One of the most ridiculous statements I have heard from the Atheists' camp is that “If an extraterrestrial landed on earth, it would mean the end of religion”. I also remember that statement being made on a documentary on the History Channel on UFO's. I believe the statement results more from wishful thinking than real “logic”.
Why would the existence of extraterrestrials pose a threat to Christianity, God, or religion in general? Does the Bible say anywhere that a scenario like that is not possible? In fact in John 10:16 Jesus said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold”.
Is it logical that God, who created the earth as a paradise for mankind, could not, or would not, possibly do the same somewhere else in the vast universe? I like what the leading character in the movie “Contact” said when asked if there could be other planets with life on them. She said “If there isn’t, it would be a tremendous waste of space”.
I admit that it is possible that the earth is the only world suitable for life, and that we are alone in the universe, but I don’t say it is impossible for other life to exist somewhere else. In fact I would like to think that there is other life that is searching for the truth, just as we are. Would that shatter my faith in God? Why should it? If I start with the premise that God created the universe, to say that there are other life forms than man, is not to say that God ceases to exist.
Why would that be a threat to religion? It would seem to me that it would open a whole new dimension in the meaning of "religion” and “faith”, to think that there is so much more to the creation than we imagined.
Support for this view is evident in the history books.
In the 15th century explorers thought that they had charted all the known world, before Columbus made his famous voyage. It was a shock to society and the church to find out that there was “another world” that existed across the waters and it had millions of inhabitants who did not know about Jesus or the God of the Hebrews. If the atheists' argument that ET would destroy religion, is valid, then the church should have collapsed then and there. It is hard, but necessary, to understand, that the discovery of a “new world”, to the European society and church at that time in history, was every bit as dramatic and traumatic as the landing of a UFO with aliens would be to us today. It is of no small significance that they spoke of the “New World” for centuries after that.
After the shock wore off, the church adjusted and considered the new order to be an opportunity for expansion. Though the methods of expansion left much to be desired, and at times were not morally supportable, they didn’t fold and say that everything they knew before was wrong. Because Jesus had predicted that the Word would be preached to all, around the world, the church realized that the new discoveries were simply an extension of His mandate to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.”
If we discovered that there are other worlds “out there” with intelligent inhabitants, would the mandate be any different? Isaiah 9:7 says, “Of the increase of His government…there shall be no end”.
We still don’t know for sure if there is an ET. But whether ET exists or not, God will still be there looking over mankind, as He has done since man was first created.