Re: [asa] Fw: (aliens) November Newsletter from Reasonable Faith

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Nov 30 2009 - 12:12:46 EST

> Your A) below: Why would angels need spacecraft?  Notice how it doesn't even consider the most likely option that aliens are evolved mortals like us.
>> A) Humans are the only ones who need the gospel. Intelligent aliens, if they exist, are either unfallen (like angels) or irredeemably fallen (like demons).<<

Angels do not need spacecraft as far as we know. But that is not what
I said. Intelligent aliens, if they exist, have a similar spiritual
status to angels or demons under this possibility and therefore do not
need to be evangelized. Those intelligent aliens could arise by
evolution (indeed, by far the most likely option) or by some other
means (special creation, random events summed over an infinite
multiverse, spontaneous generation,...). Presumably they would use
spacecraft, if they travel in space.

> Your B) below: The NT speaks of telling people worldwide about the gospel, but nothing AT ALL about inter-planetary peoples.
>> B) Just as (after varying degrees of debate) it was recognized that newly discovered peoples needed the gospel originally known only in the Near East, so the gospel is to be spread to other planets. ...<<

This sounds rather like the silly YEC claim that the Bible ought to
say something about dinosaurs. Why should it say anything about
inter-planetary problems? The distances alone make it highly
improbable that we can have meaningful dialogue with aliens, much less
direct contact (also a good reason for high skepticism on UFO claims,
above and beyond their usual lousy quality), so it is unlikely that
the practical question will actually arise, regardless of whether life
is common in the universe. However, if the question does become
practical, the obvious course of action would be to try to communicate
the gospel and see what happens. (Of course, failure to communicate
would be a very plausible explanation for lack of response).

> Your C) below: Oh, there is another potential method to atone for sin? Remember that the solution for sin was from the foundation of the world.  Could there be a superior way to atone for sin? No.  A parallel way? Maybe.  But if a sin sacrifice was needed here, and it is messy and painful; then the alternative is also probably just as messy and painful.  If not, it implies there's a better way to do it, which would lead to wonder why it wasn't done here, too, if there was a better way.<
>> C) Other methods/events of redemption might apply to other fallen but redeemable races. <<

There is no other way to atone for human sin than through the work of
Jesus Christ. Might there be a different way to atone for
extraterrestrial sin? Might extraterrestrial sin require a parallel
way? Maybe.

On all of these, the question is so thoroughly speculative that
there's no basis for deciding. Nevertheless, numerous logical
Christian possibilities exist. To claim that this is a major problem
for Christianity is illogical.

> And forget about the possibility that they are created mortal beings who didn't fall, because as an evolutionary creationist I would have said there never was a literal fall as there never was a literal Adam.  Sin and death was always in the world, and sin was gradually recognized as such as the conscience emerged.  Death is a part of life, and is a vital component of creation being "good."  (Without death, life can't be sustained, as it would get overran.  Creation must have death in order to be declared 'good' by God.)<

Of course, it's possible that your evolutionary creationist model was
incorrect. But more importantly, the conclusion doesn't follow from
the premises. Physical death is not necessarily linked to sin the way
that spiritual death is. (Physical death as we know it today is
certainly affected by sin, but there's definitely much room for doubt
that the death of non-human animals has any particular link to sin.)
Sin exists only if there is an intelligent agent violating a moral
law. Is it inevitable that an evolved intelligent race would rebel?
No; evolutionary baggage certainly provides some impetus towards
selfish inclinations, but it does not dictate it.

> Now we all may still be safe.  Even if these are real aircraft from aliens, it could be that they are unmanned.  Supposedly they can hover, then travel about 20 miles in a fraction of a second.  They may just be advanced space probes.<

My graduate advisor, as a student, once set a paper airplane on fire
and threw it out a window. It was reported as a UFO-presumably the
dwindling light of it burning up was misinterpreted as rapidly

I'm afraid that, as an advocate for atheism, you're promoting religion
by the sloppiness of your arguments (though not nearly as bad as
Dawkins), just as the major young earth advocates are some of the best
arguments for atheism.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Nov 30 12:13:13 2009

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