Jason Lisle Says There Is No Alien Life

The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — are running out of new things to say, so they’re recycling something from April of 2008, the month we started this humble blog.

It’s an oldie goldie by Dr. Jason Lisle — the creationist astrophysicist. He used to work for ol’ Hambo — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else — so presumably they have the right to republish what he wrote in those days. This looks like a chapter in a book, because the title is The Bible and Modern Astronomy, Part 2. It’s very long, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The question of life from other planets is a hot topic in our culture today. Science fiction movies and television shows often depict strange creatures from faraway planets, but these ideas are not limited merely to science fiction programming. Many secular scientists believe that one day we will actually discover life on other planets. There are even programs like SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) that scan the heavens with powerful radio telescopes “listening” for signals from intelligent aliens. Unfortunately, many Christians have bought into the idea of extraterrestrial “alien” life without critically assessing such a belief in light of Scripture.

How horrible! Then he says:

The idea of extraterrestrial life stems largely from a belief in evolutionism. [Gasp!] Recall that in the evolution view, the earth is “just another planet” — one where the conditions just happened to be right for life to form and evolve. If there are countless billions of other planets in our galaxy, then surely at least a handful of these worlds have also had the right conditions. Extraterrestrial life is almost inevitable in an evolutionary worldview.

That’s exactly right. But Jason can’t accept it. He tells us:

However, the notion of alien life does not square well with Scripture. As previously discussed, the earth is unique. It is the earth that was designed for life (Isaiah 45:18), not the heavens. The other planets have an entirely different purpose than does the earth, and thus they are designed differently. In Genesis 1, we read that God created plants on the earth on day 3, birds to fly in the atmosphere and marine life to swim in the ocean on day 5, and animals to inhabit the land on day 6. Human beings are also made on day 6 and are given dominion over the animals, but where does the Bible discuss the creation of life on the “lights in the expanse of the heavens?” [Yeah, where?] There is no such description, because the lights in the expanse were not designed to accommodate life. God gave care of the earth to man, but the heavens are the Lord’s (Psalms 115:16). From a biblical perspective, extraterrestrial life does not seem reasonable.

Wowie, he’s right! He continues:

Problems are multiplied when we consider the possibility of intelligent alien life. [Intelligent?] Science fiction programming abounds with “races” of people who evolved on other worlds. … Although very entertaining, such alien races are theologically problematic. Intelligent alien beings cannot be redeemed! God’s plan of redemption is for human beings: those descended from Adam. Let us examine the conflict between the salvation message, and the notion of alien life.

We’ll skip the aliens’ salvation problem. Well, here’s a bit of it:

If there were “Vulcans” or “Klingons” out there, how would they be saved? They are not blood relatives of Jesus, and so Christ’s shed blood cannot pay for their sins. One might at first suppose that Christ also visited their world, and lived and died there as well, but this is anti-biblical. Christ died once for all (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:27, 10:10). Jesus is now and forever both God and man; but He is not an “alien.”

The argument against aliens gets even better. Let’s read on:

One might suppose that alien beings have never sinned, in which case they would not need to be redeemed, but then another problem emerges: they suffer the effects of sin, despite having never sinned. Adam’s sin has affected all of creation — not just mankind. Romans 8:20–22 makes it clear that the entirety of creation suffers under the bondage of corruption. These kinds of issues highlight the problem of attempting to incorporate an antibiblical notion into the Christian worldview.

Aliens can’t be saved! Another excerpt:

Extraterrestrial life is an evolutionary concept; it does not comport with the biblical teachings of the uniqueness of the earth and the distinct spiritual position of human beings. Of all the worlds in the universe, it was the earth that God himself visited, taking on the additional nature of a human being, dying on a cross, and rising from the dead in order to redeem all who would trust in Him. The biblical worldview sharply contrasts with the secular worldview when it comes to alien life.

We’re barely half-way through, but this is long enough. Click over there and read it all, if you like. We’re outta here!

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20 responses to “Jason Lisle Says There Is No Alien Life

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    Good, the bible only lists three kingdoms of life being created, so the other three (or four) could not exist, just like alien life couldn’t exist. Oh wait, Jason, that’s not what you meant? God just forgot to mention those other kingdoms of life, they were created specially on day five-and-a-half.

  2. Dave Luckett

    Now, there’s an interesting concept: “They (Klingons and other aliens) are not blood relatives of Jesus, and so Christ’s shed blood cannot pay for their sins”.So a blood sacrifice is not enough. A divine and perfect blood sacrifice is not enough. It must be the blood sacrifice of a relative.

    This is a new and significant teaching, brothers and sisters. Since it does not appear in Scripture, it could only have come from revelation. Dr Lisle has been granted revelation and is revealing it to us in turn. Therefore, Dr Lisle is claiming to be a prophet.

    But I am a sinner, so doubts and confusion assail me. We read: “God himself visited, taking on the additional nature of a human being…” A mere Christian, aware of the dogmas of their religion, would say that there is not one, but two separate heresies in that short fragment of a sentence, contradictions of dogma only to be dispelled by true prophetic revelation. Dr Lisle must indeed be a prophet, or else he’s a heretic posing as one. How are we to know? Follow his novel teachings and be saved? Or be damned?

    Tell you what – what say YOU follow or not follow, as your heart inclines, and let me know. Me, I couldn’t care less.

  3. Srephen Kennedy

    Lisle also again discusses the “Fermi Paradox” and calls it a “profound” insight by Enrico Fermi. First, Lisle is always blathering about laws of logic having to be adhered to but then uses a classical “appeal to authority” logical fallacy to support his position that if there was life elsewhere in the Galaxy it would easily have been discovered, Furthermore. Fermi was a brilliant Nobel Prize winning Physicist but Physics is a very broad discipline which includes Nuclear Physics, a subject that Fermi would indeed be an authority on, and also includes Astrophysics and Astronomy, about which there is no evidence that Fermi knew any more about than a layman. Fermi was famous for his back of the envelope calculations which would allow him to accurately estimate an answer to a complicated problem using simple approximations, assumptions and observations. Since he was an authority on how much energy a process like nuclear fission would produce, it is clear he had no idea how far away stars are. If he did, a back of the envelope calculation would have told him that interstellar travel is essentially impossible even for an extremely advanced civilization.

    It is shameful that Lisle, instead of mentioning all of the brilliant insights Fermi had in Physics, he harps on one of the few areas that Fermi was clearly not an authority on.

  4. “Problems are multiplied when we consider the possibility of intelligent alien life.”

    The irony of the above Lisle statement is that he has been unintentionally demonstrating that there is no intelligent life on Earth either.*

    *Certainly not within the idiot creationist circle jerks.

  5. “There is no such description”
    Where does the Bible describe South America, penguins, radio activity or an ice age?

    “they suffer the effects of sin, despite having never sinned.”
    All kinds of living beings on planet Earth have suffered the effects of human sins for centuries, not at the least thanks to christians, despite having never sinned.

    “the distinct spiritual position of human beings”
    Hey Jason, thanks for admitting your vanity. Never mind that’s a sin too.

  6. Where does the Bible describe something which would be describable to an Ancient Near Eastern culture.
    The majority of life: microbes, the extinct.
    The majority of ordinary matter: hydrogen and helium.
    The majority of time.
    The majority of numbers: irrationals.

  7. Michael Fugate

    It is difficult to know what people believed about reproduction 2000 years ago in Jerusalem. Did they believe offspring were equal parts father and mother? When the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, what did they believe had happened? Who were Jesus’ blood relatives?

  8. @Michael Fugate
    What we do know about reproduction, so much of it being today’s common sense and obvious, was not known even in the 18th and early 19th century.
    There are few clues in the Bible. It is an interesting question, what people in the Ancient Near East thought about the process. How much was just a mystery?

  9. TomS, you ask what contemporaries of Jesus thought about reproduction. That’s a factual question in history of ideas. As I recall, the Rabbis (but I’m not sure at what date) speculated that the father contributed all the whitish stuff, like skin and bones, the mother all the reddish stuff like blood and muscle, and God added a few extra bits and stuck it all together. Perhaps someone here is better informed on all that?

    I don’t know how early Christians (or for that matter those present-day Christians who believe in the virgin birth) thought about the detailed anatomy, physiology, and now we would add genetics of the process.

  10. Dave Luckett

    One of the charming aspects of omnipotence is that the question of how a miracle was accomplished simply becomes irrelevant. God caused a virgin to conceive and bear a son, and this son was God, very God, with God but neither the same, nor other, nor separate from God. This is a miracle greater even than quickening the womb of a virgin, for it requires contradictions. How was it done? The only answer is “by the mighty workings by which He subdues all things to Himself”.

    I doubt that anybody in ancient times actually bothered their heads about the problem – or even considered it a problem.

  11. @Dave Luckett
    Already in the 2nd century, there was an attack on the reasonableness of Christianity by Celsus (see the Wikipedia article), and there was a resonse to Celsus by Origen in the 3rd century.

  12. Hans-Richard Grümm

    One of the charming aspects of omnipotence is that it is logically inconsistent. For any conceivable being, I can construct an action which is not among the actions it can perform (the construction uses Cantor’s Power Set theorem); thus it cannot be omnipotent.

  13. @Hans-Richard Grumm, to construct a single task that cannot be performed is easy. Any logical impossibility will do. Divide five objects among four boxes in such a way that no box holds more than one object. More amusing are tasks that Russell described as “not compossible”; and this is perhaps closer to what you’re thinking of. If you can untie every knot that you can tie, then you are not able to tie a knot that would defeat you.

  14. Thanks, PaulB – interesting concept. More about compossibility here:


    The relevant point is “When Leibniz speaks of a possible world, he means a set of compossible, finite things that God could have brought into existence if he were not constrained by the goodness that is part of his nature.”
    Not only does this mean God is not omnipotent. It means that a god who’s evil by nature is more potent and hence closer to perfection than a good god. Hence the ontological argument, were it valid, defeats christianity.

  15. Does this argument apply to explanations? Is it possible for there to be a universal explanation? Do we have to learn to be satisfied with there being no consistent explanation of “why is there something, and not everything”?
    Anyway, I prefer to be cautious, and not speak of omnipotent, but rather superpotent – capable of determining the laws of nature, or not constrained by the laws of nature.
    If an agency is superpotent, then it doesn’t make sense to say that that agency fine-tunes the laws of nature so that there is life. If the agency is superpotent, then any laws of nature – or none – do not constrain the making of life. It may be that the agency chooses life, and also chooses to fine tune, but we have no reason to connect the two.

  16. @TomS, Henry Drummond would disagree. He would say (did say) that creating a universe with laws such that life can evolve is a superior miracle to creating life bit by bit. Good Wikipedia articles on him, and also on “God of the gaps”, a concept that he helped formulate.

  17. Surely, God could have caused birds to fly with their bones made of solid gold, with their veins full of quicksilver, with their flesh heavier than lead, and with their wings exceedingly small. He did not, and that ought to show something.
    Galileo (see Wikiquote for citation)
    Why should not the Deity have given to the animal the faculty of vision at once? … Why resort to contrivance, where power is omnipotent? Contrivance, by its very definition and nature, is the refuge of imperfection. To have recourse to expedients, implies difficulty, impediment, restraint, defect of power. … amongst other answers which may be given to it; beside reasons of which probably we are ignorant, one answer is this: It is only by the display of contrivance, that the existence, the agency, the wisdom of the Deity, could be testified to his rational creatures.
    William Paley (Wikiquote)
    But God has ways, other than the display of contrivance. God could just give us the idea. And how does the display of contrivance testify to the lack of constraint?
    This proof can at most, therefore, demonstrate the existence of an architect of the world, whose efforts are limited by the capabilities of the material with which he works, but not of a creator of the world, to whom all things are subject.
    Kant (Wikiqute)

  18. BTW, other ways that God could testify to “the existence, agency, the wisdom of the Deity” – How about fine-tuning so that contrivance is not needed? Hw about the very clever idea of natural selection of random variations in common descent?

  19. @TomS, an excellent summary of evolution theology

  20. Eric Lipps

    Of course, the Bible treats the stars and planets as mere “lights” in the “firmament,” rather than as actual material bodies as we now know them to be. So naturally there could be no life on them.

    As for intelligent life: as I may have mentioned before, I spent several childhood years in hell, that is, a Seventh-Day Adventist private school. One of my teachers there allowed that extraterrestrial aliens might exist, but insisted that if so, we would never meet them because only humanity has Fallen and God would not allow us to contaminate these perfect beings with our sinful nature. Agh.