Sunday, February 25, 2007

Aliens?

Why are Christians (especially) threatened by the possible existence of aliens?

Why can't there be life on other planets?

I've been recently reviewing such
astronomical details as The Great

Attractor and the Sloan Great Wall,
things that just baffle the mind for

their sheer size. If the known
universe (and The Great Attractor is

unknown, we can see its gravitational effect, how it is attracting our

galaxy at a phenomenal rate, but we have no idea what it is, while the
Sloan Great Wall is probably only a small portion of the actual wall),
but if the known universe was the size of the earth, pick up a grain of
sand and look at it. That's still larger than our entire galaxy! Let
alone our solar system or the Earth itself. We are a really, really,
really small part of this universe.

For those of you that are Christians, think Psalm 8:3-4

I think most people would agree with the definition of an alien being a
lifeform that does not originate from Earth. In that regard, the Bible
is full of aliens. Think angels, devil spirits, cherubim, seraphim, etc.

OK, sure, these are all classes of spirit beings, not physical beings.
But they're alive and they do not originate from the earth. Why does
life have to be limited to just the physical realm. That's all we can
investigate at the moment, but pause to remember, 100 years ago a
wireless connection would have been witchcraft, flying to the moon was
considered a flight of pure fantasy. Now days, no one blinks an eye at
these concepts.

Is it egotistical on our part to assume or to insist that we are the
sole intelligent inhabitants of this universe? Why couldn't God create
life in some other galaxy (there's certainly plenty of them) or even in
this one? It's His prerogative, not ours. Who are we to insist He
couldn't have done that?

Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret things belong unto the Lord our God.
Perhaps the Bible is just silent on the subject and we've misread
silence as a declaration of exclusivity on mankind's part. Perhaps He's
taking the US nuclear warship policy, refusing to either confirm or deny.

Perhaps one day ET will return our long distance call... It would
certainly lead to some very interesting conversations and comparisons
between the development, culture, intellectual and religious paradigms
of two previously isolated worlds... Rather than feeling threated, I
think it would be fun. There would be a lot we could learn. Perhaps
we'll be surprised by how different "they" are. But, given that the laws
of science are universally applicable, perhaps we'll be even more
surprised by just how much we share in common. And in the meantime,
there's always Hollywood to stir the imagination :)

5 comments:

Onyx Stone said...

One of the most striking things about this is that there ARE intelligent life forms beside humans. Think of whales, orangutans... These critters live on the same world, have a huge number of similarities to us (they eat, sleep, breast-feed... their DNA is remarkably similar) - so we have a pretty good understanding of their needs - yet we can't really communicate with them!

So if we find some thoughtful beasts from an entirely alien environment, there may still be no meaningful dialogue.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

The Great Attractor is mind boogling, I admit. So is the idea that galaxy clusters form long strands with huge spaces of void in between. I find the whole big bang theory and study of the universe fascinating.
I think one problem with the whole ET question is similar to the religion question.
If you ask people if they believe in aliens, they will say no, because the question sounds a bit like asking if you believe that grey aliens travel hundreds of light years to abducts the odd nutter from Tennessee.
On the other hand, if you ask them the question, do you think it likely that elsewhere in the vast reaches of space, similar biochemical processes to those on earth might be observed, any reasonable person would say yes.
The principle of parallell and convergent evoluition imply that somewhere something like us exists.
Whether or not we can ever meet them is another issue.
Like yourself, a deep interest in Scientific topics has strengthened, rather than weakened my faith, in this case Catholicism.

Peter said...

The dreams of today are tomorrow's technology...

http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/rocket.html

If a rocket could be built that accelerates at 1g it could cross our galaxy within 12 years without violating any of the laws of physics. Apparently the time dilation effect means that even though the galaxy is 100,000 light years across and our space craft will only ever get up to 99.99% of the speed of light (ie, it should take at least 100,001 years to cross the galaxy), when you're moving that fast relative to everything else distances contract.

Now stopping at the other end, that's something else. But the article even suggests a parabolic slingshot around the blackhole at the center of the galaxy could be used to catapult a ship over toward the next galaxy.

Perhaps it quite won't be "tomorrow" but it is interesting to see how science continues to advance and new ideas continue to redefine the definition of impossible.

Send out a bunch of these rockets as probes in all directions and if there's life out there, we'll find it...

Peter said...

http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/
Relativity/SR/rocket.html

Looks like blogger doesn't like links in the comments (and this one's too long to fix on one line)

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

It's called the Lorentz effect, Peter.
But I still don't see how it could acheive what you are saying.
The speed of light 9as in massless particle movement) remains a fundamental constant, as in one that remains constant even in a singularity.
The only solutin is to somehow bisect spacetime itself.