“You know there are probably no “rocks” on Alpha Centauri since it’s a star, but maybe it has a planetary system. No aliens in the Biblical perspective because God made the earth to be inhabited and the heavens above it for His glory, not for life. Fine the extraterrestrial critter and prove that it’s not a demon or a crystal and you’ll have a choke hold on most Christians that know their Bible. Boy, isn’t that a nice hope for you and yours. Nothing’s come forward yet, though. Better get in that next light speed travelling shuttle.”- from the Illegible Post
Alpha Centauri is actually a binary system, with two stars and one more that is likely gravitationally influenced by the first two, Promixa Centauri which is the one technically closest to earth other than our own Sol. It also seems to have at least one planet. Now, I have my own questions about the slew of planets found but the science is sound on how the discovery process works. Gravity works, as mostly everyone knows, and planets tug on stars, this makes them wobble and their light changes in frequency, like how sounds changes frequency when the train is approaching an observer and then when receding from that observer. (some links on how we find extrasolar planets: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=670 http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/exoplanet-exploration/ )
The Christian’s comments on Alpha Centauri are based on something I said in a prior post: “If there is no evidence for a magical flood, then there is no reason to think that there was one. If there is no evidence for a God, or Santa Clause, then there is no reason to think there is one. Could there be a probability of something undefined hiding under a rock on Alpha Centauri and that be the Christian god? No, not if the Christian god is as claimed by the bible and Christians.”
Unsurprisingly, in his haste to tease me about saying that there was a rock on a star, the basic point of this quote was missed. We have Christians claiming that their god, as defined in the Bible, exists. We have no evidence to support that this particular god exists or that any exist. So to believe in such a thing has little to recommend it. Could we redefine “god” as something living under a rock on Alpha Centauri Bb (the planet)? Yes, but it would not be the god as claimed in the Bible. The religion would be demonstrated to be built on false information. Theists often ask atheists what would it take to believe in their claims; in this instance evidence of the being you insist exists. I’d insist on the same evidence for my alien beastie cowering under a rock.
Now onto the aliens.
This Christian claims that there are no aliens in the “Biblical perspective” aka his own personal interpretation of what he thinks the Bible says and what he thinks his god “really” meant. This “Biblical perspective” changes from believe to believer; and some Christians have no problem with the idea of extraterrestrial aliens at all. The Roman Catholics are all set to welcome them, and I know that our particular Christian is sure that the RC aren’t TrueChrisitanstm at all. But in the same article, we have other Christians sure that their god sent alien Jesuses (Jesusi?) to the various aliens if they exist. We even have Ken Ham, TrueChristiantm and YEC creationist. Ham declared that “”The Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin.”
Incidentally, and because I find it funny, Ham has also claimed that Adam harnessed dinosaurs with his very own book about them but then says “I don’t know where people get the idea that people rode dinosaurs. I mean, there’s no evidence in the Bible that that is so.” Golly, Ken, can’t even remember your own boo? Tsk.So we have now various Christian opinions on aliens and alas, our Christian is only one and like the others has no evidence.
If one is familiar with the popular culture on the subject of aliens, it’s not rare to see them claimed as being “gods” or “angels”. I read “Chariots of the Gods” way back in the 1970s. I loved it and really really hoped it was true. Alas, no evidence for that at all. This fascination with aliens and gods didn’t end there, for me or for pop culture. We still have those who would claim that the Nephilim that we see in the prologue to the Flood story are aliens that bred with humans. Like theists, those who believe in such things have no evidence of this happening and rely on personal interpretation of ancient artifacts based on a presupposition of aliens (in the case of theists, of god/gods).
Our Christian has started out with a belief in a god as described in a book. He has claimed (though not presented) tangible evidence that this god exists. He has also claimed that this god has, for sure, created the earth and the entire universe for its “glory”. He insist that there simply *can’t* be aliens since a book written in pieces by people over a course of perhaps a thousand years, and supposedly finished a little less than 2000 years ago didn’t mention such things. This reasoning would mean that since the Bible didn’t mention bacteria, they don’t exist now. Yes, that’s the quality of arguments that Bible literalists use.
Of course, our Christian declares that even if we do find something out there, it’s not aliens at all. It’s really “demons” and “crystals”. Now, we’re pretty damn likely to find crystals out there since we find them here too. And really really huge ones. I’m guessing he might be thinking of, hmmm, I don’t know, Tholians? As for demons, well, maybe it’s Etrigan? Yes, I am a very nerdy girl.
Many theists like to claim that anything that they don’t like is “demonic”. It’s a very convenient way to make someone or something out to be “non-human” and “evil”. It can be destroyed with no guilt by the theist since they were doing their god’s “work”. The Christian in this case says that I would have to prove the alien not a demon. So, how would we go about this? Holy water seems to often do the trick in stories. I’ve seen ideas that the awful movie “Signs” was about demons not aliens because of the aliens rather stupidly invading a world that is 70%+ the substance that kills them. Exorcism rites supposedly work, though with our current Christian, he’d not believe the Catholic church’s version but we do have other Christians who claim to be able to do the same thing. Prayers, plus fasting should work on some kinds of demon with no problem if the bible is to be believed and simply mentioning Jesus’ name should work (both in Mark 9). If none of this works, then our beastie isn’t a demon, it’s an alien. It might be a piston-jawed, acid-blooded killer but it’s not a demon. Now, it’s not hard to imagine a great science fiction scenario where some bible literalist tries to kill our alien visitors because they believe such nonsense like demons and causes many problems for both sides. For all I know, it’s been done since I keep thinking it simply has to have been. I even looked around on TV Tropes for stuff about religion. Several hours later…. still didn’t find anything exactly but I do now know far too much about many other things.
So, now all we need is to find life on other planets and per our Christian, it seems that he will cease believing in his religion since one assumes he is indeed one of those “most Christians that know their Bible.” He seems to think that we would need an FTL ship, but that’s not necessarily the case. Evidence of liquid water (some recent info on Mars and water here) has been found all over the solar system and where there is water, there may be life. And heck, we might have an FTL drive someday or maybe we’ll get a visit.
If depending on discoveries *not* to be made is all this type of Christian has to safeguard their faith, no wonder they want to keep everyone as dumb as possible and restrict scientific advancement as much as they can.