Backed by a Russian philanthropist, two leading scientists recently launched a 100 million dollar project to hunt for intelligent aliens in space. By scanning a million of the stars closest to the Earth they hope to discover that the Earth is not the only place where intelligent life exists.
The new project, called ‘Breakthrough Listen’, is chaired by Lord Rees and will cover 10 times the amount of sky which has been scanned by previous programs dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial life.
In a description of the project reported in The Telegraph (22/07/15), Professor Stephen Hawkins said:
“We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth. So in an infinite universe there must be other occurrences of life…Somewhere in the universe intelligent life may be watching the lights
Co-ordinated by the University of California, 9 million volunteers around the world will donate their spare computing power to search astronomical data for signs of life. However the team will not be attempting to communicate with alien civilisations, even if they do pick up signs that they exist.
What is the point?
Ask scientists to prove that “life arose spontaneously on Earth” and they will struggle to give an answer. Without such proof surely it’s unreasonable to suppose that “in an infinite universe there must be other occurrences of life”.
There may indeed be ‘intelligent aliens’ out there somewhere. Even so, what is the point of searching except it be to find support for the Theory of Evolution, already seriously doubted by many other scientists?
During the next 10 years, millions of dollars and vast amounts of time will be spent searching for the answer to a question that might not have an answer. And if ‘intelligent aliens’ are discovered somewhere out in space, there are no plans to communicate with them or learn anything from their existence.
Which might make you sometimes doubt the existence of intelligent life on Earth, let alone out in space! Just think what 100 million dollars could do if put in the hands of your favourite charity.
A more worthwhile search
Sadly, in this expensive endeavour to find out more about the origin of life and where it’s leading, too many people ignore an answer that’s free and has been available for thousands of years.
Costing no more than your free time, searching the Bible for intelligent answers to our own ‘questions about life’ is all-too-often totally neglected. The rash assumption that the Bible is ‘unscientific‘ ignores at least one definition of science, which states:
science ‘an organized body of knowledge on a subject’
Amongst many other things, the Bible is the most reliable “organized body of knowledge” on the subject of why life exists, how to live our lives and what the future holds for the human race. No amount of searching for intelligent aliens somewhere out in space will tell us anything that we still need to know.
Learning from history
For many people the Bible just seems to be a dry-as-dust history book! Whereas in fact the history it includes was written for a special purpose.
The detailed accounts and intelligent observations of numerous people during several thousand years has been condensed into a single book, under the guidance of the Earth’s creator. In effect, it is God’s ‘instruction manual for life‘ written for our benefit. But like many instruction manuals it often only gets opened when problems occur!
During the launch of the ‘Breakthrough Listen’ project, Professor Hawking added:
“We don’t know about aliens, but we know about humans. If you look at history then contact between humans and less intelligent organisms has often been disastrous from their point of view.” (The Telegraph, 22/07/15)
To which we might add that contact between humans themselves all too often proves disastrous too! That’s largely because God’s ‘instruction manual’ gets left on the shelf.
All of us can learn a lot from the history of Israel, written in the Bible. But it’s not all history and much of it needs no interpretation at all, although it may use unfamiliar language at times.
For example, take this passage in the letter Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus:
“At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13 NKJV)
In other words, before they became Christians those people in Ephesus didn’t know about God and hadn’t any hope for the future. Paul describes them as “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel”, by which he meant that they didn’t have a share in the promises God had made to the nation of Israel, the promises recorded in Israel’s history.
Those promises described God’s plans about the Earth’s future. Originally those promises only applied to the nation of Israel, but Paul told them that those promises now applied to Christians too.
So there were people in Ephesus 2000 years ago who listened to the ‘good news’ (the Gospel) preached to them by Paul and became Christians. They ceased to be “aliens” (or “strangers” as another Bible version calls them), but became included in God’s plan for this Earth’s future.
That plan can include us all.
9 million more volunteers wanted!
Just think what would happen if another 9 million volunteers opened their Bibles right now and took up the challenge of living by its rules.
For a start, widespread evidence for intelligent life would certainly be found on Earth, even if it has not yet been found in Space!!