Christianity and aliens...

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Mastermind
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Christianity and aliens...

#1

Post by Mastermind » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:55 am

I don't get it. Why do Christians try to fight the idea of aliens existing so hard? Even on this site I see this:

extraterrestrial life will be rare or non-existent and advanced life will be found only on earth
http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/ ... esign.html

That prediction has absolutely nothing to do with ID. If it turns out God felt like making more intelligent races, it would only make ID look stupid based on a prediction that should not have been made(if anything, this prediction should be in the atheist camp). Are Christians really so insecure that the idea that we might not be unique is going to send them into a tantrum? Not only that, but I think there is a very good chance that aliens DID make it on Earth. Anybody ever heard of the battle of Los Angeles? Weeks after Pearl Harbor, an unidentified aircraft was spotted above the city. The entire city was put under blackout as several anti-air batteries open fire on the object . They were unable to destroy it and the debris killed six people.

http://www.rense.com/ufo/battleofla.htm
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#2

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:26 pm

That comment I believe is in relation to life occuring by natural processes. If life developed as easily as it did on Earth (life apparently spawned multiple times in Earth's beginning, not just once), then we should expect to see complex life elsewhere. The probabilities for life's occurences are just too high to be found willy-nilly everywhere. A place like Earth is rare. I'd recommend picking up the book Rare Earth, written by two non-Christian scientists.

So it seems your displeasure is with science, not Christianity. And I'd say many Christians do believe in aliens, just not the klingon variety or other physical beings... the spiritual world is very real in Christianity.

Kurieuo.
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#3

Post by voicingmaster » Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:53 pm

Wait, if they couldn't destroy this UFO over LA, then what was the debris from? Was it shooting at us, or just kinda chilling in the sky?

Oh, and some Christians shoot down aliens b/c they think it would make us less special b/c we, humans, aren't the only things made in God's image. Just to be clear, I'm not one of them. I think that if God were to make such a huge place, like the universe, with so many stars and planets, why would He only put life on one planet? What was the point in making the other 10 billion+ planets and stars?

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#4

Post by Mastermind » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:14 pm

Kurieuo wrote:That comment I believe is in relation to life occuring by natural processes.

"advanced life will be found only on earth" is not relative to anything. It's an absolute statement that could prove harmful if it should be falsified.
If life developed as easily as it did on Earth (life apparently spawned multiple times in Earth's beginning, not just once), then we should expect to see complex life elsewhere. The probabilities for life's occurences are just too high to be found willy-nilly everywhere. A place like Earth is rare. I'd recommend picking up the book Rare Earth, written by two non-Christian scientists.
Not necessarily. If the conditions aren't met anywhere, I don't see why a naturalist would expect life to evolve there.
So it seems your displeasure is with science, not Christianity. And I'd say many Christians do believe in aliens, just not the klingon variety or other physical beings... the spiritual world is very real in Christianity.

Kurieuo.
I'm referring to intelligent life within our universe. :roll:
My displeasure is not with science. I agree that without God the chance for life to occur is rare. But with God, there is no guarantee of that sort.
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#5

Post by Mastermind » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:16 pm

voicingmaster wrote:Wait, if they couldn't destroy this UFO over LA, then what was the debris from? Was it shooting at us, or just kinda chilling in the sky?
Debris from the shells and bullets, basically.
Oh, and some Christians shoot down aliens b/c they think it would make us less special b/c we, humans, aren't the only things made in God's image.
I was under the impression that us being in God's image was a spiritual thing...
Just to be clear, I'm not one of them. I think that if God were to make such a huge place, like the universe, with so many stars and planets, why would He only put life on one planet? What was the point in making the other 10 billion+ planets and stars?
I agree completely, and it's one of the main reasons why I think aliens exist.
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#6

Post by The edge » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:45 pm

God forgive me...

but I've this thot that God will return in a form that's "Alien-like".
Why else would pple still hide in caves & rock & rather die than to meet the returning Christ.
...I know....some say it's because of their hardened hearts....but just as Christ came in a form that's not recognizable to the Jews despite the prophecy, He may returned in a form that's not recognizable to Christian too.

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#7

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:18 pm

Mastermind wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:That comment I believe is in relation to life occuring by natural processes.

"advanced life will be found only on earth" is not relative to anything. It's an absolute statement that could prove harmful if it should be falsified.
Err.. re-read what I said. ;)
MM wrote:
K wrote:So it seems your displeasure is with science, not Christianity. And I'd say many Christians do believe in aliens, just not the klingon variety or other physical beings... the spiritual world is very real in Christianity.
I'm referring to intelligent life within our universe. :roll:
My displeasure is not with science. I agree that without God the chance for life to occur is rare. But with God, there is no guarantee of that sort.
I'm not so sure many Christians dismiss the possibility of UFOs as much as you say. Many in my experience usually leave it as an open question, and I've spoken to Rich briefly about intelligent life elsewhere and he is open the possibility of their existence, although perhaps extremely doubtful. You've read too much into that quote.

Now it is kind of hard to talk about this, as you haven't defined what kind of intelligent life you are referring to. I'd say all Christians believe in other intelligent life forms besides humanity and God. Yet, there is no information about the creation other phyiscal intelligent life forms like us in our universe. So perhaps this is why many may swing towards there being none. If there were, I doubt we have or will come into contact with any. We would probably never know about them since it is practically impossible to travel across space and SETI have apparently found no intelligible signal in the vicinity of stars 155 light-years away (http://www.setileague.org/editor/benford.htm). Not taking into account the hazards of travelling through space, the time it would take for a minimum journey of 155 light-years should alone put to rest the reasonableness of any physical life forms travelling through space to visit us and vice-versa.

However, people will continue to believe what they want to believe, and Star Trek has and many sci-fi movies encourage an extremely romantic view of humanities interaction with other physical life forms. I personally think such will always be fantasy than reality.

Kurieuo.
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#8

Post by Felgar » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:05 pm

The edge wrote:God forgive me...

but I've this thot that God will return in a form that's "Alien-like".
Why else would pple still hide in caves & rock & rather die than to meet the returning Christ.
...I know....some say it's because of their hardened hearts....but just as Christ came in a form that's not recognizable to the Jews despite the prophecy, He may returned in a form that's not recognizable to Christian too.
Quickly before I head to bed... I believe that everyone will know when Christ returns. All will hear the trumpet, and Jesus will split the mount of olives... Kinda hard to misinterpret that.

When people are deceived is during the time when the anti-christ reigns; they are incapable of recognizing him as evil because they are deceived. Really the only ones who would be able to recognize the anti-christ are those who are made aware by the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth).

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#9

Post by Mastermind » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:06 am

Err.. re-read what I said. ;)
I did, and perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my reply. Your assertion was wrong. The article basically says ID predicts no advanced lifeforms outside Earth. "fewer advanced lifeforms" can be considered a statement in relation to a naturalistic process. "No advanced lifeforms" is an absolute statement that can stand on its own regardless of whether it is being compared to something or not. I doubt I'm the one who misunderstood seeing how Rich(?) later on goes to show that SETI was unsucessful and thus the evidence leans towards ID.

[/quote]
I'm not so sure many Christians dismiss the possibility of UFOs as much as you say. Many in my experience usually leave it as an open question, and I've spoken to Rich briefly about intelligent life elsewhere and he is open the possibility of their existence, although perhaps extremely doubtful. You've read too much into that quote.[/quote]

It's not just the quote, that was just an example. It's just a trend I've noticed.
Now it is kind of hard to talk about this, as you haven't defined what kind of intelligent life you are referring to.
Physical, sentient beings within our universe.
I'd say all Christians believe in other intelligent life forms besides humanity and God.
Of course they do. Angels, demons, etc. But that wasn't the point.
Yet, there is no information about the creation other phyiscal intelligent life forms like us in our universe. So perhaps this is why many may swing towards there being none.
No information from who? If you mean the Bible then I agree, although we should keep in mind that if God allocated roughly 36 verses for creation and had a few dozen books filled up with other stuff, I doubt He cared about telling us of other lifeforms. If you are referring to "secular" evidence, I must disagree. I think there is plenty of evidence from throughout history to point to extraterrestrial life. It's just difficult to find because:

A: Controversial evidence has a habit of "dissappearing"(maybe the CIA isn't as incompetent as I thought?)
B: Anybody in a proffesional field who even tries to deal with something like aliens gets ridiculed and likely will find it difficult to find another job in the field (you can see this against ID proponents as well, actually)
If there were, I doubt we have or will come into contact with any. We would probably never know about them since it is practically impossible to travel across space
With our current, narrow level of technology, yes. I can think of three ways this can be achieved though:

Bend space (we would need to figure out exactly how gravity works to achieve this), near light speed travel(time dilatation makes its relatively slow speed somewhat practical, see below), or converting matter to energy, travel that way and have a decoder on the other side assemble everything back(if we could send the energy through hyperspace or something it would be even better), although the latter requires that we actually have a decoder in positin in the first place. I'm sure more educated scientists can come up with more.
and SETI have apparently found no intelligible signal in the vicinity of stars 155 light-years away (http://www.setileague.org/editor/benford.htm). Not taking into account the hazards of travelling through space, the time it would take for a minimum journey of 155 light-years should alone put to rest the reasonableness of any physical life forms travelling through space to visit us and vice-versa.
SETI is a joke in my opinion. And a 155 light-year journey doesn't matter much if Einstein was right (time slows down for the inhabitants of the ship, so depending on how fast they go, they can travel those 155 light-years in a few minutes)
However, people will continue to believe what they want to believe, and Star Trek has and many sci-fi movies encourage an extremely romantic view of humanities interaction with other physical life forms. I personally think such will always be fantasy than reality.
Kurieuo.
I guess this remains to be seen. Hopefully in our lifetime.
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#10

Post by Felgar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:30 am

Mastermind wrote:With our current, narrow level of technology, yes. I can think of three ways this can be achieved though:

Bend space (we would need to figure out exactly how gravity works to achieve this), near light speed travel(time dilatation makes its relatively slow speed somewhat practical, see below), or converting matter to energy, travel that way and have a decoder on the other side assemble everything back(if we could send the energy through hyperspace or something it would be even better), although the latter requires that we actually have a decoder in positin in the first place.
Bending space would be nearly impossible, because you'd need to learn how to manipulate gravity; and that comes with obvious dangers. We can barely manipulate a single cubic foot of space with very powerful lasers (Dr. Mallet's attempted time expirement), so extending that 155 light-years is ridiculously unreasonable.

Near-light speed travel may work, but understand how much energy would be required to accelerate any signifigant mass to within 0.9995 light speed... It quickly becomes apparent that we don't have the means. Plus, with mass increasing with speed, there's gotta be a question whether we would physically be capable of withstanding it.
Mastermind wrote:SETI is a joke in my opinion. And a 155 light-year journey doesn't matter much if Einstein was right (time slows down for the inhabitants of the ship, so depending on how fast they go, they can travel those 155 light-years in a few minutes)
Einstein was right - time dilation has been shown in many expirements as predicted. Time slows exponentially though... So near the speed of light will not slow time to near stopped.

I think our only hope currently that I can see would be to find a property of (or related) to entanglement that would at least allow information to travel instantly. Then we could accelerate a small probe to somewhere like 1/10th light-speed or so, and in 20-30 years we could have a spacecraft at our nearest star. The real-time communication would be necessary to control it once it gets there.

Even getting a craft there is currently beyond our capabilities right now.

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#11

Post by Mastermind » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:38 am

Felgar wrote: Bending space would be nearly impossible, because you'd need to learn how to manipulate gravity; and that comes with obvious dangers. We can barely manipulate a single cubic foot of space with very powerful lasers (Dr. Mallet's attempted time expirement), so extending that 155 light-years is ridiculously unreasonable.
Hardly. We once thought it was impossible to fly and look at us now. As technology develops, I suspect this won't be such an impossible feat.
Near-light speed travel may work, but understand how much energy would be required to accelerate any signifigant mass to within 0.9995 light speed... It quickly becomes apparent that we don't have the means. Plus, with mass increasing with speed, there's gotta be a question whether we would physically be capable of withstanding it.
Actually, the only thing that takes a toll on our bodies is acceleration, so if the acceleration is tolerable, this won't be much of a problem. And there is always the possibility that we could manipulate the space/time within the ship to remove all outside negative effects.
Einstein was right - time dilation has been shown in many expirements as predicted. Time slows exponentially though... So near the speed of light will not slow time to near stopped.
As long as it slows enough it will work.
I think our only hope currently that I can see would be to find a property of (or related) to entanglement that would at least allow information to travel instantly. Then we could accelerate a small probe to somewhere like 1/10th light-speed or so, and in 20-30 years we could have a spacecraft at our nearest star. The real-time communication would be necessary to control it once it gets there.

Even getting a craft there is currently beyond our capabilities right now.
Yes, but this doesn't say much about our future capabilities, or the capabilites of aliens.
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#12

Post by Felgar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:46 am

Mastermind wrote:Actually, the only thing that takes a toll on our bodies is acceleration, so if the acceleration is tolerable, this won't be much of a problem.
That may not be true - we don't know because we have never experienced any meaningful time and mass dilation.
Mastermind wrote:As long as it slows enough it will work.
Look up how much it slows (and post it back for the rest of us) :) And also calculate the energy required to accelerate 50 KG to 0.999 the speed of light. (or how much mass; we can assume that any engine with this capability will convert matter to energy efficiently

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#13

Post by Mastermind » Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:37 am

Felgar wrote:
Mastermind wrote:Actually, the only thing that takes a toll on our bodies is acceleration, so if the acceleration is tolerable, this won't be much of a problem.
That may not be true - we don't know because we have never experienced any meaningful time and mass dilation.
Actually, no. Part of Einstein's theory is that we would not notice any of the side effects of special relativity.
Mastermind wrote:As long as it slows enough it will work.
Look up how much it slows (and post it back for the rest of us) :) And also calculate the energy required to accelerate 50 KG to 0.999 the speed of light. (or how much mass; we can assume that any engine with this capability will convert matter to energy efficiently[/quote]

I did a quick google search and was unable to find anything useful. Since you seem to have studied the problem, why don't you post the information>
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#14

Post by Felgar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:02 am

Mastermind wrote:I did a quick google search and was unable to find anything useful. Since you seem to have studied the problem, why don't you post the information>
I don't have the information at hand; if I did I would post it. I have studied the expiremental evidence of time dilation and also the general difficulties of accelerating to near the speed of light in the past, but I would have to research it from scratch to post specifics. If I get some time I might go information hunting...

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#15

Post by j316 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:10 am

Mastermind, back in the old days, when science fiction was written by scientists, I read a novel that brought up an interesting point about aliens and alien intelligence.
Basically what the author said was that a truly alien species would probably not even be perceived as such and that an alien intelligence might not even be intelligible to us. In other words the problem lies in the word alien, to be alien something must be out of our experience and therefore likely unrecognizable.
Most of the aliens we have come up with are not alien, the are just different in various ways, all of which are based on human experience. I doubt if your imagination is up to the task of coming up with something truly alien.
By the way, has anyone noticed that our commonly portrayed aliens [the grays I think they're called] look a lot like what you would see if you were looking out from inside your head? What I think is they may be is some internal creation of our own, it explains the general similarity of experience because we are all basically similar.
Just a few thoughts on aliens,LOL

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