Are There Intelligent Creatures in Outer Space?
ON THE night of October 30, 1938, there was panic in widely scattered parts of the United States. Terrified persons rushed from their homes only partially clothed. Others leaped into cars and raced wildly through crowded streets. They believed that inhabitants of Mars had landed in New Jersey and were slaying all who opposed them with a sinister “heat-ray.”
The nationwide panic was caused by Orson Welles’ now-famous radio dramatization of a Martian invasion. It demonstrated that millions of persons were willing to believe that Mars is inhabited by intelligent creatures hostile to humankind. In recent years, however, increased knowledge has conclusively confirmed that no such creatures could exist either on Mars or upon the other planets of our solar system aside from the earth.
But what about outer space beyond our solar system? Are there intelligent creatures living there? Has earth ever been visited by superior creatures from distant space?
Reporting on a three-day gathering of some 300 scientists who met in California to discuss the subject of life in outer space, Science Digest of August 1966 observed: “The prospect of extraterrestrial life and of how to find it and communicate with it is today a dead-serious business. It’s a business engaging the attention of biologists, geologists, astronomers and space engineers. . . . Some of the most prominent Americans in those scientific fields told their plans for contributing to the great search for life elsewhere.”
Dr. Harlow Shapley, Harvard’s renowned astronomer, explained to reporters: “I’ve been a leader in the thought that there is lots of life in the universe.” He said that there is a high probability that organic life developed “on a great many planets in a great many galaxies.”
Dr. Bernard M. Oliver of Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, California, expressed the opinion: “There may be on the order of a million highly developed civilizations.”
Some time prior to the conference, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. Melvin Calvin noted in a speech that “other planetary systems may be inhabited by organisms far more skillful and knowledgeable than we,” and said: “This kind of reasoning has already led to an attempt to listen with our own newly acquired radio-telescopes for messages from such organisms.” However, he admitted: “This has, as yet, been fruitless.”
It is not only in the United States that scientists have met to discuss the subject of “Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life.” In the fall of 1964 a conference on “extraterrestrial civilizations” was held at the Burakan Astrophysical Observatory, one of the foremost of such institutions in the Soviet Union.
Yes, search for life elsewhere in the universe is now being made in earnest by top scientists of the world.
PAST VISITS FROM SPACE?
The assumed prevalence of life in outer space has caused some well-known scientists to believe that earth already has been visited by creatures from space. In their recent book, Intelligent Life in the Universe, astronomers I. S. Shklovskii of Moscow’s Sternberg Astronomical Institute and Carl Sagan of Harvard argue that “it seems possible that the earth has been visited by various galactic civilizations many times.”
Contributing to the opinion that intelligent creatures from outer space have visited earth are legends regarding human contact with them. Of such a legend, Sagan writes: “Taken at face value, the legend suggests that contact occurred between human beings and a non-human civilization of immense powers on the shores of the Persian Gulf, perhaps near the site of the ancient Sumerian city of Eridu.” A huge deluge was also reported as occurring in connection with such a visitation.
What do the facts show? Is it reasonable, or scientific, to believe that “highly developed civilizations” composed of “organisms far more skillful and knowledgeable than we” populate other planets?
BASIS FOR SCIENTISTS’ BELIEF
The basis for many scientists’ believing that intelligent creatures exist on other planets is the conviction that intelligent life is the product of inevitable evolutionary processes. It is reasoned that, since there are over 100,000 million stars or “suns” in our galaxy, and perhaps some 100 million other galaxies in the universe having a similar number of “suns,” the probability that intelligent life has evolved on some of the planets circling these “suns” is so great that it can be considered an almost certain fact. But is this reasoning sound?
Even prominent evolutionists balk at such an assumption. Loren Eiseley, a well-known anthropologist, wrote: “The precise accidental duplication of a complex form of life is extremely unlikely to occur in even the same environment, let alone in the different background and atmosphere of a far-off world . . . Of men elsewhere and beyond, there will be none forever.”
The prominent paleontologist at Harvard University, George Gaylord Simpson, expressed himself similarly, concluding: “There is, then, no clear evidence of life anywhere else in our solar system. . . . The assumption, so freely made by astronomers, physicists, and some biochemists, that once life gets started anywhere, humanoids [living organisms with intelligence comparable to man’s] will eventually and inevitably appear is plainly false.”
The fact is, even life on earth did not evolve from inanimate matter. Intelligent humans are not the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary development.* Instead, man was divinely created. Life proceeds only from preceding life, and Jehovah God is the source of all life, as the inspired Bible psalmist wrote: “With you is the source of life.”—Ps. 36:9.
INTELLIGENT LIFE DOES EXIST IN SPACE!
But despite the fact that there are no “evolved” forms of life, splendid, intelligent creatures in the region of what men call “outer space” do exist! Further, contact with them has been made!
The superhuman, intelligent creatures that exist in outer space were created by Jehovah God. Their creation took place even before planet Earth was prepared for human habitation. In his Word the Bible Jehovah God speaks of the time that he 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 creatures who are indeed “far more skillful and knowledgeable than we.” In the past they were often used by God to communicate with humans.
One such superhuman messenger, or angel, referred to in the Bible is named Gabriel. Some 2,500 years ago he was sent forth to communicate with the Israelite Daniel, as he explained: “O Daniel, now I have come forth to make you have insight with understanding. . . . I myself have come to make report.” Gabriel then proceeded to give the valuable information as to the exact time that the Messiah, mankind’s savior, would appear. And exactly at the end of the period indicated by Gabriel (which was sixty-nine weeks of years, or 483 years, after the command was issued to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 455 B.C.E.) Jesus was anointed at his baptism in 29 C.E. and became the Christ or Messiah! What a reliable and important message from the invisible area of “outer space”!—Dan. 9:22-25; Neh. 2:1-8; Matt. 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-23.
Later, when the time arrived for Jesus to be born as a human, Gabriel again was used; first to announce 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.
Here are communications from the far reaches of space, yes, from one who stands right “near before God”! How much easier to understand are his messages than the coded communications radio astronomers hope to hear from space! And of what marvelous import these messages were—preparing people for the appearance of the one through whom Jehovah God has made provision to save believing mankind!
OTHER VISITATIONS FROM SPACE
Not all earth visitations, however, have been by creatures 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.” A disciple of Jesus Christ by the name of Jude said 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 they will be destroyed.—Gen. 6:1, 2; Jude 6.
Jesus’ apostle Peter also spoke of these powerful spirit creatures, and identified the time of their earth visitation. He said it was “when the patience of God was waiting in Noah’s days, while the ark was being constructed.” Yes, it was just prior to the “deluge upon a world of ungodly people.” The lawless conduct of these superhuman visitors from “outer space,” and the ungodly hybrid offspring produced from their “relations with the daughters of men,” contributed greatly to the wickedness of those pre-Flood days.—1 Pet. 3:19, 20; 2 Pet. 2:4, 5; Gen. 6:4.
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 creatures of immense powers.’ No, these were not organisms from other planets who had evolved greater intelligence than man, as some scientists may suppose, but they were disobedient angelic creations of God.
When the Deluge came, these superior creatures were able to escape by again taking on spirit form. Although restrained by God since then from materializing as humans, these lawless spirit persons are working from their base in the invisible realm in the vicinity of the earth to bring the human family to ruin.
OUR LIVES AFFECTED
Do not dismiss this idea as a fictional myth, placing it in the same category as you might a radio broadcast warning of a Martian invasion. Powerful, intelligent creatures in invisible space do exist, and that some of them are seeking your injury is no fanciful fabrication. Fully appreciating this fact, the Christian apostle Paul wrote to fellow Christians that they should “stand firm against the machinations of the Devil; because we have a fight, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.”—Eph. 6:11, 12.
During his earthly ministry Jesus frequently encountered these wicked invisible forces. On occasions they possessed the minds and bodies of unwary victims, and Jesus mercifully freed persons from their influence. (Matt. 8:16, 28-34) After his death and resurrection, Jesus sent to earth an angelic messenger who revealed the war action by which Satan the Devil “was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.” These wicked creatures in invisible space are now confined to the vicinity of the earth, and they have ‘great anger because they know that they have but a short period of time’ before they are abyssed.—Rev. 1:1; 12:9-12; 20:1-3.
To obtain protection from their influence we need the help of God and his faithful angels. Happily, this help is promised, the comforting assurance being: God “will give his own angels a command concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” “The angel of Jehovah is camping all around those fearing him, and he rescues them.” (Ps. 91:11; 34:7; Heb. 1:7, 14) This rescue eventually will be into a grand new system of things soon to be ushered in here upon earth. So in the not too distant future, as Jesus’ angelic messenger reported, “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away.”—Rev. 21:3, 4.
This is not a fictional report! Rather, it is a divine message, transmitted through a mighty spirit creature from the invisible realm of outer space. It represents a wisdom far greater than man’s, for such messages are from Almighty God himself. What is more, these can be read in your own copy of the Holy Bible. How thrilling it is that we have preserved in written form communications from powerful, intelligent creatures from the region of outer space! We do well to study their messages carefully, and then to heed them.
See the book Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation? published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.