That picture you see is our representation of the universe described in Genesis, written at the time of the Babylonian empire. Immovable in the center of the universe is the flat Earth, supported by pillars, created as the abode of man. The Sun orbits the Earth, the same as the Moon. Above them are the stars, embedded as lights in a presumably solid firmament, which also revolves around the Earth. Above the firmament is heaven, the glorious realm of Yahweh. Below Earth is the lake of fire [described later in scripture]. That’s the universe, and we’re in the center — the focus of divine attention. No other worlds are mentioned in Genesis. There’s no place for them.
Since the time of Galileo, scientists have been demonstrating that the universe is, ah, somewhat different. First, it was shown that the Earth was merely one of several planets, and they all orbit the Sun. That was a major upheaval, but it was accepted by the clergy, albeit with some initial resistance — see the Galileo affair. But they insisted that ours was the only planetary system in existence, so they could still believe that Earth was specially created for us.
We keep reminding you of this oldie-goldie from the 1970s at the Institute for Creation Research: The Stars of Heaven. It was written by Henry Morris himself, who said:
[T]he earth is unique in the solar system and, for all we know, the solar system is unique in the universe. So far as we can observe, there are not even any planets anywhere else, let alone a planet equipped to sustain biological life.
Now, even that has been taken away from them. In recent years, other planetary systems have been discovered, and more are constantly being sighted. Our last post about this was a couple of months ago: NASA’s Tally of Extra-Solar Planets. Now we have the latest update from NASA: NASA Releases Kepler Survey Catalog with Hundreds of New Planet Candidates. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
NASA’s Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star’s habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
The creationists get whacked like this every few months. NASA says:
With the release of this catalog, derived from data publicly available on the NASA Exoplanet Archive, there are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler. Of which, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.
By the way, if you’ve been keeping score, don’t be misled by those figures. They’re just the latest Kepler findings. According to NASA’s running total, available here, the numbers are 3,496 extra-solar planets confirmed, of which 362 are terrestrial.
There’s a lot more information in the latest NASA article; you can click over there to read it. Our purpose here is to show how relentlessly the Genesis universe is being overthrown. That’s why creationists are grudgingly admitting that yes, there are other planetary systems out there, and although there may be even some with microbial life, there are none with intelligent life.
As you know, the Discoveroids have gone farther than any of the other creationists. They recently posted Could Atheism Survive the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?, in which they said:
The probability of life spontaneously self-assembling anywhere in this universe is mind-staggeringly unlikely; essentially zero.
The discovery of extraterrestrial life would be the death knell for atheism, at least for the thinking atheist. On the other hand, such a discovery should not be in the least surprising, if there is a supernatural Creator who has designed the universe to support life, and has brought about life and beauty throughout the universe, even if no human ever gets to see it.
No one could misunderstand the Discoveroids’ latest position as an acceptance of reality. Rather, it’s a demonstration that their “theory” of intelligent design is so worthless that it’s compatible with literally everything. After years of sounding like other creationists and saying there’s no life out there, and then switching to say there’s no intelligent life out there, they recently claimed that finding any life out there would confirm their “theory” of intelligent design.
So where are we? First, because of evolution and astronomy, the Genesis version of the universe is dead. The more creationists cling to it, the sillier they look. And second, the Discoveroids are trying to be so clever that they have totally undone themselves. So it’s all good.
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