Musings of a Christian Geek about the Word, Geek Culture, Science, Music, Movies, and anything that is deemed noteworthy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Close Encounters of the Fake Kind

They say that everybody has a few guilty pleasures and, believe me, I am no stranger to the concept. I think any geek is entitled to at least half a dozen or so guilty pleasures and lately my drug of choice has been the show America’s Book of Secrets with a little bit Ancient Aliens. I don’t know what endears me to these shows. Maybe it’s just the insanity of some of the conspiracy theories presented or maybe it’s the confidence exhibited by each commenter or expert; but, whatever it is, I am hooked anytime I start watching.

Now before you start thinking of me as a crazy conspiracy nut, let me clear something up. I probably agree with about five percent of what is being fed to us via the programs.  I’ll get this out of the way right now: 9/11 was not an inside job, there is no ancient Chinese cure for cancer, the moon landings actually happened, and aliens have never visited this planet. Wait a minute, how can I be so sure aliens have never visited Earth? I will tell you and let me start out by asking you a question. Have you ever just sat down and considered the sure practicality of extraterrestrials visiting us?

First, let’s ask the question, Are we alone in the universe? Well of course not. A whole spiritual realm exists where God, His angels, and our adversary reside. So, technically humans are not alone in the universe. However, this question usually denotes an inquiry on sentient life other than humanity. Well, the answer would have to be that yes, we are alone in the universe. The fact of the matter is that the Earth is infinitesimally rare. A difficult concept for people to grasp is the fact that our home planet acts as a living organism always changing and adapting to conditions. Plate tectonics, the coriolis effect, atmospheric makeup, different forms (liquid water, vapor, and ice) of H2O, and a magnetic field all contribute to the proliferation of life on Earth. In addition, animals and plants have a dependent relationship. Animals and humans release carbon dioxide as they breathe in oxygen which, in turn, is used by plants through photosynthesis which results in the production of oxygen.

Life is not as simple of an equation as “true believers” would like to admit. Still not convinced? Well, for the sake of argument, let’s say there is extraterrestrial intelligence out there somewhere. A fact that never receives attention is that any alien species is bound by the same physical laws we are bound by. According to special relativity, light speed is the fastest any craft could theoretically travel. Thus, even if extraterrestrials had the wherewithal to harness enough energy (which is nigh impossible), trips to Earth would be measured in years, not days or weeks. The closest star to the Solar System is Alpha Centuri which is four light years away. Thus, if aliens lived in that system, it would still take them at least 4 years to get to us.

So, the aliens have travelled years to arrive on Earth and what do they do? They secretly conduct experiments on humans, leave some indecipherable messages in crops, and leave without any fanfare. Saying this out loud only makes this statement sound stupider.  What reason would aliens have to conduct their business in secret? Also, let’s not forget that some of these shows propose the idea that aliens have doing these experiments for thousands of years. When in human history have explorers ever gone looking for land but at their destination just abduct a few people in the area and conduct business in secret? Never, that’s when. In human history, exploration has almost always consisted of integrating, conquering, settling, or trading. If UFO enthusiasts are to be believed, alien explorers are very against this mold and rather nonchalant about their discoveries.

In conclusion, I once heard one of these “experts” describe the human race as a young race on the interstellar stage. I was wondering on what evidence he could even base that assumption and then it hit me. He is getting his information from Star Trek and other Science Fiction media. Watch Star Trek: First Contact or play Mass Effect and Halo and you can come up with the same idea about humanity. The problem with these examples is they are all works of fiction. Great works, I might add, but fiction nonetheless.  This brings us to the reason why people believe in aliens in the first place. It all stems from points I mentioned in Lights, Camera, the Battle for the Mind.  Humans have a hard time distinguishing fiction from reality because fiction adds a sense of purpose to one’s life. The worse thing anybody can believe is that human life doesn’t matter in the scheme of things.

Whether individuals admit it or not, a belief in extraterrestrial intelligence is a belief in importance of humanity on a cosmic stage. People want to believe that we are another race in a universe of thousands to millions who contribute worth to the universe. I, personally, have no problem realizing the fact that we are alone because of my belief in God. My experience has shown me that a belief in God is a belief in purpose. Believing and reading God’s Word has shown me that humans have a very important role to play and it has everything to do with His Son Jesus Christ and the final victory that will bring rewards and eternal life to all who follow Him.