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Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial life

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Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial life
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MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 836Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial life

Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial life?

That is a question from Kirk Durston over at the antievolutionnews. The reasoning?
Kirk Durston wrote:If we were to discover extraterrestrial life, however, then we would have had to get mind-staggeringly lucky two times! Like the forensic detectives at the lotteries commission, a thinking person would have to start operating on the well-founded suspicion that “something is going on.”

On the other hand, the existence of life and beauty elsewhere in the universe is not at all surprising under the hypothesis of a Creator who is the Artist of Hidden Beauty. Indeed, logic dictates the existence of a supernatural creator, as I have shown here,6 and our observations of the universe indicate it was specifically designed to support life.

Conclusion:

The discovery of extraterrestrial life would be the death knell for atheism, at least for the thinking atheist. On the other hand, such a discovery should not be in the least surprising, if there is a supernatural Creator who has designed the universe to support life, and has brought about life and beauty throughout the universe, even if no human ever gets to see it.

So it would be unbelievably lucky for life to have developped in two different places in the universe therefore god...

But Mr. Durston has some questions:
Kirk Durston wrote:Consideration of alien beings with eternal souls does raise some deeper issues, however space here prevents me from an adequate discussion of this possibility. Suffice it to say that, from my own Christian perspective, plant and animal life on other planets would not be in the least surprising, God being the Artist that He is.

Well no need to wonder Mr. Durston, Ken Ham to the rescue!

Ken Ham wrote:Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe. ...

Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space. I certainly suspect not. The Earth was created for human life. And the sun and moon were created for signs and our seasons—and to declare the glory of God.

And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin—the Savior of mankind.

Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.

An understanding of the gospel makes it clear that salvation through Christ is only for the Adamic race—human beings who are all descendants of Adam.


So to resume...
Kirk Durston wrote:Suffice it to say that, from my own Christian perspective, plant and animal life on other planets would not be in the least surprising, God being the Artist that He is.


Ken Ham wrote:Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe.

If we do find extraterrestrial life, it was expected because god.
If do not find extraterrestrial life, it was expected because god.

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https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/06/could-atheism-survive-the-discovery-of-extraterrestrial-life/
https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2014/07/20/well-find-a-new-earth-within-20-years/
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Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:41 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Surely it would undermine Christianity somewhat to discover intelligent life other than humans, unless ET came along with a copy of the NT and a cross around their neck.
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Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:20 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 775Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Yes.

Next question please.
Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:46 am
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2561Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Well....

I think Ken Ham clearly has the more accurate view on what the Bible says about this subject.

But man... now I have yet another reason to REALLY wish for first contact by an intelligent alien species.
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Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:31 pm
Steelmage99Posts: 170Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 9:43 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

In defense of Ken Ham (I have a hard time believing I just said that) at least he takes a somewhat clear position.

Not an entirely wishy washy non-statement like most religious people.
Blunder that theists make all the time;

Pretending to know what other people think.
Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:37 pm
leroyPosts: 1754Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

I would say that the existence of extraterrestrial life would be a theologically neutral discovery.


if nature created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice

if an designer created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:47 pm
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1174Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:I would say that the existence of extraterrestrial life would be a theologically neutral discovery.


if nature created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice

if an designer created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice.

I agree with that. In fact I don't think the mere existence of life is itself evidence for or against theism. Because I actually dont' know anything about what Gods spend their time doing. Is it the case that gods, in general, would want to create life? I have no idea.
Is it the case, in general, that "natural" universes contain life? I have no idea. WIthout knowing the answer to both these questions, it is logically impossible to determine whether life is evidence for or against theism or atheism.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:46 pm
leroyPosts: 1754Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Rumraket wrote:
leroy wrote:I would say that the existence of extraterrestrial life would be a theologically neutral discovery.


if nature created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice

if an designer created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice.

I agree with that. In fact I don't think the mere existence of life is itself evidence for or against theism. Because I actually dont' know anything about what Gods spend their time doing. Is it the case that gods, in general, would want to create life? I have no idea.
Is it the case, in general, that "natural" universes contain life? I have no idea. WIthout knowing the answer to both these questions, it is logically impossible to determine whether life is evidence for or against theism or atheism.



what if these Aliens have genetic material in common with organisms from these planet? ;.............would that have some important implication related to the theory of evolution ?
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:40 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:I would say that the existence of extraterrestrial life would be a theologically neutral discovery.


Can't be according to your own beliefs. You must-needs believe that God crafted them just as lovingly. But, as HE didn't tell you about them in the Bible, presumably there are quintillions of Bibles and quintillions of Jesus's dying for their sins.


leroy wrote:If nature created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice


To unclunk... if life is natural in origin, then the universe is that origin. Once means it's possible. The rest is basically cosmic billiards.


leroy wrote:if an designer created intelligent life once it could have (or have not) created life twice.


Your argument is flawed. In your first sentence you said that extraterrestrial life is theologically neutral. That doesn't mean that either God created them or not - of course, you are obliged to believe that God created them. You believe God created the entire universe and everything in in, including Platonic ideals hanging in probability space. So obviously, it's not remotely neutral theologically speaking - it's business as usual.

Personally, I welcome our future noodly-appendaged Last Ever Prophet... Promise.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:49 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:[
what if these Aliens have genetic material in common with organisms from these planet? ;.............would that have some important implication related to the theory of evolution ?


Not for the theory of evolution, clearly, as the theory of evolution is about how speciation occurs.

Please don't tell me you're arguing with the heathens about Biological science while simultaneously under the impression that the theory of evolution is mechanically equivalent to Pokemon.

Abiogenesis is probably what you're after.

Notice any final theories of abiogenesis recently?

No.

What it would mean is WOOOOOOOHHHHOIOOOOOOOOO WOW WOWOW WO WOW WOW WO WW FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU WOOOOOOOWWWWW!

That's what it would mean to all biological scientists. Jesus on a fucking pogo stick, that'd be insane.

Of course, it would mean either they, we, or both originated genetically somewhere else, but evolution still occurred regardless.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:53 pm
leroyPosts: 1754Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Sparhafoc wrote:
leroy wrote:I would say that the existence of extraterrestrial life would be a theologically neutral discovery.


Can't be according to your own beliefs. You must-needs believe that God crafted them just as lovingly. But, as HE didn't tell you about them in the Bible, presumably there are quintillions of Bibles and quintillions of Jesus's dying for their sins.



maybe these aliens, wont have an analogous relationship with God, maybe they would be like other animals


maybe they are analogous to humans and God provided some other path of salvation

maybe they don't require salvation, maybe they are not sinners


I honestly don't see, how could you go from aliens exist therefore Jesus didn't resurrect
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:11 pm
leroyPosts: 1754Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Sparhafoc wrote:
leroy wrote:[
what if these Aliens have genetic material in common with organisms from these planet? ;.............would that have some important implication related to the theory of evolution ?


Not for the theory of evolution, clearly, as the theory of evolution is about how speciation occurs.

Please don't tell me you're arguing with the heathens about Biological science while simultaneously under the impression that the theory of evolution is mechanically equivalent to Pokemon.

Abiogenesis is probably what you're after.

Notice any final theories of abiogenesis recently?

No.

What it would mean is WOOOOOOOHHHHOIOOOOOOOOO WOW WOWOW WO WOW WOW WO WW FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU WOOOOOOOWWWWW!

That's what it would mean to all biological scientists. Jesus on a fucking pogo stick, that'd be insane.

Of course, it would mean either they, we, or both originated genetically somewhere else, but evolution still occurred regardless.




could an alien that evolved independently from organisms in this planet could have a significan portion of genetic similarities with humans ? that is what I meant.



I honestly think that this is a valid and good question, and if I where to bet, I would say that some members form this forum would agree that it is worth discussing,
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:16 pm
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1174Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:
Rumraket wrote:I agree with that. In fact I don't think the mere existence of life is itself evidence for or against theism. Because I actually dont' know anything about what Gods spend their time doing. Is it the case that gods, in general, would want to create life? I have no idea.
Is it the case, in general, that "natural" universes contain life? I have no idea. WIthout knowing the answer to both these questions, it is logically impossible to determine whether life is evidence for or against theism or atheism.



what if these Aliens have genetic material in common with organisms from these planet? ;.............would that have some important implication related to the theory of evolution ?

You're going to have to be more specific with what you mean by "genetic material in common". Do you mean they also have the mechanism of inheritance be based on DNA, or do you mean more specifically that they have particular genes also found in life on Earth?
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:22 pm
leroyPosts: 1754Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Rumraket wrote:[You're going to have to be more specific with what you mean by "genetic material in common". Do you mean they also have the mechanism of inheritance be based on DNA, or do you mean more specifically that they have particular genes also found in life on Earth?



the second .....this is what I meant

or do you mean more specifically that they have particular genes also found in life on Earth?
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:34 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:could an alien that evolved independently from organisms in this planet could have a significan portion of genetic similarities with humans ? that is what I meant.


I honestly think that this is a valid and good question, and if I where to bet, I would say that some members form this forum would agree that it is worth discussing,



Honestly, mate. You've contradicted yourself.

It is the overarching point I want to make to you. You know, I think, that your knowledge and understanding of evolution is subpar for what you want to do with that knowledge if you had it.

The problem is that once you've got that knowledge, then you'll no longer deny it because evolution is so simple, and so well established.

Anyway, to explain in really overly simple levels of detail.

Firstly, 'genetic material' as mentioned before is a confusion. Our genetic material is DNA. Is it likely that other organisms have some chemical unit of inheritance? Yes. Is it likely to be the same as DNA, not really. It's possible, but not likely.

Secondly, how could life which evolved on another planet, under different conditions, with an entirely different contingent history have any genetic similarities? It makes no sense at all. To a first order of approximation, no, it's impossible. However, it's a big universe. Perhaps a planet somewhere has a species whose unit of inheritance happens to have the same base chemicals as our DNA, and who happens to have a string of those base chemicals in the same order coding for the same protein at the same time in the development cycle. Of course, this doesn't mean that the result would have any similarity at all because any given gene is not operating in isolation, but rather is operating in an environment of other protein coding genes, genes which block certain genes, genes which heighten the effect of another gene, genes that only work in tandem and so on and so on and so on.

Could they share the same basic anatomical forms? Yes, that's possible. There are only a certain number of ways to move efficiently in a given medium, for example, so on any planet that evolves a creature which inhabits a water ocean is likely (although far from guaranteed) to have an overall anatomical morphology that has an essential similarity to fish thanks to the universal laws in operation there. It's just the more efficient shape and natural selection will offer benefits to those who pay less of their hard earned nutrients to move somewhere else looking for nutrients.

So possible? Well, yes. It's like mixing up all the pieces of every Risk game ever made, then pulling out a streak of colours 50 million pieces long and that happening to be the same as some predecided streak of colours.

Do it long enough and often enough, then the chance might even be 1. The power of iteration.

However, to the best explanation, no not really as that's just not how it works. It's not that it's a bad question (any question which results in the truth is a good question), it's that the question is based on a misapprehension. Have you ever heard the expression 'not even wrong'?
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Last edited by Sparhafoc on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:35 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:
Rumraket wrote:[You're going to have to be more specific with what you mean by "genetic material in common". Do you mean they also have the mechanism of inheritance be based on DNA, or do you mean more specifically that they have particular genes also found in life on Earth?



the second .....this is what I meant

or do you mean more specifically that they have particular genes also found in life on Earth?



Better yet.

In your words, can you tell us what you think a gene is.

This is not a gotcha. It's Socratic, innit?

The point being that I don't think that word means what you think that word means.

As with the term 'gene', the answer is 'it depends'.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:37 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:maybe these aliens, wont have an analogous relationship with God, maybe they would be like other animals


/shudder

Can we leave your personal creepy exegesis out of this.

You don't even know any gods exist, stop pretending you know what this purported being's purported views of different animals is.

That's centuries of animal torment in a nutshell. Don't blindly regurgitate it, cheers.


leroy wrote:maybe they are analogous to humans and God provided some other path of salvation

maybe they don't require salvation, maybe they are not sinners


Or maybe god goes round every planet contriving stupid little mind-games to trick the naive little squishy meat-bags into being indebted to it in order to bully them into his best price salvation deals. Two for one!

Maybes are easy when there's no bar of evidence, no personal integrity as stake, where the reward is crafting a nice little pat idea.


leroy wrote:I honestly don't see, how could you go from aliens exist therefore Jesus didn't resurrect


That's amazing that you don't see it!

Nor do I.

Where did that conversation occur?

You must have misread my post. I unarguably said that there needed to be quintillions of Jesus dying for sins, not that the bogus, hokum, con-of-the-milennia magical story of 1st century ignorance is a myth that never happened. Which, incidentally, it actually is.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:09 pm
leroyPosts: 1754Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

Sparhafoc wrote:You must have misread my post. I unarguably said that there needed to be quintillions of Jesus dying for sins, not that the bogus, hokum, con-of-the-milennia magical story of 1st century ignorance is a myth that never happened. Which, incidentally, it actually is.



and why would that be a problem for God, or for my religion? sure God could have send an other "Jesus" to save aliens, or he could have provided some other path of salvation, or maybe the aliens don't need to be saved.



the truth of Christianity (at least my view) depends on whether if Jesus resurrected or not, finding aliens is simply irrelevant,
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:20 pm
Bango SkankPosts: 176Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:15 amLocation: Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:the truth of Christianity (at least my view) depends on whether if Jesus resurrected or not, finding aliens is simply irrelevant,


One problem could be that supposed alien species have a completely different religion that contradicts with yours.

Or maybe there isn't even religions built around clearly existing gods in some part of the universe. Maybe your god was originally with them, but decided to leave to some remote area (this solar system) so it can create a quiet , undisturbed place for it's self worship and praise.
"There are those to whom knowledge is a shield, and those to whom it is a weapon. Neither view is balanced, but one is less unwise."
Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:32 am
SparhafocPosts: 1507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Could atheism survive the discovery of extraterrestrial

leroy wrote:and why would that be a problem for God, or for my religion?


Another bizarre question that doesn't arise from anything I wrote.

What actually happened is that you said the discovery of alien life would be theologically neutral, and my point is that it wouldn't be in the slightest bit theologically neutral (assuming you know your own religion's theology) - I, of course, never suggested it would be a 'problem'.

I really do think I am quite clear in my written word, and I really don't see as you can ignore what I wrote in order to suggest the opposite. I did not say it was a problem, so I am not going to respond to a question asking me why I think it would be a problem. Unless, of course, we're practicing argumentation rather than honestly stating our own opinion?

I could, of course, argue that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would be a problem for Christianity if you want me to? Just let me know what position I can hold that's most convenient for what you want to argue. :D


leroy wrote:the truth of Christianity (at least my view) depends on whether if Jesus resurrected or not, finding aliens is simply irrelevant,


Well, Jesus wasn't resurrected because resurrection is a magical fairy tale to convince the illiterate people of the Classical Age that humans were special. They believed it because they had no knowledge of how nature operates, operated under the presupposition that a tinkering overbeing was at work, and the consequent two thousand years have offered not a single jot of evidence of the existence of this alleged being who is everywhere and who tinkers with the laws of the universe.

In other words, I'd put my money on a horse that isn't 2000 years dead and which never had any legs in the first place.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:38 am
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