1. Great article Travis.

    I do think SETI is a substitute for the search of God. In our questions about aliens, we do inherently recognize, as you’ve mentioned previously in past posts, that the aliens would be flawed. We understand that, if and when, we discover these other aliens, we know, for a certainty, that they will be flawed. They will be finite, and they will imperfect.

    In other words, we’re simply looking for ourselves ‘out there’. Sure the skin may be leathery, or scaly, four arms, three legs, whatever. We’re not really looking to ‘fill the loneliness’ as some would. We’re looking to confirm that our flaws are replicated elsewhere. That in not being alone, we’re not really special.

    Why would we really want to think that we’re not special? What harm is there in acknowledging that we are special?

    Unlike some people, if I were to find out there were no other life in the universe, and mind you, I hold the same stance as you do about there can be, I think it would further show JUST HOW SPECIAL WE ARE. That this great, vast universe belongs to us. This is our kingdom. Our home. And no one can take it from us. That God made it JUST FOR US! This is for you and only you because there’s no one else like you.

    And, as you’ve so adequately and beautifully pointed out throughout this series, the aliens we’re hoping to meet, and create treaties with, are not really alien. God, in His perfection, holiness, wisdom, power, is truly ALIEN. Under the light of His glory, what we are becomes apparent — broken, flawed, sin-filled. Due to his ALIEN nature — His love, His judgment, His wrath, His forgiveness, and His patience, we are left to think “Why would He create me or be bothered with me? What makes me so special?”

    And yet, we are! He didn’t stay in heaven and leave us alone. His presence permeates every faucet of creation. He became like us and still remained completely true to Himself.

    Think about it. People who are critical of theism, in particular Christianity, often say, “Well if God is this what about X? If God is so good, what about Y?” Because we know that God is truly ALIEN from us. If we can, in some way, attempt to bring Him down to our standards, then it would be ‘okay.’

    I’ll tell you what: in our fiction, and our reality for that matter, we can do atrocities of epic proportions. We recognize that these things are wrong. How do we recognize it? Because of the ALIEN presence of our God and King. The light of Him shines through and we can see it and understand it.

    So yeah, we don’t want to search for the truly ALIEN presence of God. We’re simply looking for people just like us to let us feel comfortable in our brokenness. And yet, we do understand that if we do, there will simply be more wars, more things that go wrong. It’s a given that if we do find these aliens, they’re going to be like us.

    Misery loves company as the colloquial goes.

  2. Kessie says:

    My kids and I have this conversation whenever they play Spore. Where did that crystal meteor come from with the living squiggly thing already inside? Who made it?

    But yeah, people don’t want to believe in God. God probably has rules and laws and morality. We want aliens who will applaud our sinful life and lead us into even more wonders of immorality that we’ve barely even imagined.

    I was listening to the theme song of Destiny by Paul McCartney (Hope for the Future). It basically paints a picture where mankind will find heaven and redemption out there among the stars, but we’ll do it ourselves. It’s quite the anthem to humanism, but it’s also so sad.

  3. notleia says:

    A related question: is that also behind our urge to anthropomorphize and/or keep pets? There’s that bit in CS Lewis’s space trilogy about the Martian species don’t keep pets because they have each other, but he also said they that they joke more between species than among their own, and that seems weird to me on second thought. I have more inside jokes with my husband and family than I do with, say, people at work.

    I watched some science show about how people were trying to communicate with dolphins. The part I found interesting is that they used the idea of a pidgin language, ’cause linguistics showed that pidgin languages were the way that different human populations communicated with each other.
    Of course, I have this on a smaller scale in my own home with my cats. My black floofbeast communicates mostly in chirps, while the experienced Oldcat is expert at “since you’re already up” requests (meaning she tries to murder us by running around our legs when we’re walking somewhere). In fact, cats only developed a meow to communicate with people.

    And this got really tangential, but this is a cool subject and one we can experiment with in our own homes. I’ve certainly tried to train (ie, refine our pidgin code) the cats to get our attention with something less annoying than jumping on the TV shelf, where they are not allowed.

  4. HG Ferguson says:

    So true, Travis. So sadly, sadly true. Anything but the only real God. Great work.

What do you think?