After my post on extraterrestrial life, I was asked directly about intelligent life on other planets. I want to preface my thoughts by saying that this is not my thing. I know that this question has a long, long history in Christian thought, and I know that lots of Christians (including some prominent creationists) have some pretty strong opinions on the matter. I've never really lost much sleep over this, and I'm bound to step on somebody's toes with this post. So if you're sensitive about this subject, you've been warned!
The basic question is this: Would the discovery of intelligent life from another planet falsify the Bible or invalidate Christian theology? Frankly, after thinking about it all week, I'm not sure what the big deal is. I understand that there are a few verses and passages in the Bible that make it seem like humans are the most important part of creation. Certainly, Revelation portrays the coming kingdom as God being with His people o…
Tim Clarey sent along this call for abstracts for the geologists this summer.
Origins 2015: Call for Abstracts
The summer conference of the Creation Biology and Creation Geology Societies will be held at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA on July 23-25, 2014. We invite abstract submissions relevant to the life and earth sciences and the issue of origins. Submissions must offer positive, constructive interpretations or criticisms. All abstracts will be reviewed for suitability and content. Submissions will be judged on scientific merit, adherence to the guidelines, and relevance to creationism.
*Abstracts should not be longer than 700 words, including references.
*An abstract should be a complete summary of the paper, including any relevant findings or conclusions.
*Abstracts should be written in English
*Names and affiliations of all authors should be included. Authors working independently should identify their affiliation as "Independent Scholar."
What a week! I have not forgotten about updating my blog, but this week has been a little goofy. First, I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh on a project, which I'm really excited about and can't wait to tell you all about in the near future. My schedule had me leaving Saturday afternoon, so I spent six hours on a four-hour drive looking at this:
That was not fun. I always love snow, but that's a bit much. I kept thinking, "I'm going south, eventually it will clear up." It never did, but the Lord preserved us anyway.
Since getting back to Dayton, the temperature has not gotten above freezing, which is super weird. It rarely gets this cold for this long. Here's the view outside of Core Academy HQ this morning:
Meanwhile, I've gotten a pile of good questions from readers of this blog, and I'm thinking about my responses. I haven't had time to write anything down yet, but I wanted you to know that I read your questions and they're reall…
A reader wrote and asked,
I'm seeing on the news lately that NASA is trying to raise money to go to one of Jupiter's moons called Europa to search for life. Do you think if they do find life swimming under the ice there or on any other planet that it would undermine the Bible and creation, and maybe prove abiogenesis?Short answer: No.
Historical answer: Let's see, 150 years after Darwin, we still have Bible-believing creationists. Even after Australopithecus and Archaeopteryx and all the other fossils that are supposed to show evolution. Even after the human genome project, which supposedly shows our kinship with apes. Even after relentless promotion on TV and other media. Bible-believing creationists are still here. Why would some weird critter from Europa suddenly change that? I don't think it would. Actually, I'm sure it wouldn't.
Philosophical answer (probably the one you wanted): Does the Bible ever say that God only created life here on earth? No, …
As you probably know, it's kind of cliche by now that science and faith are at war. According to a couple of famous (and notoriously biased) books published in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, science and religion (especially Christianity) have always been fighting for supremacy. Supposedly, faith demands allegiance without any evidence or rationality, but science is always questioning and moving forward. Obviously, faith supposedly holds us back in ignorance and fear, while heroic science moves us forward to the light of truth and logic.
Despite recent historical studies that suggest that warfare is only one of a number of ways Christians have interacted with science over the centuries, the myth of warfare persists, due in no small part to those who perpetuate it with their own lives. It seems like Richard Dawkins's entire body of work exemplifies this warfare perspective. But what if warfare isn't the whole story?
Back in the 1980s, when I was in elementary school, I recall at some point doing a report on Pluto, the newest "dwarf planet." To this day, I still recall that Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, and that it has a moon called Charon. Thanks to a peculiar orbit, it's actually closer to the sun than Neptune during part of its journey around the sun.
Those who remember the 70s and 80s might also remember the excitement of the Voyager missions beaming back stunning pictures of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. A little before that, we got our first good look at the surface of Mars from the Viking missions. But our best view of Pluto has for decades been little more than a smudge.
This summer, that will change. The New Horizons mission has been on its way to Pluto since launching in 2006, and in July, the probe will make its closest flyby to Pluto. New Horizons will be about 7,750 miles from the surface of Pluto at that point. If that sounds like a lot…