Answers in Genesis: Aliens and the Bible

Creationists seem to be at war with the whole universe, because the more we learn about it, the more it seems to conflict with the naïve, pre-scientific description found in Genesis. The evidence we now have discloses a universe that is too big, too old, and has far too many planets — some of which may be life-supporting and — gasp! — home to other intelligent species. For those whose worldview (and livelihood) is based on a millennia-old description of Earth as the only life-supporting world in existence, the only response to science is unrelenting opposition.

We see this in the latest post from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and for building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.

AIG’s article is titled Is Belief in Alien Life Harmless?, written by Danny Faulkner. It was first posted in October of 2015, but we somehow ignored it then. The last time we wrote about one of Danny’s essays was AIG Panics Over Another Extra-Solar Planet. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The thought that aliens might be living on other planets may sound innocent enough. But lurking underneath are some deep theological dangers.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh — deep theological dangers! [*End Drool Mode*] Danny says:

A 2012 survey reported that more than a third of Americans believe aliens have visited the earth, and only about one-fifth do not (the rest were undecided). With ET believers outnumbering non-believers nearly two-to-one, the intense fascination with aliens is obvious.

[…]

Given all this hype, should Christians care? Does the Bible have anything to say? In case you’re worried that you might have missed the Bible’s account of an alien visitation, let me assure you that it does not actually mention ETs or flying saucers. However, as with so many other issues, biblical principles help answer whether flying saucers and ETs are real. It’s not a trivial question.

Danny assures us that the the bible “does not actually mention ETs or flying saucers.” That’s very comforting. He then tells us:

Assuming for the moment that flying saucers and ETs are real, where do they come from? The obvious answer is that they must come from other planets, so this issue is more a question of whether life exists on other planets. For about three centuries, people have been aware that planets might orbit other stars. However, this suspicion was not confirmed until the mid-1990s, when astronomers first discovered an extrasolar planet, a planet orbiting another star. We now know of nearly 2,000 extrasolar planets, with new discoveries frequently being made. It now appears that extrasolar planets may be common.

Danny’s count of extra-solar planets is a bit obsolete, because his article is from 2015. According to NASA, the latest count is 3,488 conformed, of which 361 are believed to be terrestrial (rocky in composition). Danny continues:

Most arguments in favor of life existing on other planets rely upon probability. Given the trillions of stars in the universe and the likelihood that many of those stars have orbiting planets, what is the probability that we are alone in the universe? But this approach assumes that life naturally arises wherever the conditions are conducive for life to exist.

Hey — good point! There’s that outrageous assumption that life arises naturally. What about the possibility that life’s origin is supernatural? Let’s read on:

From the Bible, we know that this is not how life came about on the earth. Rather, God specially created life on this planet. It would be inconsistent to believe that God created life on earth but that life arose naturally on other worlds. So if life exists elsewhere, God must have created it too. That makes the existence of ETs a theological question, and a very serious one.

Yes, the existence of life on other worlds is a theological question, so Danny turns to the bible:

In the beginning, God created the earth first, and He made the heavenly bodies throughout the rest of the universe to serve the inhabitants of earth (Genesis 1:14–19). … While the Bible is not geocentric (placing the earth at the physical center of the universe), the earth is the center of God’s attention. Humans — and not ETs — are God’s primary concern in the universe.

Danny is so profound! Here’s more:

This raises a host of other theological questions. According to Romans 8:18–22, Adam’s sin affected the entire universe. What effect did man’s fall and the subsequent curse have on ETs? Did they fall because of Adam’s sin, or was there an Adam-like ET that sinned on each inhabited planet? Holding ETs accountable for Adam’s sin does not seem just.

[…]

[It would trivialize the gospel] to propose an Adam among every alien race who sinned and brought each respective race under the penalty of death. In order to secure their salvation, Jesus would have to be born, live, die, and rise again on countless planets. Even skeptics have noted that this is the logical consequence of believing in human-like beings on other worlds. … Effectively, this questions whether the existence of ETs can be compatible with the gospel of the New Testament.

Gasp — the existence of ETs is incompatible with the gospel! That’s a powerful argument! Another excerpt:

This is a fair question to ask. Unfortunately, while many skeptics raise this question, few Christians take it seriously. Skeptics use it to ridicule Christianity. If life is common in the universe, they conclude it’s just as probable there is no God. However, you can answer the question in a very different way. If the God of the Bible and the gospel are real, then ETs are not.

This is serious, dear reader. Danny says that if ETs exist, the bible is discredited. He then returns to the question of flying saucer sightings, and says:

Most people who strongly believe in alien visitations believe in evolution and reject the authority of Scripture. They are well aware that alien life conflicts with the teachings of the Bible. To them, the reality of ETs disproves the Bible. Given that belief in ETs is so powerful in turning people away from the truth, the possibility of satanic deception is quite real.

Gasp — satanic deception! And now we come to the end:

So while alien visitations might have a fun place in frivolous fiction, the heart-felt belief that life really does exist elsewhere can have eternal ramifications.

Danny doesn’t leave any room for doubt, does he? If aliens exist, the bible is discredited, so we know all we need to know about aliens. They’re a satanic deception. Case closed!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Answers in Genesis: Aliens and the Bible

  1. I suspect a certain type of probe would discover where Danny’s head is.

  2. Given all this hype, should Christians care? Does the Bible have anything to say? In case you’re worried that you might have missed the Bible’s account …, let me assure you
    Should Christians care what you have to say about the Bible on …?

  3. Craig Shearer

    I know Danny’s quite old but not old enough to post an article in 1915!

  4. Eddie Janssen

    Why does Faulkner ignore Eve? She was the original sinner, not Adam. He is not the only christian to do so. Have I missed some important theology?

  5. Ceteris Paribus

    The logic of Danny Faulkner’s argument seems a bit scattered. Kind of like a 4 year old with a few too many crayons at hand. But, on the brighter side, someday Danny may grow up to to get a couple of rides on the Tilt-A-Whirl when state fair comes to town. A couple of chances for Danny to vomit all over the other riders should settle him down a little.

  6. Craig Shearer says: “I know Danny’s quite old but not old enough to post an article in 1915!”

    Aaaargh!! Okay, it’s fixed.

  7. How is it that someone can claim the authority of the Bible – telling us that to disagree with him is to trivialize the Gospel, that it would be inconsistent of God to act otherwise, etc. – and get an audience?

  8. Ideas like this are so ridiculous that it’s hard to accept the idea that the author really believes it. He must be descended from the Queen in “Through the Looking Glass”; she was able to believe six impossible things before breakfast!

  9. “While the Bible is not geocentric …”

    Excepting of course that the bible is thoroughly both geocentric and flat Earth throughout. Danny does not appear to read much of his bible, what a shock.

  10. Based on his interpretation of a single New Testament verse, Danny asserts that Adam’s sin affected not only the universe known to the person writing the verse but the actual entire universe. He also believes that God created the actual universe with trillions of stars and potentially many more planets, and probably believes that God exists outside of time as we know it and can be everywhere at the same time.

    Given the powers he believes God possesses, why does he opine that “In order to secure their salvation, Jesus would have to be born, live, die, and rise again on countless planets” as though that would be a problem? Is Danny constraining God’s powers? Seems like questionable theology to me.

    Danny also asserts that “Holding ETs accountable for Adam’s sin does not seem just.” Never mind ETs, how does punishing Adam’s billions of human descendants for Adam’s sin seem in any way just? How does destroying almost all life on Earth with a flood seem in any way just? Where was justice when God ordered “his people” to leave no person and no animal alive when they conquered villages and towns in the “promised land” – simply because they were in the way.

    Danny argues that God would not punish innocent extraterrestrials because that would not be just, therefore the ETs must not exist. Has he read his bible? Injustice is one of Gods most dominant character traits.

  11. @Ed:
    Indeed.
    In particular, before the European discoveries became common in the 15th century, there was a belief by Bible readers that there could not be inhabitants of the Southern Hemisphere because the Good News of Salvation could not have reached there. When the inhabitants of the New World were discovered, despite the fact that there was no mention of them in the Bible, there was difficulty in understanding how they could have been kept in ignorance for more than a thousand years, through no fault of their own. Were they indeed human?
    But what puzzles me is not that there are people who are repeating the mistakes of the past, but that there are people who accept the authority of such people over the word of the Bible.

  12. Ed makes a good point about original sin being a NT concoction. Biblical scholars point out that such a notion cannot be found in thehe Hebrew bible. https://www.peteenns.com/5-old-testament-reasons-to-rethink-original-sin/

  13. Ross Cameron

    Always wondered about the angels and demons from ‘up there’. Do they have a spaceship of their own? Or use the ‘beam me down, Scotty’ approach?

  14. There is an argument that “Original Sin” is a concoction of Augustine of Hippo.

  15. “He made the heavenly bodies throughout the rest of the universe to serve the inhabitants of earth ”
    Making a whole bunch of galaxies (just how do they serve us) when a few satellites in near-earth orbit would probably have done the job seems to be a trifle excessive.

  16. Ed:
    “Given the powers he believes God possesses, why does he opine that “In order to secure their salvation, Jesus would have to be born, live, die, and rise again on countless planets” as though that would be a problem? Is Danny constraining God’s powers? Seems like questionable theology to me.”

    But remember — Danny believes 1) Jesus = God; 2) God is omnipresent. Problem solved.

    Actually, anyone trying to rectify a literal interpretation of the Bible with modern knowledge of the universe gets lost in the weeds in short order.

  17. @retiredsciguy:
    People two thousand years ago knew that one could not rectify a literal interpretation of the Bible with knowledge of the universe.

  18. Dave Luckett

    Retiredsciguy, that’s a perfect iteration of the omphalos argument: since God can do (know, be) everything, there is nothing that cannot be explained by God’s powers. Provided, of course, that you regard that as an explanation.

  19. @Dave Luckett:
    Agreed fully.
    Yet somehow, the science deniers get away with that. Even the most sophisticated see no problem in “explaining” by reference to powers without limits.
    “Why is there something, rather than nothing” is not explained by saying that God could have done it.
    If the traffic cop asks me, “why are you speeding?” I am not going to satisfy the question by pointing out that my car is easily capable of going very fast.

  20. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    I like how Danny basically conflates the belief that alien life may exist with a belief in alien visitation by the end of his article. Without directly saying so, he’s trying to help his “argument” by equating acceptance of actual science over crappy apologetics with accepting the nonsense one might find on the show Ancient Aliens. Which is kinda of interesting in that the show, like apologetics, relies largely on arguments from ignorance. Anyway. most people I know that believe life exists out there or is at least a possibility do not think we’ve been subject to visitation.

    Of course, belief that extraterrestrial life may exist doesn’t necessarily entail “advanced” lifeforms let alone species capable of traveling immense distances in small craft with the ability to zip millions upon millions of light years in an instant. (slower than light travel kind of makes sending a couple of alien dudes in a small ship to visit then disappear senseless) It took several billion years before the kind of consciousness we have here to arise and that might have never happened had Earth’s history not played out the way it did, the extinction of the dinosaurs for example.

    Oh well, when all you have to sell is the tales from the desert it seems the only real option you have is to make everything else seem foolish in comparison. That’s a tough row to hoe, Danny. Watch the blisters.

  21. Eric Lipps

    The Bible actually does contain references to a number of odd objects which might be considered UFO’s. But so what? Something doesn’t have to be mentioned in the Bible to be real.

    As for whether UFO’s are real, of course they are: unidentified flying objects are common, and even the notorious 1969 Condon Report was forced to acknowledge that a significant percentage of the UFO reports the Condon Committee (formally the University of Colorado UFO Project) examined could not be assigned a conventional explanation. But are any of them the products of extraterrestrial intelligence? We’ll never know as long as they remain unidentified.

    Food for thought: If there really were ETs, and they wanted to keep humans from ever becoming competitors with them in the universe, covertly supporting screwball science-denying belief systems like you-know-what would be a lot cheaper than mounting a full-scale War of the Worlds. Without firing a shot, they could make sure we never got the science and technology we needed to be a real challenge to them.

  22. Eric Lipps says: ” If there really were ETs, and they wanted to keep humans from ever becoming competitors with them in the universe, covertly supporting screwball science-denying belief systems like you-know-what would be a lot cheaper than mounting a full-scale War of the Worlds.”

    Good thought! Creationists are always saying that science is inspired by Satan, so we could say that they’re inspired by aliens.

  23. If there were an earthly alien power who wanted to compete with us, covertly supporting screwball belief systems etc.
    No, I’m not serious.

  24. I’m late to the discussion, but: any civilisation capable of interstellar travel would, in all likelihood, be sufficiently advanced to remain invisible to us. We’re not even halfway to (manned) interstellar flight and already we avail over technology to spy on each other unseen. No need to land the frickin’ Enterprise to explore this planet.

  25. Not all young earth creationists believe that the Bible or the Gospel would be falsified by the existence of alien life. Check out http://Exotheology.org for more information