What would the discovery of intelligent aliens mean for Christianity? A recent article made a splash asking that question. Maybe, though, the question should be turned around: what would it mean for evolutionary science?
Clara Moskowitz wrote an eye-opening headline for Space.com: “Are Aliens Part of God’s Plan, Too? Finding E.T. Could Change Religion Forever.” The article was re-posted by Live Science. MSNBC News reproduced it with a huge headline and subtitle, “If intelligent extraterrestrials exist, what about God? Experts say encountering E.T. would pose religious dilemmas, especially for Christians.” The “experts” referred to are participants at a recent DARPA-sponsored conference called the “100 Year Starship Symposium.” Its purpose was “to discuss issues surrounding traveling to other stars.”
The reason Christianity was singled out was that Christ’s death was supposed to provide salvation once for all creation. “Did Jesus die for Klingons, too?” Moskowitz quipped. Is Christ becoming incarnate on multiple planets? Christian Weidemann, a German Protestant philosophy professor, thinks Christ would have to be incarnate in 250 places simultaneously, “based on the best guesses of how many civilizations we might expect to exist in the universe, and how long planets and civilizations are expected to survive,” Moskowitz wrote.
She provided a couple of ways Christians might respond. Weidemann suggested that maybe aliens aren’t sinners, although that seems to fly in the face of the “principle of mediocrity” that posits our Earth is unexceptional. Another is that Christianity has a history of absorbing scientific findings. “Religion is essentially conservative,” Pastor Robert Hoffmann, a pastor from Tulsa, Oklahoma said. “You can put almost anything in its face and it’s going to shake out a little bit, and then it’s going to drop right back down. We’ve seen this happen historically.”
Finally, a video clip embedded in the article shows that evolutionists have their paradoxes, too: like the Fermi Paradox. This asks, if Earth is unexceptional, where are the aliens? Jill Tarter offered the suggestion, without evidence, that aliens or their artifacts might actually be present in the solar system, even on Earth, but so far have escaped our detection….
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