NASA turns to religious scholars to prepare humanity for alien contact

Brian T

Puritan Board Freshman
Similarly, I remember seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson waxing enthusiastically about "panspermia" and how he thought it was probably the best explanation for the origin of life on Earth: the idea that living microorganisms are floating around in outer space and some of them just happened to fall to Earth about 3,000,000,000 years ago.

He was pretty excited about this theory too! It was far better, in his mind, than anything those silly religionists believe with all their talk of intelligent design and a Creator!!!

Yeah, funny how scientists will think that random microorganisms floating randomly around the universe just happen to randomly fall on some random planet...and they think this is the best explanation for life on Earth? How did those living microorganisms themselves originate? What are they doing floating around in outer space? How would they even survive in outer space?
 

AFollowerOfTheWay

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't know if I believe, or if I "want to believe", but if we do start to hear about ET life here in the next few years I'll be cautious as to the truth of it. That said, if it is true... there's a whole new mission field!
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
I’m reminded of Richard Dawkins, who years ago suggested that aliens planted life on Earth. Somehow it was easily conceivable that extraterrestrials existed and invloved themselves in Earth’s affairs. But a Divine Creator? Out of the question.

Yes. Dawkins will accept a more advanced civilizations regression but not God. It is a kind of multiple movers vs Prime Mover argument.
As you know Rom 1:18 precisely gets to the point. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Dawkins loves to talk about facts. He needs to know Rom 1:18 is factual and precisely speaks to the state of his heart. See also Heb 4:12.

In this regard I have found R.C. Sproul's book very helpful "If There is a God, why are There Atheists?" Sproul argues that the issue is very specific. An Atheist would rather hide under the cloak of his unbelief than confront a holy God who punishes sin.

This is actually a creepy thought. I have never imagined a scenario where demons would manifest themselves to hordes of people in our day and age, albeit in such a disguise.:wow:
Creation Ministries International put out two excellent resources in the past decade - Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection (Book) and Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception. (Movie). There is careful documentation in these resources of demonic powers.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
As far as seeing UFOs, which usually involve weird light patterns, Dr. Jason Lisle basically says if you saw it through a window/mirror or were wearing glasses, don’t trust it. Same would go for high humidity, or over water. As an eye doctor, I would also say if you are alone, it could be entoptic phenomena as well.

Of course in the age of drones, I expect a rise in UFO sightings as well. And the government I’m sure is always working on crazy aircraft.

The star link satellite is pretty cool to watch, I’m sure for folks who haven’t seen it before or know about it could think the aliens were close.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think we can find some guidance in how we relate to intelligent non-image bearers (INIBs) by thinking about how we treat other creatures and artificial intelligence. We already treat animals differently for various reasons. Pet dogs and cats rank higher in most households than mice and cockroaches. One can say INIBs may be deserving of more, that is fine. There is no reason that privileges and rights could not be assigned to them. Just because they can't go to heaven (or hell) doesn't mean INIBs necessarily must be feared or dismissed.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I think it will be ironic if we really do get a one-world government and a world leader emerges and we must have a mark to buy or sell or travel. Then it is all black helicopters and Chinese armies marching across the Euphrates from there!
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Sophomore
I personally have not seen any compelling evidence whatsoever for aliens and lots of compelling evidence that they are man made craft.

Rewind to the 1950s when the UFO sightings really started amping up. Hmm, what just happened? WWII - German technology was far beyond ours in the areas of rocketry and jet propulsion aircraft. After WWII, you have Operation Paperclip, the mass effort by the U.S. and Soviet Union to grab as many Nazi scientists as possible. Werner Von Braun helps the U.S. make a trip to the moon. Other Nazi scientists start working at Area 51. Annie Jacobsen's book "Area 51," and her other works, are well-researched and can provide some good background for what was going on.

With the ability to grow tissue now, along with other technological advances in DNA and remote control systems, even if I saw an alien walking around I would have a hard time believing it wasn't man made.

The whole UFO phenomenon is a useful deception - its one area I think Michael Heiser is correct on.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
With the ability to grow tissue now, along with other technological advances in DNA and remote control systems, even if I saw an alien walking around I would have a hard time believing it wasn't man made.
That's right! If you throw in increases in AI tech, who knows in 20 years? I think true, sentient Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is a long way (50-100 years) off. However, pulling off convincing imitations of AGI, especially with live tissue, will be coming much sooner.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
If a fact checker says something is false, doesn't that usually mean it's probably true?
Or the fact checker is doing damage control ahead of the propaganda push. The factual portion of the AP fact check reads as follows (Note: Astrobiology is a field of study. ..formerly known as exobiology, is an interdisciplinary scientific field that studies the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology considers the question of whether extraterrestrial life exists, and if it does, how humans can detect it)….

While the agency’s astrobiology program did grant money to the Center of Theological Inquiry, frequently referred to as CTI, to “assess societal implications for NASA’s astrobiological and search for life efforts,” NASA was not involved in the selection of researchers, according to an agency spokesperson. The fellows worked independently through the center and were not considered NASA employees.

Further, the NASA-funded parts of the research concluded four years ago. The program was also funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

Individuals who receive grant funding from NASA are not employees, advisors, or spokespersons for the agency,” the NASA spokesperson told the AP in an email. “Thus, the researchers and scholars involved with this study were not hired by NASA, but instead received funding through CTI to conduct this work.”

William Storrar, CTI’s director, told the AP that the purpose of the program was not to advise NASA, but to convene scholars in the humanities to discuss research in astrobiology, which is the scientific field that studies the potential of the universe to harbor life outside Earth.

“These scholarly reflections on the societal implications of astrobiology are being published in a series of individual monographs and peer-reviewed academic journal articles by the theologians, religion scholars, philosophers and literary scholars who participated in our research program for visiting scholars at the Center of Theological Inquiry,” Storrar wrote in an email.

The topic is also not new to NASA. The agency spokesperson added that NASA has sought to address similar topics, including the “potential societal impact of finding life beyond Earth,” since 1998.

Although the CTI program had finished by 2018, it gained attention recently when one of the former fellows, Rev. Andrew Davison from the University of Cambridge, announced he was set to publish a book called “Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine.” Davison researches the consequences of astrobiology for Christian theology, according to the Divinity school at Cambridge.

Davison also confirmed to the AP that he was not “hired directly or paid a salary” by NASA or CTI. He said Cambridge continued to pay his salary while he participated in the program.”


If there is nothing to report, what is all the fuss and hype about? I think it’s a distraction.
 
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Morgan

Puritan Board Freshman
Why are we so quick to ascribe unexplainable phenomena to beings that God has never said that he created (aliens) as opposed to ones that he has (angels)? If Satan can masquerade as an angel of light, why can he not masquerade as some stupid flying object.

I have to fully confess, I think the idea of aliens is complete and utter garbage, a colossal waste of time and spiritually unprofitable.
I agree with your statement and quite frankly am surprised at some of the comments on this topic.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I agree with your statement and quite frankly am surprised at some of the comments on this topic.
Hmmm. I’m not seeing anything too surprising. The consensus seems to be disbelief in anything not spoken of or counter to God’s word and perfect creation. I think these discussions are good cause it shows corrupt methods, ungodly imaginations and futile pursuits. Pretty much a majority of these fields have gone off the rails or are built upon a sketchy foundation with faulty presuppositions. When Christians like Francis Collins present things in a contradictory or inconsistent way it helps me spot a lack of sound practice and integrity under a guise or veneer of faith. That’s why Christianity “Today” is further estranged from the immutable Creator in their content and who and what they platform. Experts and intellectuals are often and ultimately as good as their foundation…. The further they go from what God has made known, orderly, and tangible, well, the further they go…

Imaginative and unbiblical gatekeepers are cult starters. It’s good to know where they are coming from, especially when they are offering local and global (even galactic) interpretations and recommendations.
 
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Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Senior
I agree with your statement and quite frankly am surprised at some of the comments on this topic.
I think I was the only one who is supportive of the belief of intelligent life outside of earth. I'm actually surprised by the seemingly strong judgements against the belief. Friends, this is not stuff to judge each other over. The Bible is silent on the topic. All of us have freedom in this area to theorize what we shall, and we shouldn't pass judgment on one another over it, so long as we are obeying the commands of God. I don't have the definitive truth, nor do any of you. In time we will learn more about this topic.

65 percent of Americans believe there is intelligent life outside of earth. And 65 percent of Americans claim Christianity as their worldview. So that's a lot of Christians who are open to the idea. Believing in aliens does not equate to seeking another thing to worship. I live for the things of God, and yet I am open-minded about this topic.

Let us not come down on each other so boldly. I'm confident there are ways in which I practice piety and holiness that you don't, but I wouldn't judge you critically over such things. Sometimes I wonder how some of you get along with people in everyday life, if you have friends, and if you have close, affectionate, and loving relationships with people. It just doesn't seem like stable relationships would hold up well with the way I see some communication. (I'm not saying this about you or any specific people.) Hopefully I'm wrong. Sorry if I come across as negative; it's just kind of a bummer when the people of God should be the most encouraging people to talk with, not the ones who make you feel the most low. At any rate, happy new year and have a blessed Lord's Day!
 
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Morgan

Puritan Board Freshman
I think I was the only one who is supportive of the belief of intelligent life outside of earth. I'm actually surprised by the seemingly strong judgements against the belief. Friends, this is not stuff to judge each other over. The Bible is silent on the topic. All of us have freedom in this area to theorize what we shall, and we shouldn't pass judgment on one another over it, so long as we are obeying the commands of God. I don't have the definitive truth, nor do any of you. In time we will learn more about this topic.

65 percent of Americans believe there is intelligent life outside of earth. And 65 percent of Americans claim Christianity as their worldview. So that's a lot of Christians who are open to the idea. Believing in aliens does not equate to seeking another thing to worship. I live for the things of God, and yet I am open-minded about this topic.

Let us not come down on each other so boldly. I'm confident there are ways in which I practice piety and holiness that you don't, but I wouldn't judge you critically over such things. Sometimes I wonder how some of you get along with people in everyday life, if you have friends, and if you have close, affectionate, and loving relationships with people. It just doesn't seem like stable relationships would hold up well with the way I see some communication. Hopefully I'm wrong. Sorry if I come across as negative; it's just kind of a bummer when the people of God should be the most encouraging people to talk with, not the ones who make you feel the most low. At any rate, happy new year and have a blessed Lord's Day!
You're taking this a bit too personal, I was not even referring to you in particular (without looking through the whole topic again I do no recall who stated what and I did not want to spend the time to read through it all again), just the responses overall. I was not coming down on anyone or making any judgements either as this topic is not an important one to me. Just making general statements.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Senior
You're taking this a bit too personal, I was not even referring to you in particular (without looking through the whole topic again I do no recall who stated what and I did not want to spend the time to read through it all again), just the responses overall. I was not coming down on anyone or making any judgements either as this topic is not an important one to me. Just making general statements.
Sorry, I wasn't saying that last part about you. I actually don't recall ever really seeing your interaction on here. It was just a general statement. Blessings!
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think I was the only one who is supportive of the belief of intelligent life outside of earth. I'm actually surprised by the seemingly strong judgements against the belief. Friends, this is not stuff to judge each other over. The Bible is silent on the topic. All of us have freedom in this area to theorize what we shall, and we shouldn't pass judgment on one another over it, so long as we are obeying the commands of God. I don't have the definitive truth, nor do any of you. In time we will learn more about this topic.

65 percent of Americans believe there is intelligent life outside of earth. And 65 percent of Americans claim Christianity as their worldview. So that's a lot of Christians who are open to the idea. Believing in aliens does not equate to seeking another thing to worship. I live for the things of God, and yet I am open-minded about this topic.

Let us not come down on each other so boldly. I'm confident there are ways in which I practice piety and holiness that you don't, but I wouldn't judge you critically over such things. Sometimes I wonder how some of you get along with people in everyday life, if you have friends, and if you have close, affectionate, and loving relationships with people. It just doesn't seem like stable relationships would hold up well with the way I see some communication. Hopefully I'm wrong. Sorry if I come across as negative; it's just kind of a bummer when the people of God should be the most encouraging people to talk with, not the ones who make you feel the most low. At any rate, happy new year and have a blessed Lord's Day!


Ryan, I think I can help. Sometimes we need to buck up a little. You've been a little sensitive on other topics. If someone thinks a topic is a waste of time or ridiculous, what do you care? This is a theological discussion board not a woke knitting Facebook group. I find those that find it a "waste of time" don't hesitate to drop multiple posts.

Maybe I am the closest to you in belief here as I think it is possible that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists. Maybe they are as Jacob theorizes or maybe not. The Bible is clear that man was created in God's image. This excludes dogs, roaches, and whales. If any kind of life exists on Mars (soil microbes), Venus (atmospheric microbes), the moons of Jupiter and/or Saturn, I think the likelihood of complex (though not necessarily intelligent) life elsewhere in the galaxy/universe increases considerably. I see this, even if intelligent life exists elsewhere, as pointing to the apex of man as created by God according to Psalm 8. Latest estimates put the total number of galaxies at over 100 billion. With the known laws of physics, how would we detect an even highly advanced society? I know Asimov theorized in his Foundation series about a civilization that could manipulate the energy of a galaxy but I digress. My point is even if only one intelligent species exists per million galaxies, the total number is staggering. How much more is man in God's eye to be over so many creatures including some that may have our attributes. Learn to rest in what you find biblical and reasonable instead of how many that agree.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I think I was the only one who is supportive of the belief of intelligent life outside of earth. I'm actually surprised by the seemingly strong judgements against the belief. Friends, this is not stuff to judge each other over. The Bible is silent on the topic. All of us have freedom in this area to theorize what we shall, and we shouldn't pass judgment on one another over it, so long as we are obeying the commands of God. I don't have the definitive truth, nor do any of you. In time we will learn more about this topic.

65 percent of Americans believe there is intelligent life outside of earth. And 65 percent of Americans claim Christianity as their worldview. So that's a lot of Christians who are open to the idea. Believing in aliens does not equate to seeking another thing to worship. I live for the things of God, and yet I am open-minded about this topic.

Let us not come down on each other so boldly. I'm confident there are ways in which I practice piety and holiness that you don't, but I wouldn't judge you critically over such things. Sometimes I wonder how some of you get along with people in everyday life, if you have friends, and if you have close, affectionate, and loving relationships with people. It just doesn't seem like stable relationships would hold up well with the way I see some communication. (I'm not saying this about you or any specific people.) Hopefully I'm wrong. Sorry if I come across as negative; it's just kind of a bummer when the people of God should be the most encouraging people to talk with, not the ones who make you feel the most low. At any rate, happy new year and have a blessed Lord's Day!
I think you were fine and coming from a place of innocence and good heartedness.
 
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Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Senior
Ryan, I think I can help. Sometimes we need to buck up a little. You've been a little sensitive on other topics. If someone thinks a topic is a waste of time or ridiculous, what do you care? This is a theological discussion board not a woke knitting Facebook group. I find those that find it a "waste of time" don't hesitate to drop multiple posts.

Maybe I am the closest to you in belief here as I think it is possible that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists. Maybe they are as Jacob theorizes or maybe not. The Bible is clear that man was created in God's image. This excludes dogs, roaches, and whales. If any kind of life exists on Mars (soil microbes), Venus (atmospheric microbes), the moons of Jupiter and/or Saturn, I think the likelihood of complex (though not necessarily intelligent) life elsewhere in the galaxy/universe increases considerably. I see this, even if intelligent life exists elsewhere, as pointing to the apex of man as created by God according to Psalm 8. Latest estimates put the total number of galaxies at over 100 billion. With the known laws of physics, how would we detect an even highly advanced society? I know Asimov theorized in his Foundation series about a civilization that could manipulate the energy of a galaxy but I digress. My point is even if only one intelligent species exists per million galaxies, the total number is staggering. How much more is man in God's eye to be over so many creatures including some that may have our attributes. Learn to rest in what you find biblical and reasonable instead of how many that agree.
Thanks for the encouragement! Yeah, I'm fine with disagreement. That's normal and I don't mind it. It's just when people try to make you feel inferior and ridiculous for a belief, that's where it get's tough. Maybe that's a good way for me to grow in humility...
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
It's just when people try to make you feel inferior and ridiculous for a belief, that's where it get's tough. Maybe that's a good way for me to grow in humility...
This is a good thing to reflect on. It goes for most anything.

Without trying to pick on you, I note your words: "people try to make you feel inferior and ridiculous for a belief...."

Good-willed people can disagree about something without even contemplating the desire to make another feel inferior. Not always the case, of course, but charity demands this presumption.

Blessings, Ryan. I preach this to myself as well.
 
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