Jehovah`s Witness/Alien life
I have always wondered about life on other planets? My pastor directed me to one of Jehovah's Witnesses saying; if anyone knows the answer, they will. So with compliments from my pastor (I have never heard him say anything bad about you folks) I am writing with the question above regarding alien life.
I hope this email finds you and your family well. We all have been fascinated with life on other planets or UFOs. The movies make is look great as far as science fiction goes. Humans have long been fascinated by the idea of life existing beyond the earth. For some people, it’s a mere curiosity, a water cooler conversation to others who expend unbelievable resources to discover aliens on planets.
Here is an example of a man in Massachusetts, U.S.A., who as part of his work every day checks to find out if any messages have come in. Day after day, none do. For years now, none have. But he still checks regularly, and he is disappointed regularly. Is he unpopular? Is his answering machine broken? Neither. He checks a machine, but it is not hooked up to a telephone line. It is a computer connected to a huge electronic ear that points up, away from our world, into the depths of outer space: a radio telescope. This man is helping a team of scientists to scan the stars for a message from intelligent extraterrestrials, beings from beyond our world. Others, like him, have also been listening for 30 years now.
An astronomer Frank Drake became the first man to listen with a radio telescope for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. Since then, man has, in effect, put his ears in space. Some 50 different extended searches of the sky have been made so far. This began in 1960.
Other many other nations, with substantial resources have joined in on the quest of “Going Where No Man Has Gone Before” The United States has the SETI project. [an English-language acronym for mankind’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] is becoming as international as space itself.”
SETI program was launched in 1992. NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States, plans to use a powerful new device that will make it possible to scan millions of radio frequencies at the same time. The search is projected to last ten years at a cost of $90 million. It will be some ten thousand million times more extensive than all the previous searches put together. But when man asks of the vast universe, “Is anyone out there?” he will need more than high-tech hardware to find an answer. In many ways it is a spiritual question. In groping for an answer, man reveals some of his most cherished hopes: the end of war, the end of disease, perhaps even the attaining of immortality itself. So the stakes are high. But after centuries of wondering and decades of searching, how close is man to an answer?
Braxton, lets explore science-fiction writers did not invent the notion of extraterrestrials. Greek philosopher named Metrodorus taught that a universe containing merely one inhabited world would be as unlikely as a large field growing only one ear of corn. Lucretius, a Roman poet of the first century B.C.E., wrote that “in other parts of space there are other earths and various races of men.”
Christendom did not like the concept “life on other worlds” for many centuries. But from about 1700 to the early part of our own century, most educated people, including some of the greatest scientists in history, believed firmly in life on other worlds. In fact, one educator of the mid-1800’s was widely attacked when he dared to write a paper denying the doctrine.
People seemed eager to believe in extraterrestrials, even on the flimsiest of evidence. In 1835 a newspaper reporter wrote that astronomers had discovered life on the moon. He wrote that strange animals, exotic plants, and even little people with wings, hovering about and gesturing visibly, were all seen through a telescope! The circulation of his newspaper soared. Many continued to believe the tale even after it was exposed as a fraud. Scientists were optimistic as well. In the late 1800’s, astronomer Percival Lowell was convinced that he could see a complex system of canals on the surface of the planet Mars. He mapped them out in detail and wrote books on the civilization that had constructed them. In France, the Academy of Sciences was so sure that there was life on Mars that it offered a reward to the first person who communicated with any extraterrestrials other than Martians. When Orson Wells broadcasted War of the Worlds and televised a fake invasion, people believed it and people went nuts. If Orson Wells hadn’t interrupted the broadcast and said it was a fake news story, the collateral damage would have been incredible.
While the technology behind today’s search for life on other worlds may be new, one thing remains unchanged: Scientists are still confident that mankind is not alone in the cosmos. As astronomer Otto Wöhrbach wrote in the German newspaper Nürnberger Nachrichten: “There is hardly a natural scientist who would not say yes if asked if there was extraterrestrial life.” Gene Bylinsky, author of Life in Darwin’s Universe, put it this way: “Any day now, if radio astronomers are to be believed, a signal from the stars will flash across the unimaginable gulf of space to end our cosmic loneliness.”
Why are scientists so sure that life exists on other worlds? Their optimism starts with the stars. There are so many of them—thousands of millions in our galaxy. Then the assumptions begin. Surely, many of those stars must also have planets circling them, and life must have developed on some of those worlds. Following that line of reasoning, astronomers have speculated that there are anywhere from thousands to millions of civilizations right here in our own galaxy! What difference does it make whether there is life beyond Earth or not? Well, scientists feel that either answer would have a tremendous impact on the human family. They say that learning that we are alone in the universe would teach mankind to value life here in view of its uniqueness. On the other hand, one respected scientist reasons that alien civilizations would likely be many millions of years more advanced than our own and might share their vast wisdom with us. They might teach us to cure our diseases, to end pollution, wars, and starvation. They might even show us how to overcome death itself! Just imagine no more disease, war, death—that kind of hope means a lot to people in our troubled times. No doubt it does to you as well. You will probably agree, though, that it is better to have no hope at all than to lean on a false one. It is important for us to find out, then, if scientists are on solid ground when they assert that the universe is teeming with populated worlds.
Isaac Asimov said that this is “a question that, in a way, spoils everything” for those who believe in life on other planets. Originally posed in 1950 by nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi, the question capped an argument that went something like this: If intelligent life has arisen on other planets in our galaxy, many civilizations should now exist that are millions of years ahead of our own. They should have developed interstellar travel long ago and spread abroad in the galaxy, colonizing and exploring at will. So where are they?
Well Braxton, this statement admittedly shaken by this “Fermi paradox,” they often reply to it by pointing out how difficult it would be to voyage between the stars. Even at the speed of light, enormous though that is, it would take a spaceship a hundred thousand years to traverse just our own galaxy. Surpassing that speed is deemed impossible. The television show Star Trek and following movies promoted such interstellar travel.
Science fiction that features ships hopping from one star to another in a matter of days or hours is fantasy, not science. The distances between stars are vast almost beyond our comprehension. That is why SETI scientists lean so strongly on radio telescopes; they imagine that since advanced civilizations might not travel between stars, they would still seek out other forms of life by the relatively cheap and easy means of radio waves. But Fermi’s paradox still haunts them.
American physicist Freeman J. Dyson has concluded that if advanced civilizations exist in our galaxy, finding evidence of them should be as easy as finding signs of technological civilization on Manhattan Island in New York City. The galaxy should be buzzing with alien signals and their immense engineering projects. But none have been found. In fact, one article on the subject noted that “searched, found nothing” has become like a religious chant for SETI astronomers.
A number of scientists are beginning to realize that their colleagues have made far too many optimistic assumptions in addressing this question. Such scientists come up with a much lower number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. Some have said that there is but one—us. Others have said that mathematically, there should be fewer than one—even we shouldn’t be here!
The basis for their skepticism is not hard to see. It could be summed up with two questions: If such extraterrestrials existed, where would they live? And how did they get there?
‘Why, they would live on planets,’ some might reply to the first question. But there is only one planet in our solar system that is not downright hostile to life, the one we occupy. But what about the planets circling the thousands of millions of other stars in our galaxy? Might not some of them harbor life? The fact is that up to now scientists have not conclusively proved the existence of a single planet outside of our solar system. Why not?
Because to detect one is exceedingly difficult. Since stars are so distant and planets do not emit any light of themselves, detecting even a giant planet, such as Jupiter, is like trying to spot a speck of dust floating around a powerful light bulb miles away. Even if such planets do exist—and some indirect evidence has accumulated to indicate that they do—this still does not mean that they orbit precisely the right kind of star in the right galactic neighborhood, at precisely the right distance from the star, and are themselves of precisely the right size and composition to sustain life. Yet, even if many planets do exist that meet the stringent conditions necessary to sustain life as we know it, the question remains, How would life arise on those worlds? This brings us to the very foundation of the belief in beings on other worlds—evolution.
To many scientists, it seems logical to believe that if life could evolve from nonliving matter on this planet, that could be true on others as well. As one writer put it: “The general thinking among biologists is that life will begin whenever it is given an environment where it can begin.” Braxton that is where evolution faces an insurmountable objection. Evolutionists cannot even explain how life began on this planet much less in other ones, LOL!
Scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe estimate that the odds against life’s vital enzymes forming by chance are one in 1040,000 (1 with 40,000 zeros after it). Scientists Feinberg and Shapiro go still further. In their book Life Beyond Earth, they put the odds against the material in an organic soup ever taking the first rudimentary steps toward life at one in 101,000,000. If we were to write out that number, this magazine in your hand would be well over 300 pages thick! Even with these odds, scientist still, blithely assume that life must have originated by chance all over the universe. Gene Bylinsky, in his book Life in Darwin’s Universe, speculates on the various paths evolution might have taken on alien worlds. He suggests that intelligent octopuses, marsupial men with pouches on their stomachs, and bat-people who make musical instruments are not at all farfetched. Renowned scientists have praised his book. However, other scientists, such as Feinberg and Shapiro, see the gaping flaw in such reasoning. They decry the “weakness in the basic experimental foundations” of scientists’ theories about how life got started on earth. They note, though, that scientists nonetheless “have used these foundations to erect towers that extend to the end of the Universe.”
Now Braxton, with all these odds mounted against them why do so many scientists take the impossible for granted? The answer is simple and rather sad. People tend to believe what they want to believe. Scientists, for all their claims of objectivity, are not exempt from this human failing. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe observe that “the theory that life was assembled by an intelligence” is “vastly” more probable than spontaneous generation. “Indeed,” they add, “such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.” Yes, many scientists recoil from the idea of a Creator, even though the evidence points that way. In the process, they have created a religion of their own. As the above authors see it, Darwinism simply replaces the word “God” with the word “Nature.”
So in answer to the question, “Is anyone out there?” science clearly gives no grounds for belief in life on other planets. In fact, as the years pass and the silence from the stars continues, SETI is a growing embarrassment to scientists who believe in evolution. If various types of life evolve readily from nonlife, then why do we not hear from them in this vast universe? Where are they? Did God create life on other worlds? Many people believe that man is being visited, or has been visited in the past, by extraterrestrials. Scientists generally dismiss these claims; they cite the lack of verifiable evidence in all cases and maintain that most UFO (unidentified flying object) sightings can be explained by natural phenomena. They tend to relegate the abduction claims to unexplored areas of the troubled human psyche or to psychological and religious needs.
One science-fiction writer noted: “The urge to investigate and believe in this stuff is almost religious. We used to have gods. Now we want to feel we’re not alone, watched over by protective forces.” Further, some UFO experiences are more of the occult than of science.
Here is another theory Braxton. Many scientists believe in “visitors” in their own way. They see the impossibility of life originating by chance here on the earth, so they claim it must have drifted here from space. Some say that aliens seeded our planet with life by sending rockets loaded with primitive bacteria. One has even suggested that aliens visited our planet ages ago and that life originated by chance from the garbage they left behind! Some scientists draw conclusions from the evidence that simple organic molecules are fairly common in space. But is that really evidence for the chance formation of life?
There is a reason why science and religion have been enemies. On February 17, 1600, a man named Giordano Bruno was burned alive in a public square of Rome, Italy. Why? His writings had offended the church. Among other things, he taught that there were many inhabited worlds in the universe. Back in the 11th century, the church had declared that doctrine, the plurality of worlds, a heresy. To teach it was to die. Bruno died. Until the 19th century, the debate over whether life exists on other worlds was carried on in the arena of religion. For centuries, religious leaders and scientists under their influence insisted that the earth was at the center of the universe; that the universe was created in 4004 B.C.E.; and so forth.
Small wonder, then, that many scientists and others have little respect for religion. In the process, though, many have lost their respect for the Bible as well, imagining that it was the source of all those misconceptions. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible does not purport to be a science textbook. However, it is never inaccurate when it touches on the subject of the universe or on any scientific matter. For example, the Bible never says that the earth and man are the center of the universe. On the contrary, its inspired writers showed a clear sense of how insignificant man is compared to the vast cosmos.—Psalm 8:3, 4.
So Braxton, according to the Bible, is anyone out there? The Bible says yes to extraterrestrial life not only exists but exists in abundance. It is more complex, more interesting, and more believable than anything that evolutionists, science-fiction writers, and moviemakers have dreamed up. After all, an extraterrestrial is simply a being who originates outside this earth and its atmosphere. Scientists wonder if there might be life-forms beyond our ability to detect. The Bible assures us that such beings do indeed exist. But they are not the products of evolution. Like all life in the universe, in whatever form, they came from the Source of life, Jehovah God. He is a spirit Being, and he has created myriads of other spirit beings of different types: angels, cherubs, and seraphs. They perform different work and functions in his intricate heavenly organization.—Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 19:14.
Does that mean, then, that God created all those countless millions of suns (and planets if they exist) for no purpose? Not at all. While we know, considering the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, that the earth is the only inhabited planet in the universe right now, and while we know, too, that it will forever stand unique as the planet where the Creator vindicated the rightfulness of his rulership, what the future holds we do not know.
How has mankind responded to the only genuine extraterrestrial message? How do humans, by and large, respond to the Bible? They ignore it. They deliberately misapply it to their own ends. They insult its Sender with an appalling array of baseless and superstitious teachings. They even call it a fraud and deny the very existence of its Sender. Needless to say, our Creator has been far from pleased with humanity’s response. Still, he has continued to communicate. By means of his Word, he is educating millions of people today in the ways of peace. These people represent Jehovah and carry his communications to the world. But only a tiny minority of mankind listens to them. The world in general turns a deaf ear.—Isaiah 2:2-4; Matthew 24:14.
Happily, though, each of us can communicate with the greatest Being in the universe, and this without expensive technology, without waiting ages for messages to cross the void of space. You can listen now by studying your Bible and proving for yourself whether it does indeed come from a superhuman Source. You can respond by prayer and by the way you live your life. We are not alone. Our Creator promises that “he is not far off from each one of us.” Acts 17:27; see also 1 Chronicles 28:9.
Braxton, Jehovah has not finished communicating with humanity either. He has promised to change drastically the course of world history, to end mankind’s headlong rush toward self-destruction by completely dismantling this unworkable system of things and replacing it with a government of his own making, one that will really work for the good of all. (Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 9:6, 7) Yes, the next communication from the greatest extraterrestrial Intelligence promises to come in the form of action, not words.—2 Thessalonians 1:6-9.