If aliens don’t exist, does God?

In the past couple of days, I’ve come across a couple of articles** about space and space exploration that got me asking the following, kinda random questions …

Why haven’t we found other forms life in space yet? More importantly, why haven’t other forms of life found us? And could the fact that we haven’t had any extraterrestrial encounters be at least somewhat supportive of the theory that humans are indeed a unique species, and that maybe there is a god or divine presence that approximates the concept as detailed by many of Earth’s practiced religions?

Now I kind of understand why we haven’t found life yet (by the way, this entire post presumes that Area 51 conspiracies and the like have no bearing in fact, that we have neither seen nor been seen by extraterrestrials, which admittedly is an awfully big presumption). Our space exploration attempts are still too immature, and we’ve barely begun to penetrate the infinite universe beyond our own galaxy, so our lack of success on the contact front shouldn’t be a surprise.

But given that the universe is infinite, wouldn’t one have to assume that there are also an infinite number of planets that DO harbor life and that at least on a few of those planets (if not an infinite number of them), that those life forms are so advanced that they’ve developed much better means of exploring the universe, including the means to contact us.

I know I’ve always thought that it seems almost incomprehensible to think that we’re alone in this universe, but doesn’t the fact that we haven’t been contacted yet by ETs mean that life may in fact not exist anywhere else? Ok, this is a bit of a stretch of an analogy, and a bit silly to boot, but this line of thought is kind of like how I have to assume that our species never develops the ability to time travel because if we ever did wouldn’t we somehow know about it (or perhaps the second we do develop it and test it out, we rip open the space-time continuum and destroy the universe just like Doc Brown always feared).

And if we are alone, what does that say if anything about the god question? I don’t think the answer to the question of whether life exists outside this planet would by itself prove or disprove god’s existence. However, I have always felt it would be very tough for most organized religions to square their beliefs and their written source materials with the existence of ETs. But isn’t the reverse also true – as long as we are unable to find life outside our little planet, doesn’t that support the mostly religious theory that Earth is a singularly unique place, and humans a special species whose purpose for being here is a divine mystery to be solved?

Or am I missing something very basic here?

** One article was actually a fascinating photo journal of some amazing pictures a NASA spacecraft recently took of Saturn. The other story talked about the fact that researchers have found a couple of planets outside our solar system that appear to be same size of Earth (but likely too hot to harbor life).

4 Responses to “If aliens don’t exist, does God?”

  1. 1 dude April 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    “But given that the universe is infinite, wouldn’t one have to assume that there are also an infinite number of planets that DO harbor life and that at least on a few of those planets (if not an infinite number of them), that those life forms are so advanced that they’ve developed much better means of exploring the universe, including the means to contact us.”

    I’m not quite sure how you go from if the universe is infinite, then there must be other life forms. There is no logical rule that allows you to take that step. And to further go on and say those life forms must be more advanced is another fallacy. There is nothing that implies other life forms exist. You could just as easily draw this conclusion – Given that the universe is infinite, wouldn’t one have to assume that dinosaurs exist somewhere? And that those dinosaurs must have evolved into far superior creatures than humans since they have had much longer to evolve. If you find this a preposterous proposal, then you must conclude that any other more advanced life forms existing someone else is equally preposterous.

    It is certainly possible no other life forms exist, or if they do, they are less advanced. And if we can’t find them, it certainly makes sense they can’t find us.

    In terms of religions…they don’t have anything to say about ET’s, at least not that I’ve heard, except maybe scientology. So long as they don’t say ET’s by necessity can’t exist what problem is there? In fact, if there ever is proof of ET’s I’m sure the religions will all find some creative way to build that into their written testaments – perhaps they will say they are angels and show how siilar characteristics can be found, or maybe they are the evil forces in the world, who knows. But trust me they will find a way to embrace them. If they found a way to explain evolution and the age of the universe, they won’t have such a hard time with ET’s.

    As far as proving religion correct if we never find ET’s, that is just as silly. Once again, there is no reason to make the jump from “humans are unique, therefore they were created by a god.”

    • 2 deadman May 4, 2009 at 6:48 am

      i never said there MUST be other life forms, but it certainly would seem awfully strange if there weren’t, unless there is something unique and special about our existence and our purpose – which was the point of the post. And I never said not finding ETs would prove religion correct – in fact, i said it would neither prove or disprove – but for me at least it would raise the possibility of some sort of divine purpose to our existence.

      And im not sure why you dinosaurs hypothetical is so prosperous. If the universe is infinite, it would make sense that there would be all kinds of crazy creatures and species out there, including extremely intelligent ‘dinosaurs’.

      i do agree that the religious would somehow try to fit the existence of ETs into their doctrines (the unknown life existing in the New World who must have all been going to hell because they weren’t able to receive the salvation of Jesus Christ certainly didn’t bother the Christians much), but the fact that none of them have anything to say about extraterrestrial life would at the least throw a wrench into the claim that their bibles, korans, etc. were dictated by an all-knowing god.

  2. 3 Chris May 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I like your questions. Speaking as a Philosophic follower of the teachings of Christ I would have to say that finding little green men out there would throw Christians into a huge tail spin. The quickest response would be that they are demons of some sort. However I’m pretty skeptical that anything significant is going to be found. (I’ve been grossly wrong before) It seems to me that if the we are seeing Flying Saucers they would have landed long ago. We certainly haven’t held back our curiosity/will when it came to introducing ourselves to indigenous cultures.

    And yes, the reality that our planet is the sole inhabitant in this great big universe means a lot. Along with realities such as earth’s position in the galaxy and solar system not only makes life possible if not relatively perfect, but also gives us a grandstand seat for viewing the rest of the universe. That our solar eclipses are possible because the Moon optically fits perfectly over the sun and in fact gave us the ability to study the corona of the Sun. These sort of coincidences go on and on if one wishes to look for them. I don’t think we realize just how incredible the odds are of life suddenly popping into existence here on Earth, let alone procreating. These numbers float around in our heads with little real meaning (at least they float around in my head anyway).

    I know this sort of rationalization gives scientist heartburn but we must back up and take a look at the forest and not just the trees.

  3. 4 henryd June 25, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Many Christians,as well as non-christians,think that the Bible is the entire content of what God wants mant to know.Those that fail to understand God,may think that the Bible is the entire wisdom of God.Who are we to think that we can ever fully understand the magnificance,the power of The Holy One who created the universe?Who are we to think that we can limit god at anything?The Bible is the presentation of a portion of God,s mighty wisdom,not the entire whole of it!God works in mysterious ways,and the Bible only allows us to see asmall part of His wisdom,it’s sad to say that most of us have a hard time understanding and accepting that.Thank God,He didn’t give us more.Who are we when we think we know it all?Who are we,when we think we’ve seen it all?Who are we when we think we understand it all?The largeness of God is so vast that some can not understand Him and others cannot accept Him.Our “p” brains couldn’t comprehend what God knows even should we try.Who are we that we can believe that we can limit what He can do!For those of you that don’t believe in God,I pity you,for in your heart and your mind you fail to know the love of your maker.His care and concern for you is unknown.The majority of you have decided even before studying the Bible,that the Bible doesn’t work,that you don’t believe in it.The others that don’t believe in it either don’t understand it or think they know all the answers.Who are we to think that we know all the answers?How arrogant are we to believe that we can’t believe in God?To know a little about who God is,one must,not just read,but study the Bible.The Bible tells us who He is.I am proud to know that He blessed me in His image,I am made with the similar qualities as He.I am greatful for the word of God for it also tells me who I am,and whaat I am capable of.It is my protection from the ones that fail to understand!I myself have been fortunate to travel the nation I live in numerous times.God is the greatest artist.The landscape he made for us is magnificiant!I wouldn’t, as a Christian,be surprised at all if there were other forms of life for I know the power and understand a little about the Lord my God.Who am I to limit Him?

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