Earth 2.0 and ETs: Another scientific
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
"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:
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:
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:
3. Ignorance of key Biblical doctrines
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:
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.)
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:
Further, he makes the claim that the Bible does not reference life other than that created by God on earth:
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
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 then takes an interesting tact here. He tries to prove his point through assertions which upon examination are all logical fallacies:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
My advise: accept God's gracious offer of salvation while you can:
Jeff Schweitzer, Earth 2.0: Bad News for God, The Huffington Post
Critics Of Bible Silenced Once Again: Archaeological Discoveries Prove Old Testament To Be Accurate, 7/28/2015 http://www.christiansinpakistan.com/critics-of-bible-silenced-once-again-archaeological-discoveries-prove-old-testament-to-be-accurate/
Denyse O’Leary, Does Nature Just
“Naturally” Produce Life? 2/9/2014
6. Stephen C. Meyer, Darwin's Doubt New York, NY: HarperOne, 2013 p. 208
"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 genes), 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
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.
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 8/18/15:
Image: "Kepler-452b and Earth Size" by NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech - NASA PIA19825