Why Intelligent Extraterrestrial Biological Life Doesn't Exist:
A Theological Perspective

by Jim Venable

I enjoy science fiction and stories about alien invaders from other planets. But all of this is just fantasy and escapism. If you accept as truth what the Bible says about creation, sin, and the unique nature of the human species, then you cannot also believe that intelligent, sentient, biological beings live on other planets anywhere in the universe. I could write at great length about this but I'm just going to summarize for you the basic reasons why this is true. Here they are:

1. Many scientists take the position that intelligent biological life may exist abundantly throughout the universe because they accept the theory of evolution. This theory teaches that we arose out of natural processes which could recur in many similar environments. Thus the appearance of intelligent biological life is a statistical probability throughout the universe. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that life, and mankind in particular, are special creations of God. Moreover, mankind was created in God's image. I'm not arguing that God could not have created lower life forms elsewhere in the universe, although that may also be implied in the Scriptures. But only one species was created in His image. There are no others like us. God says that those who trust in Him are His children. Jesus says the Church is, figuratively speaking, His 'bride.' That implies a unique and exclusive relationship between mankind and God.
2. The Bible teaches that the entire physical universe is the way it is today because mankind is guilty of sin (Gen 3). Originally, everything was created perfect and eternal, as in the Garden of Eden. But when Adam sinned, God cursed the creation so that henceforth there would exist death, decay, destruction, and pain. Ever since, mankind has to labor for his sustenance. Material things are no longer eternal, but temporal. Iron rusts, wood rots, and food spoils. People don't live very long. This curse reaches from here to the farthest reaches of the universe . . . to the most distant galaxy, star or black hole. Everything is called 'temporal' because it's cursed due to mankind's sin. No other creature shares in this guilt or its result. Animals aren't guilty because they aren't responsible beings. Only we humans can sin. The resulting curse affects every elementary particle, every atom, every element and every planet in the universe. Scientific observation shows that materials in outer space aren't essentially different from materials on earth. They suffer from the fact that they, too, are temporal. So man's sin affects every material thing God made.
3. 'God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.' Out of love for mankind, God sought to remedy the dilemma of the curse, which brought death to mankind and the wasting away and decay of the material universe. So he sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to pay the penalty for our sin. Since the penalty we all endure is the curse, and since the curse includes death, the only way for Him to redeem us was for Him to die in our place--to suffer the pain of the curse on our behalf--so we could be set free and live with Him forever. He was qualified to do this since He was Himself without sin. But God didn't send His Son to die a thousand times on a thousand distant worlds for a thousand sinful alien civilizations. That's inconceivable. He died once for the sins of all people here on earth. It's mankind He loves. The result is that we who believe in Him will live forever, and, at the end of the age, the universe will be recreated--the curse will be lifted (Rev 22). Everything in the entire created universe, even to the most distant galaxy, will be restored (Acts 3:21).
4. We Christians understand that mankind is the main focus of God's love. We're His special creation and were given responsibility to master and care for all other living things and material resources. We, and all created things, are owned by God. Thus we're subject to Him in everything we do, in the way we treat each other, and how we manage the gifts we've received from Him. Within those guidelines, we were given all things to enjoy, including the entire universe. We share it with no other intelligent biological creatures. Some people might think it arrogant to believe that we're alone in the universe. Why should we believe that we've attained ascendancy over all other beings, considering the incredible vastness of the universe? There's so much we have yet to discover! How could we make such a claim? They may say that we need to admit with deep humility that we may even be inferior to many alien races living somewhere way out there. I disagree. The truly humble position is acceptance that God made the unsearchable, incredibly vast expanse of the heavens just so we could look up in awe and proclaim the glorious majesty of the Lord and declare the wonders of His love and grace. He did it all for us. His works are beyond comprehension. Wow! 'What is man that You (God) are mindful of Him?' God is extravagant in His love. Our problem is that we don't believe it.

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