I have recently been setting up and teaching apologetic classes for my church, and as I grow my curriculum, I am getting more and more excited about the future of my ministry, in whatever form or capacity God may use it. But after gearing up for an amazing class for the high school kids this past Wednesday, I was derailed by threats of weather, which shut down the whole town, and sent the locals running for milk and bread.
The post script to this “storm of the year” was that it rained a little, but I digress.
Since I have been so amped up to rattle off some amazing facts, and have as of yet been unable to, I thought I would share a bit about space travel. The reason? TRAPPIST-1 of course. The observation of some planets passing in front of a star approximately 39.5 light years away. This news, although interesting in the sense that we can discover more about space and our galaxy, is being used as a catalyst to create space-exploration fever. TRAPPIST-1 has its own website now, and chatter about the planets have been mentioned far and wide, picked up by NASA, space.com, and a myriad of other such science based programs. The issue is, with each report comes the suggestion, sometimes implied, sometimes outright affirmed, that we are a step closer to exploring life on other planets, discovering life in the universe, and even traveling to them for a meet and greet in the near future.
This is an intellectually dishonest position, and I am of the belief that these scientists know it. What they have observed is simply that planets orbit a dim sun 232,210,000,000,000 miles away. Now, of the seven observed, they push the insinuation repeatedly that 3 of these 7 are within the “habitable zone”. This of course implies that life like ours could potentially live on all three of these planets, which will be the idea perpetuated heavily and with as much vigor as possible. Why? The all-mighty dollar. This will insure attention, clicks, interest, comments from world leaders, write ups in magazines, PBS specials, and most importantly, an influx of money promised to be earmarked for further discoveries of such ‘magnitude’.
Why this assumption that life must be out there waiting for us to discover it? Evolution! The pre-supposition is firmly set within the minds of academia, and through this lens is how they observe the universe. It stands to reason that if we evolved here, then judging by the size of the universe, many other such life forms in various states of evolution must have done the same all over. We just need to locate where!
Of course if they believed we were a special creation, and that God stretched out the heavens (said over 17 times in the old Testament) to speak of His glory, we would not expect evolution, a most unscientific theory anyway, to have done much with any of the stars we see in the night sky.
SETI – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence – believes as Sagan, Tyson, and Dawkins do, that we are not special, and so they have spent hundreds of millions since 1960 in order to discover absolutely nothing.
This is a huge topic, but 2 things we must consider:
- Carl Sagan said that only 2 factors were needed to sustain life, (ironically the same two factors that have been highlighted in all these articles). A sun like ours, and a planet in the habitable zone of said sun. This was stated by him in 1966, but since then we have learned of many more requirements for life to exist, or Goldilocks factors. Water, thickness of crust, large gas planets, size of sun, moon, electromagnetic core, and on and on. If we take just 20 of these factors, and give each a 1 in 10 chance of occurring at some particular star, say Trappist, the chances would be 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000 that it could happen. Based on the number of stars we think the universe has, this is a one star for every billion out there. Here’s the kicker. There are now over 200 factors identified! Hugh Ross, astrophysicist has named 200+ Goldilocks factors, and that number brings our chances up to 1 chance in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! This cannot happen, and is beyond nature’s ability to create by chance. Furthermore, this ignores the life-from-non-life problem that evolution already has.
- If we consider actually traveling to find these places, we must take in to account that the nearest star is 25,671,957,738,631 mi away, Alpha Centari. Nearest galaxy, about 2.5 million light years. And as of now, we cannot get even close to traveling at light speed. Mass increases as speed increases, therefore as we get a shuttle to approach the speed of light, lets say 90% of the speed, it would take the energy of 73 million atomic bombs to move the mass. The same amount to slow it down. And one touch from a pea sized piece of debris would impact said vehicle like two atomic bombs, according to Gary Bates of CMI. This is an unrealistic goal.
There is much more on this topic, and I wrote this article, UFO’s and God some time ago for you to check out. The bottom line is, yes science and discoveries are wonderful, but space exploration, like the “discoveries” from anthropology, are often used for money, grants and prestige, not for truth.