May 20, 2012

Christianity – Anthropocentric or Universal IV: If God Made Everything, Does That Include Life Off of Earth? (Slice of PIE)

Short answer: yes.

This is where I will get in trouble with Christians and materialists. The vast majority of Christians believe that Humans are it. This is the definition of “anthropocentric: regarding humans as the final aim of the universe” that a reader five years ago suggested I take in order to narrow down my argument to a practical, useable tenet. Most Christians, at least in the published Christian world (I don’t know what all Christians think, but in my experience, the majority when asked will state the Humans are all the intelligent life there is in the Universe.

A materialist most likely will agree with the Carl Sagan character who says in CONTACT (movie), “[the child ‘Dr. Eleanor Arroway’ (played by Jodie Foster), ‘…asks her father if life exists out in the Universe, to which he responds: “Well, if there wasn’t, it’d be an awful waste of space.”’ (Hollywood released a movie (on July 11, 1997) based on Sagan’s novel, Contact (1985). The film’s central character, is surely the embodiment of the formative experiences, philosophical perspectives, and spiritual beliefs of Sagan himself.” While the exact wording isn’t in Sagan’s book, CONTACT, I have never seen anyone deny that this phrase didn’t embody his intent.
However, there’s no evidence that there is life off of Earth at this point. That fact strengthens the Christian stance and weakens the materialists stance.

Recently, I have seen more Christians willing to accept the possibility of non-intelligent life in the Universe and the Vatican has granted that it is possible and that it does not contradict the doctrine of the Catholic Church, it’s still a minority point of view.

Also, materialists are generally of the opinion that the discovery of intelligent life in the Universe will cause the collapse of Christianity, and while some have a more charitable opinion (, it seems that many do not (

So in general, God made the Universe and created other life as well. A quote from the Bible supports this: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so.” (Genesis 1:14-15).

“And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.’  So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.’ And there was evening, and there was morning —the fifth day. And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1: 20-25) I would argue – though I’m sure some will protest – that nowhere in these verses does it read that God created life on Earth only. The Hebrew word for earth here is not a planetary name, it’s the word for “matter” or “dirt” and might be interpreted to mean anywhere that has dirt or matter.

Astronomers are very clear now that there is dirt elsewhere in the Universe.

To exobiologists it’s a natural extension to believe that life exists elsewhere. For Christians, it should be a natural extension to believe that life exists elsewhere as well.

I do. You?

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