Difference between revisions of "Talk:Extraterrestrial life"

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(Salvation rules out extra-terrestrial life?)
(Salvation rules out extra-terrestrial life?: A simple God, fitter bacteria, Earth and centre, and humbleness.)
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::::The Bible tells us that, as mere humans, we are to be humble. How then can either of you excuse walking around assuming everything in the universe revolves around us, and that all 3,230,441,870,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic miles of the cosmos was made for the benefit of providing dim night lights for us {{Bible ref|book=Genesis|chap=1|verses=17}}. People accuse evolutionists of worshiping man, saying that humans are the "pinnacle of evolution" (we're not, really). Yet evolutionists constantly point out that we are not centered in the universe, that there is nothing specially significant about us, etc., while at the same time, creationists, supposedly humble before God, seem to sincerely believe that everything in the universe is centered around humans, and that all of Earth is made for humans to trash. Who is really worshiping man before all else?
 
::::The Bible tells us that, as mere humans, we are to be humble. How then can either of you excuse walking around assuming everything in the universe revolves around us, and that all 3,230,441,870,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic miles of the cosmos was made for the benefit of providing dim night lights for us {{Bible ref|book=Genesis|chap=1|verses=17}}. People accuse evolutionists of worshiping man, saying that humans are the "pinnacle of evolution" (we're not, really). Yet evolutionists constantly point out that we are not centered in the universe, that there is nothing specially significant about us, etc., while at the same time, creationists, supposedly humble before God, seem to sincerely believe that everything in the universe is centered around humans, and that all of Earth is made for humans to trash. Who is really worshiping man before all else?
 
::::These points aside, I will now go ahead and make the changes I have described earlier: Some Christians, specifically CS Lewis and the Vatican, have discussed extraterrestrial life from within an [[Exotheology|exotheological]] perspective. Both seem to think aliens would be free from Original Sin because they are not from Earth, which makes sense. --[[User:Stirlatez|Stirlatez]] 17:32, 23 August 2008 (EDT)
 
::::These points aside, I will now go ahead and make the changes I have described earlier: Some Christians, specifically CS Lewis and the Vatican, have discussed extraterrestrial life from within an [[Exotheology|exotheological]] perspective. Both seem to think aliens would be free from Original Sin because they are not from Earth, which makes sense. --[[User:Stirlatez|Stirlatez]] 17:32, 23 August 2008 (EDT)
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:::::"''I would like to address the assertion that God is not complicated. God is usually defined as eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and ultimately 'unknowable' to humanity. Considering that the universe and everything in it is very complicated ... any being capable of knowing about all of it at once should be very complicated. Whether or not He is composed of "parts" shouldn't have any bearing on this. Conceivably, the fact that He is immaterial would make his existence even '''more''' confounding to us, since by no "simple" means can mind exist without body.''":  For one thing, you are assuming that God has the same limitations that physical beings have.  How do you know that a being ''cannot'' exist that (a) knows everything, and (b) is not complicated?  Assuming we are using "complicated" and "complex" as synonyms, see this:
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{{QuoteBox|According to much classical theology (Thomas Aquinas, for example) God is simple, and simple in a very strong sense, so that in him there is no distinction of thing and property, actuality and potentiality, essence and existence, and the like. Some of the discussions of divine simplicity get pretty complicated, not to say arcane. (It isn’t only Catholic theology that declares God simple; according to the Belgic Confession, a splendid expression of Reformed Christianity, God is ‘a single and simple spiritual being.’)[http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5448]}}
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:::::"''...there are numerous documented cases of spontaneous mutations producing "more fit" specimen. Bacteria periodically "adapt" to the vaccines...''":  I was trying to conform to the terms used, and in doing so oversimplified.  Certainly there are mechanisms (copying mistakes a.k.a. mutations) that produce changes that are beneficial.  However, these beneficial mutations are not information-gaining mutations, but information-''losing'' mutations.  For example, penicillin gets into bacteria by means of the pumps that the bacteria use for bringing in nutrients (I think it is).  A mutation makes these pumps ''less efficient'', so the bacteria pumps in less penicillin, not enough to kill it.  This makes the bacteria "more fit" for a penicillin-rich environment, but otherwise it is less fit, and has lost information (involved with the pump mechanism).  Evolution, however, to be more precise, requires an ''information-gaining'' mechanism.  It doesn't have one.
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::::: You are correct about the impossibility of a moving Earth being able to be and remain at the centre.  I consider that argument to be like an imperfect but still-valid analogy; it can only be pushed so far.  But remember that it was Hubble (and others) who saw the significance and rejected it for philosophical reasons.
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::::: As for being humble, I think evolution produces both extremes of views.  If we are here by evolution and not God, then on the one hand we are the pinnacle of creation, responsible only to ourselves, and masters of our own destiny.  That can produce extreme pride in ourselves.  On the other hand, we are nothing more than a cosmic accident, existing for a brief moment in the time and then gone.  We are essentially worthless.  That can produce extreme depression (and is likely responsible for much of the current problem with youth suicide, depression, low self-esteem, etc.).  Conversely, if we are made in the image of God and are the centre of his creation, that means that we are special.  But we are not the products of our own ingenuity, but created by someone greater, compared to Whom we are but dust ({{Bible ref|Psalm|103|14}}), so we take pride in our Creator, not in our own abilities.  That's a fare more balanced viewpoint.

Revision as of 11:05, 24 August 2008

The Bible and Extraterrestrial Life

I'm not sure this interpratation is valid. Surely this passage doesn't rule out the possibility of of an unsaved alien race? Nematocyte 11:27, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

It absolutely does. "Let us make man in Our own image and likeness." Not, "Let us make humankind and Vulcankind and Klingonkind and Ferengikind and every other kind."--TerryHTalk 12:09, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
That doesn't mean there can't be life on other planets, though. It just means that the bible doesn't mention them in the story of creation. But the bible talks about the creation of the Earth, and doesn't really talk much about the creation of other planets or what's going on out there.--Epicurius 12:23, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't think that's what Nem. meant. He was asking, could their be Christians on other planets and if we find them will they look like us? Further, shouldn't we try to find them? Flippin 12:19, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
If that is what Nematocyte is saying, then the burden of proof falls upon him to find a Bible reference that says that Christians or saved persons do exist on other planets. Can either of you cite one single verse in the Bible that says, or implies, that Jesus died more than the one death that is documented? Can either of you find one single verse that says, or implies, that any of the Apostles took a trip to a world beyond the earth, inhabited by flesh-and-blood people?
And Nematocyte, I'll thank you to leave those verses where they were. Come up with verses that say that any kingdoms exist on worlds other than earth, and I'll publish them--noting duly whether you or any other commentator has interpreted them properly. But don't tell me that "other kingdoms must exist because God doesn't say they don't."--TerryHTalk 13:03, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
You know, the bible also doesn't mention microwave ovens, but they exist. It is possible that the Christians on other planets have not been found, or those parts were left out of the bible. As far as the "other kingdoms must exist because God doesn't say they don't." I think he's right that GOD doesn't specifically say there are no Christians on other planets. Wouldn't the bible say "we're the only Christians in the universe if that were the case? Flippin 14:34, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
"Parts left out of the Bible" cannot exist. See Revelation 22:18-19 (NASB). And mere speculation about "parts left out of the Bible" do not and cannot constitute sufficient evidence of the things that you think that those "parts left out of the Bible" talk about. Or are you going to speculate, as did Dan Brown, about Leonardo da Vinci hiding a coded message about ET's?--TerryHTalk 14:46, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
So if no parts were left out, and GOD doesn't say "ET doesn't exist" then there is room for Christians on other planets to just not be found yet? Flippin 14:59, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Another loaded question. I addressed only the "parts left out of the Bible" question. There's more on what God has to say:
  1. God promised a specific King of an Everlasting Kingdom.
  2. This King would be the product of a specific line: the House of David.
  3. The Old Testament contains multiple prophecies anticipating this King's coming, His ministry, and His Passion.
  4. This same King had to die in order to expiate the sin condition of an entity called "the world." The word used in that context is cosmos, which means all of nature.
  5. Furthermore, He had to die once--and only once.
  6. One becomes a Christian by hearing the Gospel. Hearing implies someone speaking to you. Speech implies physical presence.
  7. THrough one man--Adam--came sin into the world. Through one other Man--Jesus--is sin taken away from the world.
Where is the room for extraterrestrial intelligence?--TerryHTalk 15:14, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Further, what if Jesus was born and died on another planet after Earth and those Christians aren't written about because it happened after the Bible? Like the Mormons. The Mormons don't appear in the Bible, but they obviously exist and Jesus obviously may have visited them. Just a bit to chew on. Flippin 15:09, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Answered above. Jesus was born once, and died once. He was not and shall not be born and then die myriads of times.--TerryHTalk 15:14, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
So how does that explain the Mormons? They believe they saw Jesus back then. I don't know alot about their view, but didn't they see the actual Jesus? So, even if he only died once, couldn't he also come back a couple times? And if so, and since he's all-powerful, couldn't he do all these things on another planet? I know that sounds far-fetched, but is there a reason in the bible why he couldn't? Flippin 15:17, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

What if God is an inclusive God and 'man' includes aliens? That way, Jesus dying could save the aliens too. Or maybe the aliens kept to the original covenant with God and didn't require Jesus's death to save them. Chrysogonus 15:45, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

One becomes a Christian by hearing the Gospel. Hearing implies someone speaking to you. Speech implies physical presence. - So only people who lived in Nazareth circa 30 AD can be Christians? Or is it possible to hear the Gospel from someone who wasn't Jesus, in which case I don't see why this rules out aliens? Chrysogonus 15:46, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Hydroplate theory

I'd like to know more about this.Chrysogonus 16:03, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Working on it.--TerryHTalk 17:17, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

An extraterrestrial nation-state

The idea of an alien "nation-state" makes an unscientific assumption that they will organize like human beings do. What if they are a single organism with semi-independent drones, or a totally anarchy with every little green man for himself? --Lambchop 12:31, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Nothing like that figures in, for example, former President Carter's speculations. And I doubt that an anarchy could, or would even want to, achieve anything like what Francis Crick played around with back in 1973, let alone the kind of full-blown invasion force illustrated, say, in The War of the Worlds or the V series of television projects.--TerryHTalk 13:05, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
I think the point is, why is 'Nation-State' used over and over again in the article? That is simply one particular form of government, and assuming that any alien civilization would adopt it is making quite a leap. Such social organizations should probably be referred to as simply 'civilizations'. Brewer13210 13:13, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
A civilization can and often does consist of more than one nation-state. The term nation-state has specific political and, more to the point, military meaning. True enough, most civilizations in the ancient world were identifiable with the nation-states that ran them. But I suggest that the term "Western civilization" refers to many, many nation-states, and indeed to a history that saw many of its member nation-states rise and fall. I use the term to go all the way back to ancient Greece, then to ancient Rome, then to the various kingdoms of Europe and, of course, the United States of America.
In sum, "civilization" includes a full body of literary and artistic tradition, in addition to political tradition. Any civilization can have any number of nation-states regarded as part of it, so long as they all derive their governing models from a common source.
And before anyone asks: yes, I, for one, would like to see the logo changed to something better reflective of a common civilizing tradition than of one nation-state that happens to be the most powerful militarily of all nation-states that belong to "Western civilization." Those traditions are far older than the United States--indeed, they informed the founding of the United States--and I am not ashamed to own them.--TerryHTalk 13:43, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Opening Sentence

I don't think the opening sentence is very encylopedic ... I'd suggest removing the "if they exist" segment. Whether they exist or not is an opinion and existing or not Extraterrestrial life is life originating away from earth. Jrssr5 14:23, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

I disagree. By removing the dependent clause "if they exist," you mean me to imply that ET life does exist. No investigator or agency has ever shown ET life to exist. Unless and until anyone does so show, it's still an "if" and will remain an "if."--TerryHTalk 14:42, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Why not remove that segment, then caveat it with another sentence saying "no definite proof of their existance" or something along those lines. That will make it read better and be more official. Jrssr5 15:15, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Because I could as easily have described the whole thing as a "fanciful concept." Or maybe an adjective like "impossible." I am being very generous by using a simple "if" statement, which in English stands for any condition, whether contrary to fact or very likely to be fact, instead of stating flat-out that ET life, in the sense of a civilizing species, is impossible.--TerryHTalk 15:23, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
I have to disagree. The sentence currently reads "if such a thing existed", implying that it doesn't. Except for the biblical perspective section, the article should be neutral, as at this time, we can't prove that ET does or does not exist. Brewer13210 15:38, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Cite doesn't match passage

From the article "The only Kingdom that is not of this earth is the Kingdom of Heaven"" is cited with two passages:

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

and

14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.


NOWHERE in these two passages does it say that the only Kingdom that is not of this Earth is Heaven.

Nematocyte 03:30, 17 April 2007 (EDT)


Conversely, Jesus tells the disciples, John 10:16 "And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd." Now we could argue until the sheep come home, ahem, but the fact is the Bible is probably silent on the concept of extraterrestrial beings. If there are indeed other Worlds, perhaps those worlds' Adam and Eve survived the temptation in the Eden's of their homes and the need for Jesus to die (for their sin) simply did not arise. The Bible can be the answer to every substantive question, it just might be that this query does not rise to that standard. Rob Pommertalk 13:27, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

The fold called "this fold" in the verse you quote above consists of the Jewish race only. "Other sheep not of this fold" are Gentiles (literally, "nationals," from the Latin gens a national clan).
If--and I repeat, if--any other world existed which had not fallen, then God would be telling those people to keep a billion miles away from here, so as not to risk polluting themselves by contact with us. That's what a "fallen world" is all about. But I maintain that the entire universe is fallen.
And this is the point of that section: the Bible has no warrant for, and therefore would be incompatible with, the existence of extraterrestrial races, nation-states, or civilizations. And liberals know it. Say what you will about whether Andrew chose the right title for his article. The fact remains that a belief in ET civilization, and contact therewith, is a religion in irreconcilable conflict with Christianity. And furthermore, the adherents of that religion know it fully well, as Andrew's sources clearly show.
Faced with that, I marvel--indeed, I find myself barely able to proceed without someone recommending that I be examined for diffuse toxic goiter--at the insatiable desire, on the part of some editors here, to suggest that the Bible and extraterrestrial life (and by "life" I mean intelligent and rational and self-aware life) are compatible. I have just proposed that my own faith is eminently falsifiable. I would have expected the other person to accept the implicit challenge and go out and try to bring me a--what do they call it? Ah, yes--a "close encounter of the second kind." But perhaps I ought not be surprised. After all, I have watched all too many of my fellow churchmen, in the context of evolution, believe the lie of the tailors of the emperor's new clothes--that those same clothes "are invisible to any who are stupid or unfit for their posts." I deny that I am stupid, I'll let my occasional clients speak to my fitness to serve them, and I say that the emperor has no clothes on--meaning that evolution is a fraud and that extraterrestrial civilization is a non-starter.
But back to the point: The section in question says only that the Bible and extraterrestrial life (larger than microbial) are mutually exclusive. I'll gladly defend my Bible on another page. But I will defer to very few people as to what my Bible says, and what it does not say. And those few do not include certain editors who know who they are.--TerryHTalk 14:52, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
Excellent job in not responding to the criticism presented at all. Nowhere in the Bible does it say or suggest that life (sentient or not) cannot exist elsewhere. Moreover, your argument clearly shows your lack of understanding about even the most basic astronomy. Our galaxy alone is roughly 100,000 light years in diameter, meaning that any ET life from the other side of the galaxy would have to travel almost 100,000 years at the speed of light (which is impossible) to reach us. And that's just in our galaxy. Have you heard of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image? It was a picture taken of an incredibly small patch of sky, and it revealed around 10,000 galaxies, each with billions of stars. Some of these galaxies are over 13 billion light years away. 13 billion! Given the fact that billions of galaxies exist, each with billions of stars, each with the possibility of planets, each with the possibility of life. Given these overwhelming odds of "intelligent, rational, and self-aware" life somewhere else in the universe, how can you insist that Earth is so "special" and that life elsewhere doesn't exist? Now then, please show me where the Bible says "life" elsewhere cannot exist! ColinRtalk 15:05, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
And you, ColinR, have done an excellent job in presenting an argument that, as I'm sure that Andrew could explain to you, is incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial. And worse yet, you contradict yourself! Why should I regard extraterrestrial visitation of earth as at all likely, given the distances you just got finished mentioning? But the larger point is this: the numbers, however large, of other stars or galaxies do not prove that life, much less self-aware life, exists on any of them, are not relevant to the question of whether ET civilization exists or not, and do not matter to the question at hand, which is: whether the Bible allows for the possibility.
Jesus died once. And once only. That's it. Final. And I don't have to show you where the Bible says that other races don't exist. You have to show me where the Bible admits that other races do exist, or even might exist.--TerryHTalk 15:15, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
I've never claimed intelligent life has visited Earth, in fact I think that's a rather preposterous claim. While the numbers don't prove life exists elsewhere, the overwhelming odds suggest that believing life doesn't exist is rather unintelligent. And no, the burden of proof lies on you. You wrote the article, you made the false claims, now you have to back up what you said. So now, could you please a: show me how my argument is incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial, and b: verify your ridiculous claims that the Bible doesn't allow life elsewhere, otherwise I will remove that information from the article. The ball's in your court. ColinRtalk 15:20, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

TerryH, yes lovely purple prose. But maybe you could address the fact that references you have provided don't say what you say they say? Chrysogonus 15:36, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

I've added an caveat in the text to point this out as a compromise. Nematocyte 07:56, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
I am being very generous in the edit that I have just published, which is: I cite your criticism (of course, not mentioning any names or even usernames), but also point out that the words and phrases (use of the rather than this or a(n) or one, and references to Adam in a way that does not admit that Adam had a counterpart on another planet) still support the claim of uniqueness. I've also moved that to a footnote that appears directly below the verses I cited.
And I have gone about as far with you as I intend, and you know exactly what I mean by that.--TerryHTalk 09:11, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
I'm at a loss to understand your logic here. Why would an alien nation absolutely have to have a counterpart of Adam or Jesus? I also dispute your logic that the Bible even does rule out the possibility of equivalent figure on other worlds. There is literally nothing there to rule out that possibility. Nematocyte 10:13, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

wow...

This has to be strangest article I have ever read on this topic. Three quarters of it is not too bad, heck, the science fiction part is even pretty good. But what should be a section honestly (and, I might add, interestingly) discussing the religious ramifications of ET life, is presented as a factual bias throughout most of the article. You know, God might easily have done what He did here elsewhere, and if He did, He certainly had no obligation to tell us about it. Human 18:09, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

Compromise

Thanks to my discovery of Essays, I have found a solution for this article. The acrimony surrounding it is far less justifiable now.

I urge you to read my essay on the subject of compatibility of the Bible with ET life. That said, I urge everyone to take another look at the main article. You'll find it longer, with parenthetical thoughts tagged as footnotes, and with a few more pertinent citations.

I still say that the Bible and ET civilizations are mutually exclusive. I merely found another place on Conservapedia to say this.--TerryHTalk 00:45, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

I intend to delete the Definitions section...

...unless someone can provide a great reason not to. Terms such as "life" should be handled by linking to the Life article, "UFO" is just an acronym and should be expanded (once) in the text, and so on. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ga ohoyt (talk)

It does seem a bit out of place in an encyclopedia article, and in that sense I wouldn't mind it going. However, it doesn't take a lot of space, and I guess the point is that some of the terms (particularly, for example, "race") are or might be used in a particular way in this article that a simple link to another article will not adequately cater for.
I guess what it comes down to is, don't casually delete the section, but check for each definition whether it is necessary or not. On "UFO", for example, you are correct, it doesn't need to be in a definitions section.
This article was largely written by TerryH, so try and ensure that he gives feedback on your suggestion before acting (though that is not to suggest that he has the final say on it).
Philip J. Rayment 17:38, 2 January 2008 (EST)
I included the definitions section for a highly specific reason: I wanted to make sure that everyone understood what I meant by the terms "extraterrestrial" and "life." The very concept of extraterrestrial life is highly controversial, and has been from the beginning. As such, it's flame bait. And one of the favorite tactics of the flame warrior is to change the definitions in the middle of an argument. The "Definitions" section exists to prevent this.--TerryHTalk 17:54, 2 January 2008 (EST)
That's two of the eight definitions. Could they be incorporated into the body of the text (rather than a "definitions" section) and the other six simply have in-text links to appropriate articles? Philip J. Rayment 06:42, 3 January 2008 (EST)
Of the other six, only UFO has any expansion at all. I already noticed that "life" redirects to John Conway—an electronic game designer.
Now perhaps the word extraterrestrial already gets its definition from the lead sentence. But the other seven will need other articles explaining their meaning, and in such a way that the context will be unmistakable in this article. I suppose that's your challenge.--TerryHTalk 09:30, 3 January 2008 (EST)

OK, I think this is better. Ga ohoyt 13:27, 4 January 2008 (EST)

Salvation rules out extra-terrestrial life?

This article seems to imply that because God sent Jesus only once, and only to planet Earth, and only in the form of a human being, then there can not logically be alien life elsewhere in the universe. I find this puzzling. Jesus was also an Israelite, but does that mean only Israelites can be Saved?

If aliens exist, then millions or even billions of intelligent beings are now dying on their planets without ever hearing about Jesus! How is this different than the millions of people from all over the world who died before ever hearing about the Gospel? If God created the Native Americans knowing it would be 1500 years before they could hear about Jesus, how is it different than if He created aliens in outer space knowing it would be thousands and thousands of years before they were contacted by Christians?

Perhaps the implication of scripture is that it is our divine imperative to contact extraterrestrial civilizations so that they may be saved by Christ! --Stirlatez 17:38, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

You forget that Jesus Christ came to save not merely the Israelites, but the entire race of human beings of whom the Israelites make up one extended family, as it were.
Concerning the deaths of unsaved humans on earth, don't forget that we all descend from one man—Noah—to whom goes the credit for the greatest achievement of all time in the annals of shipbuilding. The trouble was that the descendants of Noah, in spreading far and wide, forgot about God. It would take an itinerant shepherd named Abraham to remind everyone about Him again.
Furthermore, you don't seem to understand the very special place that the earth occupies in the universe. In point of fact, our galaxy lies at the center of the universe. One can establish this quite easily by observing three key facts: (1) redshift, (2) proportional redshift (that is, the further away an object, the more pronounced the redshift), and (3) quantized redshift (that is, redshift appears to distribute itself discontinuously and in concentric spheres, all centered on our own galaxy).
We therefore have no reason to doubt that ours is the only world having life on it. I don't know what other signs you might have seen, or think that others have seen. But I can tell you right now: reports of UFOs are without exception exaggerated to one degree or another. The truth behind those reports runs the gamut from complete fabrication to another example of the false signs and wonders against which Jesus specifically warned mankind.--TerryHTalk 18:08, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
TerryH, while you are right it may appear that our galaxy is the center of the universe simply from superficial observation, it also appears from observation that the Sun orbits around the Earth. You forget Hubble's Law which states that motion is relative in a uniformly expanding universe. This means that no matter where you are in the universe you will always appear to be in its center. Refer to: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1929PNAS...15..168H&db_key=AST&data_type=HTML&format=&high=42ca922c9c30954
These things aside, the very fact that so many people in Biblical and modern times died without knowing Christ shows exactly what I mean. If God created people on other continents even though He knew they would have no possible way of hearing about Jesus until they were reached by Christians, then it is not ridiculous to imagine that He might have also created people on other planets even though He knew they would have no possible way of being saved until we humans are one day able to contact them and teach them the Gospel.
Lastly, I do not believe in UFOs and no rational person would. Considering the human brain's propensity to make mistakes when it tries to fill in gaps (especially at night or during stressful situations), no reasonable person believes that UFO sightings, seeing Bigfoot, talking to aliens, hearing the voice of God, seeing the Loch Ness monster, etc., etc. are anything other than a product of over-active imaginations, of course. Rather, I along with many others propose that the sheer amount of stars in the universe (70000000000000000000000000), as well as the recent confirmation of water on Mars (http://uanews.org/node/20779) is enough to more than imply existence of extraterrestrial life. --Stirlatez 16:00, 22 August 2008 (EDT)

First, I haven't forgotten Hubble's Law. Nor have I forgotten something that you have, or maybe you just never heard about it: Edwin Hubble deliberately rejected the obvious explanation for what he was seeing, namely that we are at the center of the universe, on no better ground than the philosophical. His "hyperballoon" explanation for redshift all around fails to account for the quantized redshift effect and, in general, is a clear violation of Occam's Razor. In short, I maintain that Hubble's Law, as you have stated it, is a dead letter.

In this connection I remind you that the Sun does not appear to revolve around the earth, not when you consider the phases of Venus, the phenomenon that convinced Galileo Galilei to surmise, correctly, that the earth is in orbit around the sun. Edwin Hubble has no "phases of Venus" to convince me or anyone that "relative motion looks the same everywhere you look." So that last is just a surmise. And if you looked at Edwin Hubble's own words, as John Hartnett did, you'd know that Hubble was explicit that his objection was a philosophical one.

Not to put too fine a point on the matter: as a young earth creationist, I have no problem with realizing that our galaxy is at the center of the universe. Edwin Hubble, evolutionist that he was, clearly did. And his "solution" was a cheap dodge more worthy of a beginning laboratory intern who can't handle a few outlying observations. Why, if Madame Marie Curie had pulled that kind of dodge when she kept observing more energy in pitchblende than she could account for after removing the uranium, thorium, and other known radioactive elements, she would never have discovered radium.

Now about those various peoples: God created Adam and Eve, placed them in the Garden of Eden, and gave them certain instructions. Foolishly, they violated those instructions. Then God left things up to the cosnciences of men, all of whom descended from that one couple. What happened was that antediluvian civilization became so cruel that it could not be allowed to continue. So God sent a Great Flood and told Noah to build the greatest ship ever built to survive it.

After it was over, those eight people (Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives) all knew about God. So if Ham did something monumentally disgusting (the nature of which I shall not repeat here), that indicated that the basic sin nature of man hadn't changed. Yet for a few generations, God dealt with man under the dispensation of human government. That ended in failure, too. So God singled one man out—Abraham—and brought him to a specific "promised" land. Still, every other man alive was descended from one who ought to have remembered God, but didn't.

Now Jesus Christ has left us with very strict instructions about telling our far-distant cousins about Him. But here is a point on which you have never touched: He never said one single word about going and making disciples of nations in orbit around stars other than our own sun. He would never have left that out. Neither do extraterrestrial civilizations figure in end-times prophecy, and for a very good reason: they do not exist.

Last of all: So what if there are a number of stars that you can represent with seven followed by an uncountable number of zeroes? That still doesn't make any one of them a candidate for a creation story to parallel ours. And water on Mars? For your information, water was the original material of which all celestial bodies were made. 2_Peter 3:5 Some of that water might have splashed down on Mars after having been ejected into space in the Great Flood event. More to the point, if water was all it took on Mars, then why don't we have any monuments to a War of the Worlds fought either in 1899 or 1959 or 2005? Why, next you'll be telling me about a refugee from an exploding planet, a refugee that became a God-substitute after he rose to manhood from small-town beginnings in the American heartland. I don't doubt that a number of reporters at The New York Times must think that they are Clark Kent, but that doesn't make the name fit any of them.--TerryHTalk 16:33, 22 August 2008 (EDT)

I do not know how Occam's Razor applies to any of this since creationism is itself a violation of that very law. If Occam's Razor states that the simplest scientific explanation is the most preferred, creationism can not be preferred over evolution because it states that the most complicated being ever (God) is responsible for everything we see instead of a simple, natural, predictable process known as natural selection.
Next, my statement that water has been found on Mars was not to suggest that I believe that the War of the Worlds actually occurred in any of its fictional incarnations, of which you seem to be quite knowledgeable (Don't forget the radio play in 1939!). I resent that you seem to think I believe in the literal truth of science fiction just because I think their may be life in outer space. Such a conclusion does not follow. If I were to make a similar accusation, I could suggest that you believe that the antichrist will be an individual named Nicolae Carpathia, former President of Romania, just because that is what it says in Left Behind. Though you may really believe that the antichrist will be a real fixture of human future, of course you don't think that he or she will have the exact same name or background as proposed in Tim LaHaye's work. Talking to me as though I believe Superman, War of the Worlds, and other works of fiction are real is a disrespectful rhetorical technique and I resent it.
For your benefit here is a concise visual demonstration of how any point in the universe can appear to be in the center: http://www.exploratorium.edu/hubble/tools/center.html Although, there can not feasibly be an actual center of the universe because of its infinite nature, cosmologically speaking. Despite this, I do not understand, even if Hubble was wrong in his proclamation, what the significance would be of our galaxy being in the "center" of anything. What if our "central" galaxy has several inhabited planets, in addition to Earth? After all, there are a trillion stars in our galaxy alone. And even if our galaxy was in the "center", our Earth is not in the center of our galaxy. In fact, a super massive black hole is. If you are trying to suggest that centrally located things are more important than other things, then, logically, a massive black hole is more important than all of the Earth since it is in the center of our galaxy.
However, I now realize you are correct on theological terms. Now that I think about it, only descendants of Adam will inherit man's sinfulness. You've made me realize, therefore, that any extraterrestrials we may meet will be, by the very virtue of having not been born on Earth, free from Original Sin. This actually explains why we have not yet been effectively able to make contact; They have not progressed technologically beyond their extraterrestrial Gardens of Eden because they have not yet consumed the fruit from the Trees of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This appears to be the Vatican's opinion too: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7399661.stm , as well as that of C.S. Lewis as he proposed in his book Out of the Silent Planet. With everyone's sentiment I will update the article to include the opinions of those Christians. --Stirlatez 18:35, 22 August 2008 (EDT)

"If God created the Native Americans knowing it would be 1500 years before they could hear about Jesus, how is it different than if He created aliens in outer space knowing it would be thousands and thousands of years before they were contacted by Christians?": One difference is that the native Americans are blood relatives of Jesus, which the aliens would not be. Jesus can take our punishment because He is our "kinsman redeemer". He can redeem us because he is our kinsman, or relative, because we are all descended from Adam and Eve. Aliens would not be descended from Adam and Eve.

"This means that no matter where you are in the universe you will always appear to be in its center. ... For your benefit here is a concise visual demonstration of how any point in the universe can appear to be in the center: http://www.exploratorium.edu/hubble/tools/center.html.": From the point of view of the expansion of the universe, this is correct: We appear to be at the centre, as does every other point. However, from the point of view of the quantised redshifts, we are close to the centre of the universe, and, unlike the expansion, this would not appear the same everywhere else in the universe. (The link does not even address this.) To correct TerryH slightly, I think the accurate way of putting it is that our galaxy is at or close to the centre.

"I along with many others propose that the sheer amount of stars in the universe (70000000000000000000000000), as well as the recent confirmation of water on Mars (http://uanews.org/node/20779) is enough to more than imply existence of extraterrestrial life.": First, the sheer number of stars being a reason to think that there is extraterrestrial life is only valid if one is assuming that life comes about by chance. If one accepts that it was designed, then the number of stars has no bearing on the matter. Second, water on Mars no more improves the chances of extraterrestrial life than finding silicon on Mars improves the chances of finding computers there. Life requires information, which is not found there.

"If Occam's Razor states that the simplest scientific explanation is the most preferred...": It doesn't. It states (and this is not accurate either) that the simplest explanation is the most preferred; it doesn't say anything about a scientific explanation.

"...the most complicated being ever (God)...": God is not complicated; He is not composed of parts.

"...instead of a simple, natural, predictable process known as natural selection...": Natural selection cannot, by itself, produce anything. Natural selection is a culling process, removing the less fit. You need some other mechanism to produce the more fit. And there's nothing simple and predictable about evolution.

"I do not know how Occam's Razor applies to any of this since creationism is itself a violation of that very law. ... creationism can not be preferred over evolution...": Evolution involves numerous ad hoc explanations to accommodate the facts; the alternative that God created life is by far the simpler explanation.

"Although, there can not feasibly be an actual center of the universe because of its infinite nature, cosmologically speaking.": As TerryH explained, Hubble chose his model for philosophical reasons in order to reject the idea that we were at or near the centre of the universe. An infinite, or unbounded, universe is an idea designed to accommodate this; it is not an observed fact.

"I do not understand ... what the significance would be of our galaxy being in the "center" of anything.": Hubble realised the significance: it would imply something special about us (and that didn't fit with his views).

"...even if our galaxy was in the "center", our Earth is not in the center of our galaxy. In fact, a super massive black hole is. If you are trying to suggest that centrally located things are more important than other things, then, logically, a massive black hole is more important than all of the Earth since it is in the center of our galaxy.": The importance of something being at the centre is based on what it is at the centre of. Being at the centre of the universe is more significant than being at the centre of the galaxy. As I said above, TerryH was slightly incorrect to claim that our galaxy is at the centre of the universe. Whilst the galaxy is close to the centre, it's possible (I'm not making any actual claims here), that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. That would make it more important than the black hole at the centre of just our galaxy. Regardless, it is clear from the Bible that we are at the centre of God's attention, and being at the centre of attention of the Creator of the universe is more significant than being at the centre of the universe He created.

"...any extraterrestrials we may meet will be, by the very virtue of having not been born on Earth, free from Original Sin.'": Whilst this is correct, the Bible also tells us that our sin has affected the whole of creation, so our sin has affected those sinless aliens! Does that sound right? No, our sin has affected the whole of creation because God created the whole universe for us, not for us and aliens.

"They have not progressed technologically beyond their extraterrestrial Gardens of Eden because they have not yet consumed the fruit from the Trees of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.": That was the fruit of the Tree (singular) of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, not the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Technology. Your comment appears to me to be a non-sequitur.

Philip J. Rayment 11:33, 23 August 2008 (EDT)

Thank you for your thought-out responses, Philip. First I would like to address the assertion that God is not complicated. God is usually defined as eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and ultimately 'unknowable' to humanity. Considering that the universe and everything in it is very complicated (a point made frequently by intelligent design proponents) any being capable of knowing about all of it at once should be very complicated. Whether or not He is composed of "parts" shouldn't have any bearing on this. Conceivably, the fact that He is immaterial would make his existence even more confounding to us, since by no "simple" means can mind exist without body. So, God is not a "simple" answer for anything.
You also make the erroneous claim that evolution and natural selection is a more complicated explanation for all of life because "natural selection is a culling process, removing the less fit. You need some other mechanism to produce the more fit." You are absolutely correct. However, there are numerous documented cases of spontaneous mutations producing "more fit" specimen. Bacteria periodically "adapt" to the vaccines, meaning we have to create new vaccines. Indeed it seems that "some other mechanism" is producing more fit bacteria. There are now many recorded cases of people in the world who seem to be immune to HIV/AIDs http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/may/27/aids.features . Somehow, all across the realm of nature, more fit individuals are being produced by "some mechanism."
Moving onto anthropocentric cosmology, I will assume for one moment that "it's possible ... that the Earth is at the centre of the universe." How could this reasonably be possible considering the well established fact that our Earth circumnavigates the sun every year? Is everything else in the universe simply moving around in such a way to ensure that the Earth remains in the center?
And, if in fact the Earth is in the center of the universe, therefore making it the most important thing in existence, then whatever is at the center of Earth is the most important thing in creation. By your own logic, the molten core of the Earth (or whatever you think is in the center of the Earth, possibly Hell) is more important than all of humanity.
The Bible tells us that, as mere humans, we are to be humble. How then can either of you excuse walking around assuming everything in the universe revolves around us, and that all 3,230,441,870,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic miles of the cosmos was made for the benefit of providing dim night lights for us Genesis 1:17 . People accuse evolutionists of worshiping man, saying that humans are the "pinnacle of evolution" (we're not, really). Yet evolutionists constantly point out that we are not centered in the universe, that there is nothing specially significant about us, etc., while at the same time, creationists, supposedly humble before God, seem to sincerely believe that everything in the universe is centered around humans, and that all of Earth is made for humans to trash. Who is really worshiping man before all else?
These points aside, I will now go ahead and make the changes I have described earlier: Some Christians, specifically CS Lewis and the Vatican, have discussed extraterrestrial life from within an exotheological perspective. Both seem to think aliens would be free from Original Sin because they are not from Earth, which makes sense. --Stirlatez 17:32, 23 August 2008 (EDT)
"I would like to address the assertion that God is not complicated. God is usually defined as eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and ultimately 'unknowable' to humanity. Considering that the universe and everything in it is very complicated ... any being capable of knowing about all of it at once should be very complicated. Whether or not He is composed of "parts" shouldn't have any bearing on this. Conceivably, the fact that He is immaterial would make his existence even more confounding to us, since by no "simple" means can mind exist without body.": For one thing, you are assuming that God has the same limitations that physical beings have. How do you know that a being cannot exist that (a) knows everything, and (b) is not complicated? Assuming we are using "complicated" and "complex" as synonyms, see this:
According to much classical theology (Thomas Aquinas, for example) God is simple, and simple in a very strong sense, so that in him there is no distinction of thing and property, actuality and potentiality, essence and existence, and the like. Some of the discussions of divine simplicity get pretty complicated, not to say arcane. (It isn’t only Catholic theology that declares God simple; according to the Belgic Confession, a splendid expression of Reformed Christianity, God is ‘a single and simple spiritual being.’)[1]
"...there are numerous documented cases of spontaneous mutations producing "more fit" specimen. Bacteria periodically "adapt" to the vaccines...": I was trying to conform to the terms used, and in doing so oversimplified. Certainly there are mechanisms (copying mistakes a.k.a. mutations) that produce changes that are beneficial. However, these beneficial mutations are not information-gaining mutations, but information-losing mutations. For example, penicillin gets into bacteria by means of the pumps that the bacteria use for bringing in nutrients (I think it is). A mutation makes these pumps less efficient, so the bacteria pumps in less penicillin, not enough to kill it. This makes the bacteria "more fit" for a penicillin-rich environment, but otherwise it is less fit, and has lost information (involved with the pump mechanism). Evolution, however, to be more precise, requires an information-gaining mechanism. It doesn't have one.
You are correct about the impossibility of a moving Earth being able to be and remain at the centre. I consider that argument to be like an imperfect but still-valid analogy; it can only be pushed so far. But remember that it was Hubble (and others) who saw the significance and rejected it for philosophical reasons.
As for being humble, I think evolution produces both extremes of views. If we are here by evolution and not God, then on the one hand we are the pinnacle of creation, responsible only to ourselves, and masters of our own destiny. That can produce extreme pride in ourselves. On the other hand, we are nothing more than a cosmic accident, existing for a brief moment in the time and then gone. We are essentially worthless. That can produce extreme depression (and is likely responsible for much of the current problem with youth suicide, depression, low self-esteem, etc.). Conversely, if we are made in the image of God and are the centre of his creation, that means that we are special. But we are not the products of our own ingenuity, but created by someone greater, compared to Whom we are but dust (Psalm 103:14 ), so we take pride in our Creator, not in our own abilities. That's a fare more balanced viewpoint.