Saturday, May 24, 2008
The question of the existence of alien life fascinates me as a Christian. Many people that I know have a perspective of, "We can't be alone in the universe. There must be other life out there." If their evolutionary presuppositions are true than the massive size of the universe itself increases the odds of the existence of alien life forms.
Proponents of the existence of aliens sometimes even go so far as to claim that to believe that human life is the only created or evolved life in the universe is egocentric.
Perhaps there is alien life. If aliens were discovered tomorrow, it wouldn't blow away my Christian faith. What Christianity describes as Spiritual powers, in the forms of Angelic hosts and demons, could very well be called alien life forms in today's vernacular. Christianity does describe these beings as having a mystical power that would incline me to believe that these life forms would not use or need superior technology in the forms of flying saucers and the like to travel through space and time. Even so, Arthur C. Clarke once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" so perhaps what Christianity paints as spiritual power IS technological.
But leaving this position aside, what if there is no alien life in space? What if the Spiritual powers that Christianity describes are ghost-like life forms that can't be observed physically? What if they are metaphysical and don't need a habitat on some distant galaxy far far away...?
Here's where I state an alternative belief that is probably not unique, but I've never heard it expressed anywhere before. If human life is the only created life in the grand universe, wouldn't the vastness of the cosmos only magnify the uniqueness of human life? You can call this megalomania, but only if you fail to examine the nuances of this thought at a deeper level.
This specialness would be endowed by our Creator. It would be God ascribing a fantastic worth to human life. Wouldn't this be consistent with God giving His only son for humanity?
Fred Smith from http://www.breakfastwithfred.com/ once said that the difference between humility and pride is that humility thinks its gifts come from itself and pride understands its gifts to come from God.
This endowment would be given by God as the universe's existence clearly has not come about by anything mankind has done.
Consider the idea that in such a world, we could carry this a step further. The universe, with all of its vast galaxies and countless stars, in its beautiful splendor would be overkill if it were created ONLY for human life. Really all we'd need for human life's sustainment on the earth is a simple closed solar system (with the Sun, the earth and the moon).
So what if the rest has been created for God?
A rich man builds a mansion on the coasts of a beach, when all he might really need is a 3 bedroom, 1 and half bath ranch with a 2 car garage.
You may look at the mansion and think that it's too big for only one person, there must be a whole host of people living there. What if the universe is God's mansion?
Is it not possible that the real reason we search for alien life is because we long to confirm that we're not alone in the universe in our quest for relationship and are looking for a savior to save us from ourselves?