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Ken Ham’s Idiotic Bleatings About SETI

It seems that there is nothing that Ken Ham’s cartoonishly simplistic ideas about what his enemies believe can’t explain. Charles Darwin has invaded everything, according to Ham, even forcing us to look for evidence of extra-terrestrial life.

I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. Even Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” in our recent debate, happily gloated about tax dollars being spent toward this effort. And now, secular scientists are at it again.

Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions! The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!

Yes, yes, yes, it’s all the fault of that crafty devil. Or here’s an alternate hypothesis: It’s a very natural question, when we find that the universe is so vast, to ask whether there may be life elsewhere. It’s a question that fascinates Christians as well as atheists, of course. But Ham, as always, prefers ideas that are so simpleminded that they would embarrass a five-year old.

You see, according to the secular, evolutionary worldview there must be other habited worlds out there. As the head of NASA, Charles Borden, puts it, “It’s highly improbable in the limitless vastness of the universe that we humans stand alone.” Secularists cannot allow earth to be special or unique—that’s a biblical idea (Isaiah 45:18). If life evolved here, it simply must have evolved elsewhere they believe.

Don’t you love being told what you must believe by people who don’t know you? I have no idea whether it’s highly improbable for there not to be life out there or not; it depends entirely on what variables and assumptions one builds in to such a probability equation. It’s entirely possible that Earth is the only planet on which life is found. It’s entirely possible that it is found elsewhere. But neither of those facts will have any effect at all on the undeniable reality that life evolved on this planet.

The Bible, in sharp contrast to the secular worldview, teaches that earth was specially created, that it is unique and the focus of God’s attention (Isaiah 66:1 and Psalm 115:16). 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. (There are other theological problems with intelligent alien life that you can read about here)

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.

Who suggests such a thing? This is the very old “this scientific idea conflicts with my religious beliefs, therefore it is wrong” argument. Guess what? That argument has never been true. Not once.

Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    Of course, 30 years ago, the antecedents of Hambone were claiming that the Solar System was the only such system in the universe and that no other planets existed. Currently the number of exoplanets stands at nearly 2000.

  2. says

    I think he is worried that advanced alien civilizations will have found a way to remove sin thru technology and not need God. He is also probably worried that those aliens will have iron chariots.

  3. says

    Contra Ham, if anything, finding that life on Earth wasn’t unique (i.e. suppose we discovered mammals identical to those on Earth on some nearby planet) would be stronger evidence for supernatural action in the universe.

  4. dugglebogey says

    It never even occurred to me that there was an association between finding extraterrestrial intelligence interfered with the concept of religion.

    I just assumed when a life form was discovered on another planet, religionists would just say “Yeah, god made that too.”

  5. D. C. Sessions says

    Look at it this way: Ham has a real problem with the idea of a God who isn’t just a slightly-scaled-up version of himself. You know — Hercules, Zeus, that kind of thing.

    One who could author a Universe with tens of billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars, each with worlds of all possible kinds, built on units down to the Planck scale and with a crazy zoo of elementary particles and properties which interact in chaotic ways building up to scales beyond his imagination — this is a God far to great for Ham to contemplate.

    So, of course, he has to cut his own god down to size.

  6. scienceavenger says

    @4 You’re probably right. Few previous discoveries have been insurmountable for religion, surely this one won’t be either. But I’ll bet it increases the rate of departure from religion, and further reduces its appeal to future generations who know no other universe except one with life elsewhere.

    …when we find that the universe is so vast…

    One of the most insidious ways religious upbringings stunt people’s worldview is their underappreciation and inability to deal with vast quantities of time and space. Creationist children grow up thinking 10,000 years is a along time, and thus the time it took us to get to the civilization they take for granted was very short. Take their creation story: God created Adam and Eve (ie homo sapiens came to be), and they had sons Cain, who tended the fields, and Abel, who tended the flocks. That story just blipped over literally 95% of human history, since homo sapiens appeared ~200k years ago, and our beginnings of modern agriculture and animal domestication around 11,000 years ago.

    With a mindset like that, its no wonder that people like Ham can’t comprehend a galaxy 100,000 light years across (that’s about 600,000,000,000,000,000 miles), with 200,000,000,000 stars with likely at least as many planets, and a universe with billions of such galaxies. If he honestly considered it, his head would explode. Hell, it makes my head explode, and I’ve been honestly trying to grapple with them for years with a pretty math-oriented brain and education.

    And the real cost of this is the shaft of an education our children get, and I’m not just talking about evolution. The vast greatness and intrigue of human history is virtually unknown to most Americans because any teacher foolish enough to say “millions of years” in public school is liable to be beset upon by an army of Hams objecting to their blasphemy. You would be amazed at your children’s interest in the story, and how drab and stupid Noah’s ark sounds in comparison.

    Apologies for the length of this post, its a point of passion.

  7. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    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

    So they can be damned by Adam yet not saved by Jesus?

    Nice gerrymandering there.

  8. Mr Ed says

    The current working theory among xenobiologists is that there is intelligent life. These alien beings are peaceful, enlightened and very fearful of humankind. In an effort to prevent us from discovering them they have been trying to dumb us down and divert resources, they have done this by sending Ken Ham to us.

  9. raven says


    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

    So they can be damned by Adam yet not saved by Jesus?

    Good point.

    Ken Ham is just babbling here without a care that it might make sense.

    According to xian mythology, god is all powerful and can do anything!!! God could send squid jesus to the cephalopodoids swimming in methane seas around Kpax IV. Or he could just wave his hand and make them all saints.

    IMO, Ken Ham is more conperson than True Believer. He might believe his nonsense but he cares a lot more about making a lot of money. A lot of his family is on the payroll of AIG so I’m estimating they rake in around $1 million a year.

  10. John Pieret says

    Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space.

    I like the escape route in case we find evidence of life on Mars or Europa, etc.

    What might be interesting would be if we discovered an intelligent life form that had a story of a fall and redemption. While we certainly couldn’t extrapolate from human to non-human intelligence, it is a common enough theme among humans that it could just represent some sort of progression from intelligent beings, mostly ignorant about the natural world, through a stage of moral improvement where there should be a way to salvation.

    Just imagine Ham falling all over himself to crow that this evidence that Jesus is god and has visited all the Adam and Eves through out the universe.!

  11. Phillip IV says

    Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon”

    Although that would have been awesome!

    To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.

    I think aliens could easily respond to the gospel, assuming their species has an equivalent to laughter.

  12. caseloweraz says

    Ham: I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. Even Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” in our recent debate, happily gloated about tax dollars being spent toward this effort. And now, secular scientists are at it again.

    I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone here that Ken Ham is wrong about this point as well.

    The last time taxpayer money was spent on SETI was in 1993, when NASA’s Microwave Observing Project was cancelled by Congress.

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Don’t you love being told what you must believe by people who don’t know you?

    Nope.

    Yes, yes, yes, it’s all the fault of that crafty devil. Or here’s an alternate hypothesis: It’s a very natural question, when we find that the universe is so vast, to ask whether there may be life elsewhere. It’s a question that fascinates Christians as well as atheists, of course.

    I’ll go with the alternative here. Its much better.

    I have no idea whether it’s highly improbable for there not to be life out there or not; it depends entirely on what variables and assumptions one builds in to such a probability equation. It’s entirely possible that Earth is the only planet on which life is found. It’s entirely possible that it is found elsewhere. But neither of those facts will have any effect at all on the undeniable reality that life evolved on this planet.

    I think it is highly likely that life is common but that sentient technological species like us are exceedingly rare. I base this on a sample size of one* – Earth’s prehistory and history -but also on four and half billion years knowledge. ( Not personally – ain’t quite that old – but will take science’s word for it. Coz they know and hey, I’m saying this on the net.And I could microwave my beer if I were that way inclined which I’m not. Hot sake works tho’.)

    * Maybe more given we could add Mars, Europa, Titan, Enceladus, etc .. in our solar system to the list as they haven’t produced advanced technological species yet – but that’s a wee bit too early as there’s still so much we don’t know bout ‘em yet.

  14. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Who suggests such a thing?

    Ken Ham apparently.

    But then he’s a moran.

    Well, the non-Space Shuttle flying creationist kook Kenneth Ham is anyhow.

  15. says

    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.

    “And screw them, saith the LORD.”

     
    Tsu Dho Nimh “So they can be damned by Adam yet not saved by Jesus?”
    Now you’re just being ridiculous. They’re effected by sin, and, like all of God’s creatures, are born in to a life of suffering and fear in a Fallen Universe, followed by death, but they aren’t damned. Aliens don’t have souls. That’s why E.T., Ewoks, and the like all have such dead eyes.
    I mean, really. That’s just basic Theology.

  16. Childermass says

    Mr. Ham in his response to the various responses of his statements encouraged NASA to spend money looking for aliens so he can be proven “right” (presumably in 20 years). Of course most evolutionary biologists don’t think it is likely that we will find technological civilizations nearby (in astronomical terms) as it tends to be the astronomers who are wildly optimistic about finding ET nearby.

    (As an aside, this was started by stupid press stories that turn one guy at a conference predicting we can find exolife in 20 years into NASA making the prediction.)

  17. Trebuchet says

    Ham’s universe, of course, does not extend beyond six thousand light years from Earth. Not all THAT many planets in it.

  18. Childermass says

    “Just imagine Ham falling all over himself to crow that this evidence that Jesus is god and has visited all the Adam and Eves through out the universe.!”

    Science fiction and fantasy has on occasion covered this issue.

    But in any event there is a simple “solution” if ET is found to exist. Instead of a trinity have “God in an infinite number of persons, blessed infinity.” I never read guarantee by “God” in the Bible that “He” revealed everything. (Heck, the Trinity itself is extrabiblical though Ham will never admit that.) Ham can’t think of that because it implies he Bible is not the final revelation and has been pointed out many times before he and like minded people like their God small. (I recommend Pratchett’s Small Gods if anyone is interested.)

  19. Scientismist says

    Raven @ #9 and others here have expressed some surprise that Ken Ham would posit such limitations for his omnipotent God that He couldn’t create any extraterrestrials. But that kind of self-contradictory theology has bubbled up before, from minds a lot more sophisticated than Ham’s.

    In the book The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism [Karl Popper and John C. Eccles, 1977], neuroscientist John Eccles argued that those who believe that all life on Earth evolved naturally simply don’t appreciate the complexity of living things, especially that of the human brain, which could only have arisen through the intervention of something like a god. Literally a couple of pages later, he also argued that a search for extraterrestrial life is doomed, since life is so complex that it is highly unlikely to have happened twice in the history of the universe.

    I absolutely love that argument (which my wife and I have called, ever since, “Eccles Folly”). Living things on Earth are so complicated that an omnipotent non-living intelligence (God) must have guided them into existence, and are indeed so complicated that even an omnipotent God could not have done it twice.

    Popper had some equally bizarre things to say, doing dualism one better with his tale of “three worlds”. That book taught me, early in my scientific career, that even knighted scientists and philosophers can go off the deep end, and that mixing scientific and religious reasoning is a recipe for both bad science and incoherent theology.

  20. Childermass says

    Trebuchet, the AiG crowd accepts a universe bigger than 6000 light years via a number of unworkable mechanisms contrary to the evidence to explain how light could have covered the distance in under 10,000 years.

  21. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Actually, given the state of the universe, if there is a creator it is more likely to be a GodVogon than a “GodKlingon” or a “GodMartian” or a “Godman”

  22. dingojack says

    Scientismist – I prefer the ‘Little Jim Folly’*.
    :) Dingo
    ———–
    * “Ohh — he fal-led in da wat-ta'”

  23. says

    I just assumed when a life form was discovered on another planet, religionists would just say “Yeah, god made that too.”

    Most will, and it is almost certain that leaders of all the major religions will make proclamations integrating the newly discovered intelligent alien lifeforms into their theological framework.

    But the problem for people like Ken Ham will not be the existence of intelligent aliens, but the likelihood that they will have been around for far longer than 6,000 years, and have the documentation to prove it. (And imagine if it turns out that they were here on Earth quietly recording our history for the last 100,000 years…)

    I once had a debate with a young-Earther over the existence of aliens, and he freely admitted that even if they revealed themselves to the entire world by landing on the White House lawn on live TV, he would still be forced to deny their existence.

    So how would he explain their presence? Spiritual beings–demons or fallen angels sent by Satan to deceive people and turn them away from God.

  24. John Pieret says

    it is more likely to be a GodVogon

    Horrors beyond horrors! Hell would be god reading poetry for ever and ever!

  25. colnago80 says

    Re tacitus @ #23

    Kurt Wise once remarked that he would still believe in a young earth even if all the evidence pointed to an old earth. His mind was made up, the facts were irrelevant.

  26. pocketnerd says

    Lest we forget: Religious fundamentalism isn’t merely anti-evolution, it’s anti-science and anti-knowledge. To that mindset, asking questions is dangerous, and answering them even more so.

  27. Mobius says

    There is no way that the sin of Adam and Eve could have effected the entire universe. As Einstein showed us, nothing can propagate faster than the speed of light. Therefore, original sin could, at most, have effected the universe out to 6000 light years, only a tiny fraction of our own galaxy and certainly far short of the entire universe.

  28. Chiroptera says

    Childermass, #20: Trebuchet, the AiG crowd accepts a universe bigger than 6000 light years via a number of unworkable mechanisms contrary to the evidence to explain how light could have covered the distance in under 10,000 years.

    lol

    Actually, the AiG crowd accepts a universe that isn’t just a disk-shaped flat earth covered by a solid dome in which there are openings through which the rain falls…contrary to the plain teachings of Genesis.

  29. D. C. Sessions says

    The obvious answer that totally reconciles a young earth with all observed history hasn’t changed in a century: the Universe was created complete with all evidence of prior existence. Of course, since the Creator expected it to also end in the year 2016 (when the Republicans lose the Presidency again) there wasn’t need to make it very large — 6000 ly is about it. All of the rest (including geology) just got slapped together haphazarly but good enough to make it until the lights go out.

  30. zekehoskin says

    “To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.”
    Yes. James Blish’s A Case of Conscience is one of the very few books I wish I had never read.

  31. Scientismist says

    Dingo — Thanks, that was a fun excursion. By way of Edward Farmer’s poem ( “Little Jim (The Collier’s Dying Child)”) and its spoofs (“I have no pain, dear mother, now, But, oh, I am so dry; Connect me to a brewery And leave me there to die”) and on to The Goon Show, and its Australian version, The Idiot Weekly. But as I understand it, we only have “Mad” Dan Eccles’ word for it that what his nephew Little Jim was saying was “He’s fallen in the wa-ater”, since only Eccles could understand Jim, and even Little Jim himself had no idea. But it all makes much more sense than the Ham salad with which we began. About which all I can do is say along with the Old Timer: “That ain’t the way I heared it!” (I grew up with Fibber McGee and Molly).

  32. Nemo says

    @Mr Ed #8:

    they have done this by sending Ken Ham to us.

    He does have an alien look to him.

    @busterggi #28:

    People like Ham are why intelligent life elsewhere refuses to visit Terra.

    No kidding. We’re painfully unready to join civilized interstellar society, if such a thing exists.

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