A recent survey of Australians by Readers Digest showed that four out of five respondents believed that there is alien life in outer space.1
Reader’s Digest chief editor Tom Moore said ‘Australians may be genetically sceptical about most things, but when it comes to extraterrestrials, close encounters, and other X-files matters, we really do believe the truth is out there.’2 Even more startling were results that showed that over two thirds believed that aliens are likely to be friendly and that around 6 out of ten surveyed believe that aliens are already monitoring human activities. But, to adapt a phrase from ufospeak, Australians ‘are not alone’. Similar polls in America and other countries have highlighted similarly large percentages of extraterrestrial beliefs.3
Where do such fantastic ideas come from? As I demonstrated in my book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection belief in aliens is a logical next step if one believes that life evolved here on Earth. Today the majority of space scientists believe that life must also have evolved elsewhere in the universe. NASA’s and SETI’s searches for ET life have an enormous impact on public perception, particularly with the incredible amounts of research money being spent (see SETI—coming in from the cold of space). In addition, millions of ordinary people are being impressed by a never-ending stream of hugely successful science fiction movies that clearly imply evolution on other worlds due to the myriad of strangely evolved creatures portrayed.
This year alone will see several blockbuster movies carrying ‘aliens’ themes, such as Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, The War of the Worlds, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Even the old children’s tale of Chicken Little is due for an ‘alien makeover’. In Disney’s due-to-be-released cartoon version, Chicken Little’s cry that ‘the sky is falling’ now comes true as thousands of flying saucers descend upon the earth. Such themes continue to impact young minds to the extent that if one doesn’t believe in alien life one is the odd one out. Christians have even been accused of being out of touch for resisting jumping on the ET ‘bandwagon’ despite the fact that there has never been a single indisputable case of an alien visitation or a find of sentient life on other planets. Even Tom Cruise, the star of the latest blockbuster movie The War of the Worlds, was asked if he believed in aliens. He said, ‘Yes, of course. Are you really so arrogant as to believe we are alone in this universe?’4 I’m not surprised that he would say such a thing. I believe this is a no-so-subtle barb aimed at Christianity; Cruise is a leading spokesman for his own unique brand of religion, namely Scientology, which, as I demonstrated in my book, has its origins in science-fiction type extraterrestrial beliefs. We need to help our children understand the evolutionary undertones of such movie themes—even using them as a teaching tool—to help them understand that the earth is special and that God did not create alien life on other planets.
The media’s influence in shaping our ideas was borne out in the results of the Readers Digest’s findings. Older respondents thought that aliens would look like humans but younger people believed that aliens would look radically different.1 Along with other CMI speakers, I have discovered that one of the most popular beliefs among young people today is the idea that older, and therefore more technologically advanced, aliens may have been responsible for the creation of life on Earth—via evolutionary processes or by direct special creation. Such ideas already add to the confusion in the public’s mind on origins issues, especially when many prominent scientists are now claiming that these older/wiser aliens may have even been mankind’s creators (see Designed by aliens?). This is directly opposed to the Bible’s straightforward teaching of God’s creation of the first man and woman.
Around the world every day there are about 150 anomalous sightings, but still no hard proof of a visiting ET. With so many sightings, many claim that something must be going on, and much confusion reigns on how to ‘fit UFOs and ETs into the Bible.’ Since the release of Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection even many Christians have contacted us to suggest that God may have created intelligent life on other planets or that God’s angels use real physical spaceships to make their way around the universe (read the book for answers to these). These beliefs presuppose that UFO sightings are of real physical craft (as in spaceships). However, research by UFOlogists shows that no two UFOs have ever appeared alike, meaning that either aliens are using disposable craft or we are being visited by hundreds of different alien races every week, and have been, for countless years! Why would our Earth, which is like a speck in the vastness of the universe, be favoured with so many visits? And where’s the physical evidence?
A 1996 Gallup poll claimed that over 70 percent of the population believed that the government knew more about UFOs than it was letting on.5 This was also borne out in the Readers Digest polls, which stated that over three quarters of respondents thought UFOs were from outer space and that there has been some type of government cover-up. This is not a weird fringe view of the community. On the rare occasions that youth pastors have surveyed their youth on this subject, they have told me that the overwhelming view of Christian kids today is that UFOs are real craft and that aliens exist. From many years of speaking on this subject I can also confirm from personal experience that many adults in the church would believe similar things, although they might not express them openly. Moreover, Christian leaders would be surprised how many people in their churches have seen something strange or have had experiences they have not be able to explain or have closure on. This demonstrates the extent that popular culture has influenced Christians’ thinking on this subject, mainly because it is an issue that church has not dealt with, or has ever had to deal with before. Such views lead to doubts about the authority of Scripture, because people believe it is silent about such things. It is not. See Did God create alien life on other planets?6
Peoples’ belief in such conspiracy theories, views on alien life, the big bang and evolutionary ideas in general, are being shaped more and more by the popular media. In an age where people are reading less and less, they are getting their information about scientific ‘facts’ continually embellished in a cloud of associated ‘entertainment fiction’, such as modern science fiction (see Evolution and the science of fiction). It’s important to be aware of the forces influencing our modern culture, undermining the biblical worldview in many subtle ways. Christians and their families need to be equipped with solid answers and evidences as never before. The truth really is ‘out there’—though it’s not what most people think!