Is There Life Beyond the Earth?
SPACE exploits thus far have failed to detect any sign of life on any of the planets of our solar system. Also, it has been found that there are no life-sustaining systems in outer space. Yet evolutionist scientists believe that there are planets, somewhere, teeming with intelligent persons. Is this view reasonable?
Among the evolutionists themselves, not all believe that human life could evolve on other planets. Admits Cornell University Astronomer Carl Sagan, a spokesman for the evolutionists who search for extraterrestrial life:
“If we started the earth all over again, even with the same physical conditions, and just let random factors operate, we would never get anything remotely resembling human beings. There are just too many accidents in our evolutionary past for things closely resembling human beings to arise anywhere else.”—“Time,” December 13, 1971, p. 55.
If ‘it could never happen again on the earth,’ how, then, can evolutionists really expect intelligent life to evolve on other planets, which are far less hospitable?
Could it be as an editor for Science magazine* said even before the first rocket went to the vicinity of Mars: “In looking for life on Mars we could establish for ourselves the reputation of being the greatest Simple Simons of all time”?
Well, to this day, after many probes to Mars and thousands of pictures of it, there is not the slightest shred of proof that life exists on Mars or other planets in the solar system or on any other planets in the universe.
The Christian, particularly, knows that even a million landings on Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn or any of the planets and their moons will fail to reveal evolution of life. Both life and intricately designed living creatures came from the Creator, as he clearly tells us in his Word the Bible. To spend money with a stated major objective of verifying the myth of evolution is indeed folly. (Prov. 1:7; 9:10) How much better if the money were spent, not trying to verify an erroneous scientific theory about the origin of life, but on the life already here on this unique planet!
Man Made for the Earth
Of our planet alone the Holy Bible declares that God “formed it even to be inhabited.” (Isa. 45:18) And long ago God’s Word declared that the heavens belong to the Creator, “but the earth he has given to the sons of men.” (Ps. 115:15, 16) So the Bible shows that the earth is unique among planets. And what a wonderful home in space the earth is for man! Astronaut Frank Borman said:
“When you look at our earth from two hundred and forty thousand miles away, especially over a horizon that has been bombarded for eons, you see that our planet is the only thing in the universe that has any color in it. You don’t know whether the blue is water or the blue is land . . . We share such a beautiful planet. . . . the overwhelming wonderment is why in the world we can’t appreciate what we have.”
Such a beautiful home in space as man has did not get here by chance or accident. Just as the moon could not have gone into orbit around the earth by accident, the earth could not have got in its orbit around the sun by chance. Just before the launching of the Apollo 17 lunar mission, Astronaut Eugene Cernan, on his second flight to the vicinity of the moon, said:
“When you look back at the earth from the moon and you see the perfectness of it and the beauty of it and the logic of it all, you know it didn’t happen by accident. It is moving with beauty and you get a feeling that you are looking at our earth as God, whoever that God might be, envisioned it when he created it. I’m anxious to get back and get that feeling again.”—New York “Times,” December 8, 1972.
That God who created the earth is no nameless God, but, as he says in the Holy Bible: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isa. 42:8) “O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here you yourself have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. The whole matter is not too wonderful for you yourself.” (Jer. 32:17) Instead of searching for evolved life in outer space, the evolutionist scientists would do well to learn about man’s Creator and gain a knowledge of his purpose for the earth. But just as it was in the days when Jesus Christ was on the earth, so it is today. In prayer Jesus said: “Righteous Father, the world has, indeed, not come to know you.”—John 17:25.
There Is Life in Outer Space!
However, just because space probes have not revealed any signs of intelligent life, this does not mean that there is no intelligent life in outer space. There definitely is!
Despite the fact that there are no “evolved” forms of life, splendid, intelligent persons in the region of what men call “outer space” do exist! Furthermore, contact with them has been made!
The intelligent persons that exist beyond the earth were created by Jehovah God. Their creation took place even before the planet Earth was prepared for human habitation. God’s Word speaks of that time when Jehovah founded the earth. At that time, he explains, “the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause.” (Job 38:4-7) These “sons of God” are powerful angelic persons who are indeed far more skillful and knowledgeable than we. In the past they were often used by God to communicate with humans.
For example, when the time arrived for Jesus to be born as a human, God sent a superhuman messenger, or angel, referred to in the Bible by the name “Gabriel.” Gabriel first announced the birth of Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist, and then Jesus’ own birth. To John’s father, Zechariah, the materialized angel Gabriel said: “I am Gabriel, who stands near before God, and I was sent forth to speak with you and declare the good news of these things to you.” Then, about six months later, Gabriel appeared to the Jewish virgin Mary and proclaimed: “Look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus.”—Luke 1:19, 31.
Other Visitations from Outer Space
Not all earth visitations, however, have been by angelic persons sent by God with important communications from Him. In fact, a number of angelic sons of God rebelliously left their heavenly positions, came to earth in the form of men, and “went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose.” The Bible says that these “angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place [God] has reserved . . . for the judgment of the great day,” at which time their troubling of mankind will be put to a stop. What a relief that will be!—Gen. 6:1, 2; Jude 6.
Hence, there is indeed substance to the legends that some scientists have interpreted as perhaps indicating visitations from outer space. There actually were earth visits by intelligent nonhuman persons of immense powers. No, these were not organisms from other planets that had evolved greater intelligence than man, as some scientists may suppose, but they were disobedient angelic creations of God.—1 Pet. 3:19, 20.
When the great flood of Noah’s day came, these superior creatures were able to escape by again restricting themselves to spirit form. Although restrained by God since then from materializing as humans, these lawless spirit persons are now working from their base in the invisible realm in the vicinity of the earth to bring the human family to ruin.—Rev. 12:7-10, 12; 16:13-16.
So, powerful, intelligent persons in invisible space do exist, and some of them are wicked. (Eph. 6:11, 12) During his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ frequently encountered these wicked invisible forces. On occasion they took control of the minds and bodies of unwary victims, and Jesus mercifully freed persons from their influence.—Matt. 4:24; 15:22.
The Earth Has a Grand Future; Will You?
God himself promises that the time will soon come when this earth will be clothed in righteousness. The symbolic earth, wicked human society, will be destroyed. (2 Pet. 3:7, 12) But this planet Earth will remain forever.—Ps. 104:5.
The future for the earth is grand. God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, foretold that the earth will be made into a global paradise. (Matt. 6:10; Luke 23:42, 43) Obedient men will be able to live on this beautiful earth forever, after Paradise has been restored by God’s kingdom.
But what about the other planets? Were they put in space and into orbit for no reason at all? No, we cannot conclude that. All that God does has meaning and purpose. Obviously the Creator Jehovah God has a purpose for these planets, including the planets in our own solar system. In time, he may well reveal that purpose to obedient mankind. We should not be so shortsighted as to think that the earth is the center of the universe.
The big question that should concern you today is not whether there is life on any planet in other solar systems, but whether you will gain everlasting life here on earth. The time left for this worldly system of things is very short. Following the end of this system, the earth will have the grandest future. But this worldly society has no future. As the Bible says: “The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:17.
So why go after that which is passing away? Why not endure forever with this earth by learning and doing the will of God now? To do that, study the Bible, which contains in written form communications from God himself. Study these divine messages carefully, and be obedient to them. Then when this worldly system of things passes away in destruction, you may be spared alive into God’s new order, to enjoy life everlasting on this beautiful spaceship earth, which will remain a paradise forever.
Issue of February 12, 1965, editorial page.
[Picture on page 13]
Looking at the earth from the moon, astronauts speak of the earth’s uniqueness, its beauty and the fact that our home in space could not have come about by accident