Is there life out there somewhere?
This question has fascinated mankind for ages, but especially in recent years. Our culture has been primed for belief in extraterrestrials by two popular ideas: that evolution is true, and intergalactic space travel is possible with sufficiently advanced technology.
The idea that aliens exist has been popularized by the media. Books such as Chariots of the Gods? propose that aliens were responsible for technological achievements such as the Egyptian pyramids and Nazca lines of Peru. Movies such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2001, ET, Close Encounters of the Kind, and Star Wars have been tremendously popular, and are all based on the idea that advanced civilizations have evolved on other planets. And the iconic Star Trek is still airing on the cable channels every day since its inception more than 50 years ago!
These movies and TV shows often portray a world where disease, poverty, crime, war, and hunger have been overcome. On the other hand, they often show space aliens coming to warn us to change our ways or face destruction. Or perhaps they’re coming to destroy earth!
Evolution and Religion
It’s interesting to note that virtually all science fiction is based upon the idea of evolution. Also noteworthy is that the most successful science fiction movies have had religious overtones.
In Star Wars the concept of “The Force” is taken from Eastern religions, while in one of the Star Trek movies the characters find “god” on a barren planet, who turns out to be an evil entity portrayed as the face of an old man. In the movie War of the Worlds Christianity is shown as being powerless against an alien invasion.
The TV series Ancient Aliens is in its 16th season, also proposing that ancient technology benefitted from contact from extraterrestrials who visited earth thousands of years ago.
The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey advanced the idea that space aliens helped mankind in its evolution from apes. The movie’s ending, depending on how you interpret it, seems to show a reincarnation of the astronaut, or perhaps mimicking a spiritual rebirth.
The Search for Alien Life
The belief that there must be life elsewhere in the universe has spurred the search for it. One of NASA’s stated goals has been to find out if there are other inhabited planets. Likewise, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project has been scanning the skies for radio signals from other worlds for over 50 years without result.
One question that people often ask is, “But couldn’t God have created life elsewhere in the universe? After all, the universe is so vast, and it would be arrogant of us to think that we’re the only intelligent life.” Yes, God could have created life elsewhere, but the question should be, “did He?”
Barriers to Space Travel
Aside from the question of evolution, is intergalactic space travel even possible? The answer is no, for the following reasons. First, the distances are so vast that it would take too long to reach earth from anywhere else in our galaxy, not to mention other galaxies. For instance, at a speed of 25,000 miles per hour (the speed of our space vehicles), it takes 7 ¾ months to travel the average distance of 140 million miles to Mars. To travel to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, at a distance of 4 light-years, it would take 115,200 years at the same speed.
According to Einstein’s laws of relativity, it would be impossible to even approach the speed of light, as the mass of an object increases with speed. Also, a collision with even a small object in space at high speed could destroy the spacecraft, much as a bullet hitting the windshield of a car.
Then there’s the problem of cosmic radiation. Our astronauts were protected from this radiation on their voyages to the moon because they were shielded by the earth’s magnetic field. Moving away from earth, more shielding would be required, which would add more weight to the spacecraft.
Reports of UFOs
But what about the many reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)? Descriptions of strange objects in the sky have been reported for many years, even going back to ancient times. Upon investigation, most of these can be explained as natural phenomena or manmade objects.
Lenticular clouds, atmospheric effects of light, planets, mirages, and an electrical discharge known as St. Elmo’s Fire have all been mistaken for UFOs. Weather balloons and unusual aircraft have also been thought to be UFOs. There have also been a number of hoaxes, including Photoshopped images, claiming to be extraterrestrial craft.
However, extensive investigations by the Air Force and many private investigators leave about 7-10% of the reports unexplained. These eyewitness accounts and photographs include lights in the sky and “flying saucers” that violate the laws of physics in their maneuvers.
Could these be alien visitors with technologies so advanced that they’ve overcome conventional physical laws?
Pointless Antics of UFOs
The reports of unexplained phenomena indicate that these UFOs have exhibited very strange behavior almost as if they’re playing hide and seek. They sometimes appear and disappear randomly, hover for a while, then zoom out of sight at impossible speeds, follow aircraft or cars for no apparent reason, usually without making a sound.
Encounters with People
There have also been many stories of encounters with strange beings associated with UFOs. They seem to communicate telepathically, speaking of things like “higher consciousness,” world unity, bringing “new truths” and false prophecies, and sometimes claiming to be our saviors. There are even reports of abductions, with pointless medical examinations of the contactees, often leaving them traumatized. Sometimes people who’ve had experiences with the “visitors” subsequently develop an interest in the occult or related phenomena. These activities are closely aligned with New Age thinking and paranormal manifestations, such as poltergeists. The “aliens” are always antagonistic toward Christianity.
Biblical Reasons Against Extraterrestrials
If God had created beings on other worlds, they presumably would also have fallen natures like ours, and therefore need a Savior. But the Bible says God had only one begotten Son, and He died once for our salvation:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
If God has just one begotten Son, would He have to die multiple times to save the beings on multiple planets? 1 Peter 3:18 says he suffered only once:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
What most (non-Christian) investigators of UFO phenomena overlook is the fact that the “aliens” recoil at the name Jesus. A number of reports have stated that when victims of “extraterrestrial” activity invoke the name Jesus the “visitors from outer space” vanish. This is a clear indication that these are spiritual manifestations, i.e., demonic forces.
Defying physical laws, traumatizing victims, playing pointless games, pushing New Age thinking (including evolution), and disappearing and reappearing, are all closely related to occult activities. The Scriptures indicate that our battle is spiritual (Ephesians 6:12) and warn us about deceiving spirits (1 Timothy 4:1). But we need not be overly concerned about these demonic manifestations:
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus says the LORD:
Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.