I have been reading a fascinating book called “Alien Intrusion” by creationist Gary Bates, of Creation Ministries International (CMI). I have written articles for CMI for years. I thought it a bit puzzling several years ago when I heard about a creationist writing a book on UFOs. The book was originally published in 2004 and later revised and expanded. So I finally got around to reading it on my Kindle. I would say this is a great book. This book brings a realism and spiritual clarity to an issue that is very muddled and confused in the minds of many Christians. The subtitle is “UFOs and the Evolution Connection.” I remember when I was a teenager being somewhat interested in stories about UFO sightings, but it was just a curious interest that faded as I learned more about science. We live in a world that either denys the supernatural altogether, as atheists do, or which pursues the supernatural in dangerous occultic ways. In the minds of many people, the stories common in “science fiction” movies and TV tend to blend the occultic supernatural and fantasy hopes of what science might do in the future. Science fiction has built up people’s hopes so that people have unrealistic expectations of what science can do. The New Age movement has explored Eastern mystical philosophies and blended them with other ideas, sometimes from science fiction. Evolution has often been blended with New Age thinking as well as with any religion (including Christianity). The original meaning of the term “UFO” as “Unidentified Flying Object” has almost been forgotten in the modern way of thinking. It is almost always assumed to mean a sighting or experience with intelligent alien beings from space. The scientific community has for years been in the awkward position of believing there is life in space on one hand, but yet having to debunk and speak against the claims of people reporting UFO experiences on the other. Science promotes the idea of life in space by virtue of its faith in evolution. If life evolved on planet Earth, then in billions of years of time in the universe, with many planets orbiting other stars, it seems to many that the odds are life would evolve somewhere besides just on Earth.
I have come to reconsider the UFO issue after doing research into extrasolar planets. I have written a number of technical and nontechnical articles about extrasolar planets (planets orbiting other stars) in the Journal of Creation, on the website of CMI, and for the website of Answers in Genesis. The search for Earth-like planets is one of the hottest most fast-paced areas of research in astronomy. I used to say extrasolar planets are discovered at about an average rate of 1 or 2 per month. But that is way out of date today after the Kepler space telescope, and various other research programs that are in operation. The search for possible extrasolar planets is now automated by computers to some extent, so the data collection for it happens every night even without human involvement. There is a great deal of interest in the scientific community in finding an Earth-like planet. I accept that there is valid evidence for the existence of extrasolar planets. There are a few thousand of them that have been confirmed to exist by multiple research teams or multiple detection methods, more that are less confirmed. None of them seem much like Earth though.
There may be a few exoplanets that liquid water could exist on, though that doesn’t mean there is actual evidence of water on them necessarily. Even if there were liquid water on an exoplanet, that doesn’t mean that life would evolve there or survive there. I would not be surprised if there is water on some extrasolar planets. Also, because various organic chemicals can form in space or near stars by known processes, I would not be surprised if there were evidence of some organic chemicals on extrasolar planets. Our own solar system planets Jupiter and Saturn have organic chemicals and water and scientists don’t expect life to be there. There are a number of serious problems with the theories of the origin of extrasolar planets which I have written about. As a result of these problems, I believe they were created only several thousand years ago in the creation week according to Genesis. Even if there were a planet really like Earth that is ideally suited to life, that doesn’t mean life would evolve there. Life did not evolve on Earth and it wouldn’t evolve on any other planet either. Scientists most certainly have not explained how even a “simple” cell could come about on Earth from chemicals. So in many ways the search for an Earth-like planet may be a false hope, though it is bound to discover interesting planets God made. It also underscores how unique and special our own planet is.
In Alien Intrusion, Gary Bates deals realistically with the various cases of UFO reports, without just dismissing them. He also brings a spiritual perspective on them by showing how UFO experiences tend to deceive people and this seems to be their deliberate goal. I would summarize some of the main ideas in the book this way. Well over 90% of reported UFO sightings are relatively easily explicable as known natural phenomena, or man made aircraft, balloons, or something else that is known. Then there are many cases where the people reporting it have faulty memories of it, or they don’t have all the facts, or they are not honest about what happened. There are many cases of fraud in UFO reports as well, perpetrated just to sell the story. But when you add up all the explicable cases and frauds, this does not account for them all. There are a few percent that are hard to explain. Some of the hard to explain sightings do have some kind of physical evidence associated with them. Sighted UFOs also seem to be able to do things that are physically impossible, like turning at high speed without slowing down, moving through walls, dematerializing and rematerializing, changing shape, merging together, etc. (Note that I would not consider crop circles to be valid evidence.) The most perplexing cases are the abduction stories. I used to think of these as mostly frauds. Some may be frauds but I now doubt this explains many of them. There are actually millions of people who have claimed to be abducted by aliens. Even if these people don’t know what actually happened we should not just dismiss the story because they have suffered from these experiences. Some of these people have real injuries or mutilation from the experience which they’ve had to get medical treatment for. These people have been traumatized in some way and they do need answers.
On the other hand, the actual evidence for aliens from space is nil. There’s never been any evidence of alien radio transmissions from space, from the SETI program. There’s never been physical evidence in our solar system like remains of alien spacecraft, structures built by aliens, exhaust trails from spacecraft, or alien spacecraft detected in motion in space. Note that today there are various computer automated searches for various objects in space that could accidentally detect moving spacecraft if they were bright enough or large enough. Today CCD detector devices can see Kuiper belt objects moving as far as about 60 A.U. distance from the Sun (far beyond Pluto). Thus it is legitimate to ask “If their spacecraft are out there, why haven’t we seen their spacecraft?” I think that it would be impossible for ANY conceivable aliens of ANY level of technology to cross intergalactic space. The difficulties with such space travel are so great that I think any hope of intergalactic travel is false. See for example this article on creation.com about space travel problems. Even many in the sciences are unrealistic about this. Even human travel to nearby stars in our galaxy may be impossible, but I suspect we could send unmanned probes to nearby stars. I have been a longtime fan of Star Trek and other science fiction, but I think such ideas are completely unrealistic about both science and about humanity. They do make entertaining fiction though. The hope for our future is not in space or someone from space, it is Jesus Christ. This answer is not something we have go into space to find, we can find it right here where we are.
One of the strengths of Bates’ book is his analysis of abduction experiences. There is a possibility that is not often considered by most people that can explain abductions. One idea on UFOs is that they are extraterrestrial aliens from space. Another is that they are interdimensional beings that appear in our world. The interdimensional idea is not too unlike the idea that they are demons. Angels and demons are often not believed in by many today, yet their existence is affirmed by the Bible clearly. Bates makes a case that the bizarre things done by the “aliens” could be understood in terms of them being demons who are deceiving people. But there is also a possibility that people with claims of alien abduction experiences have been hypnotized and had false memories induced. There may be reason to say that demons could induce false memories in people by deliberately using hypnosis and other means to deceive them. It is also possible demons could do physical harm to humans because demons could possibly appear in physical form. Alien abduction accounts have similarities to various historical accounts of people encountering demons. This is possible Biblically and makes the Bible relevant to abduction stories. But, aliens from space does not fit with a Biblical world view in my opinion. I am impressed with the way Bates puts together logical connections between alien sightings or abduction experiences and the possibility of them being demons. I had heard of Christian authors suggesting this before, but I had not seen someone make a good case for it until this book. There are a number of people who have made the “alien” abductions stop by praying to Jesus for help or calling on Jesus. There was one group of UFO researchers, not Christians, who seriously researched this. However this doesn’t work for some people, it may relate to the genuineness of their faith and whether they know enough to call on Jesus. The “aliens” also often twist the Bible and try to convince people of an elaborate deception about aliens trying to direct human events or help humans advance in some way. It is all a lie to deceive people and keep them from believing the Bible. If most people don’t believe in demons, that may not matter to the demons if the demons can successfully deceive people so that humans will not believe in Jesus Christ and the Bible. The idea of space aliens is a myth apparently taken advantage of by demons to keep people from faith in Christ. It is a form of deception tailored to people in the modern world.
Does the Bible say anything against believing in intelligent aliens from space? The Bible is not explicit about this but you can put a few things together logically and see that the Bible does not agree with there being intelligent aliens from space. This is also dealt with clearly and carefully by Bates. Click here to go to an article by Bates about whether God created life on other planets. I will just point out part of what he covers. In the beginning of mankind’s history, from Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve sinned against God and this had effects on nature itself. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, as well as in some Old Testament passages, it says God will do away with the present heavens and Earth and create a new heavens and a new Earth. The idea behind this is that everything created is spoiled or corrupted by mankind’s sin. So, if there were intelligent aliens in space, such as the Vulcans in Star Trek, Adam and Eve’s sin in the beginning would have to have affected the Vulcans. Thus the aliens would be corrupted by mankind’s sin on Earth and have no way of redemption from it. Christ is called the “last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45. Jesus can die in our place and pay for our sin because he is a descendant of Adam (through his mother Mary). His death on Earth as a son of Adam would not cover the death of someone on another world in space who was not of Adam. Also, theologically it is probably not an option for Jesus to be born on every extraterrestrial world as one of them and die again and again. His death had to be once for all.
Then think about the end of history again. If there were aliens in space who didn’t know anything about Earth, why would their world be destroyed because of what happened in Earth history? It would seem unjust and unreasonable for God to do this to sentient beings on other worlds. The Bible is clear in the Old Testament and in Revelation that in the future the heavens will no longer exist as now and will be replaced by a new heavens. Isaiah 34:3 says “All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine…” See Revelation 21:1 on the new heaven and Earth. So any worlds in space that might have life on them would be destroyed when God destroys or dismantles the present universe to recreate it. Thus the entire universe has been corrupted by mankind’s sin on planet Earth and all of it will be recreated to complete God’s plan of redemption. If there is no intelligent life on other planets, what about primitive life or bacterial life? All life on Earth, from bacteria to whales, exists for mankind’s benefit. So I see no real purpose for lower life forms to exist on other worlds in space. But this is not as clear as the issue of intelligent life in space.
In sum, I would recommend Gary Bates book highly. I would also recommend it to people who have had frightening UFO experiences who are trying to sort out the meaning of what happened.