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Why haven’t we heard from ET?

Some 70 years ago physicist Enrico Fermi looked up at the stars and wondered where everyone was at. With billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, it seemed inconceivable to him that ours would be the only planet to evolve life. So where was everyone?

Fermi’s Paradox

His query is now called Fermi’s Paradox, and on March 18 a group of about 60 scientists met in Paris to share their latest theories as to why we haven’t heard from any of our galactic neighbors. Live Science’s Mindy Weisberger shared some of their creative ideas:

  • The “zoo hypothesis” – Earth is like a galactic animal reserve where aliens are leaving us alone to be observed in our natural habitat.
  • We’ve been quarantined – aliens know about us, but don’t like us.
  • Aliens are trapped by their superplanets’ intense gravity and they can’t come out to meet us.
  • Aliens have come and gone, dying off before we had a chance to connect with them.

Three days after the Paris conference Cosmos dug deeper into Fermi’s Paradox with an even more vexing question: where are all the “von Newmann probes”?

Von Newmann probe

What’s a von Newmann probe, you ask? Well, back in the 1960s, mathematician John von Newmann argued that a sufficiently advanced civilization would be able to build a space probe that could mine raw materials on other planets and use those to make replicas of itself. These replicas would, in turn, build other copies. And as the process repeated, the number and spread of these self-replicating “von Newmann probes” would expand exponentially until, as Cosmos’ Lauren Fuge put it, “in a relatively short space of time – perhaps as little as 10 million years – the galaxy would be teeming with these exploratory machines.”

But there are no hordes, teeming or otherwise. So, again, where is everyone?

The Cosmos article offered, as a possible explanation, astrophysicist Duncan Forgan’s “predator-prey hypothesis,” soon to be published in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Astrobiology. Forgan argues that “self-replication could result in encoding errors” and that maybe some of these coding errors could lead to some of these probes taking a predatory turn. If they did, then perhaps the reason we don’t see these teeming hordes is because the predatory probes are hunting down and destroying the other probes.

Hmmm….

While these various hypotheses make for incredibly creative speculation, they all share one thing in common: there are no facts to back them up. In fact, the only “evidence” for any of these theories is that aliens haven’t contacted us.

So why did scientists bother meeting to swap what amounts to untestable, unverifiable, just-so stories? Why did Live Science and other media outlets bother covering the Paris event? And why did Cosmos think Forgan’s theory worth sharing? 

They covered them because these stories – to the undiscerning – seem to offer an explanation to Fermi’s Paradox and the problem it presents to evolutionary theory. But they’re just stories. And what does it say about the theory if its defenders are willing to hype stories that the public will mistake for scientific, factual, or evidence-based?

If luck can do it, why not the best and brightest?

Here’s a different sort of hypothesis to consider: what if ET just isn’t out there? What if life, instead of being easy to come by, only happens via miraculous means? And God only did so here on Earth?

It’s worth noting that there is nothing in the Bible that speaks against the possibility of life being on other planets. It would be hard to reconcile intelligent life with the Bible – here on Earth all Mankind fell through Adam, and Jesus became Man to save us, so how could intelligent aliens have any part of that? But there wouldn’t seem a biblical problem with microscopic or even animal life existing elsewhere in the universe.

But while the Bible allows for life on other planets, evolution would seem to demand it – if life can just happen, then someone else should be out there. It’s only when life is miraculous that it becomes understandable that it might be rare.

Now here’s a question for our evolutionary friends: if we suppose that dumb, unplanned, undirected luck can create life, why can’t the world’s most brilliant minds, using available blueprints (from living creatures), and working with quadrillions-of-calculations-per-second supercomputers, in laboratories staffed with every device and chemical they could possibly want, manage to make even a single living cell? If living things can come about by chance, why hasn’t anyone created them on purpose?

Looking at evolutionists’ still-lifeless labs we can’t help but ask again: where is everyone?

*****

In 2013 cartoonist Zach Weinersmith crafted a cartoon and gave the talk below on his “Infantapaulting Hypothesis” in which he theorized that the reasons babies are so aerodynamic is because they used to be catapulted into neighboring villages, to increase their chances of finding a mate among a more genetically diverse population. He was satirizing the tendency among evolutionists to indulge in “just-so stories” – to indulge in creative hypotheses that might fit the available evidence but which are not testable. If a fellow who still believes in Darwin’s theory can be this brilliant, insightful, and hilarious in exposing evolutionary flaws, can creationists take this further and be even funnier?   


Up Next


Adult non-fiction

Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection

by Gary Bates 2004 / 382 pages Are people actually being abducted by aliens? That’s the question being asked by this book…and the recently released documentary based on it. The author is Christian, so you might expect he’d answer with an emphatic “no” but Gary Bates response could best be summarized as, “sort of.” The way the book is structured, Alien Intrusion could be given to anyone, Christian or not. The cover and first few chapters hardly give a hint that this is a Christian book since, initially, it seems to be making a case for UFO’s and aliens. Bates notes that millions of people, including a past president of the United States, claim to have seen a UFO, and he discusses how many popular TV shows, likes Star Trek and various science fiction movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey assume that aliens are somewhere out there. But after delving into what people think about aliens and UFOs the author then begins, step by step, to explain why aliens could not possibly be visiting us from other planets. Most of the reasons are simply practical – the distances are too far and the energy needed simply too immense. Despite the fact that it is physically impossible for aliens to be visiting us, the author doesn’t believe that every story of alien abduction is simply a lie or a delusion. After debunking many famous “UFOlogists” Bates notes that there are still too many ordinary folks making abduction claims – people who have nothing to gain, and personal credibility to lose – to simply dismiss the phenomenon altogether. This is where the book starts to become clearly Christian. The author argues that it is only now that our world has embraced evolution (and dismissed God) that UFO sightings have become so prevalent. There is also a strong correlation between UFO belief and occult experimentation – many of the more famous “UFOlogists” have also dabbled in the “dark arts.” It is worth noting, too, that the messages “aliens” pass on are often direct attacks on the Bible, portraying Jesus not as the Son of God, but merely as some advanced alien. So are people being abducted by aliens? Bates argues that while some people may indeed be having these encounters it is not with aliens but rather with demons masquerading as extraterrestrials. Now, I’ve not yet seen the 2018 documentary of the same name, but the trailer (see below) looks promising. I suspect that it follows the same sort of format, first presenting the evidence for an alien intrusion, before then explaining why it just isn’t so. As for the book, it is fantastic, and a great gift for anyone interested in science fiction. Bates employing a solid Christian worldview to separate the fact from the fiction. https://youtu.be/0ZxYkM7PB7U...


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