Creationists have long noted that when evolutionists refuse to debate, especially when they resort to straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks onstead, that it smacks of having a glass chin. I mean, if you have the better argument, what better way to demonstrate its superiority than through debate?
Recently, I wrote a post in which I noted that Gary Bates, CEO of Creation Ministries International and author of the best-selling book Alien Intrusion, is on record saying that if aliens exist it would potentially falsify the Bible. This is exactly the sort of all-or-nothing anti-alien dogma that prompted me to write Strangers and Aliens.
Imagine my surprise when Gary Bates responded to my post, objecting to both it and another article I had written to answer the so-called theological objections to extraterrestrial life. What stunned me most about his comment was that he didn’t really engage the argument. Instead, he offered up a straw man argument and attempted to belittle me.
It didn’t work, of course. In fact, it possibly confirmed a suspicion I’ve had about these anti-alien arguments. Experience has taught me that, in general, folks who don’t engage the argument but instead use ad hominem and/or straw man arguments have a glass chin they’re trying to shy you away from.
I’ve invited Gary Bates to vindicate himself by actually addressing my counter-arguments to his anti-alien dogma. We’ll see if he has the integrity and wherewithal to take up my challenge.
In the meantime, I thought my readers my appreciate a few brief comparisons of his book with mine.
1. Alien Intrusion claims that science fiction and it’s inherent evolutionary assumptions are responsible for a growing belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Strangers and Aliens notes that the first work of scifi was the work of a creationist, Johannes Kepler, and that book, Somnium, included extraterrestrial civilizations on the moon. Bates mentions Kepler but fails to mention that his scifi work included extraterrestrials. He also fails to mention CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy or any other Christian scifi authors’ works, concentrating instead on a selective showcase of atheist scifi authors.
2. Alien Intrusion claims that the UFO phenomenon is the work of demonic forces. Strangers and Aliens documents that the UFO phenomenon is multi-faceted, having both natural (such as hoaxes, hallucinations, mental illness, misidentified man-made objects and natural phenomenon, etc.) and supernatural causes. If the principle of mediocrity holds, a minority of the UFO phenomenon are caused by supernatural forces.
3. Alien Intrusion claims that “Of course, you can be a Christian and believe aliens do exist on other planets, but it would imply that you have not taken the Bible’s history of origins seriously” [p. 261]. Strangers and Aliens notes that the Bible is silent on aliens and that the alleged theological objections to extraterrestrial life are founded on logical fallacies and bad hermeneutics, particularly in the form of wooden hyper-literalism. Whether one believes in aliens or not, we contend that no one should be dogmatic on a subject upon which the Bible is silent.
In the end, it doesn’t come down to a popularity contest. Neither does it come down to whether we desire to believe in the possibility of aliens or not. It comes down to who has the better argument.
The Church is called to be the “pillar and ground of the truth” [1 Timothy 3:15]. I encourage you to buy both books to compare their arguments for yourself.
You can purchase Alien Intrusion at https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Intrusion-Updated-Expanded-Bates/dp/0890514356
You can purchase Strangers and Aliens at https://www.amazon.com/Strangers-Aliens-Christian-Explores-Extraterrestrial/dp/1539613747/
Until we reach The Last Door,