Aliens and Evolution (What Happens When Imaginary Green Men Get Credit for God’s Work)

By Weylan Deaver

Aliens are ingrained in our cultural psyche. They abound in books, movies, radio, and a thousand theories about the extra-terrestrial, little green men, UFO sightings, abductions, Area 51, and Roswell.

The year 1898 saw publication of H. G. Wells’ novel, War of the Worlds, which helped pioneer the concept of aliens (and aliens versus man). It was adapted in a 1938 radio broadcast which frightened many into believing aliens were invading America. H. G. Wells was an adoring student of Thomas Huxley, who was known as “Darwin’s bulldog” due to his staunch defense of Charles Darwin’s theory of human origins.

If aliens are defined as physical creatures inhabiting other planets or galaxies, then they have no place in a worldview informed by the Bible. Angels and demons are treated as matter-of-fact realities in the Bible, but not as living in space. Stars are created by God (Gen. 1:16) and, though sophisticated instruments will only allow scientists to guess at their number, God knows the precise number of stars and has already named every one of them (Psalm 147:4). One thing the Bible never hints at is intelligent life in outer space.

However, aliens do go hand in glove with evolutionary theory. In his 2008 documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein chronicles extreme prejudice in academia against belief in intelligent design in the universe. At the movie’s end, Stein interviews Richard Dawkins, one of today’s leading advocates of atheism. Asked about the possibility of the world’s being intelligently designed, Dawkins replies:

“Well… it could come about in the following way: it could be that uh, at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved… by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto…perhaps this… this planet. Um, now that is a possibility. And uh, an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the um, at the detail…details of our chemistry molecular biology you might find a signature of some sort of designer.”

In other words, even an atheist like Dawkins feels the pressure to admit the possibility of what to so many of us is painfully obvious: we are surrounded by intentional, intelligent design. So, with straight face, he posits as a serious suggestion that unidentified aliens, at an untold time, from undisclosed location, by an unknown method, “seeded” on earth a “form of life” they “designed.” Dawkins’ desperation is palpable, and a grasping at cosmic straws.

The debate may be shifting. Whereas atheists used to deny intelligent design in nature, at least some now seem willing to admit it, as long as the designer is anyone but God. What but an entrenched anti-God bias would produce a baseless assertion, such as Dawkins’ theory of intelligent design by aliens? Yet, some will doubtless view it as scientifically credible, since Dawkins said it, even though there is nothing scientific about it.

Scripture affirms the existence of Adam and angels, but not aliens. Rational, thinking beings that we are, there is no excuse for confusion about where we came from. Noting the inescapable evidence for God all around us, the apostle Paul writes that “the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).