It seems that every few months there is another announcement of evidence of water on extra terrestrial bodies. The most recent one being the discovery of what appears to be an ancient lake bed on Mars. This announcement has more or less coincided with the release of a major movie about an astronaut stranded on Mars. The prospect of life somewhere besides earth is tantalizing. Astronomers spend huge amounts of time looking for evidence of life on other planets. Since water is key to life on this planet the search for life similar to that found on earth starts with the search for water. Many hope we will find life out there somewhere, many are convinced life exists elsewhere in the universe and a few believe extra terrestrial life has found us.
With the widespread allure of alien life, what is a Biblical framework from which to think about life originating somewhere other than earth? The Bible’s creation account must still guide the Christian’s life and thinking. Many who accept evolutionary explanations of life think there must be life elsewhere. The sheer magnitude of the universe and vast number of stars has convinced some that extra terrestrial life is a certainty. The Biblical perspective is silent about any physical life outside of earth. The Bible is not silent about the origin of all life. The creation of all life happened because of the decree of God. Any life in the universe exists because it was created by God during the six days of creation. All Biblical references to the creation of life only describe the creation of life on earth. Admittedly, this is not conclusive that God did not create any kind of life anywhere else, but the only creation of life that God reveals to man is that of life on earth.
The Bible also declares the entire universe has been cursed by man’s sin. Romans 8 says “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” This means that any life found in the universe is going to be suffering under the curse of sin. Utopia and the salvation of civilization will never be found off planet. This also means that man has a very unique position in the whole of creation. Genesis 1 and 2 announce this with the declaration that man was created in the image of God and given dominion over the earth. Romans 8 shows just how far that uniqueness extends. Because of man’s sin, all 32 billion light years of the universe are cursed. If there is life elsewhere, it labors under the curse of sin and longs for the time when Christ will make all things new. If there is life elsewhere, man still has a unique position among all creation. In the next article we’ll consider some questions of what effect the discovery of alien life would have have on this Biblical world view.