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Is there intelligent life in the universe? It doesn't matter, according to creationist Ken Ham, because any intelligent beings that aren't human are going to Hell anyway.
“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” he wrote on his website, in response to the recent claim by SETI that we will find intelligent life in the next 20 years. "Even Bill Nye 'the Science Guy,' in our recent debate, happily gloated about tax dollars being spent toward this effort."
He went on to claim that "secularists are desperate to find life in outer space... driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!... Secularists cannot allow earth to be special or unique—that’s a biblical idea."
He clarifies that Christianity bristles at the entire concept of the discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life, as Earth was created especially for man by God. He concedes that "the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space," but cites a whole host of Biblical and theological problems associated with the idea of aliens.
Ham continues to explain that the question of whether aliens exist or not is actually irrelevant: "The Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation." Well. There you have it. I suppose we should just stop looking for intelligent life in the universe altogether.
The most interesting part of his little diatribe comes when he compares the search for extraterrestrial life to religion, and asserts that the belief in aliens and the belief in God fulfill the same psychological needs: "Many secularists want to discover alien life hoping that aliens can answer the deepest questions of life: 'Where did we come from?' and 'What is the purpose and meaning of life?'"
He finishes up with this hilarious bit of wisdom: "Jesus did not become the 'GodKlingon' or the 'GodMartian'!... God’s Son remains the 'Godman' as our Savior." Hard to argue with that logic.
Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta responded to Ham's tirade against the space program: “Jesus Christ, Ken Ham is talking about the eternal damnation of alien life forms. They're all going to hell, apparently, and why go in search of life on other planets if they’re all doomed to a lake of fire?... To whine about the pittance we spend on space exploration because ‘Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe’ has to be a new low even for him.”
Ken Ham is a former high school science teacher who publicly advocates for young Earth creationism, or the belief that the universe was created by God approximately 6,000 years ago, based on a strict interpretation of the Book of Genesis. He recently debated Bill Nye about evolution vs. creationism, and while Nye's points were (predictably) more scientifically and logically supportable, many believed that the debate was detrimental to the fight against creationist education, as it simply gave Ham a platform for his beliefs without being likely to change any creationists' minds.
Compare this drivel to our conversation with a Pastor in Roswell, NM and you really start to see how narrow minded Ham's view is.