Water on Mars Today, Life on Mars Tomorrow?
NASA announced this morning they have found liquid water on Mars, making it more likely that the red planet does or could someday support life. This of course begs the question: what will the implications be if and when we do find life on Mars or some other planet in this or another solar system?
In the Book of Genesis, we read that “in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” We see that God created plant life, the sun, moon and stars, animal life, and finally humanity. We read nothing, however, of God creating beings on other planets, nor of his creating life in other solar systems or galaxies; that is to say, at least I am unaware of any passages of the Bible in which God tells us when or how he created life like that which we find on Earth on some other planet besides Earth. Please contact me if you know of any verses from the Bible I have missed or overlooked in this regard.
Atheists love aliens.
Modern mainstream science barrages us with speculation about the possibility of alien life being discovered. The science of astronomy without aliens can be rather boring and *ahem* lifeless, after all, but the search for alien civilizations brings the excitement level up considerably.
Indeed, where Evolutionary Biology and speculative Astronomy cross paths, there is even a theory called Panspermia, which essentially says that life on Earth was originally seeded here by aliens from elsewhere, perhaps even Mars. So far I have not heard any compelling evidence for Panspermia, unless the overactive imaginations of scientists are permissible evidence when they believe this theory consistent with the principles of evolution.
Zealous atheists – or rather anti-theist evangelists – like Richard Dawkins, who himself has given credence to the Panspermia theory, no doubt hope that the discovery of alien life would be the death of organized religion as we know it. For those hostile to Christianity in particular, the search for extraterrestrial civilizations seems at least partially animated by the conviction that if Earth is not alone in supporting life it will mean that humanity is as insignificant as those nihilists and moral utilitarians have desperately tried to get us to believe for a few centuries now, thus paving the way for finally breaking what they perceive to be the shackles of superstitious morality restraining modern man, especially in his pursuit of modern science. These atheists argue that the discovery of civilizations far more advanced than our own, about which God told us nothing in the Bible, would expose a glaring oversight which a loving and omnipotent God, if he actually existed, would have certainly revealed to us.
I am inclined to take a different view.
I find nowhere in the Bible – in either the Old or New Testament – in which God declares to us through his prophets, kings, judges, priests, or apostles that we are the only sentient beings he created. Therefore, as I reason, to find alien life which God had not told us about would not make him into a liar, it would only mean at most that there were secrets and mysteries which he had not revealed to us. And that general principle shouldn’t come as a surprise to the faithful Christian.
After all, God is not obligated to disclose to us every detail of the universe, and we have nowhere in Scripture where he claims to have revealed to us everything he’s done, is doing, and will do. You might say that God’s Word assumes we are on a “need-to-know basis” with him, and that we have no right to badger him with FOIA type prayers or tirades as if he were obligated to reveal all his mysteries to us.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the church in Corinth:
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
I believe God will someday reveal all things to us, but that day has not yet come, and we can be content in the present because he graciously provides all we need.
That said, we do know from the Scriptures more than just what Genesis 1:27 tells us, that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
So we know that mankind is not the only sentient race which Yahweh God created, but he also created these beings referred to throughout the Scriptures as angels.
Atheists lead mainstream science in a two-pronged attack against organized religion.
On the one hand, we are told repeatedly and in multitudinous ways that mankind is just like any other animal – the product of millions of years of evolutionary processes working themselves out to naturally select the fittest members of the species. Evolution is continually favoring those with adaptations which facilitate survival, reproduction, and therefore future evolution of the species.
We and our children are brainwashed into believing we were not made in God’s image, with inherit dignity and honor as God’s special creation. To the contrary, we are merely sophisticated animals whose countless ancestors rose and fell by random, unguided processes, biting and clawing their way through the eons up to the present time.
Meanwhile, vast sums of money have been invested in programs like NASA and SETI, dedicated to finding and making contact with alien life which we seem to desperately hope will be more advanced than ourselves. While some mention is made of the possibility that the alien life we find will be a simple, single-celled organism, how exciting is that really? And won’t you be really disappointed if that’s all these programs ever find? What we really want is first contact with advanced, preferably friendly aliens possessing technologies beyond our wildest dreams – technologies we hope they will happily share.
Not to be cheesy and cliché, but sometimes I wonder whether the atheists and secularists aren’t investing all this time, attention, and money into the search for aliens because of their desperate desire to fill “the God-shaped hole in all of us,” as the Plumb song goes. And if that is indeed the case, can you tell me with a straight face that humanity wouldn’t rush to worshiping as gods an advanced race of alien beings if that’s what it took to avert their wrath or curry their favor and blessings?
God is sovereign over all life everywhere.
Water on Mars today, life on Mars tomorrow? Whether or not we end up finding extraterrestrial life on Mars or elsewhere will ultimately come as no surprise to Yahweh God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. If there is another race of sentient beings equal to or greater than mankind, Yahweh God Almighty will remain greater still than that race. We who belong to Christ have nothing to fear or feel insecure about regarding things which have existed since long ago but which modern science is only now discovering, whatever they may be.
“O Yahweh, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Yahweh, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
– Psalm 8