Occasionally at conferences, someone will ask, “Do you believe in UFOs?” I usually answer, “Absolutely! Any flying object that can’t be identified is a UFO.”
I then continue, “But do I believe in UFOs piloted by Vulcans, Klingons, or Cardassians? The answer is a definite no.” Sorry, Star Trek fans!
But if I don’t believe in aliens flying around in UFOs, does that mean I reject the idea that intelligent life could exist in outer space? As one of my friends once said, “Looking at the mess people get themselves into in this world, sometimes I wonder if there’s intelligent life on earth, let alone outer space.”
Extraterrestrials and the Bible
A good friend of mine, Dr. Clifford Wilson, author of the million-copy bestseller Crash Go the Chariots,1 did a lot of research on UFOs. He once told me that he concluded that, by far, the majority were either misunderstood natural phenomena or misinterpreted manmade objects. However, he did conclude there was a very small percentage that couldn’t be explained, and he allowed the possibility of some supernatural origin — albeit evil. But regardless, he, like me, does not believe in intelligent physical beings on planets other than our earth.
A number of leading evolutionists, like the late Dr. Carl Sagan, have popularized the idea that there must be intelligent life in outer space.2 From an evolutionary perspective, it would make sense to suggest such a possibility. People who believe this possibility contend that, if life evolved on earth by natural processes, intelligent life must exist somewhere else in the far reaches of space, given the size of the universe and the millions of possible planets.
One can postulate endlessly about possibilities of intelligent life in outer space, but I believe a Christian worldview, built on the Bible, rejects such a possibility. Here is why.
During the six days of creation in Genesis 1, we learn that God created the earth first. On Day Four He made the sun and the moon for the earth, and then “he made the stars also” (Genesis 1:16).
Earth — The Center Stage
From these passages of Scripture it would seem that the earth is very special—it is center stage. Everything else was made for purposes relating to the earth. For instance, the sun, moon, and stars were made “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14).