Life in Outer Space and the Bible?
James W. Rury
San Diego, California
To one who is curious about the miracle of nature each spring and who wonders about the perpetual wagging of a dog's tail, it is natural that he also be intrigued by the mysteries of history. The pyramids of Egypt, the knowledge the Babylonians had of astronomy, the mathematic accomplishments of the Incas, Stonehenge, the stone figures of Easter Island, mysterious mounds in various locations just to name a few - for one to gaze at and wonder!
There is popular speculation that beings from outer space accomplished some of these feats - or perhaps they taught our forefathers how to count well and how to stack rocks so neatly. Thousands of copies of books expounding such theories have been sold to the public that seeks the fanciful spectacular. The titles of some of the books hardly indicate serious science - "Gods from Outer Space, " "We Are Not the First" and "Chariot of the Gods."
The question is often asked: "What do those theories about life in outer space do to the Bible?" The inquiry deserves a forthright reply. Some unexplained events of the past and speculation of the present should in no way undermine one's confidence in the Bible account of creation, Adam and Eve or any other scriptural story. For one thing, Genesis 1:1 introduces the heavens (the universe) and the earth and from then on deals primarily with just the earth and man's existence. References are further made to the universe as a demonstration of God's majesty and creative power. It would not affect God's statements about the earth if there were life somewhere else in the universe.
Also keep in mind that fanciful speculations, "sightings" and "guesstimations" do not prove anything.1 Observation of boasting and guessing in the realm of government or by proponents of the theory of evolution - or just a perusal of the sports page should indicate the fallacy of such declarations. It is easy to assert, to predict and to claim - it is quite another, thing to produce conclusive evidence! Folklore, legend and imagination can spin some good tales that fall upon open ears of those who seek heroes in the past or in the future. Greatness to them is only in history or in prophecy. The fact that men in the past have done and said some things that are hard to explain is not at all surprising to me.2 To be unexplained does not mean that something is unexplainable.
Bible belief is not founded upon boastful assertions or spectacular theories. The Bible demonstrates that its writers were inspired and accurate by its fulfilled prophecies, pre-scientific statements,3 historical accuracy, documented miracles and by the life and teachings of Christ. Our question is, "Can the theories of men who would belittle the Bible in their intellectual games of guessing offer any equal basis for belief??"
Then again the ingenuity of man himself is one of the most fascinating facts to wonder about. Man's nature and capabilities evidence intelligent creation - not just oversight by prehistoric, extraterrestrial astronauts! The adaptive and ingenious abilities of American soldiers in World War II are legendary, It is said that they, given a few hours in battle, had a fox hole dug and soon had it fixed up with most of the "comforts of home." The marvels of science are numerous and obvious. Can you imagine explaining to your great-grandfather that one day doctors could take out his heart and give it to someone else to use?
There is no indication that the intelligence of men of the past was any less than ours. Perhaps they were greater! Considering the fact that they did not eat cold cereal for breakfast, they never heard of cholesterol or pollution and they took no time out for TV - maybe they could build pyramids easier than we can. Likely they could figure out some other things also!
Intelligent life in outer space? I do not know - nor does anyone! With freeway traffic, executive ulcers, wars, the comedy of politics - and a few other modern marvels - I am still wondering about intelligent life on earth!!
1. We had some U.F.O.'s for lunch at my house the other day C UNIDENTIFIED FRIED OBJECTS.
2. My wife often says and does things that are of equal mysterious import to me!
3. Bible writers made many statements of fact concerning life and nature that science has "discovered" only recently. Those writers had to have been inspired to know those facts.
Truth Magazine, XVIII, 23, p. 2