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,
4 Comments Add yours
Will the real alien please stand up?
I would suggest Earth is the abnormal place in the universe, while “normality” is experienced by those, both angelic and the 99, who remain unfallen and totally loyal to their Creator.
Earth is a battlefield. Earth is, unfortunately, the cesspool of the universe. I do not believe, save for angels assigned to the task of intervention here, that others have any desire to see this place or come here until the war is over and the earth recreated. This would be beyond horrific to the unfallen being living in eternal harmony with God and His creation. We live here and cringe at man’s inhumanity to man. What would the unfallen think to see what goes on here, up close and personal? For the sake of information as to how the gospel progresses, I am certain they can behold whatever they need to in a living color beyond our comprehension. In that sense, talk of aliens can be seen as futile from both your points. Whether unfallen extra-terrestrials exist, aside from the angelic host, becomes rather moot.
That leaves the issue UFOs. Are there craft that function beyond the realm of ability and science this world knows, and if so, what is their origin? The Prince of the power of the air, the father of lies? Man-made? A combination? Man-made would be criminal, really, given the planets struggle for clean energy. To hide such knowledge would be a crime against humanity. Not that such engineers would be worried about anything other than military strength. The former seems the easiest to accept and categorize. The angel of light is doing his thing, sizing up the planet for a visitation to deceive, if possible, the very elect.
I do wish Mr. Bates would engage you on the merits of your concepts, though.
CS Lewis speculated along the very same lines you suggest in his Space Trilogy. In that series Earth is called Thulcandra (the silent planet) by extraterrestrial races, who note that our planet’s ruler has become bent and is quarantined as a result. The other races of our solar system are unfallen in Lewis’ stories.
Excellent thoughts, Tony. I’ve always thought the “no aliens” crowd of Christians rested on shaky theological ground, especially considering that half of their arguments would rule out the existence of *angels* if the logic was applied across the board. They don’t carry the implications to their logical consclusions, maybe because the Bible is filled with mentions of angels, and it’s easy to take their existence for granted.
Though an angel is spirit and an alien would be biological, the angel does demonstrate that God has already created an intelligent being that is [A] not made in His image (at least not like we are), [B] subject to the possibility of falling away from God, and [C] is not covered by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, as the book of Hebrews explicitly states about angels. The question “Did Jesus die over and over on other planets?” is asked for a Gotcha Question to anyone who suggests aliens might exist after all, without AiG and CMI and other organizations pausing to reflect that Jesus didn’t die for angels.