With the rapid development of space technology, mankind has accelerated its search for extraterrestrial life, especially intelligent life. This has even spawned a new branch of science—astrobiology (lit. ‘star-life-study’)—despite not a shred of evidence for such life being found in some 50 years of searching. With advances in space-based telescopes, like Kepler, it is widely hoped this situation will soon change.
What is behind this belief in alien life evolving on other planets around other star systems?
It is the rejection of the Creator.
This means one must explain life on Earth as having arisen spontaneously (and therefore, the reasoning goes, it must also have done so elsewhere in the universe, many millions of times).
But as famous evolutionist (and astrobiologist) Paul Davies has reminded us in a recent Scientific American article,1 leading evolutionists had in past decades opposed this idea of ‘ETs everywhere’.
Why? Because they had faced up to the nigh-insuperable difficulty of trying to imagine a way to have the information systems of reproducing life evolve from raw chemistry.
Hence they had concluded that life on Earth must be a near-miraculous one-off fluke, and that we are therefore alone. But, Davies indicates, today there is this feverish, near-universal belief that life must have popped up all over the cosmos—yet the science hasn’t changed (actually, the case for spontaneous life has worsened as knowledge of the requirements for a minimalist cell has increased2).
And it is that science, he says, which shows that even if there were vast numbers of Earth-like planets, the odds of life by pure chemistry are still so small as to be negligible. Which means, says Davies, that today’s belief in life arising inevitably wherever the conditions are right implicitly assumes the existence of a mysterious self-organizing principle, or life force. But there is, once again, no evidence whatsoever for such a force, concedes Davies.3
All of this exposes the fact that such beliefs are not held as articles of science, but of faith, and a peculiarly blind faith, at that, fuelled by rejection of the Creator. To highlight the bizarre depths to which this can lead, consider some recent comments by a Columbia University astrophysicist, Professor Caleb Scharf.4
This intelligent scientist suggests that the reason we are not finding any aliens (intelligent or otherwise) may be because they—or perhaps what is left of them—are all around us, even in the structure of matter and things like the quantum physical world:
… our universe is the remains of intelligent alien life which controls all aspects of the physical world—from gravity to the speed of light.
His proposal, intended to address many of the great mysteries of the cosmos, postulates that alien life has left all types of evidence, all around us. The notion purports to explain dark matter—it was created by the aliens. Even our universe itself is supposedly the product of intelligent alien life.
In an article in the science (not pseudoscience, apparently) journal Nautilus, this radical thinker wrote that alien life could exist in the behaviour of subatomic particles and the expansion of the universe. He is quoted as saying,
Perhaps hyper-advanced life isn’t just external. Perhaps it’s already all around. It is embedded in what we perceive to be physics itself. In other words, life might not just be in the equations. It might be the equations. 4
Because naturalistic thinking has not paid off in the detection of the expected signatures of intelligent life elsewhere, or any evidence of extraterrestrial life for that matter, it seems that some materialists are willing to come up with even more bizarre ideas. He suggests that everything in nature, the very creation itself, the forces that control everything, could be either the product or at least the remains of intelligent alien life. Presumably they evolved long ago to such an advanced state that they learned how to control everything in nature, if not actually created much of what we observe. Anything, it seems, other than to give glory to God for creation. He wrote:
We don’t recognise advanced life because it forms an integral and unsuspicious part of what we’ve considered to be the natural world.4
Some have compared his theory to the sci-fi-like future on Earth postulated by some, in which humans will have downloaded themselves onto machine substrates, their minds and the essence of their personality living on in the form of software programs. Though the sketchy reports make it hard to pin down the exact extent of his speculations, it seems Scharf is suggesting that alien life forms, intelligent enough to reach us, may have already turned themselves into living machines. These hyper-advanced aliens may in fact have gone way beyond that and gone on to becoming a complex physical system. Nothing, it seems, is too farfetched; the laws of physics, quantum mechanics—even the universe itself— could be what is left over from (or has been created by) these hyper-advanced aliens. You may think you are looking at an orderly universe and physical laws, but maybe you are in reality looking at ‘their’ creation, or even their remains (innards?). And if that is not a stretch for your imagination, he also says:
If you’re a civilisation that has learned how to encode living systems into different [materials], all you need to do is build a normal-matter-to-dark-matter data-transfer system: a dark matter 3D printer.4
Wow, is that all? He speaks as if it (whatever ‘it’ really means here) is a trivial task for these hypothetical intelligent aliens. Yet we have to date not even discovered a single particle of the alleged ‘dark matter’. So Dr Scharf’s statement about 3D printers seems at the least a bit premature, which may be the kindest description possible.
One ID source suggested that Scharf seems to be saying, about this as-yet-unknown and maybe non-existent dark matter,
Perhaps it's more like cloud storage for alien civilizations that have uploaded themselves.5
It also pointed out that a precursor to Scharf’s ideas was explored by evolutionary atheist Carl Sagan in one of his science fiction novels.
In short, like so many, Scharf is unwilling to face up to the fact that there is no alien life ‘out there’, and that natural processes cannot just evolve life from unguided chemical reactions. To escape this conclusion, he claims that we have not yet detected extraterrestrial life because it already exists all around us. As cited earlier, it’s just “an integral and unsuspicious part of what we’ve considered to be the natural world”.
I had to think; talk about ‘ivory towers’. Perhaps some of my fellow academics and researchers just don’t get out enough. As a biblical creationist I am not unfamiliar with accusations of believing in a pseudoscience. The notion that life is a supernatural creation and that God placed mankind on this planet, specially prepared for life, is abhorrent to many, particularly to the so-called ‘freethinker’. Yet here we have something for which it is surely not too strong to call it not just pseudoscience but cuckoo-land type thinking.
Ironically, biblical creationists are the ones accused of doing pseudoscience when we look at the created world with biblical glasses, as did the great Isaac Newton and most of the other fathers of real science. Now this scientist looks at the world with materialist glasses, and it has led to what can only be called insane conclusions.6 But it’s ‘acceptable science’, regarded as a reasonable, if provocative, ‘thought experiment’, not something to be howled down like creation. One science site is typical of the ‘cautiously interested’ reception:
None of these ideas have been peer-reviewed, and they're just the opinion of one astrophysicist pushing the boundaries of what's theoretically possible. But while we can't test any of these ideas just yet, we also can't really rule them out.7
One thing seems certain: It will not lead to the sorts of repercussions and ridicule that would have surely taken place if the same academic had openly promoted Genesis creation.
References and notes
Davies, P., The Cosmos Might Be Mostly Devoid of Life, scientificamerican.com, September 2016. Return to text.
He proposes that one way to test for it would be to look for evidence of new life forms, such as microbes, totally unlike any other Earth life. This is based on the idea that if there is such a self-organising principle, then life may well have arisen from chemicals more than once, so the descendants of such a ‘second Genesis’ as he calls it might be discoverable. Return to text.
Baker, N., Aliens could control mysteries like dark matter, says scientist, The Sun, 19 November 2016. Return to text.
Klinghoffer, D., Alien Physics: Scientist Offers Novel Escape Hatch from Intelligent Design, evolutionnews.org, 18 November 2016. Return to text.
Macdonald, F., An astrophysicist says we might not be able to distinguish aliens from the laws of physics:What if dark matter is really just aliens?, sciencealert.com, 18 September 2016. Return to text.
Davies, P., The Cosmos Might Be Mostly Devoid of Life, scientificamerican.com, September 2016.
He proposes that one way to test for it would be to look for evidence of new life forms, such as microbes, totally unlike any other Earth life. This is based on the idea that if there is such a self-organising principle, then life may well have arisen from chemicals more than once, so the descendants of such a ‘second Genesis’ as he calls it might be discoverable.
Baker, N., Aliens could control mysteries like dark matter, says scientist, The Sun, 19 November 2016.
Klinghoffer, D., Alien Physics: Scientist Offers Novel Escape Hatch from Intelligent Design, evolutionnews.org, 18 November 2016.
Macdonald, F., An astrophysicist says we might not be able to distinguish aliens from the laws of physics:What if dark matter is really just aliens?, sciencealert.com, 18 September 2016.
The delicious irony is that atheists are so near so yet so far off grasping the truth…
“This means one must explain life on Earth as having arisen spontaneously (and therefore, the reasoning goes, it must also have done so elsewhere in the universe, many millions of times).”
Because in Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem we read…
«/ ‘But can God indeed dwell on earth? Heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have built! — 1K§8:27 /»
…and in Job we read…
«/ Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens and looks down on all the stars, high as they are. —Job§22:12 /»
Thus God is of “size mega/millions in our terms” and is omnipresent throughout the known universe and beyond.
We also know from the Bible that “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. – Jesus in Jn§4:16”. Moreover, God caused life to arise spontaneously on earth in six earth days and can just as easily cause it to spontaneously disappear.
[Jn§3: ‘Wind’ and ‘spirit’ are translations of the same Greek word, which has both meanings.]
[Gn§1: Or ‘and the spirit of God hovering.’]
«/ In God’s hand are the souls of all that live, the spirits of all human kind. — Job§12:10 For the spirit of God made me, and the breath of the Almighty gave me life. — Job§33:4
Who committed the earth to his keeping? Who but he established the whole world? If he were to turn his thoughts inwards and recall his life-giving spirit, all that lives would perish on the instant, and man return again to dust. — Job§34:13-15 /»
(Continued in Part II)
Terry D P., Australia, 19 December 2016
And in New Testament we find that words are spirit/breathe/life/knowledge…
«/ WHEN ALL THINGS began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was. The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through him all things came to be; no single thing was created without him. All that came to be was alive with his life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines on in the dark, and the darkness has never mastered it. — Jn§1:1-5
The spirit alone gives life; the flesh is of no avail; the words which I have spoken to you are both spirit and life. — Jn§6:63 [That is, words are spirit and life.]
…for the Father loves you himself, because you have loved me and believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world again and going to the Father. — Jn§16:27-28 /»
So atheists look to receive messages from intelligent life they believe exists in other places in the universe which God created, as a sign their unintelligent and lifeless creator called evolution exists. But, they refuse to accept the God’s message of salvation, although it has already been delivered to them in the God breathed written words of the Bible, and through the person of Jesus Christ the Word [Spirit] of God in human flesh/form, who came from God in heaven.
«/ For all that may be known of God by men lies plain before their eyes; indeed God himself has disclosed it to them. His invisible attributes, […] have been visible, ever since the world began, to the eye of reason, in the things he has made. […] Hence all their thinking has ended in futility, and their misguided minds are plunged in darkness. They boast of their wisdom, but they have made fools of themselves, … — Ro§1:19-22 /»
Ian J., Australia, 19 December 2016
Baron Von Munchausen comes to mind when I read these flights of fancy. Perhaps an enterprising publisher could collect these stories.
Errol B., Australia, 19 December 2016
Is this an example of the scientific method? Perhaps the scientific method is ‘evolving’, or should that be ‘devolving’?
Surely some big-name atheists must become more vocal in a direct condemnation of these childish ideas and put an end to this nonsense. It’s got to be terribly embarrassing, especially with an increasing reference to dark matter to solve mysteries of their own making.
Romans 1:19-22 got it right & is just 1 of many passages giving man motivation to study nature; not just say, ‘little green (or grey) men’ & ‘dark matter’ did it.
Does anyone else see the ‘God of the gaps’ irony here?
Joseph M., United Kingdom, 20 December 2016
To look for life you must define what life is first. Life on earth must include matter(chemicals, etc.) and abstracts (information, intelligence, consciousness, spirit, etc.). Question is does matter form abstract constructs or does abstracts form material constructs?
3D Printers actually give a great example of teleological relationships starting from the abstract that control and form physical things. In the 3D process you start from the abstract concept; then the concept is modelled using abstract software; then the 3D model is spliced by further abstract software; then the integrated physical mechanical structures (irreducible system) feed through the materials that is controlled by the abstract software to form the physical object(s). We are clearly observing teleology in motion and not bottom up materialism which evolutionists crave to observe.
The conclusions are so obvious theology is a scientific fact and bottom up physicality is never observed. Forget aliens and understand this "… And the Lord God formed man…" Genesis 2:7,8,19. These evolutionists and atheists will never understand the last part of creating life "… into his nostril the breath of life; and man became a living soul" Genesis 2:7
Arthur G., United Kingdom, 20 December 2016
I was just wondering about this dark matter printer, 3-D or otherwise. How will it be engineered since we can't detect dark matter. Or, do we make the printer out of normal matter which we can see and engineer, and make it produce dark matter for us? But how would we know that the printer had worked and how would we detect its output?
As Dr Hartnett commented, this is the insane reasoning of a deluded brain. It's a pity that so many intelligent people will go to such irrational lengths to deny the Creator.
WR B., United States, 20 December 2016
We can think of Caleb Scharf as merely a "crackpot" but he does recognize an extremely important truth. Our world and life requires a super smart intelligent being, whom he says is "alien". It is, our Creator Himself, My God Almighty, who has revealed Himself. Alien life is not a mystery. It was God in human form who loves me, and is only alien when I refuse to accept that love.
Ray R., United States, 20 December 2016
Oh my! I love sci-fi and am a fan of Stargate-1 where the ancients ascended and must be the aliens that Scharf is describing. My question for Scharf would be, where did the aliens come from?
Christian R., United States, 20 December 2016
When a secular scientist says, "I believe in aliens." but there is no evidence, they call it science. When a biblical scientist says, "I believe in God." somehow it's not considered science. It astounds me how much secular scientists "need" a god, but are unwilling to submit to the true God (Who has proved Himself time and time again via His Creation and His Word) and rather chase after imaginary beings whom they have no evidence for.
Neil O., Ireland, 21 December 2016
Another astounding article from CMI.
And while creationist scientists uncover more and more scientific detail of the breathtakingly ingenious created universe of the God of the Bible, "natural man" is behaving more and more true to type. 'Professor' Scharf, your 'biopic' was written some 2,000 years ago (in the first chapter of Romans) including the unenviable 'accolade' of the 22nd verse.
The Greek word dikaiosunē ,used in that chapter and translated "righteousness", is given some revealing connotations in the Thayer Dictionary, including the following:
"the condition acceptable to God"; "integrity... rightness, correctness of thinking"; "justice or the virtue which gives each his due".
The Atheist mind seems prepared to give credit for existence to ANYTHING (no matter how illogical or unscientific), but the One to Whom ALL
glory and honour is due.
And while we are repeatedly taken aback by the lengths to which men are prepared to go to deny Him, we already know the reason for it:
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14).
Thank you, CMI, for your ongoing wonderful support to the Body of Christ and us individuals on the ground continuing to "stand against the wiles of the devil". Be blessed in Jesus' name.
John Hartnett responds
Thanks Neil. It is always nice to hear that the message is getting through.
Geoff C. W., Australia, 21 December 2016
Ahem!Ii am proud to announce that i have in fact discovered DARK MATTER! Not only that, I have discovered a way to 3D print it. I now have dozens of jars of it, which I am happy to part with for a modest fee. If you know an evolutionist who would be interested (and who wouldn't be?), please let him/her know about this. They won't be disappointed!
And in the meantime, I'm printing up some new clothes for the emperor.
Willem D., Netherlands, 21 December 2016
I seriously wonder what would happen if mainstream media picked up on this with articles telling the reader alien life has finally been found, that we haven't found them before because we didn't realise they turned themselves into mathematical equations using a 3d-dark matter-printer so they now exist in the behaviour of subatomic particles and the expansion of the universe. Wouldn't at least some people react like "Wait, what?!?! I thought you guys knew what you were talking about!"