I’ve often been exacerbated by people’s stubborn assertion that alien life must be out there. With no evidence of aliens, any belief in aliens therefore cannot be scientific and must be faith. My movie The Invisible Pink Unicorn and my spin-off guild are explorations of this. Because of the lack of evidence, I’m bewildered by prominent scientists, like Stephen Hawking, who have come out, not only in favor of the likelihood of alien existence, but who have made outright assertions that they must exist. Their arguments based on ratios of probability (which is bad reasoning) are all the more painful.
I should also point out that the scientists who speak out the loudest in favor of alien life often tend to be vocal atheists as well, like our good. But just as I firmly believe that a man can be a good Christian and a good scientist, I maintain that a man can be a staunch atheist and a good scientist also. So I never gave the connection much thought.
“The thing is, we’ve all seen it now, the past few years–alien life–even though half the world’s denying it… The past few years, suicide rates have doubled and that’s ever since the first alien. My first case–my first death–was a suicide. Do you know why she did it? Cuz, she’d written all these letters. She’d been a Christian all her life and then alien life appears. She wrote this bit; she said, ‘It’s like science has won’… She said she saw her place in the universe and it was tiny. She died because she thought she was nothing.” – Torchwood: Children of Earth, Day 1
And then it hit me. I got it. This was it. Atheists don’t believe in aliens because there is evidence. Atheists believe in aliens because they think aliens would disprove Christianity. They haven’t gotten past needing a reason for it all, or for trying to understand the big picture. They simply hate the Christian answer, and want so desperately for a better one that they convince themselves that aliens are reasonable despite the lack of evidence, and attribute it to science. That is why atheist scientists are talking as if aliens must exist. They’re sadly taking their objectivity out of their profession and using it to bolster their faith. This modern reality proves G.K. Chesterton’s prophetic words, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing–they believe in anything.”
Nevermind the shameful straw man in the Torchwood quote–that all Christians hate and combat science. Let’s just tackle the conclusion. The existence of aliens would not disprove Christianity. Even if Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking were right, and there was alien life out there, even intelligent alien life, their existence would not counter a thing Christians believe or teach.
C.S. Lewis, the Christian thinker who wrote years ago when belief in aliens was still a fantasy, wrote a piece titled “Shall We Lose God in Outer Space?” where he deftly concluded that God and aliens are not at odds. In fact, he sometimes wrote as if they might exist, probably in a sinless state, and he was afraid of what we would do to them if we contacted them. His lesser-known science fiction trilogy–Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength–is about alien life existing alongside human life, all beholden to the same Christian God.
The Bible never talks about alien life. Why should we assume it would be against it? The Bible never says we are alone in the universe. The Bible only asserts that mankind was made by God (it doesn’t say how) and that God places a special significance on humans that is apart from all other life. How does this contradict the idea of aliens?
I do not believe aliens exist, not because the Bible says they don’t (because it doesn’t), but because we have found no evidence for their existence. That is what science is all about. To believe in something that lacks evidence is faith. My faith is Christianity, for which there is little evidence as science understands it. But as a Christian, I love science. I follow science. Science is not at odds with my faith and I am not scared of science, despite what TV writers think.
The tragic thing about atheist scientists bringing their Alienist faith into the scientific world is that it adulterates scientific objectivity.
One more thing I’ll touch on is the above quoted character’s huge assumption. The woman he knew committed suicide because she felt small, like her role in the universe was tiny, and she couldn’t cope with it. Let’s look past the obvious silliness of a devoted Christian woman committing suicide. A few do, this is true, but Christians are the ones who argue against suicide and mercy killings while the world tries to pretend it is noble (even in Torchwood, they included a character who maintained his dignity by committing suicide). It is the Catholics, after all, who believe (without grounds) that committing suicide is an automatic ticket to hell. But anyway, Alienists like to pretend that Christians are arrogant and self-centered, and this is why they believe in a God who gives them a special place in the universe. The reality, however, is that this belief only forces a Christian to be more humble, because even though God lifts us up, we don’t deserve it and the Bible tells us this on every page. God is the one who is great, and we are the ones who are small. This belief in human small-ness compared to God is nothing new, but stretches back to the dawn of Christendom, as Lewis explains:
“The insignificance (by cosmic standards) of the Earth became as much a common-place to the medieval, as to the modern, thinker; it was part of the moralists’ stock-in-trade, used, as Cicero uses it, to mortify human ambition.” – C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image, (Cambridge, 1994), p26
The magnificence and immeasurable expanse of the universe makes a Christian stand in awe of God and his creativity. We are not responsible for it, and so we rightly feel small. This isn’t a new sensation to the Christian, and therefore it is far from being a cause for suicide.
Do aliens disprove God?
Why aliens don’t disprove God.