Is there evidence of Intelligent life on other planets? None that we can observe. Anywhere, whatsoever:
But what about Microbial life of some sort? What if we find water is or was on other planets, and also found evidence of microbes, now or at one time?
The universe is the ‘House’ or neighborhood that God made “in the Beginning” (Genesis 1:1). And this is the explanation that explains eveything.
In a forum the conjecture of extra-terrestrial life cropped up again as it does once in a while, so I thought I would dig out this earlier reflection.
So far there are no facts confirming the presence of other contingent life in the universe, besides the astonishing abundance which flourishes here on planet Earth.
Only the believer can truly and fully celebrate life anywhere in any part of God’s Uni-verse (one Reality or Uni-verse). There is only one creation, whatever (and wherever) its parts. The unbelieving scientist, however, wildly formulates Multiverse hypotheses and seeks to manipulate our own particular solar system in many ways and for many reasons (even for military purposes). We’ve been disrupting creation for a long time now.
St. Thomas Aquinas related the revelation of Christ to us, that “‘creation’ denominates an active power by which things are brought into being [‘esse‘]; and this is why creation does not presuppose either a preexisting matter [or an infinite regression of causes]”
“God alone is His own ‘esse’ [His “essence IS to exist”; thus only He can give anything life]… Therefore, no created being is able to produce any ‘being’ absolutely except insofar as it causes ‘esse’ in this being, and so it is necessary that that through which something is, this being must be presupposed for the action by which it makes something similar to itself.” —De Potentia Dei, ques. 3,# 1
Only Uncreated Being (capital ‘B’) can create new being(s) [small ‘b’] and He, the “One who IS” ( His Name is YHWH, meaning “I AM” or “The One Who Is”: Exo 3:14), does so according to His inscrutable will and wisdom for good reasons, which may or may not elude us in part over time. It is why you and I and that rock over there (and everything else) are here at all.
On earth there are—from the point of view of what we might have expected— bizarre microbial (and other) beings which at one time may have seemed utterly inexplicable, but which later yielded some of the secrets of their usefulness (from rhizobial bacteria which supply nitrogen for plants, to earthworms—each a very great ‘distance’ from the reality and being of human existence / consciousness, though we all share material aspects).
Still, the Christian has received that the ‘how’ of being / creation is ultimately and irreducibly a mystery—the Mystery, after God himself (to the human mind), the explanation for which God alone has revealed the answer (Gen 1:1); since it is utterly contingent and need not ‘be’ at all (journalists were not invited to the moment of Creation, when the first thing came into existence, nor were they informed in a press conference). Created being has not the reason for its being in itself. It all comes from the One whose essence is to Exist.
“It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.” —G.K. Chesterton
Everything there is came from nothing at all?
Genesis, the book of origins, explains that all contingent being is created, ordered, and sustained to God’s creative purpose and could never, as St. Thomas observes, arise out of “nothing”. This is the scandal of being—wherever we find it—which will ever elude the scientist with his part empiricism, part gnosis, part hubris.
Our particular solar system, like each and all of them, is a neighborhood which, according to the anthropic principle(1) is astonishingly configured for the sustaining of life. This can hardly be an “accident”.
Atheism, being a bizarre dogmatic attempt to prove the ultimate negative, can only ever seek to raise various objections in the face of the wonder of life itself. It continually begs the question of being. That doesn’t make sense, either for life on earth —or on any other planet.
Again, the creation (of the universe, everything!) happened but once, according to Genesis, whatever its theoretical multiform scatterings (or exportations –cross- pollination / contamination—from earth!), assuming there are any life-forms outside of earth.
Of Buzzards and Microbes:
Microorganisms are critical to nutrient recycling in ecosystems as they act as decomposers of things great and small. Like buzzards which clean up dead animals from the earth preventing the spread of disease, microbial agents stem any number of harmful contaminations and consequences, known or unknown, they act as God’s cleaning crew. It is much of their reason for being. Thus if, “in the beginning” God created microbial life elsewhere in the universe, in water or anywhere, He would have His “good” reasons which, alas for us, He is not telling, and thus leaving scientists to their conjectures.
Some try to work up mathematical equations / algorithms against the likelihood that we are “alone”. But what is the statistical probability against anything arising from nothing apart from a Creator / First Cause, much less as Chesterton says, “that everything that is came from nothing at all”? God Is (Ex. 3:14; Jn 8:58) first.
We don’t need to find microbes on another planet to know we are “not alone”. We are anything but alone—He “is,” and is with us—which is why we are at all. SH
(1) Cf. Wheeler, John A. “Foreword,” in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler. (Oxford, U. K.: Clarendon Press, 1986), p. vii.
“Through Him all things were made; and apart from him nothing was made that has been made”—Jn 1:3