Evolution and the science of fiction
A denial of the awesome Creator
There are millions who, like me, enjoy reading and watching science fiction. This hugely popular genre now accounts for 12 of the 15 highest-grossing movies of all time.1 ‘Sci-fi’ has replaced the war movie and the western as the modern version of ‘good guys vs bad guys’ and ‘shoot ’em up’ escapism. The most notable of these include the ongoing Star Wars serial, E.T. (the Extra-Terrestrial), and Independence Day. The original Star Trek television series and its multiple ‘spinoffs’ have become the most syndicated shows in television history.2
Science fact or fantasy?
Although enjoyable, we need to be mindful that the majority do not view sci-fi through ‘Biblical glasses’—that is, they don’t have a worldview based on the Bible and its foundational account of Creation. How many have stopped to consider that the popularization, success, and even worship of science fiction has been underpinned by an enormous cultural change that has gripped our planet—the overwhelming acceptance of the theory of evolution? The whole concept of searching uncharted space for alien life-forms is clearly based on the premise that, if evolution occurred on the Earth, then it must have occurred elsewhere in the universe.
Yet, the whole hypothesis of evolution is itself based on unobservable events happening in an unobservable past, and much of it (especially ‘chemical evolution’) denies experimental reality. One could argue, then, that evolution is ‘the science of fiction’.
Science fiction beliefs are so ‘mainstream’ that governments today have even funded schemes like the SETI project (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence). The reality, though, is that there has never been one single documented observation of an alien encounter.
No Scriptural basis
Many wonder (even some Christians)—inspired by the wonder of special effects—‘Could there be life on other planets?’ But a straightforward reading of Genesis gives us no indication that God created intelligent, alien life-forms elsewhere in the universe. Would such questions even be asked if science fiction were not so popular?
Romans 8:22 also tells us that the whole creation has been groaning (because of sin and the subsequent Curse) right up to the present time. So, it would not make sense that intelligent beings on another planet (part of this creation) had, because of the sin of Adam on the Earth, been subjected to the Curse.
Also, God the Creator of the universe (in particular, the Second Person of the Trinity) took on human nature (Jesus) as the ‘last Adam’ (John 1:1–18). He came to this Earth to fulfil His plan for the redemption of the human race (offspring of the ‘first Adam’) which would redeem the entire universe as well. Redeemed humanity will be Christ’s bride throughout eternity—and Christ will only have one bride, effectively eliminating the notion of ‘other races’ in the universe (Eph. 5:22–33, Rev. 19:7–9).
Science fiction has helped people grasp the enormous size of the universe. But many go on to ask, ‘Why would God go to all the trouble of creating billions of galaxies and stars?’ Apologist John Whitcomb writes: ‘It must be recognized … that it required no more exertion of energy for God to create a trillion galaxies than to create one planet’.3 Isaiah 40:28 says; ‘… the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow weak nor weary …’. Actually, stars are rather simple structures—they have been described as ‘glowing balls of gas’. There is far more complexity in the genetic code of the simplest organism than in a thousand galaxies. It would thus take more ‘creative input’, in that sense, for Jesus’ miracle of feeding the five thousand than for the creation of countless quasars (there is immense complexity in the structure of even a dead fish). And presumably, if God had created only our solar system, sceptics would ask why, if He were so great, did He not create something on a larger scale.
Scripture explains that the purpose of stars—created on Day 4 of Creation Week (Genesis 1:14)—was to divide day and night, as signs and seasons, and for days and years. In other words, the focus of the entire creation, even those stars that are mega-distances away, is for humankind, on this Earth. Incidentally, as readers of our journal TJ would know, scientific evidence on redshifts now suggests strongly that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is at or near the physical centre of the universe.4
Faith based on ‘unrealism’
Due to evolutionary beliefs, many individuals and churches have rejected the Creation account in Genesis as the true history of the universe. This rejection, plus a ‘diet’ of science fiction, has ‘immunized’ many against the Gospel. How many science fiction stories do you know of that glorify God? Many subtly portray aliens as spiritual beings with a belief system, or with an all-powerful ‘force’ controlling their destiny. Others depict ‘highly evolved’ civilizations in a positive light for having rejected the supernatural beliefs of their ancestors.
The Genesis account of God as the Creator is completely incompatible with evolution-based science fiction beliefs, many of which are just plain ‘occultic’ in their portrayal of spirituality. Noticeably, there is even a proliferation of cults that believe a benevolent alien race will return and ‘beam’ them away to a better place. This apparent desire to escape reality shifts the focus of salvation from Christ the Creator to hope in a fantasy.
The universe magnifies its Creator
Although through science fiction we can marvel at (and enjoy) the imaginativeness of mankind, and its ability to ‘transport’ us to strange new worlds, we need to be mindful that science fiction, with its constant evolutionary overtones, undermines the witness of Creation (remember to wear your Biblical glasses). Psalm 19:1 emphatically states: ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork’. When we look at the awesome wonder of the stars set in space, including those we are only just now finding out about via powerful telescopes, we should be reminded of the Awesome One who created them (Romans 1:20).
- All time box office US, 4 July 2002. Return to text.
- TNG Trivia, 12 July 2002. Return to text.
- Whitcomb, J., The Bible and Astronomy, BMH Books, Indiana, p. 28, 1984. Return to text.
- Humphreys, R., Our galaxy is the centre of the universe, ‘quantized’ red shifts show, Journal of Creation 16(2):95–104, 2002. Return to text.