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Life on Earth 2.0—Really?

Discovery of Kepler-452b

by

Published: 13 August 2015 (GMT+10)

The news media is currently full of the news of the discovery of Kepler-452b, the planet that is supposed to be Earth’s twin.1,2 It was discovered using the satellite-borne telescope, Kepler, where the exoplanet was found to be at a distance of about 1400 light-years. It has a mass about five times that of Earth and diameter about 60% larger, hence a gravity nearly double that of Earth. It has a year3 about 20 days longer than Earth. That makes it the most similar planet to Earth yet and it is located in the habitable zone around its parent star, which is a G-class star, the same class as our sun.

Picture: NASA earth2
Figure 1. Artist conception of the planet Kepler-452b. Clouds, continents and oceans are included, for which there is zero evidence. 

You see pictures (e.g. Figure 1 here) of a planet with oceans and land masses and some even with green vegetation drawn in. But none of these are actual images of the planet. It is too far away for such a thing, even with man’s best telescopes.

Why all the hype? Well, it is the hope of life being found elsewhere. The way it goes is: find an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone, called the Goldilocks zone—not too hot, not too cold, but just right—the distance from the parent star where water is in its liquid form—detect the presence of water in its atmosphere and that gives you a good chance of finding life.4

“Not only is this planet squarely in the Goldilocks zone—where life could exist because it is neither too hot nor too cold to support liquid water—its star looks like an older cousin of our Sun, the US space agency said.”

Probability of life by chance

But there is more to it than that. The claim is that if you find such a planet it is as good as finding life elsewhere in the Universe, which proves the Bible wrong in which God said He created life on Earth. Why is that?

It follows directly from the worldview implicitly being used to interpret the data. The unstated assumption is that life arose spontaneously on Earth over 3.8 billion years ago and all organisms evolved from pond scum to complex life, since the planet allegedly cooled and water formed on its surface. So that is all you need for life to arise. No Creator, just water and some relatively simple organic chemicals. It is easy!

Ha! Not so fast! The probability of life arising by chance from a pile of chemicals has been calculated by various people as an impossibility even given all the atoms in the known universe representing experiments over the alleged 13.8 billion years since the supposed big bang. Even if you shuffled all those atoms, or even started with them in the form of the required biomolecules and randomly shuffled them you would not get life.5 Many researchers have admitted the problem.5 Life could only arise through a super-intelligence creating it, it would not ‘evolve’ anywhere.

Bad logic not bad news for God

Now in regards to the Earth 2.0 discovery, one article in the Huffington Post headlined with “Earth 2.0: Bad news for God” states,6

With this discovery, we come ever closer to the idea that life is common in the universe. Perhaps you are not convinced. That is OK; let me speculate what would happen should we ever find evidence of life beyond earth even if you think such discovery unlikely. I would like here to preempt what will certainly be a re-write of history on the part of the world’s major religions. I predict with great confidence that all will come out and say such a discovery is completely consistent with religious teachings. My goal here is to declare this as nonsense before it happens. I am not alone in this conclusion that religion will contort to accommodate a new reality of alien life.
Let us be clear that the Bible is unambiguous about creation: the earth is the center of the universe, only humans were made in the image of god, and all life was created in six days. All life in all the heavens. In six days. So when we discover that life exists or existed elsewhere in our solar system or on a planet orbiting another star in the Milky Way, or in a planetary system in another galaxy, we will see a huge effort to square that circle with amazing twists of logic and contorted justifications. But do not buy the inevitable historical edits: life on another planet is completely incompatible with religious tradition. Any other conclusion is nothing but ex-post facto rationalization to preserve the myth.

Of course the author’s logic is unsound. Most other religions, apart from the Judeo-Christian beliefs, already embrace long ages of billions of years for the history of the universe and most now accept evolution in all its forms. Hindus actually claim their holy scriptures predate any others and they claim they describe eons of time and evolution from the ooze. The author is quite correct that the Bible is clear that God created life on this planet in 6 days and that was about 6000 years ago. God also created mankind in His own image. Man did not evolve from some primordial ooze over billions of years.

But he is wrong in saying that the Bible says God did not create life elsewhere. But the whole context of the biblical message is that Adam sinned and passed that original sin onto his offspring, so that God had to send His son, as the kinsman Redeemer, to redeem the sons and daughters of Adam. So the idea of sentient alien life elsewhere, not subject to the redeeming power of God, because they are not the offspring of Adam, makes no biblical sense.

So the discovery of life in some form—jellyfish in an ocean on Kepler-452b or elsewhere—would not prove the Bible wrong.

Nothing in that mentions alien worlds, which of course the ancients knew nothing about. Man was told to rule over the fish on the earth, not on other planets. But god would have known of these alien worlds, so it is curious he did not instruct the authors to include the language.6

This is also bad logic. The Bible does not mention transistors and silicon chip technology, without which I would have to write this missive by hand or with an old mechanical typewriter, but that fact does not prove the Bible wrong. And on the subject of alien worlds, meaning other planets outside our own solar system, it would be also incorrect to judge that when God said “He made the stars also” that that statement does not include all stars and their associated planetary systems. The biblical creation account is very brief but there is nothing specifically written there that excludes the existence of extra-solar planets, exoplanets. They are not prohibited.

The fact that God told man only to rule over “the fish of the sea” is more a statement to those living then to take care of the environment in which they lived. It, by itself, does not rule out fish in the seas of Kepler-452b. It just means God did not tell us to have dominion over them. Why would He? Kepler-452b is 1400 light-years away. How on Earth could man “rule over” such a place?

There is also a problem with Genesis 1:3: And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. Well, the earth is only 4.5 billion years old, yet the universe, and all the light generating stars in ancient galaxies, are more than 13 billion years old. So when god said, “Let there be light” there already had been light shining bright for at least 10 billion years. He was flipping a switch that had been turned on eons before by the thermonuclear reactions in billions of stars that predate earth. That light bathed other suns and other planets long before the earth was a loose accumulation of rocks orbiting our sun. Since this is the story of all creation, these tidbits seem an important omission that will undermine the entire story when we find life elsewhere. We were late to the game of “let there be light.”6

Assumes evolution to be true

Of course, here the author a priori assumes that he knows what absolute truth is. He assumes the big bang evolution story is the correct account of creation. But he does not tell you all the unknowns that have had to be added to that story for it to even begin to look like working.7 These are ‘unknowns’ that defy modern physics—entities from the dark sector—dark matter, dark energy, dark fluid, dark radiation, dark flows, and even now dark photons—none of which has any basis in experimental science.8 These entities are as believable as fairies in the bottom of the garden. But the author trusts in man instead of the Creator, Who was there at the Creation and told us what, when, and how He created, meaning by His fiat creation, at His commandment and through His Son, the Word of God.

iStockphoto space

The author implicitly has made the assumption that the light had to travel 13.8 billion light-years from the big bang horizon, at constant speed, c, for 13.8 billion years, to make his claim, which would be a light-travel-time problem for creationists, with a 6000-year-old universe. Besides apparently knowing nothing of solutions on offer to that,9 he ignores or fails to tell us of the very light-travel-time problem—the horizon problem—that the big bang model has itself. And it is only ‘solved’ by adding another ‘unknown’ a fudge factor—cosmic inflation—which boggles the mind10 to be believed. It takes more ‘faith’ to believe such a story, than it does to believe in the biblical account of Genesis creation.

We are also told in unambiguous terms that all life was created in six days. Genesis 2:1 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” So here we learn that all life, in all the heavens, was complete, and all found on earth and on earth alone. The complete totality of that creation in all the heavens, all of which was here on earth, is made clear in the preceding sections of Genesis 1:1–31 with “every herb bearing seed” and “every beast” and “every fowl of the air.” There is no modifier like “every fowl of the air, that is, on earth but excluding life on the planet Zenxalaxu.”6

There is no statement in the Bible that says God only created life on Earth. I don’t deny that it is a logical conclusion of the text because life elsewhere was and is irrelevant to the context of the history God gives us. It is all about the control and authority God granted mankind over the created order. But if God did create jellyfish on Zenxalaxu then He did so during the 6-day creation period, though He does not state anything about it. He says in Exodus 20:11 “For in six days the LORD [יְהֹוָה Yehovah; the self-existent One and Creator] made heaven and earth [created the Universe; heaven (equal to the cosmos) plus earth] … and all that [is] in them, … .” This means God has always been and whatever is He created, and that means for the whole universe. The context does not exclude some jellyfish-like animal on the planet Zenxalaxu, because that would fit within “all that [is] in them,” not meaning in the earth but in heaven, the cosmos in this case.

We know all of this took place in six days because Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day, god ended his work which he had made.” Now some say that these are not real days, but allegorical “god days” which could be millions of years each. But no, when god said let there be light and created life in six days, he tied these events to seasons on earth, which are governed by real days. So the Bible tells us that all life, in all the heavens, was all put on earth in six days, that is six earth days.6

The author has stated the case very clearly and accurately. He should have also mentioned that in Exodus 20:9 God told the children of Israel to order their work week by the same scheme that God created; work six days and rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath. So if those ‘days’ were anything other than ordinary 24-hour earth-rotation days, it would have made nonsense of the seven-day week commanded by God, which by the way we all still use, and it has nothing to do with any astronomical period. But what this author writes next does not follow. It is flawed logic again.

Let us be perfectly clear that this leaves no room for alien life in this creation story. The discovery of alien life would therefore undermine the entire saga.6

It is illogical to say just because God created in six 24-hour periods of time, that He could not have created some form of life on extra-solar planets, either when He said “He made the stars” (Day 4) or when He said “Let the waters bring forth … ” (Day 5). It just was not relevant to the Creation account, which is focused on humankind on Earth. The whole Genesis 1 creation is about Earth, and mankind on Earth. It does not categorically exclude alien life per se.

No sentient life

Now I have argued that Holy Scripture does not exclude the possibility of some alien life on other worlds. It is silent on the matter, as it is on many things, including my laptop. But I would wager that no sentient life exists in the Universe, outside Earth, because it does not follow from the ‘big picture’ of the Bible, which includes the ‘great white throne judgment’ when all humans, not animals, will come before God to give account of their lives. The account begins with the literal creation of mankind, in the image of God (animals were not in God’s image) and ends with the judgment of mankind, not the animals. Jesus is the kinsman-Redeemer.11 The ‘big picture’ makes no sense if Jesus was not the literal offspring of Adam. Christ, the son of God, was born on Earth to redeem his kinsmen, the lost descendants of Adam.12

… this was planned from Eternity, as the names of the Redeemed were already written in His Book of Life from the foundation of the World.12

So how could you fit into Scripture the existence of Zenxalaxians, who lived in our sin-cursed Universe (the whole Universe was cursed; Romans 8), but could not be redeemed because they are not in the lineage of Adam? You can’t. So if we believe in Christ as Saviour at all then He is linked intrinsically to His Creation. The existence of any sentient soul-filled Zenxalaxians does not fit. But plants, vegetables, and jellyfish on Kepler-452b, or any other exoplanet, have no bearing on the matter.

Conclusion

The discovery of Kepler-452b is more about hype than about anything of substance that might change the worldview of millions of believers in the one true God. The notion behind it is goo-to-you evolution. If life evolved on Earth once, then it could have evolved on other planets also; at least one more anyway. In this case, it is claimed the solar system for this planet is a billion years older than ours. Thus it follows that the putative life on Kepler-452b could be advanced a billion years ‘ahead’ of life on Earth. But exobiology, as it is called, is more the stuff of Hollywood than real science.13

Any claim that no life can exist on any world outside Earth cannot be justified from the scriptures. What can be justified is that there is no sentient soul-filled life anywhere else. That does not fit with the big picture of Christ, as kinsman of mankind and offspring of Adam, redeeming those He has chosen from the foundation of the world.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. Wall, M., NASA Finds Closest Earth Twin Yet in Haul of 500 Alien Planets, space.com, 23 July 2015. Return to text.
  2. Kepler-452b: Earth’s Bigger, Older Cousin—Briefing Materials, nasa.org; Full paper: Jenkins, J., et al., Discovery and Validation of Kepler-452b: A 1.6 R⨁ Super Earth Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone of a G2 Star, Astron. J. 150(2):56, August 2015 | doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/2/56. Return to text.
  3. Period of orbit around its parent star. Return to text.
  4. NASA discovers Earth’s bigger, older cousin, Kepler 452b, news.com.au, 24 July 2015. Return to text.
  5. Batten, D., Probability calculations for the origin of Life (in Origin of Life), 26 November 2013; creation.com/origin-of-life#probability. Return to text.
  6. Schweitzer, J., Earth 2.0: Bad news for God, huffingtonpost.com, 23 July 2015. Return to text.
  7. Hartnett, J.G., Theory of everything by dark matter, biblescienceforum.com, 6 April 2015. Return to text.
  8. Hartnett, J.G., ‘Dark photons’: another cosmic fudge factor, 2015; creation.com/dark-photons. Return to text.
  9. Hartnett, J.G., Solutions to the biblical creationist starlight-travel-time problem, biblescienceforum.com, 22 November 2014. Return to text.
  10. That the Universe expanded in volume by 1078 times. Cosmic inflation allegedly started 10−36 seconds after the Big Bang and then stopped between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds later. How and why it started and smoothly stopped are unknowns. Return to text.
  11. Cosner, L., The genealogies of Jesus, 25 December 2012; creation.com/jesus-genealogies. Return to text.
  12. Sarfati, J.D., The Incarnation: Why did God become Man?, 23 December 2010; creation.com/God-man. Return to text.
  13. Europa Report (2013) is a Hollywood film where a team of scientists/astronauts land on the fourth moon of Jupiter, Europa, and discover some type of marine cephalopod life under the frozen ocean. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Diane S., Australia, 21 August 2015

When I read media hype about discoveries in the outer reaches of the known universe, I am embarrassed for them. It demeans the wonder of the discovery to load it down with what-ifs.

Just as the living cell is a wonderful chemical machine within our bodies, cannot the universe be studied as a wonderful machine of matter and time which keeps everything balanced in motion?

These continual plaintive pleas for something out there, just because the universe is so big, have been answered in the Bible. We are not alone unless we choose to be. Emmanuel.

john R., Australia, 21 August 2015

psalm 115 v 16 states the heavens belong to god , the earth He has given to men. the whole thrust of God's interaction with man is that we are special and His only reason for creating the universe

Rodney C., Australia, 21 August 2015

Its surprising that the artist didn't depict green forests, cities and other signs of life on the planet. Their belief that life "must" have evolved elsewhere in the universe and considering they believe this is such a good candidate for such a planet. Why not? Perhaps they know if they did depict such things, more people would question exactly where the drawing come from and realise that it is all just speculation. They know exactly how much they can push there ideas while still keeping it under the radar of most people.

Roland B., United States, 20 August 2015

Nice article. As you pointed out several times, the points from the original article really center around the desire for the naturalistic world view to be true, regardless of the inconsistencies. The Bible world view, of course, continues to be a bothersome irritant to that dominant view. Many have commented on the article or your response, but I want to take a longer view in terms of the likelihood of many more of these types of articles being published. Creation staff might get very tied up responding to them. So keep responding, but choose with wisdom which ones need a response. And, by all means, continue to point out the fundamentals of a Biblical world view in the process, which Creation Ministries International does so well.

So why choose carefully which things to respond to? I expect a continued non-linear increase in such conjectures of "earth-like" planets with insufficient evidence, just as I expect observations of other parts of the heavens do the same thing. First, the amount of data available for analysis and comment is huge. Second, the more desparate hearts want answers, the more the demand to comment on origins that exclude God or go further to ridicule the biblical world view of origins or those who adhere to it.

John Thomas R., United States, 20 August 2015

It will be interesting to see what the evolutionists say when they find "everything" needed for life and after so-called billions of years, there is none :) Surely in their denial they will continue looking for every missing link than to accept the burden of religion (to weigh and measure the proofs of the faiths and determine the most true one). I want to go to heaven when I die. As a truth seeker, I renounced all subjective alliances and sought only proofs of God's perfect nature as I studied all of the world's religions. I want to go to heaven when I die and care little of what any man thinks. I found his fingerprints all over the bible -

truth: scientific, historical, archaeological, grammatical, moral, love, forgiveness, etc.

It's taking more and more faith to be an evolutionist these days than when Sir Darwin penned his bible.

Their faith is a strong one.

Melinda S., United States, 20 August 2015

While I agree with most of your article, I don't think it necessarily follows that life elsewhere could not be sentient. By the same reasoning that we don't need to know about fish on another planet, we also don't need to understand the details of how God might work on another planet, to either redeem another people or perhaps shielding them somehow from connection to our universe. I agree that it is IMPROBABLE, but I don't see it as being Scripturally IMPOSSIBLE. We are not given to know such things, at least, not at this point, but that may not mean that they cannot exist.

Don Batten responds

Just a reminder about the related reading at the end of the article: Did God create life on other planets?

Chuck R., United States, 20 August 2015

Perhaps the biggest problem we need to face is the belief that Science can know and explain everything and is always right. Consider that Science has declared it has proven that the earth and life has evolved. CMI and others have clearly shown that there are huge problems with evolutionary doctrine and its supposed proofs, yet due to extreme bias on the part of mainstream science, they ridicule the objections and declare that they know the truth.

So too with cosmology. They hype up discoveries with claims of 'goldilocks zone', 'has water', and the artist’s illustrations, but their claims are full of speculation and conjecture. I noticed in the article about Kepler 452b on mashable.com [url deleted as per commenting rules] the use of speculative words like 'might look like', 'potentially', 'it’s possible', and as they are discovering with the Pluto flyby, there is a lot they were wrong about [url deleted] and Pluto is only billions of miles away, not 1400 light years.

We need to remind ourselves of Paul’s statement in Rom. 1:20-23. Things have not changed much since then.

S W., United States, 20 August 2015

The Bible is very clear about great deceptions in the last days hard to deny. Mat 24:24.

Christians who try to rationally argue for the existence of God are setting themselves a trap. Isa 55:9. I think it can be transitional for an ignorant atheist to see their pseudo science theories debunked, but no one rationalizes their way into salvation.

Bottom line: There are no ETs, only demons. I don't believe there is any animal or plant life beyond this earth, no interstellar travelers sent to stop mankind from AGW, etc...

I expect to see these same "scientists" arguing Earth 2.0 as they point to an "alien" as proof there is no Creator. Unfortunately, there will be a Christian who argued there may be life elsewhere who will have lost all credibility when a demon shows-up looking exactly like the aliens sold since the beginning of time.

Don Batten responds

Conversion is a work of the Holy Spirit, for sure, but a person's reasoning is involved in that process. Isaiah 1:18 See Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation.

John B., United Kingdom, 18 August 2015

I do not accept that there is any other organic life anywhere in the universe, excluding the "Heavenly Host". It wouldn't surprise me if everything in the entire Universe, in some way, affects everything in and on Earth. As a Christian, my Faith would take a bit of a battering IF life were found on any other planet, anywhere. Earth IS special, John 3:16 makes this very clear. Eternity is a long time, and Christians have plenty of time to adventure within the entire Universe when they leave this life. The Universe is there for us to explore, but even more so when we, as Christians, depart from this short existence on THIS planet. I can't wait!

Roger T., Australia, 17 August 2015

If I might be permitted the right of reply to Don Batten's comments.

"...Scripture makes it clear that Jesus could only die for the descendants of Adam, that's why his incarnation (Son of God and Son of Man) was an essential part of the plan (see discussion of the kinsman-redeemer on creation.com)."

Of course Jesus would only die for the sins of the descendants of Adam. They were the only one's to sin. If sin had occurred elsewhere in the universe it would have applied to that race and the earth would not have been created.

"How can there be a war in heaven 'before' the beginning of time (Genesis 1:1)? This war must have occurred after God pronounced everything that He had made "very good" (Genesis 1:31)."

Time only began when the earth was created. Previously God had existed in eternity where there is no time. Time began so that we are able to follow God's plan of salvation and understand the time prophecies that God has placed throughout the Scriptures. From these we know that Christ's return is very near.

"It seems that Lucifer had taken his proposition to other worlds and had been rejected by them."

"There is no Scriptural backing for this idea." (Don Batten's comment)

Think logically. Then why did God create a planet, populate it with the human race who He knew would fall into sin? Was God just wanting to glorify Himself as good God? Who would this have convinced if it weren't for "others" outside humanity.

The Bible only deals with the results of sin as it applies to the fallen human race and God's salvation for us so there are only hints as another purpose. The BIG picture that effects the entire universe.

Sometimes we need to think outside the square to catch a glimpse of how great God is and what He has in store for us.

Blessings in your ministry.

Don Batten responds

I agree that there could be no death and suffering in God's "very good" creation (Genesis 1:31) apart from the consequences of sin. But would a jellyfish be living in the sense of nephesh chayyah? See Life according to the Bible.

Note that the article is about organic life (note: "sentient soul-life"); angels are not in view.

"Sons of God" in Job 38:7 (and Genesis 6)? We believe that the most biblically consistent view is that they were indeed angelic beings, fallen or good, although there is some variance of opinion amongst those who respect the Bible's authority. See Sons of God in Genesis 6 and Answers Book chapter 9 on alien life. Hebrews 1:5-7 does not say that angels cannot be called 'sons of God'. I will let Scripture speak for itself: "For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"? Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? (verse 6) And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." (verse 7) Of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire." (no angel is a begotten son)

Isaiah 14:13,14 is talking (in anthropogenic terms) about the abode of God, heaven; there is no implication here of populated worlds other than earth in the universe.

The purpose of the rest of the universe was not as a home to alien beings, but to reveal the glory of God (Psalm 19).

Geoff C. W., Australia, 16 August 2015

It's a very safe article for the Huffington Post to publish. The author can only ever be proven right (which I agree, is impossible, at least for sentient life), but never wrong. However, s/he might have been more believable had s/he said something like: "If life on another planet is not discovered by the time I die, please write on my tombstone that there's a very good chance that I'm an idiot".

Roger T., Australia, 16 August 2015

I have read with interest the comments thus far received on this article, and I think that one salient point has been missed...Why did God create this planet?

The Bible says that the plan of salvation was formulated before the earth was created. So why was there such a plan if it wasn't going to be applied until God created the earth and populated it?

Did God get up one morning (figuratively speaking of course) and say to Himself, "What will I do to day? Ah, I know. I'll create a planet, put people on who I know will sin, then I can save them by sending My Son and fulfill the plan!"

The implication is that there were other beings apart from the angels who had also been created and the plan of salvation could have been applied to them if required.

The Bible of course deals with God and man's relationship with Him revealing God's faithfulness towards him.

But there was war in heaven! In the big picture, this occurred before God created the earth.

Satan had rebelled and challenged God's authority.

It seems that Lucifer had taken his proposition to other worlds and had been rejected by them.

God could have snuffed Lucifer out on the spot but doubt would have remained among the other inhabitants of the universe as to the possible results of Lucifer governing the universe.

God created a neutral planet and populated it with just 2 people and in a very short space of time they had succumbed to Lucifer's whiles and disobeyed God's clear instruction.

What has followed is a clear demonstration to the entire universe what Lucifer's government would have resulted in! Star Wars!

God never acts without a purpose and whilst we may speculate on other beings and other planets we can be thankful that Jesus died to restore us to a right relationship with God our Creator.

Blessings

Don Batten responds

There are several statements here that I don't believe are 'necessarily so':

"The implication is that there were other beings apart from the angels who had also been created and the plan of salvation could have been applied to them if required." I don't see how this follows. There is no hint of any other beings that the plan of salvation could apply to. Indeed, Scripture makes it clear that Jesus could only die for the descendants of Adam, that's why his incarnation (Son of God and Son of Man) was an essential part of the plan (see discussion of the kinsman-redeemer on creation.com).

"But there was war in heaven! In the big picture, this occurred before God created the earth."

How can there be a war in heaven 'before' the beginning of time (Genesis 1:1)? This war must have occurred after God pronounced everything that He had made "very good" (Genesis 1:31).

"It seems that Lucifer had taken his proposition to other worlds and had been rejected by them."

There is no Scriptural backing for this idea.

"God could have snuffed Lucifer out on the spot but doubt would have remained among the other inhabitants of the universe as to the possible results of Lucifer governing the universe."

"Other inhabitants"? There is no evidence from the Bible or from anything else that there are other organic (soul-life) sentient beings in the universe.

"God never acts without a purpose and whilst we may speculate on other beings and other planets..."

True that God acts with purpose, and that talk of other beings on other planets is speculation.

However "we can be thankful that Jesus died to restore us to a right relationship with God our Creator".

Josef L., United States, 14 August 2015

Earth 2.0? I can't think of any planet that has more earth-like conditions than the Earth itself. And here on Earth, we never see life come from anything other than life. So there's no chance that another planet will have life, even if that planet's conditions are virtually identical to our own. After all, if abiogenesis doesn't happen here, on a planet that we obviously know has life, then there's no reason to think it'd be different on another planet.

Robert W., United States, 14 August 2015

YHWH's Word tells us much more than it is given credit for. Perhaps if the evolutionist really studied The Word instead of cherry-picking things they think they can exploit, (which they really can't); YHWH would draw them close to Him to quench their thirst. But they don't have the thirst to really learn the truth, but insist on selling the "lies."

Satan is a key to unlock many things. He has power, but not Gods power. However, he exists to do battle with God, to actually upstage God. Satan isn't bound as yet, and so he gets around. He accuses man before God, he is alien in that he is from another part of the universe. (You want to study aliens, get into the angelic realm and explore all the awesome details). Jesus is not of this earth, He explained all that. You want aliens, you have them.

But the fact satan spends his time attacking men on earth is more proof that intelligent life is only found here.

YHWH gave us the complete story.

Get into it. It is so much more intriguing than "In the beginning nothingness exploded."

And a side note on light: It was the first thing He created after terra firma and "the waters."

You want aliens?

There are none better than Abba Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, each present and active at creation.

Receive Jesus Christ today.

Dean R., Australia, 13 August 2015

Basically the media article is belief. It confirms the fact that science can get away with a lot without any evidence whatsoever to keep a story on life support.(& how often are people of faith accused of being arrogant for operating on belief)

The media is loaded to the hilt with these types of one sided arguments & people think they are getting fact when it is more fiction.

Looking for life in all the wrong places only prolongs the misery. The wisdom of God displayed in creation & His love shown in Christ, fully human & fully God is the revealed mystery of the ages.

Here on earth we have all that we need to sustain us, the authentic "in the beginning" of origins & sin yet for many the answer lies in an unfathomable unknown, living as if God is dead or doesn't exist telling us once upon a time & assuming evolution to be true...belief.

Cristian Vasile M., Netherlands, 13 August 2015

Thanks for this article and the wonderful work you are doing here at creation.com.

I am trying to understand your position that no sentient being exist in the universe.

What about the angels? They are sentient. What makes you think they are outside of the universe?

You seem to base your position on interpreting Romans 8 as applying to the entire universe ("the whole creation"). Yet it can simply mean all the creatures on Earth. Surely the angels are created, yet not subject to the bondage of corruption, because they never sinned (at least the ones that didn't sided with Satan). So "the whole creation" must exclude the good angels.

Bible is written in the language of men.

For example, when Caesar Augustus declared that all the world should be registered in a census (2:1), did he really mean the entire world, or only the people in the Roman Empire?

Or when Paul said that the gospel was preached to every creature under heaven (Colossians 1:23), did he really mean that there were no remote tribes that didn't hear it? Wouldn't Jesus have returned already, if this were so? (Matthew 24:14)

The language of the Bible is the language of common people. It's understandable even if it contains figures of speech, like hyperboles.

It looks to me that it's very likely that God created other morally responsible beings in the Universe, and that Earth is simply under quarantine to prevent this infectious disease called "sin" from spreading.

Thanks again and may God bless you!

Don Batten responds

Thanks for your encouragement.

The article is about organic life, so angels are not in view.

Notwithstanding the use of figures of speech such as hyperbole in the Bible, Romans 8 does apply to the whole physical universe. Please see Cosmic and universal death from Adam's fall

The effects of sin are quarantined to Earth? What about the moon, or Mars, or ... where would the line be drawn? (rhetorical question).

Again the purpose of the universe is not for other sentient soul-life, but to reveal God's glory (Psalm 19).

Jared C., United States, 13 August 2015

John, am I right in assuming that this new planet wasn't actually seen, but rather (like other exoplanets) only calculated to exist based on the star's movements? If so, there seems to be an awful lot of hype and speculation for such minor news.

Also, I have a slight disagreement with the later half of the article. The Bible teaches very clearly that God created intelligent, sentient life other than humans and that those beings are judged for their own actions and are excluded from Jesus' redemptive work. I'm referring to angels/demons.

Given mankind's extremely limited exploration capabilities and the massive hurdles involved, this is the only "alien" life we should ever expect to come in contact with in our lifetimes (or that of our grand children's grandchildren). Semantics aside (and there are, admittedly, a ton in play here), I feel its an often overlooked part of the discussion.

My pattern of thought is failing by now and I'm limited on time to straighten it out... so if any of this make sense...in conclusion: A Christian should have no problem with other intelligent life, but today's culture is actively trying to redefine what that life is (i.e. Ancient Aliens). Arguing against other intelligence without keeping today's culture in mind could one day paint ourselves into a corner and that would then come across as being "ex-post facto rationalization."

John Hartnett responds

Jared, The new planet wasn't actually seen, i.e. it was not imaged with a light telescope. It was detected from a dimming of the parent star's light and based on the physics it is possible to determine it's orbital location, mass etc.

My whole article revolves around sentient intelligent terrestrial (as compared to heavenly) life. That big picture story does not allow for any "alien" type sentient life on other planets for the reasons explained. Angels/demons do not come into the picture there.

If I understand you correctly, its seems that you are suggesting the possibility of other sentient flesh and blood life, on some exoplanet, possibly beyond our ability to explore. If so, I disagree. Painting ourselves into a corner is not important; being faithful to Scripture is, and such a notion cannot be supported by the scriptures.

Tonie S., Canada, 13 August 2015

For thus saith the L-RD that created the heavens; G-D himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I(am) the L-RD; and (there is) none else. Isaiah 45:18

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 1:2

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

Mitch C., United States, 13 August 2015

I dare say they have not checked the atmospheric makeup of Kepler 452b, or whether it has oceans of water, or land masses for that matter. It is quite a leap to call it "habitable" simply because it has the right mass, distance from its parent star and length of its year.

Finding a planet that might be habitable is not the same thing as finding life on that planet. The Bible does not say that God only created one habitable planet. Let the secularists find actual life on the planet, and then we can have a discussion on whether that fits what scripture teaches.

Phil K., United States, 13 August 2015

I never thought about this before. Any nephesh life created separately on a separate planet should not be under the curse of Adam because they are not descendents of Adam. Yes, all of creation was cursed by sin, which includes the planet of Zenxalaxu but would the Zenxalaxians really need a Savior if they never sinned? OK, here's the same scenario on Earth--if God had not warned Noah and wiped out all life on the Earth with a flood and created animals and man anew, wouldn't they be given the same choice as Adam and Eve? What if they chose not to disobey? Oh dear, the variations. What if Adam and Eve had not eaten of the Tree of Life, but Cain did? Would only his descendents need salvation while Abel's descendents did not? Perhaps this is why God did not start over from scratch but spared Noah and his familly? I'll stick with what I know--I need a Savior and so does Jeff Schweitzer!

Don Batten responds

Yes, let's stick with what we know; what has been revealed by God in the Bible. Hypotheticals ('what ifs?') get us nowhere.

Terry D P., Australia, 13 August 2015

There is indeed intelligent Life out there in the cosmos, as Solomon recognised at the dedication of the temple…

‘But can God indeed dwell on earth? Heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have built! —1K§8:27

Wonder what would happen if God decided to send a message from outer space, and signed it — God?

Hmmm.

IN THE BEGINNING of creation, when God made heaven and earth, the earth was without form and void, with darkness over the face of the abyss, and a mighty wind that swept [Or …and the spirit of God hovering] over the surface of the waters. — Gn§1:1-2

Don Batten responds

The article is about organic life. Note John's wording in the last paragraph: "sentient soul-life", which excludes God and angels from consideration here (no one is proposing that angels could have evolved on Earth 2.0).

Thomas H., United States, 13 August 2015

I wonder if we begin to dilute the greatness of our Lord when we lessen the stature of His crowning creation, Adam. The earth was created for man. All the things of and in the earth were created for mankind's enjoyment. One would surmise that the whole universe was created for the same reason. Knowing the Bible's timeline and the time necessary to travel to other places in the universe, it would seem any life there would be of no blessing to mankind.

To say that there might be sentient beings there would say that Adam was not God's crowning creation.

Thanks for addressing such challenges as your ministry does. Thanks for staying true to the Bible.

Melvyne C., United Kingdom, 13 August 2015

George appears to take umbrage of a cosmos devoid of any other physical life but that of Earth, when to me suggests “a waste of space.” Perhaps I should have chosen my words more carefully when ending with a question mark. Nevertheless I thank him for his thoughts.

Still, George presumes to give an answer in that God’s thoughts are above mine and his. However, it does not alter the fact that if God did create an entire cosmos without other life, such would ultimately be a “very good” (Gen. 1:31) waste of space for unknown purposes, that is in relation to Earthly humans. That however leads nowhere.

George does not give an answer to a central conundrum of the article; is there life on other planets or not, and what are the implications for apparent emptiness, besides our exile?

In relation to junk DNA - I like the analogy by the way - that still does not make the cosmos junk when created “very good;” either empty, or teaming with life on other planets, and which none of us can prove or disprove by any direct observations to date.

Idris C., Canada, 13 August 2015

". . .we will see a huge effort to square that circle with amazing twists of logic and contorted justifications."

Is not this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Has not this been done in evolutionary circles ever since Darwinism dawned on us?

Otienno C., Jamaica, 13 August 2015

I cannot take the article published on the huffington post seriously. The article basically says it is possible that a planet similar to earth (the view from keplar has no way of quantifying the similarity) may exist and that life may exist on said planet through evolution of pond scum that probably exists on the planet. It goes on to say that in the event that these maybe cases have happened, the religious fraternity (for lack of a better word) must not claim that this was also as a result of creation. I now ask why in the world does the author find it more believable that evolution is more likely to occur twice on two different planets lightyears away, than for a designer to design twice... Rubbish

Ben M., United States, 13 August 2015

This is an excellent article but there are some minor objections I have with it. For starters I don't think finding life on Kepler-452b is a problem either, but finding death and decay is. That hypothetical jellyfish would have to be an immortal jellyfish or the Bible's teaching that death, and only death on the earth, as a result of Adams sin is a lie (see Romans 5:12; 1 Cor 15:21,26). As you stated above God gave dominion to man over the lower life forms on earth, not on some planet 1400 light-years away. Which is why death of any sort can only occur on earth because earth is only place that man had rule.

Secondly I find the statement about there being no sentient life elsewhere in the universe puzzling in light of what the Bible says about angels. Doesn't every objection to the existence of sentient life outside earth apply to them?

Thirdly, while the Bible doesn't flat out say that there is sentient life (other than angels) outside of earth it does make some allusions. For instance the "sons of God" in Job 38:7 cannot be angels because the Bible teaches that angels are not called sons (see Heb 1:5-7). This poses no conflict with the biblical witness when we consider

1. Satan's goal was to take over the throne of the universe itself, not simply the earth (Isaiah 14:13,14). Which is why he was so eager to give it up when he tempted Christ to worship him (Luke 4:5-7). Just like Adams sin was joining Satan's rebellion thus giving him dominion of the earth, so Christ sin would have given Satan dominion of the universe. And why would Satan trade a thriving planet for a bunch of dead ones?

2. By wresting earth from Satan's grasp Christ secured the peace of the universe. Satan no longer had a base to launch his pursuit of universal conquest.

Warm regards, Ben.

Don Batten responds

Ben,

Please see response to Roger T., who made similar points, below.

F. G., United States, 13 August 2015

The Huffington Post article is astounding in its arrogance. On the basis of mere hype, with virtually nothing of even potential substance to back it up, the writer feels it is now safe for him to thumb his nose at a Creator that he desperately wants not to be real.

It's clear that people who want to spit in God's face will do so on the basis of any excuse they can find or invent.

George J., Canada, 13 August 2015

The comment "What a waste of vast cosmic energy and space, with all its magnificent powers, laws and materials, for nothing else to exist but a single rocky earth with its fallen human life affecting the Earth and creatures?" is written as an exclamation; but ends with a question mark so it is not clear what the writer meant.............however, to judge the rest of the universe as waste simply because the writer can not understand God's plan for it reminds me of those who classed the vast majority of our genome as junk, simply because they did not understand it. I think Isaiah aptly described the situation when he 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."

Don Batten responds

Furthermore, Psalm 19 tells us why God created so much; it reveals His glory.

What is the purpose of a fireworks display? It is for fun/entertainment, but it also says something about the host city, that it is prosperous, modern, capable, etc.

If we think that this is a lot for God to do, then we don't understand who God is.

Melvyne C., United Kingdom, 13 August 2015

The article makes many good points, including that Genesis focuses on the creation of the Earth, and that nothing is said in the bible whether there are other “Earths” or not. However, the conclusion seems to be, because the earthly Adam is saved through Jesus, no other flesh is included that may be made in the image of God.

Of course, that is assuming we know for sure what in totality the image of God really covers and means. However, there may be a case that does allow for the existence of other life forms made in the image of God from the theology that God/Jesus united his divinity to Nature, or the “hypostatic union.” Hence, from that point backwards from his miraculous conception through the Holy Spirit in Mary; any creature made in the image of God; meaning human like in appearance with a soul and spirit, would be eligible for salvation through God/Jesus?

Perhaps the next problem arises is that of original sin. Presumable, at the Fall of the Earthly Adam, sin would still be accounted as affecting any human creature, soul and spirit no matter where. It may well be also, Earth is the most deprived planet of all, hence in need of special attention.

Just as other abodes and dimensions of the spirit exist, it cannot be excluded as impossible that other physical beings generated in the image of God exist.

What a waste of vast cosmic energy and space, with all its magnificent powers, laws and materials, for nothing else to exist but a single rocky earth with its fallen human life affecting the Earth and creatures?

Grant D., United States, 13 August 2015

As a person who does not particularly believe there is life on other planets until proven otherwise, I do not object that life may exist on other planets, or even intelligent life.

The "big picture," of God's judgment on mankind, isn't a bit picture at all. We simply do not know how God works, and in what ways he works. I feel like we somewhat "limit God," by saying the Bible says everything about God's plan and creation. The Bible is the written to mankind so of course it will not mention any alien beings.

Like I said, you are right in saying the Bible doesn't say anything about aliens, and whether or not it makes biblical sense to us doesn't mean there aren't aliens. I believe God's plan for salvation to mankind is a far cry from what God has planned.

Anthony W., Australia, 12 August 2015

John, I agree that there is probably not life on other planets but scripture doesn't preclude the idea of soul-less life. One issue though would be how this possible life would have been effected by the Fall. Would death have not existed for this possible life pre-Fall, and then the Curse brought death to them?

John Hartnett responds

You ask good questions. Of course, I don't think there is any life out there anyway, so much of this questioning "what if" is moot.

But if it did exist and it would seem from the scriptures (Romans 8:19–23) that the whole Universe was subject to the Curse then it follows that death only came to animals that the Bible describes by the Hebrew word nephesh, which means ‘living being’ or ‘soul’. It follows then, if nephesh defines life, then only the nephesh creatures were subject to death as a result of the Fall. Taking that to the logical extreme, if soul-less life did exist on Earth 2.0 or anywhere else in the cosmos, it would mean they could have suffered death in a biblical sense, before the Fall. Read more on nephesh chayyah here.

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