hear from the Discoveroids. They’re mostly old-Earth creationists (like William Jennings Bryan, whom they admire). Then we’ll go to Answers in Genesis (AIG), who promote bible-based young-Earth creationism. We’ll give you a few excerpts from each of their new posts, with some bold font added by us for emphasis.
We start with the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Their post, which appeared a couple of days ago, is Why Organized Science Longs for Extraterrestrial Life. It’s by Tom Bethell. He’s not officially a Discoveroid, but they publish his essays, and Wikipedia says he advocates intelligent design and other fringe science. The last time we wrote about one of his essays was Discoveroids Disparage SETI Again.
After snickering that no life has yet been found on Mars, he says:
Life on Earth is the only life that we know. None has been found elsewhere. What lies beyond the Solar System? Probably we’ll never know, unless extraterrestrials send us that sequence of prime numbers that Carl Sagan hoped to see. So a good case can be made for the uniqueness of life. And that would also entail the uniqueness of intelligent, human life. Both are highly unpopular with some people.
We’ve just barely begun to observe the universe, but Bethell is already convinced that there’s nothing out there. How did he become so certain this early in the search? You know the reason — it’s because he always knew it. Then he tells us:
Let’s call the offended party Organized Science, in contrast to the oft-criticized Organized Religion. Organized Science longs to find extraterrestrial life. Why so? There are various answers, but the mundane one is indeed funding.
Greed — it’s all about greed! Creationists are blessedly immune to that vice. Let’s read on:
Expeditions to planets outside the solar system are not even remotely plausible, thank goodness. Otherwise committees on Capitol Hill might be tempted to plunge us even further into debt. (On the other hand, Science magazine would cheer on such a development. It treats the government funding of science as its #1 issue.)
Yes — thank goodness we can’t travel to other planetary systems! He doesn’t have much else to say that he didn’t say the last time we wrote about him. This is typical:
The thought that life on Earth might in fact be unique is unpopular, because that could mean that some source of intelligent design played a role. We can’t have that!
A powerful motive drives the ongoing, costly search for life on other worlds. If life is unique to the earth, then that makes our planet special and implies a Creator. But this thought repels unregenerate minds. If life arose naturally as they believe, then we should expect to find life on many other planets throughout the universe.
Rather similar to the attitude of the Discoveroids, isn’t it? We’re not surprised. They’ve said similar things before — see Answers in Genesis & Life on Mars. The similarity is because, despite the Discoveroids’ endless denials and their scientific masquerade, they’re just another pack of creationists. AIG continues:
Hopes of finding life within our own solar system have been dashed so far, but that has not diminished the astronomical zeal. In 2009 NASA launched the Kepler telescope — costing over half a billion dollars — to monitor 145,000 stars for evidence of orbiting planets. The results are astounding: over 3,500 candidates were identified in Kepler’s small survey. … Our Milky Way galaxy alone may host as many as 100 billion planets.
Despite the hype, the survey is verifying what our solar system has already shown us — that there’s no place like home.
Again, AIG and the Discoveroids are saying the same things: “There’s nothing to see out there, folks. Earth is blessedly unique.” AIG continues, reciting the familiar list of “privileged planet” characteristics — but they don’t give any credit the book by Discoveroid Guillermo Gonzalez. Then, quite unexpectedly, AIG says a few interesting things:
The creation model suggests that the earth alone sustains life. We believe that life does not arise naturally but exists only where God chose to create it. Could God have made life elsewhere? Certainly He could, but that isn’t the question. The question is whether He chose to do so. …
If God made life on other planets, it raises complex questions about the Fall and the Curse. Romans 8:22 tells us that the entire cosmos suffers from the effects of the Fall and the Curse, so would Adam’s sin spread death to other planets? Did God create sentient beings on other planets? If they have souls, are they in need of salvation?
Deep questions indeed! These are the things creationists think about. But they don’t need to think too much, because AIG provides the answer:
The Bible clearly makes man the center of His attention, so we can be sure that no extraterrestrial creatures are made in the image of God, as we are. They would not be the objects of God’s gracious salvation through the death of His uniquely begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! All the aliens are going to hell!
Okay, that’s enough. Our conclusion is that although the Discoveroids and AIG have essentially the same position about the uniqueness of life on Earth, AIG’s view of things is far more entertaining, because they don’t try to conceal their creationism.
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