Aliens and Intervention


#1

What is BioLogos’ position on the possibility of the existence of aliens? Also, what is BioLogos’ position on the amount of intervention God had in the evolutionary process here on earth? They’re related questions:

  1. According to the Fermi Paradox as I understand it, there SHOULD be all kinds of alien life. Does BioLogos believe that the fact that we haven’t found signs of any proves that God intervened on Earth and it was necessary for God to intervene?

  2. The odds of evolution arriving at intelligent life on only one specific planet are impossibly low. Scientists answer this by saying that earth is only one of countless concurrent evolutionary experiments happening throughout the universe and possibly multiverse. Does BioLogos believe that God chose earth only after it “won” the evolutionary odds race? Or that God intervened to tip the odds in earth’s favor?


(Phil) #2

My personal feeling is that it is pure speculation, and probably always will be due the vast distances etc. Even if there were intelligent life elsewhere, it may have already gone extinct. I am influenced a lot by this book: Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe

Interesting to speculate, however. I do not know how science can make any real predictions on this series of one.


#3

Where does BioLogos stand on God’s intervention into natural evolutionary forces? Do they state that God moved supernaturally to influence the evolutionary processes, or that God allowed the evolutionary processes to occur without intervening and shaping their results?


#4

John Polkinghorne discusses the matter of intelligent alien life in his book “Theology in the Context of Science.” A number of people have accepted the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe even since Galileo made it plain that the heavens are made of the same material as earth. The big question debated was whether the death of Jesus on earth would be sufficient to redeem aliens also. If not, would He have to redeem them by taking on their flesh also?

“Theology in the Context of Science” is excellent and I highly recommend it. Ted Davis led a discussion of this book right here on BioLogos a while ago. (John Polkinghorne himself signed my copy when I got to meet him!)

Personally, I think it would be very cool to discover life, intelligent or not, on other planets.


(Christy Hemphill) #5

The BioLogos belief statement is found here: http://biologos.org/about-us/our-mission/

Beyond that, there are no official “BioLogos positions.” People who affirm the basic beliefs outlined above may differ substantially on how they view details that aren’t spelled out.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #6

Speaking as a semi-frequent commentor (but without official standing) I’m fairly confident that Biologos does not take a stand on specifically what God’s direct actions in nature must look like (or if they should be seen as “interventions” or as just including everything that happens). The reason for my moderate confidence is that past interlocuters here (cough Eddie cough, cough) have tried mightily to get a reading on this and (to hear them tell it) have failed --or rather they would say that Biologos enthusiasts / officials have failed to commit and manage to remain agnostic on what God’s special activity (if any) must look like. I think I’ve heard those of official standing respond that the Biologos tent is big enough to accommodate a range of responses on this and hence the refusal to be officially dogmatic.

Regarding aliens, my personal response would be one of disappointment if the universe were barren of life except for our one microscopic patch of it here. It is big enough (in both space and time) that it could be teeming with legions of civilizations without any of us ever running across each other. The factors in Drakes’ equation have had some significantly favorable tweaks recently – terrestrial sized planets being much more common than past conservative speculations had allowed. But there are still so many more factors – life (of any kind) is still an essential unknown as far a probability goes. And then “intelligent” life (for us meaning: “they think like we do”) is another category leap beyond that. And then “intelligent” life that happens to develop radio communications somewhere in our galactic neighborhood and broadcast them in our sliver of time when we could actually listen for such things are both further leaps beyond that. So it seems exceedingly unlikely to me that we will ever beat all those factors if only probability was in play. But I’m no believer in chance. I’d like to think that God made a universe that was so fruitful that life multiplied in myriad places but with insulatory mega-parsecs of space to contain any cancers. Think of our effect (unintentional, and also intentional) on even our own species when we so much as discover a new continent. So the vast majority of the universe is “read-only” for us.


(Chris Falter) #7

Hi NYK -

When my daughter’s cyst did not reappear, was it a supernatural intervention by God, or did God allow natural processes associated with radiation therapy to occur without intervening and shaping their results?

Is it OK to say I don’t know and I don’t particularly care–I’m just grateful she’s OK? And could I say something similar about evolution?

Best,
Chris


(Walter D Huber) #8

Look at all the references to angels in the Bible. Now ask yourself: who were they, where did they come from and what were they doing here.


(Thanh Chung) #9

God made all sorts of strange organisms on Earth including ones that live in extreme environments, so I’m sure God made even more creative kinds of organisms throughout the universe. As for intelligent ET life, I’m not sure, but I’d gladly accept their existence if confirmed. Otherwise, it would be a very lonely universe if Earth only has life.