With the discovery of the earth like planet Kepler-452b, we have the opportunity for a valuable object lesson. Contrary to what scientists are hoping for – this will not be a lesson to Creationists that evolution is true and extra-terrestrial life has been found, thus validating evolution. No, the lesson this discovery affords is a demonstration of the foolishness of trying to disprove anything (much less the Bible) when:
1. Your primary evidence has yet to be discovered; and
2. You’re arguing from a scientific theory that flies in the face of the established laws of science.
The object for today’s lesson will be Jeff Schweitzer’s article in the Huffington Post, “Earth 2.0: Bad News for God“. Schweitzer makes a number of mistakes common to scientists and others trying to debunk the Genesis account of origins. We’ll use his mistakes to identify these common errors so 1. You’re aware these are not unique earth shattering questions, they’ve all been handled before, and 2. You can more easily identify them, and respond appropriately when next you see them. We’ll look first at the problem with his whole approach and in the process answer his objections. Schweitzer believes he has mounted a serious challenge to the Genesis account. He’s seriously mistaken.
1. Lack of Objectivity
Most people believe scientists are objective, impartial promoters of the truth – whatever the truth turns out to be – because that is the image scientists have projected since the dawn of the modern scientific age. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Exhibit one: an example of a scientists who is biased and has obvious preferences as to what the truth is: Schweitzer himself. Schweitzer can’t hide his obvious glee at the mere prospect of proving Bible believers wrong.
I would like here to preempt what will certainly be a re-write of history on the part of the world’s major religions. I predict with great confidence that all will come out and say such a discovery is completely consistent with religious teachings.1
“Preempt” the world’s religions? In other words he anticipates the world’s religions being wrong, and he wants to afford them no wiggle room to claim they were not, and thus this “preemptive” strike. An attempt to box them in; and to create the strongest case to say “see you’re wrong, and I told you so.” Hardly an objective position for a scientist. But Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists have been saying that the average scientist is neither objective nor unbiased for a long time. Creationist Ken Ham has been making this point for over a quarter century:
Many think of scientists as unbiased people in white laboratory coats objectively searching for truth. However scientists come in two basic forms, male and female, and they are just like you and me. They have beliefs and biases. A bias determines what you do with the evidence, especially the way in which you decide that certain evidence is more relevant or important than other evidence.2
One’s bias is of critical importance because it determines not only what evidence will be accepted3 but also the a-priori assumptions use in interpreting the evidence. For instance some look at the Grand Canyon and see a little bit of water acting over a long period of time (millions of years). Others see a lot of water (as in a world wide flood) acting over a short period of time. Same evidence, but a-priori assumptions determine how the evidence is interpreted. Clearly such assumptions are critical to one’s approach to both science and life.
2. Incorrect a-priori assumptions
Schweitzer is convinced that life exists out there in the universe, and one day we’ll discover it:
As I stated at the beginning, none of this will matter upon life’s discovery elsewhere.4
I make the case in the Waning, Great Scientific Hope that the search for life on other planets is a hopeless one, with no chance of success. Why does Schweitzer consider it a certainty, and one day we’ll discover it? It’s based on his a-priori assumptions. Most scientists are naturalists – meaning they will allow only natural causes as scientific explanation. This forces them to adopt an anti-God, pro-Big Bang, pro-evolutionary world view which assumes:
1. Life from inert, dead chemicals is possible.
They believe this in spite of the fact that it contradicts the law of biogenesis, and in spite of the fact that a random process that brings lifeless chemicals to life has never been observed.
2. Life is what the universe does.
As biochemist Christian de Duve (1917-2013) put it:
“… life is an obligatory manifestation of matter, bound to arise where conditions are appropriate.“5
Regardless of the fact that no evidence that “life is an obligatory manifestation of matter” exists, many scientists truly believe this. In spite of 50 years of SETI searching for life and coming up empty, they still believe this.
3. Complex micro-machines, cells, and processes can come from undirected, unguided, lifeless forces.
The motor that runs the bacterial flagellum is a complex, irreducibly complex micro machine with all the analogous parts of an outboard motor. And though naturalists know an outboard motor is obviously designed and created, the evolutionary crowd refuses to believe that the bacterial flaglleum was designed and created. This is the power of biases and a-priori assumptions
4. Neo-Darwinian processes can create information when in fact it is known to remove information
One of the biggest challenges to the evolutionary paradigm comes from the field of information theory. Organisms live because in every cell of their body is the most complex information storage and retrieval system ever discovered: DNA. DNA contains a wealth of information necessary for life. Where did that information come from? Neo-Darwinists will tell you that it came from natural selection acting on random mutations, but those processes are known to destroy information (in the case of random mutations) or remove it (in the case of natural selection). In fact there is no scenario in which the neo-Darwinian paradigm can produce the information needed to create new proteins which are needed for creating new life. As philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer concludes:
“Indeed our knowledge about the rarity and isolation of proteins and functional genes in sequence space implies that neither neo-Darwinian scenario producing genes is at all plausible. Thus Neo-Darwinism does not explain the Cambrian information explosion.”6
There is no scientific reason to believe the above assumptions, and good scientific reasons not to believe them. Yet Schweitzer, since he believes in evolution, is squarely in this camp. What can explain the stubborn scientific insistence that the above untenable ideas are actually true? The obvious answer: the belief in materialistic origins (read no God allowed) based on false a-priori assumptions which function for scientists as a religion. This is why they defend it not with objective reason, but with passionate faith.
3. Ignorance of key Biblical doctrines
You won’t typically see evolutionists point out the above problems to evolutionary theory. Likewise you won’t see them point out the following problems with Schweitzer’s understanding of the Biblical account. Whether this is a case of intentional misleading through suppressing evidence or just ignorance of scripture, I’ll let you decide. But as the following shows, such attempts to explain biblical teachings are so woefully inadequate one could argue they’re straw man arguments – blatant misrepresentations of what the Bible teaches.
No mention of Alien Worlds?
Schweitzer indicates he’s referencing Gen 1.1 (“In the beginning, God created the heaven’s and the earth.”) a very recognizable verse, and then quotes Gen 1.26-27. Assuming he meant to speak about the verse he quoted, and just got the scripture address wrong, he goes on to make the point that:
“Nothing in that mentions alien worlds, which of course the ancients knew nothing about. Man was told to rule over the fish on the earth, not on other planets. But god [sic] would have known of these alien worlds, so it is curious he did not instruct the authors to include the language.”
First off, it is God’s prerogative on what to reveal and not reveal. (Deut 29.29) The fact that God has chosen not to reveal some things (like distant planets) that Schweitzer believes he should have is totally irrelevant to the truth of scripture. Secondly, we know from other texts that God created at least one other place – heaven. We get glimpses into heaven, for instance we know it has a throne (Rev 1.4) among other things. Schweitzer is going to return to this uniqueness of earth line of questioning, with a contention that all creatures are created here on earth, so I’ll hold further comments until then. (I will also deal with the obvious objection – the question of heaven being a real place later.)
Schweitzer then brings up Gen 1.3, where God says “Let there be light”. In a round about way he then talks about the problem of distant starlight. Once again, I’m not sure whether it’s ignorance or suppressing evidence, but Bible believing scientists have published at least 3 possible solutions to the distant starlight problem. I highlight them in my article Which Theory has the fatal flaw, the Big Bang or Creation? And of course he doesn’t mention the big bang has it’s own distant starlight problem, which is also discussed in my article above. Note he also assumes, as naturalist scientists do, an old age for the universe – over 13 billion years. That again points to his a-priori, anti-God assumptions – though the evidence points elsewhere. For example if the universe is so old, why are Saturn’s rings young?
All Life mentioned in Genesis 1-3?
Returning to the thread he started with “alien worlds” he returns to that theme, claiming Genesis intends to identify all life, and it was created only on earth. That’s not at all what Genesis says, but that’s his claim:
“So here we learn that all life, in all the heavens, was complete, and all found on earth and on earth alone. “
Further, he makes the claim that the Bible does not reference life other than that created by God on earth:
“None of the 66 books of the Bible make any reference to life other than that created by god [sic] here on earth in that six-day period. If we discover life elsewhere, one must admit that is an oversight.”
Neither of those claims are true. He fails to mention that Christians, based on scripture and evidence, already believe in aliens from another world, for which there is strong evidence. They’re normally called angels. Angels are real creatures, from another world. They are also not mentioned in the Genesis 1 account. But they are obviously mentioned in other places of the Bible. So right off the bat his implication that Genesis intends to list all life forms, and that the Bible doesn’t include alien worlds or alien beings is simply false. Some will object that the aliens and other world the Bible mentions don’t exist – but that gets back to a-priori assumptions, doesn’t it? How do you know angels don’t exist? Keep reading, evidence of angels is listed below.
Genesis 1 is an account of the origins of things on earth. You’ll note that Genesis 1.1 speaks of “the heavens and the earth”, and Genesis 1.2 immediately changes the focus to the earth, without any further description of what God did in the heavens – apart from creating the finely tuned abode of man with its requisite sun, moon, planets, etc.. Yet we know from other texts he created at least one other place – as God created the earth, he also created heaven. (Is 66.1-2). In addition to being the abode of God, heaven is populated with many types of living creatures (Rev 4.6-9) and other beings we call angels (Rev 5.2). Thus his contention that the bible claims all life was created on earth, and consists only of creatures on earth is once again simply false.
Now naturalists will argue that angels don’t count. They don’t accept “angels” (or heaven for that matter). They are not within the realm of scientific investigation. If they exist, they do so in another dimension, so science can’t see them or measure them, and they exist in a place science can’t go. Such an objection has not stopped cosmologists from promoting another concept that is not within the realm of scientific investigation: the multiverse. The multiverse is also a place (actually an infinite number of places) that exists in another dimension that science can’t see, measure or go, and yet that hasn’t stopped scientists from busily and strongly promoting it as both science and true. To claim that scientists can indeed believe in an un-provable multiverse for which they have no evidence, while it can in no way believe in either angels (for which we do in fact have evidence7 ) or the place from which they come (called heaven), is an indication of the inconsistent, biased and ad hoc nature of scientific explanations when it comes to origins. It also indicates an agenda. The goal of that agenda is not to find the truth, but to explain everything in a manner suitable to naturalist scientists: apart from the acts of God.
But as the atheist Christopher Hitchens said, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” This applies to the supposed multiverse. There is no evidence for the multiverse as I point out in The multiverse and other fairytales. It is an assertion without evidence that can be dismissed by an assertion without evidence. On the other hand there is evidence for angels. There are a couple of examples of such evidence in the above referenced article. Here’s more evidence from a physician who “carefully investigated” everything and recorded accounts from eyewitnesses. He reports a great number of angels appeared to villagers whose occupation was tending sheep. You can read the entire account here: Luke 2.8-19. So the existence of angels cannot simply be dismissed.
Some will claim that angels aren’t “scientific”. That may be true, but not everything that is true is “scientific”. Is this true: 2 + 2 = 4? Is that science or math? You see science requires truth, but truth does not require science. Thus belief in the existence of angels can be fully true apart from scientific proof. And it is fully rational since there is evidence, unlike belief in the imagined multiverse. Those who still want to reject the evidence of the existence of Angels will then become the prime evidence of those whose bias leads to cherry picking the evidence they will and will not accept.
To return to the point: Schweitzer’s contention that God created all life on earth and only on earth is simply wrong. Angels are the evidence of that.
Earth the Center of the Universe?
Schweitzer now wants to turn to the old heliocentric, geocentric debate between Galileo and the catholic church that the church unwisely embroiled itself in. As long as we’re going to talk ancient history, let me point out that as an evangelical protestant, I hold that the Catholic church has been wrong on a number of things. One was the practice of selling indulgences. Another is the misinterpretation of scriptures which were used to support the geocentric model such as Psalm 93.1: “the world is established, firm and secure”, which speaks of the enduring nature of the world – it will not be removed. It is not trying to claim that the earth does not move through space.
Schweitzer then takes an interesting tact here. He tries to prove his point through assertions which upon examination are all logical fallacies:
“Yet it would be difficult to claim the unique position of universe center if other planets held life that was zipping around in anti-gravity cars traveling at the speed of light. Clearly, if the ancients knew there was alien life, any form of life at all, the idea that the earth was the center of the universe would be more difficult to sustain”
Such great hope! Just the thought of a planet that might possibly be able to support life, and the next thing you know scientists are imagining aliens in starships. Let’s look at all the faulty logic here:
a) Though the earth appears to be in the center of the universe8 and as the habitat of those who are the apple of God’s eye, it makes sense it would be in the center; but the Bible never claims that in the way that cosmologists mean it. The Bible is not interested in the scientific precision of those who lay out maps of the cosmos and attempt to find (or deny) geometric locations such as the center or the edge. As noted above claims to the contrary are misinterpretations of scripture.
b) Even if there were aliens zipping around in anti-gravity cars, that doesn’t mean that man does not still occupy the premier position in God’s sight. God did after all, create another race not on earth – angels.
And God has set man above them, (1 Cor 6.3) and every other creature on earth. Why not above any other creature not on earth – if such creatures existed?
c) Schweitzer is trying to argue the bible is wrong based on an assumption that aliens exist. (Remove the assumption and he has no argument.) Assuming aliens exist is a classic case of begging the question. Trying to falsify a theory based on an assumption that he doesn’t know is true is an appeal to ignorance.
This whole line of questioning is a self-serving appeal to the crowd, with a fallacious appeal to the emotions – playing on what he thinks “ought” to be. Clearly this is an ill-advised line of argumentation.
4. Taking as settled fact disputed questions of science
Schweitzer make statements like “upon life’s discovery elsewhere” because he takes for granted that evolution is true, a settled fact of science. He disregards the long and growing list of scientists who dissent from toeing the Darwinian line. You can view the list at Dissent from Darwin.
He also takes for granted that the big bang theory is true. Though he doesn’t mention it by name, he does mention it by its time line – more than 13 billion years – which scientists propose as the age of the universe according to the theory. (13.7 billion to be more precise.) Naturalists need a theory of the origin of the universe that doesn’t involve God, and this is the consensus theory. Without it (or some alternate theory) evolution has no place for creatures to evolve. But in reality the big bang is a theory with serious problems. There is much contradictory evidence as evidenced by the Open Letter to the Scientific community. The letter, which consists of a list of scientists who oppose the big bang and its questionable science with its required fudge factors.9 It begins like this:
The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed– inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. …
But the big bang theory can’t survive without these fudge factors.10
These two theories (evolution and the big bang) are really statements of faith on the part of scientists, not settled science. The open letter points out “In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation.” This “continual recourse” is not the behavior of objective scientists searching for the truth, its the behavior of religious adherents trying to maintain a dying religion.
5. Ignorance of the root problem
Finally, Schweitzer brings up the “thornier questions” around salvation:
“…like would such life go to the same heaven as earth life, or the same hell, or would such life be tainted by original sin even if not descendant from Adam and Eve.”
Ironically these very issues are used by some creation scientists to argue against sentient life being found anywhere else in the universe. Jason Lisle, a creation scientist who has proposed the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) as a solution to the distant starlight problem11 mentioned above highlights such problems and concludes such considerations makes finding extraterrestrial life unlikely:
“Extraterrestrial life is an evolutionary concept; it does not comport well with the biblical teachings of the uniqueness of the earth and the distinct spiritual position of human beings.”12
Here Schweitzer has moved from making a logically fallacious argument, to making a theologically unsound one since he doesn’t understand the character of God. Such mistakes are common when laboring under the false premises that God doesn’t exist and evolution and the big bang are true.
Would finding life on an exoplanet prove the Bible false?
But let’s address the question apart from his poor science, and his even worse understanding of Christian theology. What would be the response of believers in God’s word be if life on what scientists call an exoplanet was discovered? Wouldn’t that prove that evolution and the big bang are true? No, that would still not prove evolution or the big bang. Unanswered would still be the question of origins. And while the big bang and evolution are theories of origins, they are 1. poor science and thus 2. In dispute, and so 3. There would be no way to prove that the hypothetical alien was a result of such evolutionary processes. The same argument would play out again as with creatures on earth: Created or evolved?
Additionally as demonstrated above there is nothing in the Bible that says that God could not have created life elsewhere, just as he created the exoplanet the hypothetical alien is found on. Since the laws of physics, biology, information science, etc. still do not support evolution or the big bang, there would be no reason to assume the hypothetical alien is a result of such theories. Thus the conclusion of the Christian would be the creature is created, but not because as Schweitzer claims, believers would have “contorted” anything. It would be because science militates against evolution, and the Bible clearly supports God’s creation of all life.
No one but God was there to see the origins of the universe, and he has already given his testimony about it: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. I would, however, agree the Bible seems to indicate life as it is on earth does not exist elsewhere, and since Darwinism and neo-Darwinism is impossible for the reasons outlined above and others, I consider the hypothetical finding of life on some exoplanet highly unlikely.
Schweitzer made a case for an event he incorrectly thought would disprove the Bible. Evolution is not true, so let me present an event that will demonstrate that fact. Such a presentation raises a larger question: is there anything that would convince ardent evolution believers that Darwinism false? I expect not, since for many Darwin followers, evolution functions as a faith.13 But I present it for those actually interested in the truth. There will indeed be a discovery of aliens, but they won’t be on some exoplanet, they’ll be right here on earth. And it won’t be NASA making the discovery – every person on earth will likely see them one way or another. They already have a name, and have already made an appearance: Angels. Sent by God. They will be visible, they will be audible, and they will be tangible. They will fly through the air proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ:
6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
8 A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,
There is no question as to their existence, because that has already been demonstrated.14 My question to unbelievers: When they are revealed, will this revelation of messengers from God finally make you acknowledge the existence of God, reject the false theories of the Big Bang and evolution, and accept “In the beginning, God created…” and the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Or will you be like those who elect eternal condemnation, because they:
“…cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.”
My advise: accept God’s gracious offer of salvation while you can:
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Cor 6.2
The day will come like in the days of Noah’s ark when God closed the door to the ark and salvation was no longer available. (Gen 7.16) Don’t be among those who miss out on God’s gracious offer of life.
1 Jeff Schweitzer, Earth 2.0: Bad News for God, The Huffington Post
2 Ken Ham, The Lie: Evolution, Green Forest AR: Masterbooks, 1987, p 24
Critics Of Bible Silenced Once Again: Archaeological Discoveries Prove Old Testament To Be Accurate, 7/28/2015
5 Denyse O’Leary, Does Nature Just “Naturally” Produce Life? 2/9/2014
“neither Darwinian Scenario” – Meyer discusses two approaches Darwinists propose for generating new information – neither of which work: a “neutral evolution” scenario where natural selection plays no role (and thus mutations must alone create new enes), which he demonstrates is impossible; and the classical neo-Darwinism where a pre-existing gene or protein is assumed to exist for natural selection to work on, which results in the inevitable non-functional genes being selected out, or not preserved.
8 Based on evidence from the Two-degree-field Galaxy Red Shift Survey (2dFGRS) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDDS), Dr. John Hartnett makes the case that our galaxy is at or near the center of the largest known super structure of the universe; thus effectively at or near the center of the universe.
John Hartnett, In the Middle of the Action, CMI DVD, 2009
9. “Fudge factors” are hypothetical objects that are posited to explained observational data which would otherwise invalidate the big bang. In other words, these fudge factors allow the big bang continue as an accepted theory despite the theory
that observations contradict the theory; and the only thing keeping the theory from total collapse are these hypothetical proposed objects. Dr. John Hartnett points out the latest fudge factor – dark photos – in an article published today:
10. An Open Letter to the Scientific Community, Published in New Scientist, May 22, 2004, archived from
cosmologystatement.org here: http://rationalfaith.com/archive/AnOpenLetterToTheScientificCommunity_archive.htm
11. Jason Lisle Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem AIG
12 Jason Lisle, Are ETs and UFOs Real in The New Answers Book, Green Forest, AR: Masterbooks, 2006, p. 240
Image: “Kepler-452b and Earth Size” by NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech – NASA PIA19825
Image Page: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19825
Image URL: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA19825.jpg.
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.