Authored By :
Published On :
July 14, 2007
Last Updated :
March 22, 2023
Opening Questions, Creation Account An Earth-Centric View?, Conservative Christian Viewpoint, God's Business Is God's Business, God's Ways Past Finding Out, Foolish To Question God's Ways, God Saw That It Was Good And Was Pleased, Post- Creation Events After The Seventh Day?, Open-Ended Question, God Is An Industrious Creative Designer, Inventor Spirit Is To Design And Perfect, Limiting God Due To Our Traditions, Preconceived Ideas, And Shortsightedness, Jesus And Parables God Doesn't Contradict His Word, God's Word Is The Standard, Bible A Profound Book, Would Discovery Of Extraterrestrial Life Destroy Our Faith?, Do Extrasolar Planets Exist?, God Made All Things Including The Worlds, Physical Creation Is Proof Of God's Existence, Pagan Worship Of The Heavens, Do Other Solar Systems Exist?, Ever-Changing Scientific Views
Allow me to ask you a few questions: Do you think that there is intelligent life in Outer Space? Do you believe that we are really alone here on Planet Earth? Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that God may have also created sentient beings elsewhere in the Universe?
As I am sure you probably realize, whether or not there is life on other planets is a question which people have been asking themselves for a very long time. Probably ever since man first looked up into the night sky thousands of years ago. Our ancient progenitors may not have known whether or not there were other planets, but that age-old question of "Are we alone?" must have entered their hearts at one time or another. I know that the idea of life on faraway planets is something which I have personally pondered for quite a few years now. In fact, ever since I was a curious, young, scientific-minded teenager many years ago. I still remember the times when my friend and I would gaze upon the glorious wonders of the night sky through his reflector telescope.
One idea which I have personally considered in more recent years, is that the Creation Account that's found in the Book of Genesis may have been written from an Earth-centric point of view. If this is true, is it possible then, that if God did create intelligent beings on other planets, that those beings may likewise have their own Creation Account? If so, in their story, is it possible that their planet plays a central role, while Earth is but a small point of light that is found in their night sky, if it is even visible at all? Even our Sun could just be a tiny speck of light that is lost in the myriad of stars which populate their sky. Is it even possible that due to their lack of the necessary technology, that they may even be totally ignorant of our existence, just as we are now ignorant of their existence as well? These are some deep thoughts to consider indeed!
Some people, such as more conservative-minded Christians, for example, argue that if God truly created intelligent life on other planets, then surely He would have told us about it in His Word. That is to say, in the Bible. My answer to such a perspective would have to be, "Not necessarily so". Why? Well because in my view, it is not our place to determine what God has to do, or doesn't have to do. Neither is the Almighty God under any obligation to tell us everything if He doesn't wish to. If He chooses to keep something to Himself, for whatever His reasons, that is His business. For us mere humans to try to understand everything that God does, or why He chooses to do it, is rather foolish. We simply cannot understand all of the thoughts and ways of the Almighty. As the Prophet Isaiah, King David, and the Apostle Paul once wrote:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV
"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it."
Psalm 139:6, KJV
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?"
Romans 11:33-34, KJV
So, I think that the attitude adopted by some of my fellow Christians -- that is, that God would have surely told us if He had created intelligent life on other planets -- is a bit shortsighted. To reiterate my point, God is really under no obligation to tell us everything that He does, or even why He chooses to do it, or doesn't do it; and for any of us to think otherwise is just a sign of foolish arrogance. While we can surely wonder about what God has done, because being curious is a part of our human nature, it is not for us to question His ways. Please consider the wisdom that is found in the following group of verses:
"Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?"
Job 40:1-8, KJV
"Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few."
Ecclesiastes 5:2, KJV
"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"
Romans 9:20, KJV
Some Christians have also proposed the idea that God had no need to create intelligent life elsewhere, because the Bible tells us that He was pleased with the life that He created here on Planet Earth, and He saw that it was good. Consider these group of verses which is found in the opening chapter of Genesis, as well as in the Book of Revelation:
"And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness . . . And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good . . . And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good . . . And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good . . . And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good . . . And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, KJV
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Revelation 4:11, KJV
While it is indeed true that God was very happy with the way events originally turned out on our planet, I am not so sure that this is a valid argument for concluding that He did not create life elsewhere. The Bible tells us that God rested on the Seventh Day. But how do we know that following that day, He didn't proceed to continue the process of Creation, by creating additional intelligent life in other parts of the Universe as well; particularly if what He had already made here had turned out so well? Of course, I can just imagine what God must be thinking now, after observing humanity for some six thousand years. I'm reminded of the following verse which occurs in the Book of Genesis, just prior to the time of the Flood:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Genesis 6:5, KJV
If we are honest with ourselves, we must confess that the possibility of intelligent life on other planets is really an open-ended question, because none of us really knows the answer to it with one hundred per cent certainty. Now, while this may appear to be a funny question, allow me to ask you something. If God completed all of Creation in Six Days, and He rested on the Seventh Day, what has He been doing ever since then? If we take into consideration God's industrious, creative nature, I would think that He would be rather bored by now if He has been doing absolutely nothing. That sounds as monotonous as sitting on a cloud and playing a harp for all of Eternity. I think that God has a lot more in store for us, and that He Himself must keep rather busy even now. I am reminded of something that the Apostle Paul wrote in his first Epistle to the brethren at Corinth. He said:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV
I think many of you reading this will agree with me when I say, that if a creator, designer or inventor happens to be successful with something, the normal desire or motivation is to want to try to do it again, in order to improve upon the original creation or design. That being the case, how do we know that God didn't feel the same way? How do we know that God didn't decide to take His -- excuse the expression -- "experiment" -- that is to say, human life -- elsewhere, and try it again? Why couldn't He have seeded human life elsewhere in the Universe as well? What prohibits Him from doing this? Is it possible that we've foolishly tried to place limitations on the very Creator of the Universe, due to our own hallowed traditions, preconceived ideas, shortsightedness and limited understanding?
While this may surprise or even offend some of my brethren in the Lord, let me tell you that just because something is not clearly stated in the Bible, does not necessarily mean that it hasn't happened, or couldn't happen. In fact, I will even say that there are some things which are hidden in the Bible, of which many people are not even aware, simply due to the fact that they only read it on the surface, if they even take the time to read it at all. As I have mentioned before, even Jesus spoke in Parables at times; because as He stated, some things simply were not meant for everyone to hear or to understand; particularly His enemies. Consider these verses:
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear . . . All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."
Matthew 13:10-16, 34-35, KJV
"These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father."
John 16:25, KJV
Allow me to clarify that I firmly believe that God does not contradict His Word; and as I have pointed out a number of times in other articles, I personally view the Bible as the only standard by which we should judge all things. If I hear of something, or read something, which seems contrary to the Word of God, then I will hold it in reservation until I can form a more informed opinion about it. Ultimately, if what I have heard or read does not pass the test of the Scriptures, then I will outright reject it. The problem here, however, is that some Christians are too quick to adopt the attitude that if something is not clearly stated in God's Word, then it simply isn't so. They leave no room to even consider the possibility that the problem could be their own lack of understanding of certain portions of the Bible.
Let me say again that the Bible is a very profound Book. I should know, because I have been reading it seriously for over fifty years now, and there are still a lot of things which I do not fully understand. In other words, due to our own lack of understanding, we could inadvertently be putting God in a box. We could be limiting Him; and this is not right.
Of course, as I have already stated, I do not know the mind of God any more than the next person. As such, the proposal I have put forth concerning God seeding human life elsewhere in the Universe is purely speculative at best. However, this possibility does exist. Why is it that some rigid Christians find it so heretical to even suggest this possibility? What are they afraid of? In my view, discovering life, whether it is human life or not, on other planets, or being discovered by the same, would only further add to God's greatness. It would not detract from it by any means; and it would not, or should not, destroy our faith, as some people have been led to believe. If your faith were to be destroyed by such an Earth-shaking event, it would be your own fault, because you chose to limit God, as a result of your own narrow-minded understanding of His Word.
Now, before we can even begin to discuss intelligent life on other planets, we need to address another issue first; and that is whether or not other inhabitable planets even exist. In fact, we need to step back even further and ask ourselves this question first: Are there any other planets beyond our known Solar System? As is my custom, rather than address the issue from a purely scientific perspective, we need to stop and consider what God's Word has to say first. In the Bible, we do find a few verses which suggest, or lightly hint, that our Christian forefathers may have known things which have been sanitized from our faith since that time, by the powers that be. Consider the following set of verses:
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"
Hebrews 1:1-2, KJV
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Hebrews 11:3, KJV
In the previous two verses, the word "worlds" is derived from the Koine Greek word "aion". Consider what Thayer's Greek English Lexicon has to say concerning this word:
----- Begin Quote -----
1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
2) the worlds, universe
3) period of time, age
----- End Quote -----
As you can see, one of the meanings of the word "aion" is a period of time, an age or eternity. Based upon this meaning, someone wrote to me and suggested that it is in this context that we should understand the previous two verses.
However, if we carefully consider what Paul is writing about in those verses, in my view, it becomes rather obvious that this particular definition doesn't fit at all. Why not? Well, because Paul is clearly talking about the physical creation of the Universe. He is discussing how the worlds were framed. That is to say, completed, built or made. Paul is discussing how God the Father, through Jesus Christ, His Son, made all things out of nothing. This understanding is supported by other verses which describe the very same event. Consider the following group of verses:
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
John 1:3-4, KJV
"And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:"
Acts 14:15, KJV
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;"
Acts 17:24, KJV
"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:" Ephesians 3:9
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
Colossians 1:16-17, KJV
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
Hebrews 2:10, KJV
"For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God."
Hebrews 3:4, KJV
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:"
2 Peter 3:5, KJV
In all of the previous verses, the words "created", "made", "builded", "built" and "framed" are translated from the following Koine Greek words, which clearly refer to the physical creation of something, as you can see here:
ktizo - to create or to make.
poieo - to make or to bring forth.
kataskeuazo - to prepare, build or make.
katartizo - to render, fit, frame or complete.
ginomai - to become or to come into existence.
One of the reasons why the Apostles emphasized the physical creation so much, is because, as Paul states quite plainly in his Epistle to the Roman brethren, the physical Universe offers clear, unquestionable proof of God's existence, as well as of the power which He exerts over the same. Paul is so convinced of this fact, that he even tells them that as a result of this overwhelming evidence, they -- meaning the Romans -- are without excuse. In fact, none of us, past or present, have any reason to not believe in God; and if we don't believe, it is only because of our own willful pride, stubbornness and arrogance. Paul wrote as follows:
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
Romans 1:20, KJV
Returning to my previous thought concerning the worlds being framed by God, following are two more verses in which the word "framed" is used in the very same manner; meaning to physically create or construct something:
"Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"
Isaiah 29:16, KJV
"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:"
Ephesians 2:21, KJV
In Isaiah 29:16, the word "made" is derived from the Hebrew word "asah" which means to do, make or produce; while the word "frame" is derived from the Hebrew word "yetser" which means to form or frame. In Ephesians 2:21, the phrase "fitly framed together" finds its origin in the Koine Greek word "sunarmologeo", which means to join closely together, or to frame together, as in a building. So again we see that all of these various words concern the physical construction of something. Thus, those verses in the Epistle to the Hebrews are clearly talking about the construction of worlds.
So, as you can hopefully see, if we are willing to open our minds and hearts a little more, and be a little more liberal in our understanding of the Scriptures, instead of being so dogmatic, the Bible does seem to offer the possibility of the existence of other planets within its pages. In fact, if you would take the time to read the series "The Fruits of Disobedience", as well as "Our Pagan World: The Easter Myth Exposed", you will discover that ancient cultures, including the backslidden Israelites, made the mistake of worshipping the Sun, Moon and stars, which brought the wrath of God down upon them time and time again. As I mentioned earlier, they may or may not have known that some of those stellar bodies were in fact planets. However, the fact that Paul does use the word "worlds", in my view, suggests the possibility that maybe they did know. Following are some verses which clearly show how the Israelites backslid against the Lord, and began to worship the heavenly bodies:
"Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire . . . And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven"
Deuteronomy 4:19, KJV
"If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die."
Deuteronomy 17:2-5, KJV
"And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal."
2 Kings 17:16, KJV
"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD."
2 Kings 21:2-5, KJV
"And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven."
2 Kings 23:4-5, KJV
"At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth."
Jeremiah 8:1-2, KJV
"And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods."
Jeremiah 19:13, KJV
"I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham;"
Zephaniah 1:4-5, KJV
"Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon."
Acts 7:42-43, KJV
So as you can plainly see, while God has created the heavens as an indisputable sign and testimony of His very existence and awesome power, and while we can indeed marvel at what He has done -- as even King David himself wrote -- we are not to worship the same. As Paul stated, we are not to worship the creature, or the creation, above the Creator. Our duty is to worship God alone. Consider these two verses:
". . . The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
Psalm 19:1, KJV
"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."
Romans 1:25, KJV
Returning to our main topic, one important question we need to ask ourselves, is whether the previous two verses found in the Book of Hebrews, are only talking about observable planets within our immediate Solar System, or if they can likewise be extended so as to include extrasolar planets as well. In other words, if God created our own Solar System, why couldn't He do the same elsewhere as well? Considering the massive volume of galaxies, stars, nebulae and other celestial phenomena which modern astronomy has revealed to us, in my view, it seems rather ludicrous, not to mention arrogant, for us to categorically assume that no other solar systems exist other than our own.
So do I know for an absolute fact that they exist? Of course not. Currently, this is speculation -- as well as logical reasoning -- on my part. However, as you will learn as you continue to read this same series, there is indeed mounting astronomical evidence that such extrasolar planetary systems do exist.
As I mentioned earlier, being as I am a Christian, I tend to follow the wise advice found in the Scriptures, and measure all things against God's Word. For this reason, when the mass media announces the "discovery" of another extrasolar planet, I will gravitate towards the side of skepticism. I believe that whether we are Christians or non-Christians, we should approach the issue of extrasolar planets with some degree of caution; because one aspect of modern science, is that it has a clear propensity for wavering in its opinions from one day to the next. In other words, what may have possibly been true yesterday, may not necessarily hold true tomorrow. Of course, science is a method of discovery; so if further research and analysis reveals that something is no longer true or valid, then it should rightly be discarded.
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .