Earth 2.0

NASA scientists have discovered a planet they named Kepler-452b but which is also called Earth 2.0 because it is more like earth than any other planet yet discovered.  Because of its similarity there is speculation that it might contain life similar to that found on earth.

Dr. Jeff Schweitzer wrote an article in Huffington Post called Earth 2.0: Bad News for God in which he claimed that the discovery of life on this planet would be evidence that the Bible is not true.  Here is the link:  Earth 2.0: Bad News for God .

The article shows he hasn’t read the Bible very carefully.

Let us be clear that the Bible is unambiguous about creation: the earth is the center of the universe, only humans were made in the image of god, and all life was created in six days. All life in all the heavens. In six days.

The Bible never says the earth is the center of the universe, it never says that humans are the only beings made in God’s image, and it only describes the creation of life on earth and says nothing about whether or not there is life anywhere else in the universe.  Here is a Bible verse that needs to be kept in mind when studying the creation account in Genesis.

The heavens are the LORD’s heavens,
but the earth he has given to the children of man.
Psalm 115:16

The earth is the only part of creation that belongs to humans and therefore it is the only part whose creation is described.  The Bible starts with the statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and in the next verse begins describing the formation of the earth with no further references to the heavens mentioned in verse one.

The creation account does use the word “heaven” but in a different sense.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
Genesis 1:6-8

The word “heaven” has three different meanings in the Bible.  It can mean the atmosphere of the earth as it does in the verses I quoted above, it can mean outer space, and it can mean Paradise.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—
2 Corinthians 12:2-3

When you see the word “heaven ” in the Bible you must examine the context to see which meaning is intended.  Dr. Schweitzer failed to do that and so his article confuses the different meanings of the word.

There is one statement in the creation account that is often misinterpreted.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.
Genesis 1:14-15

Some think this describes the creation of the stars.  Actually the Bible only says that lights appeared in the sky; it does not say that the bodies that were the source of those lights were created at that time.

I think it is possible that there is a wide variety of life in the universe and not necessarily just on planets that resemble earth.  The belief that only planets similar to earth can have life is a byproduct of the belief that life came into existence by the process of evolution and can only exist on planets where conditions make evolution possible.  If God created life he can create organisms that are suitable for any environment.  The existence of life outside the earth would be an argument for the existence of God, not against it.

The purpose of the Bible is to enable us to know God and to know how we must live if we want to please him.  It is addressed only to members of the human race, the descendants of Adam and Eve.  Other living beings, such as angels and demons, are mentioned because of their interaction with humans.  The absence of any mention of intelligent life on other planets only shows that there will never be any significant interaction between them and humans.  It says nothing at all about whether or not such beings exist.

You can find another review of Dr. Schwietzer’s article on sixdaysblog .

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Posted on July 25, 2015, in creation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I saw this article and have been planning to write a post on it. As you point out, the author makes a lot of mistakes. I think it’s apparent that this guy has a chip on his shoulder and doesn’t care much for God.

    Personally, I don’t think there’s any good argument for the existence of aliens from a Biblical perspective. Schweitzer understands that, and he’s attempting to win the argument without any evidence. He’s trying to put Christians on defense by saying that aliens could exist; therefore Christians and religious people are going to look real stupid if we ever do find alien life.

    But we haven’t found alien life, nor have we found any evidence of alien life. And if we NEVER find alien life, atheists will still claim that Christians will look stupid if aliens are found. So how is it that atheists can mock us when they have no evidence to support their beliefs? It all hinges on “if”.

    If we do find alien life, Schweitzer is correct that Christianity and other religions will proclaim that the discovery is consistent with our religious teachings. But it’s a very week prediction. The Pope and other religious teachers have been teaching that alien life is consistent with our faith for years, as if they’re preparing for that possibility.

    I have to admit that I don’t believe in aliens, and that belief is based on my understanding of Scripture. I haven’t seen any passage in Scripture that convinces me that God created alien life elsewhere. I do see where God created the heavens and the earth for man, but there’s no evidence that God populated other planets with life. Now I don’t mean to be dogmatic about it. Sure, God could have created life elsewhere, but there’s no reason to think that he did. But if we speculate about alien life, that really gets thorny for Christianity because then Schweitzer is right that we’ll have to figure out how salvation works for non-human life. Will Christ have to go to their planet and die for their sins too, or are they sinless? I just think it gets real messy once we accept the existence of aliens. I say we cross that bridge once it arrives, and not worry about it until then.

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    • You brought up the question of how salvation works for nonhuman life. We already know about two kinds of nonhuman life, angels and demons. Angels don’t need salvation because they never sinned. We don’t know whether God has made a way for demons to be saved but if so it has nothing to do with us.

      If we ever contact physical intelligent life forms we will face the same two alternatives. If they haven’t sinned they won’t need salvation. If they have sinned the question of whether or not God has provided them a way of salvation is between them and God and doesn’t concern us.

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      • I like your answer, but skeptics will be demanding a solid answer, and they’ll cry foul if we don’t provide the answer they’re looking for. We’ll have to address the issue if we do find alien life, and once we come up with a doctrinal position, we could risk offending the aliens.

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