The X Files was a hugely popular television series which prompted many questions about the existence of aliens and the paranormal. Are we alone in the universe? Will the existence of aliens change our perception of Christianity? Is the truth still out there?
In this episode, host Robert Martin speaks with two scientists; Dr. Christina Smith (PhD in Astrophysics from Swinburne University) and Dr. Michael Smith (PhD in zoology from University of Melbourne). They share about the value of the SETI program (search for extra-terrestrial life) and the likelihood of aliens visiting our planet. They also reflect on an apparent UFO sighting in the Bible and if the incarnation (God becoming man) is a case of alien visitation.
This Bigger Questions episode is a re-release of Episode 43 (recorded under the show's former title, hence the absence of episode number).
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Bigger questions asked in the conversation
Are you fans of the X-Files TV show at all?
In today’s quiz I thought I’d test you on how well you know, ‘UFO sightings’.
The big question - life and how it begins
There are many UFO reports, eye-witness testimony and alien abductions, some of which sound very convincing. Surely this is evidence of intelligent, extraterrestrial life?
Do you think there is evidence for alien visitation?
Given the number of aliens visiting and the different types of craft and aliens, it would seem that there are thousands of aliens visiting our planet all the time?
Christiana, as an astrophysicist, what do you make of the SETI program? The search for extraterrestrial intelligence?
Why don’t scientists call up UFO places like the National UFO Reporting Center?
There are many billions of stars in the universe and scientists have become better in recent years at identifying ‘exoplanets’, planets outside our solar system. What is the chance that there is life on one of these?
When we’re looking for life elsewhere - what are we looking for?
So according to modern science, how did life begin?
But surely we have to be open-minded about the possibility of the existence of aliens? Some of these stories do sound like they could be the result of alien visitation.
Michael and Christina's story
As part of Logos Live we reflect on the Scriptures - the Logos - and we’re going to look at a potential UFO encounter in the Bible. But before we do that, we’re interested to hear about why you believe the Scriptures are worth following.
You’re both scientists - how could you be Christian believers? There are people who would claim that people like you can’t exist, that science and Christian faith are incompatible?
We are critical of the eyewitness claims of potential alien abduction stories, yet you believe stories of eye-witnesses of a resurrection of a dead man. What is different?
The Bible's Answer
The vision of the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, recorded in Ezekiel chapter 1, is sometimes suggested that rather than a vision of God, instead he witnessed a UFO. For example, in Ezekiel 1:4-5 Ezekiel describes an immense cloud with flashing lightning and a brilliant light and the centre looks like glowing metal. Which could seem like a descending UFO. And then later in verse 16 where he describes wheels and a craft which seems to rise and fall at will. Do you think Ezekiel inadvertently confused an encounter with a UFO with an encounter with God?
What difference to the Christian faith would it make if there really were intelligent aliens?
How would the existence of alien life affect your faith in God?
John 1:14, from from the Gospel of John, one of the biographies of Jesus we have says,
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Is the incarnation, the idea of God becoming human, a form of alien visitation?
The Big Question
So Mike and Christina, is the truth still out there?