Extraterrestrial life

Hello everyone, there being more than 100 billion galaxies and almost the same number of stars in each galaxy, there is a hypothesis that we can’t be the only living beings in the universe. What if there are other life forms somewhere? Would this in any way write out the creation theory as we know it from a Christian perspective?

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Hi, @Vincent!

Great question!

I am by no means an expert, but I do not believe this would undermine the creation theory at all. I do not see any reason extra-terrestrial life would contradict scripture. In fact, I hope, if we do make contact with an alien lifeform, we can ask them if they, too, have met Christ! I suspect that there is life out there somewhere, and I believe that wherever it is God is its maker!

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The hypothesis that we “can’t be” the only living creatures in the universe is an old one that modern mathematics has largely debunked. In fact, it is very much MORE likely that there would have never been ANY life in the universe. Some calculations have put the chance of life arising in the universe at 1 in a number so large that there are more zeroes in it than there are atoms in the universe.
Assuming a naturalistic perspective, of course.

That said, I don’t see why life can’t also exist elsewhere within a biblical framework. The Bible certainly doesn’t prohibit the possibility.

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2 interesting responses; I agree that logically it is possible.

Does this introduce any moral or free-will problems? Only issue I see, is if this life-form has moral free-will; and the capacity to reject God. If so, does is follow that Jesus (specifically God the Son, the second person of the Trinity) went that that earth and was born as whatever life-form they are; and died in their place too; in order to redeem them to God? I think it introduces some issues… a more likely explanation of the phenomenon reported by many people is in the second article; that is: spiritual beings. coincidentally; there are spirit beings; created by God who do have free-will; and are in the Bible… just a few thoughts…

if interested; theBibleProject has a whole series on Spiritual Beings; which I quite enjoyed…

Hi @Joshua_Hansen
Thanks for your answer. Maybe just to seek a little clarification. If your suspicions are true and there is another life form out there, does it mean that God choos to omit that information when He was inspiring the writing of the creation account?

I suppose I would agree that he chose to leave these items out of the Bible. But, there are a lot of things which are true and which he would know that are left out. There are many diseases for which it would be nice to have the cure, but those have not been revealed in Scripture. That leads to an interesting discussion about for what purpose the Bible was intended. If it was meant as an account of salvation history and the means by which the Messiah came into the earth, then there are certain things which would be pertinent to those ends and things which would not be so important.

Additionally, I believe there was a limitation on what the human mind could comprehend. The concept of space as an empty void rather than a dome would have been enough to rattle the ancient mind. The idea of other beings living on… planets!? It would not have made sense to them. We see Christ in the Gospels mention there are things which he would like to tell them that they are not able to handle. Maybe this was one of them? One could only speculate. I say all this to say that I do see room for it. But it doesn’t mean this is necessarily true.

As @matthew.western mentioned, I think a far more interesting discussion is, if they, too, are fallen races, how might salvation have come to them? Perhaps humanity is meant to spread this redemptive power, similar to C. S. Lewis’ thoughts behind the Ransom Trilogy. Perhaps they are not fallen at all? Interesting discussions that I do not feel are too fruitful to dwell on too much.

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I have always been intrigued by the qualifiers Peter put into his statement to the religious leaders…
Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Why these qualifiers? Perhaps there are other beings in the universe with free will. One issue for me is that if there are other life forms, they were created by God and not the products of abiogenesis (life from non-life by random events) followed by unguided evolution. The issue of free will and then the need for salvation only comes up if they (aliens) are advanced organisms as opposed to plants and so-called lower animals.

There are many atheists who seem to be convinced that the finding of alien sentient beings would somehow disprove Christianity. I do not see the logic of that. However, there are some Christians who go along with that and categorically say there cannot be aliens. They usually say that because they reject evolution and the necessary precursor to evolution - abiogenesis. But they also don’t allow for God having created beings elsewhere for His own purposes.

I am not about to limit God.

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Hello Matt/Fellowship,

Thanks for the stimulating question of whether the Lord Jesus might have to die for extraterrestrials, if they exist.

To the seminal question of abiogenesis, my position is that it is not a matter of statistical improbabilities, it is a matter of attributive impossibility—that is, there is nothing in or on a cell that is alive, not the nucleus, not the membranes, not the DNA, nor the proteins, not the cytoplasm, nothing, it’s all just biochemicals, only the cell itself, in its entirety, is alive. That means the mere collection of chemicals (in some extraterrestrial environment/ecosystem) cannot spontaneously generate life no matter what conditions prevail. I therefore posit that God had to supernaturally intervene to create life from non-life. Thus, unless God supernaturally intervened on other cosmic bodies (other Earths), there is no life on them, and if God did superintend on other cosmic bodies to bring forth life, then it may or may not be similar to what we find on Earth, and it may or may not be subject to sin.

The compelling question is, if sentient extraterrestrials do exist and if they are subject to sin, whether Christ’s sacrifice on Earth covers the extraterrestrials as well. Hebrews 7:27 and 10:14 indicate that Christ’s sacrifice paid for all sin, one atonement for all time. Now, that may be limited to human beings, or it may be more broadly applicable (even to extraterrestrials), we have no scriptural guidance that I’m aware of on this matter. Some might take the position that since Christ had to become a man to take man’s sin upon Himself that He would have to become an extraterrestrial to take their sin upon Himself in a sacrificial atonement; this may or not be correct, again, we have no scriptural guidance for this matter that I am aware of.

I contend that since Jesus was Emmanuel (God with us), in agreement w/Hebrews, the Lord’s atoning sacrifice was sufficient once for all, thus, He would not have to die explicitly for each race of extraterrestrials as an atonement for sin is the death of a sinless sacrifice (not necessarily a sinless sacrifice in the race or species of the forgiven). Interesting question, thanks again for raising it.

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