Suppose ET was a reality?


#1

The bible gives a very earth centered view of the universe
Many suppose that in fact this vast universe may have many places where other intelligent life could have evolved and exist.
IF there were some proof found of Intelligent Extraterrestial Life discovered, what would that do to your Christian faith?


(Phil) #2

The tendency to focus on ourselves manifests itself in other ways. One thing I have been thinking of lately is how God takes delight in all creation, clothing the lilies of the field, keeping an eye of the sparrow, planting the garden and watching it grow, both figuratively and literally. We tend to think we are very good, and the rest of the universe revolves around us.
As It relates to ET life, I think it would make the universe more wondrous. (Though I am pessimistic that we will ever learn of it, as it would require intelligent life to develop and somehow make itself known in the same narrow slice of space time we occupy.)


#3

Exactly. And Fr. John Polkinghorne says that some Christians see a possible multiverse in the same light. All the more glory to God.


(Thanh Chung) #4

@cosmicscotus I would be excited about any form of ET life. Earth has so many strange organisms, and it would be marvelous to see other creations from God.

Funny you mention a sparrow because I was just reading The Sparrow. Now I’m reading its sequel, Children of God. For those who don’t know the book, it is a fictional story about a team of Jesuits and scientists traveling to a planet in a star system 4.3 light-years away from Earth in order to explore and study the planet and its inhabitants. It is a pretty cool book.


#5

The books sound good. And the Jesuits would be just the people who would be interested in that kind of thing!


#6

Good question. I suppose it all depends on what the Intelligent Life is like. If they come and blow the Sh.t out of us. I think I’d loose whatever faith I have in God, Jesus and the Bible.

If they have absolutely no “religious” belief system I think I’d likely loose anything that looks like orthodox Christianity.

However, if what the science dudes tell me is right, given the huge distances involved, I’ll be dead way before any real communication happens (unless the alien space ships come to get us - but then I’ve spoken to that possibility above).

What may happen, in my lifetime, is that the science dudes discover some kind of proof that there is intelligent life out there but the distances are far too great for any of my theological questions to be answered. So I’d just say cool.


#7

If Extra-terrestrial intelligence did exist on some far off planet, too distant for us to visit or for them to visit here (given our level of technology), and if free intelligent beings capable of goodness and evil. They may need a Saviour. The Word uniting with their flesh as He did with ours. Through such multiple incarnations in all parts of the universe the whole universe is united by the Word. We have ti think big and cosmic in relation to salvation, not in our little human centred theology!


(David Heddle) #8

I fear that two discoveries would severely test my faith, perhaps fatally. One would be the discovery of an intelligent alien life form, especially one with a developed morality. The other would be direct evidence of the multiverse–especially that the other universes had different physics.


#9

I find your post to be somewhat fascinating. I am not saying it is wrong or right, since they are your views on the matter. It seems to me that you are putting restrictions where none are needed.

For example, how is finding an alien race any different than finding people on other continents, like an isolated island in the middle of the Pacific where no one has ever heard of Judaism or Christianity? How is a multiverse any more of a threat than finding other stars with planets, or other galaxies with billions of stars and planets of their own?

And in the name of full disclosure, I am an atheist so this is my observations as someone from the outside of Christianity looking in.


(David Heddle) #10

Finding people in isolated areas of the world who have not heard of Christianity is to be expected. It is not inconsistent with anything in the bible. But finding intelligent alien life would lead me to a catastrophic “who ordered that?” crisis vis-à-vis the bible. Remember we are talking about faith being shattered. I did not arrive at my faith by a rational process, although I like to think I apply rational processes to examine it. By the same token my faith is not only susceptible to purely rational attacks-- the existence of intelligent alien life does not contradict anything in the bible–but also to emotional “that just doesn’t fit” attacks, and for me intelligent alien life would be a deadly example.

If the multiverse is true, and every universe has different physics, then the simplest explanation of our existence is that, no surprise, we are in one of the rare, lucky, habitable cosmos. Indeed this is a strong motivation for the multiverse proposition-- it effectively solves the fine tuning problem.


#11

Again IF intelligent ET did exist with developed morality and even religious beliefs why should that be a challenge to faith? Can we not acknowledge that the Bible is about life on earth and interatcions with humanity?
If God creates/evolves life elsewhere in the universe with intelligence they would have moral and religious systems of organisation in their society and maybe some likeness with religions on earth. If the Word enlightens “everyman” in some moral way would not God so enlighten other intelligent life? Again I don’t see why God could not become incarnate their tlesh as well because that is what God is like, the God who enlightens and gets alongside those that are the beloved.


(Albert Leo) #12

Way back in the last century, when the multiverse theory was first proposed as an ‘answer’ to the Anthropic Principle proposed by Barrow & Tipler, I thought “How quaint! Atheistic science now has it’s own God of the Gaps argument to refute the existence of God.” I believed then, and still believe now, that any definition of a separate Universe from ours forbids any exchange of information between the two; i.e., there never can be any evidence that supports a universe separate from ours. And thus the Multiverse Theory is not science at all.

There are some knowledgeable theoretical physicists contributing to this Forum. Can anyone show me why I am wrong?
Al Leo


(David Heddle) #13

It is possible (but not at all certain) that collisions between our universe and another might have some detectable effects on the nonuniformity of the cosmic background radiation.


#14

Argument by definition isn’t scientific, so that would be the first problem. I see no reason why we couldn’t one day determine if there are multiple universes or just one. At the moment, it is just as unscientific to assume there are multiple universes as it is to assume there is just one.