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If we discover life elsewhere in the Universe, will that change how we think about God or 'Intelligent Design'?

9 Answers
With all the high-tech equipment we're using to search the stars for ET, it is becoming clearer all the time that the possibility of finding life out there becomes more and more "inevitable", I think. I, personally, believe our Universe might well be "rife with life"...it's just that we're all so distantly separated that we might never actually "see" one another. I also believe in Creation and Evolution (I capitalize each term for 'equal-distinction' only). I often say "Of course I believe in Evolution, because I believe that God (Creator) has designed things to 'evolve'". Not necessarily very 'profound', but it works for me, anyway. What do YOU think? Will a discovery and 'proof' of life elsewhere in the Universe affect how we think about our existence, our beginnings, our end?
P

If evolution existed without intelligent design, physicists would not exist for the purpose of measuring and observing the universe so that the universe can exist. There would be no purpose to the existence of the universe. Intelligence would not exist. Planets would be globs of gas and matter spiraling out of control, smashing into each other, being swallowed or consumed by the fire of suns and burning to a crisp. Every day would be an apocalyptic moment of chaos and disorder. Nothing in the universe would have its proper place or duty/purpose.

Galaxies would collide, any and all life forms would be mindless, clumsy mutants, with their arms on their butt cheeks and knees on the forehead. Brain? What's a brain? That thing that houses what? Intelligence? What's that? No intelligence here.

No need to ask questions or explore the unknown, as there would be nothing to know without intelligence.
Of course there is intelligent design in the creation of the universe.

As for whether finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would change how we think about God or intelligent design....I would say not.
I find it ironic that at the same time science claims to be searching for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, it denies and debunks claims from everyday citizens who have told and recounted experiences with an alien encounter or abduction. By doing this, science is denying the existence of the very thing they are looking for, and what they are looking for has actually come to us. We don't have to look very far to find them.
I believe if science ever found intelligent life in the universe, it would not change how they think about God or intelligent design. They would only DENY it.

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M

I also think there is other life out there, not just us, but my thinking is different than yours, I put evolution first, and am not so convinced there is a God as such, not not certain there isn't one either...

Whatever, and whenever we discover it... will only serve to lend to whatever you already believe. In other words people who believe in God and creationism will find a way of saying that life on other planets only proves that God exists and is everywhere, and those who believe in evolution will see it as proof that evolution is real.

Another situation that should be mentioned is that we might just come to find intelligent aliens, smarter and more advanced than us and that those aliens had visited earth thousands of years ago. There are many theories that suggest ancient people may have interacted with ancient aliens and even worshiped them, some theories suggest that aliens were the origin of "God".

Possibly several aliens arrived, they taught us how to build pyramids and other structures, and could have been the basis of the Greek Gods and "gods that lived in the clouds". These aliens might have had fights among themselves, causing one to say "I am the only true God" or whatever, they eventually died out, or left in their space craft.. who knows... so discovering this could change history as we know it.

Other wise I think discovery of life will just reaffirm what anyone already believes anyhow and will not prove, or disprove, either theory.

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B

I do not really find any reason why a discovery of life elsewhere in the Universe would change how we think about God or Intelligent Design. Both the belief in God and Intelligent Design are nothing but beliefs. One may argue why then evolution is not a belief, but it is important to know that evolution is a theory supported by significant amounts of proof just as any other theory in science. Beliefs on the other hand, by definition, disregard the need and weigh of evidence.

Therefore, if we discover life elsewhere in the Universe, the people who believe in God, Intelligent Design or some other beliefs will simply believe that whatever being or entity they choose to believe in has simply created the alien life as well. The people who of course support the evolutionary theories will simply draw the conclusion that evolution has had its course on the alien planet just as it has had its course here on earth.

The only thing I could see that would change people's beliefs would actually be if the alien life provided proof of a God or another supernatural being that have created our world. I personally find this point extremely unlikely. Whenever we are talking about such entities, we can never avoid that should such entity exist, then who or what created the entity? By analyzing the whole thing it always boils down to that our world came into being from nothing. This nothing may (notice may) be explained by theories within quantum world which does support the Big Bang theory.

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E

Personally I believe in God and Creation as described in the Christian Bible, although I do not take a clear stand point on "young earth" Creation (where the "seven days" may refer to a much longer time span and includes the possibility of the Big Bang) or an "old earth" Creation (where the universe and everything in it was created with age).

However, most importantly, I believe that God created mankind as mankind and not through a process of evolution. Evolution to me is just a theory that is unproven. I do not dispute that there are findings that can support the theory of Evolution, but you may find, that such findings can just as well be used to support the opposite standpoint.

To be honest, I am quite amused at the ongoing "struggle" to find extra terrestrial life - or even water for that matter. The easiest thing they could do is to redefine life in such a way, that a rock on Mars could fulfill their criteria. Personally, I do not think there is life out there beyond what exists on Earth and what is referred to as spiritual entities. However, I am fascinated by what scientists find out there and the idea that the entire universe was created just for us.

I can strongly recommend Reasons To Believe (reasons. org) where a number of scientists discuss subjects like this. They also pick up current topis in their Science News Flash.

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S

Hey, all.
Thanks so much for your Mybestanswer for this thought provoking topic. I appreciate each viewpoint and slant, and I think it's very interesting to consider each idea in conjunction with others, for a broad perspective.

It's also interesting to think some about the 'immortality' thing, since that is something most every human (if not others) desires. Life wants to live.death is not a welcome part of life, for most living creatures, though we know it comes to every living thing.so far, that is.

I've been looking at some research points regarding future possibilities for extending life indefinitely, through nano-technology (nano-bots, etc.) and other emerging technologies. Ray Kurzweil (author, futurist, etc.) tells of his expectations for such things to become part of our culture within the next few decades. I am not sure how this relates to the topic, but I thought it was an intriguing aside, anyway. I have my misgivings about attempting to "live forever" in human form. Perhaps we are already "eternal", but just don't understand that as human beings. And, if there really IS a superior existence (i.e., "Heaven"), why would we wish to remain locked in human existence anyway, y'know? I'm just sayin'.

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L

There will always be people who will refuse to believe the evidence no matter how convincing it is and what their religious beliefs are. If a spaceship suddenly appeared in the sky with little green men inside there would be some people who would say it was a fake and the governments way of controlling us. They would come up with millions of reasons why it couldn't be real no matter what because of their inbuilt fear.

It wouldn't only be the Christian religion which would be put into doubt if it was proven that life existed outside of earth it would be all religions. However at such times who do they turn to for comfort and hope? They turn to their God and I believe that they would still seek out that comfort even if scientifically it was put into doubt. Their answer to whether God existed would probably be "He must have created these other world as well!"

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S

Well first I kindly disagree with you on Intelligent Design. I reject Intelligent Design on the sole fact that it doesn't any shred of evidence. Evolution on the other hand is believable because of the immensity of evidence there is.
yes I agree with you on leaving the possibility of alien life form (not asserting it) based on the fact that we are in very large cosmos of billions and billions if stars, galaxies and planets. Machio Kaku, a world renowned physicists forms the analogy in this hypothesis of extraterrestrials not stopping and saying hi for ant-like civilization. Kaku describes warns to not look for green skins but to rather look at energy utilization; he classifies them under Civilization I, II and III and our earth being "zero" mostly on the fact that we derive energy from simple things and processes like plants, sun, nuclear.

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D

What I have often believed is that the discovery of extra terrestrials would affect religion as much as discovering a way to be immortal which is,believe it or not,now a possibillity and within our reach.Most religions are based on the firm fact of the afterlife.In Christianity,Islam,Buddhism etc the message is the same,Be good in this life and you will be rewarded in the next.If however we managed to become biologically immortal(There is a jellyfish that is biologically immortal).The 'next life'wolud only be reached by those who would die through physical trauma and not biological ageing.The fact that one could avoid going to the Afterlife would kill most religions as they are and people would put more faith in Science than in religion.

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B

I agree with Matter91 Those who are already committed to believing in God or creationism will find a way to continue to do so, no matter how stupendous or earth-shattering such a discovery would be.

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