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Aliens and beings from other planets


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#21 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:01 PM

There are millions of millions of planets out there, it is impossibile to believe and against all odds that no forms of life exist on any of them.


Nothing is impossible, don't you know? Certainly it is possible. Sorry, but this line of reasoning belongs to what I call the religion of the 10 monkeys. That is, the "theory" that if you put ten monkeys in a room with ten typewriters, eventually they would, by random chance, recreate every novel ever written. After all there are only so many different ways you can combine the finite letters of the aiphabet, so, given enough years, centuries, millenia, wouldn't it be IMPOSSIBLE NOT to?

This is the religion of scientism. Just make the number big enough. If millions of years or planets doesn't do it, make it billions, or trillions. At some point the number will be big enough to be impressive.

If God has created life in other places, what is it to us? And if He hasn't, who are we to say that such a thing is impossible?

Hey, maybe, just maybe WE are the "first" race intended to populate the universe, to be who other races will eventually wonder about when they finally think about "how did we get here"?

Or how about the possibility, due to those REALLY BIG NUMBERS that we are throwing around here, that the chance that we and any other sentient race that might exist might actually bump into each other is really pretty small to the point it makes winning a lottery you didn't even enter likely?

So, I don't think it is impossible at all. God knows.

Reminds me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which states that in an "infinite" Universe, we know that the number of planets that might actually be inhabited will be a finite number. And if you divide infinity by any finite number, no matter how big, the probability that you would actually meet is so incredibly small that you might as well assumme that anyone you actually DO meet is simply a figment of your imagination....

#22 Father David Moser

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:53 PM

I do not doubt that "life" exists throughout the created universe. Biological life is an integral part of creation, inherent in the very structure of the original creation. This life, however, is plant life, that is life without a soul (in patristic taxonomy which is not necessarily consistent with the evolutionary based taxonomy developed by Linneaus in the 19th Century). Animal life, that is life with a mortal soul, is a second special creation and Human life, that is life with an immortal soul, is a third special creation. I find it highly likely that there will be "plant" life throughout the universe, however, I would find the presence of "animal" life or "human" life to highly unlikely (although animal life could be possible...)

Modern scientific and philosophic thought takes the position that the presence of any life implies the possibility of "human" or what is usually referred to as "intelligent" life. Orthodoxy, of course, does not accept this premise. Those enemies of mankind (the demonic forces), however, can use the popular perceptions of "life" to create a deception leading us away from God. These deceptions (such as the existence of extra-terrestrial "intelligent" life) distort the divine reality, distort our understanding of God, of our place in creation, of the means and need for our salvation, and our place in eternity thus leading us astray from the path of salvation. This then leads us directly back to Fr Seraphim's position that such manifestations (UFOs, alien life, etc) are demonic in nature, meant to deceive and to distract us from the path of salvation.

Fr David Moser

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#23 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:33 PM

Of course, we cannot know, but I believe (on the basis of nothing at all) that there is no other life in the universe. I think that the earth is the centre of creation, not in its location obviously as used to be believed but in terms of God's love. When I consider the universe, I think, 'and God did all this for us, out of love'.

#24 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 08:44 AM

Father David wrote : "This then leads us directly back to Fr Seraphim's position that such manifestations (UFOs, alien life, etc) are demonic in nature, meant to deceive and to distract us from the path of salvation."

Father David, these manifestations are something I know nothing about and I agree that satan is the master of deception and that he is capable of manifesting whatever he wants to.

What I am saying is that it is logical to suppose that out of the countless millions of planets some would have the right conditions to support various types of life.

Effie

#25 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:59 AM

What I am saying is that it is logical to suppose that out of the countless millions of planets some would have the right conditions to support various types of life.


Think about it. What you are REALLY saying is that "life" happens accidentally, and that "life" happens "behind God's back", so to speak. IF life exists anywhere, it is because God wills it so, not because "conditions" happened to be "right". Random chance substitutes for God, that is what the atheists wanted all along. God is bigger than our "logic".

#26 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:08 PM

Think about it. What you are REALLY saying is that "life" happens accidentally, and that "life" happens "behind God's back", so to speak. IF life exists anywhere, it is because God wills it so, not because "conditions" happened to be "right". Random chance substitutes for God, that is what the atheists wanted all along. God is bigger than our "logic".



I am sorry Herman, but that is not what I am saying. You are limiting God, by assuming that our one tiny planet is his only creation.

"Now let us look into the deep, dark night, from earth up to heaven. How many stars we see scattered there. There is an infinite number of them! Many of the stars are just like our star, the sun. There are some that are many times larger than ours, but they are so far away from the earth that they seem to us to be tiny, twinkling pinpoints of light. They are all in motion in an orderly and harmonious manner, according to definite paths and laws. Our earth amid the heavenly vastness seems like a tiny speck of light.

The world of God is vast, uncontainable! We can neither account for nor measure it all, for only ‘God, Who created everything, knows the measure and weight and number of all things."

Effie

#27 Father David Moser

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:12 PM

What I am saying is that it is logical to suppose that out of the countless millions of planets some would have the right conditions to support various types of life.


Yes, bodily life (that is plant life) can arise in any place where conditions are "right" to support it. However, according to the scripture, animal life (that is a body with a mortal soul) requires not only the "right conditions" but also a creative act by God. And human life "intelligent life" (that is a body with an immortal soul, a spiritual component) requires a further creative act by God. My point is that these creative acts are "discontinuous" points within any kind of "evolutionary" or "developmental" process that science can describe. Science (as of now anyway) can't even begin to define the soul or locate it, let alone adequately study it and explain its origins.

Thus we will find bodily life throughout the created universe (I do not doubt that at all) and the scriptural/patristic witness leaves room to argue that the creative act giving rise to the animals could also have been "universal" (St Basil says something like that the animals are the natural "fruit" of the earth, or water, or air from which they arose - but again I think it might be stretching it just a bit to make this universally applicable) however I find no such room for making the assumption that what we call in this context "intelligent life" could be a universal action as it is intensely personal between God and Adam.


In any case the assumption that even animal life would naturally arise where ever conditions were right neglects the necessity for a unique creative act by God for animals to even exist. So if we leave God out of the picture, then the demonic deception - whether an "alien encounter" or a "scientific approach" - is successful for we have "forgotten" God or at best we impose our "truth" upon God who is Truth and demand that He follow our scientific rules. (this also philosophically goes to the political idea of the "rule of law" - which is one of the fundamental principles of modern democracy. The law is supreme and all living beings are subject to it. The problem, of course is that if there was a law to which God was subject, then there is something greater than God. But that's a different discussion which is only tangentially connected to this)

Fr David Moser

#28 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:23 PM

The only reason we understand anything within creation is because it has purpose within a certain Divine context. This insight of what ties creation & the whole universe together is fundamental to the Patristic insight. In other words commonality of nature is the only reason we understand anything about nature. It is the only reason we are aware of its existence and anything about its existence.

The existence of 'other beings' however is predicated on the idea of an infinite universe offering infinite possibilities, which is a physical let alone theological impossibility. Such a universe does not exist- it is only the attempt of modern man to drag divine attributes down to the material or desacralized level.

The inner contradiction of the idea of 'other creatures' then is that if they existed we would be as completely unaware of their existence as they would be of ours.

The only interesting thing about 'aliens' then is how they come more or less in our shape and with our sense of what consciousness means. Whether invented by us or actually existing this surely states something as to what their actual purpose is.

In Christ- Fr Raphael
PS; right after I posted this I noticed Fr David's post above which appeared in the meantime. We both seem to be saying the same thing in different ways.

#29 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:39 PM

Praise ye Him, O sun and moon, praise Him,
all ye stars and light. Praise Him ye heavens
of heavens: and let the waters that are above
the heavens praise the name of the Lord, for
He spoke, and they were made; He commanded,
and they were created.

Psalm 148, 3 - 5

O joyful light of the holy glory of the Father
Immortal, the heavenly, holy, blessed One,
O Jesus Christ, Now that we have reached the
setting of the sun, and see the evening light,
we sing to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise
in measured melody to You, O Son of God,
the giver of life. Behold the universe sings Your
glory.

Vespers hymn following the Little Entrance

God is the Creator of all the Universe, not just the earth.

#30 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:56 PM

There seems to be a difference of opinion of what the word "life" means.

I was not referring to "aliens" or whatever.

"Microorganisms live almost everywhere on earth where there is liquid water, including hot springs on the ocean floor and deep inside rocks within the earth's crust."

We know that life = microorganisms can exist in impossibly high and low temperatures. They do not need much else besides water as far as I know. Is it impossible to imagine that there are planets other than the earth with life on them?

#31 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 03:30 PM

Is it impossible to imagine that there are planets other than the earth with life on them?


No, but does there HAVE to be? The priests here are saying that IF there is "life" elsewhere, God had to put it there, but God doesn't "have" to do anything, so it is just as possible to believe that there is no life elsewhere.

Are you familiar with the SETI project? We have been scanning the skies for decades, harnessing the collective power of thousands of computers to analyze the eletromagnetic spectra to find even the smallest indication that intelligent life might exist somewhere. Despite intense efforts and interest, and several proven hoaxes, there are NO verifiable evidence of even the possibility of "life" however you define it beyond a vague "hope" and some blind faith in random chance.

Is there NO possibility of extraterrestrial life? I, personally, am not ready to go that far, although some reasonable justification for such a belief has been put forward. At any rate, the existance or nonexistance of extraterrestrial life has no bearing that I can see on my ultimate salvation which I am still trying to work out in fear and trembling. These things are "fun" to speculate on, but saying there MUST be something out there just because the universe is BIG is a canard, the logic is flawed, and plays right into the hands of the atheists IMO.

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 07 February 2009 - 10:21 PM.


#32 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 03:44 PM

No, but does there HAVE to be? The priests here are saying that IF there is "life" elsewhere, God had to put it there, but God doesn't "have" to do anything, so it is just as possible to believe that there is no life elsewhere.

Are you familiar with the SETI project? We have been scanning the skies for decades, harnessing the collective power of thousands of computers to analyze the eletromatic spectra to find even the smallest indication that intelligent life might exist somewhere. Despite intense efforts and interest, and several proven hoaxes, there are NO verifiable evidence of even the possibility of "life" however you define it beyond a vague "hope" and some blind faith in random chance.

Is there NO possibility of extraterrestrial life? I, personally, am not ready to go that far, although some reasonable justification for such a belief has been put forward. At any rate, the existance or nonexistance of extraterrestrial life has no bearing that I can see on my ultimate salvation which I am still trying to work out in fear and trembling. These things are "fun" to speculate on, but saying there MUST be something out there just because the universe is BIG is a canard, the logic is flawed, and plays right into the hands of the atheists IMO.



Herman, I see we basically don't disagree. The SETI programme is the one that scans the heavens for radio signals or something, isn't it? Again, I just want to emphasize that I was not referring to aliens etc. We have no knowledge of what is or isn't in the heavens. There are a lot of theories, but most of our "knowledge" is really only theory. In some things what scientiest believed 50 years ago is not what they believe today. The only thing that I am certain of is that God created not just this earth of ours but all of Creation.


I guess I better stop here because while researching for this subject, trying to find what the Greek Orthodox Church has written about this subject I found this :

18th Century Russia.

" Let it be known that nobody under any circumstances may dare write or print anything about the multiplicity of worlds any more than about anything else that is opposed to the holy faith and is not in agreement with honest morals; and let this be on pain of the severest punishment for such a crime."

These are the terms of an ukase that the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church requested the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna to issue in a petition of the 21st December 1756."

Things were pretty strict then, weren't they?

Effie

#33 Father David Moser

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 04:20 PM

We know that life = microorganisms can exist in impossibly high and low temperatures. They do not need much else besides water as far as I know. Is it impossible to imagine that there are planets other than the earth with life on them?


Exactly as I said - bodily (plant) life should be abundant throughout the created universe as it appears to be integral to the nature of created energy/matter. It is when we get to the animal (ensouled) and human (spirit endowed) life that there are "disconnects" that require specific divine intervention.

So I guess we agree!

Fr David Moser

#34 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 04:49 PM

I assume God does nothing without purpose. I'm sure everything organic and inorganic on earth has some role in the earth's existence as the centre of His love and attention. Why would He create even very simple organic life anywhere else? As a bit of whimsy? He has no need for anything He creates. I'm sure He loves all He has created throughout the universe but simply because of the role it plays in maintaining earth's existence.

#35 Paul Cowan

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 01:01 AM

We haven't even fully explored our own planet and people want to jump off and go trapsing around looking for other life. Let's first master our own little universe and then worry IF somebody "out there" shows up. I am sure we will have quite a wait.

We destroy this planet faster every year. Yet there are untold mysteries just below the surface of our oceans. If people want to see untold "aliens" look at what they are finding under the waters.

Paul

#36 John King

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 01:07 PM

Exactly as I said - bodily (plant) life should be abundant throughout the created universe as it appears to be integral to the nature of created energy/matter. It is when we get to the animal (ensouled) and human (spirit endowed) life that there are "disconnects" that require specific divine intervention.

So I guess we agree!

Fr David Moser


Father David is absolutely correct.

In the 1950s an American scientist, a Dr. Miller, recreated what he believed to have been the atmosphere on earth millions of years ago (methane, ammonia and carbon dioxide) and passed electrical discharges through it to simulate lightning.

After a few days he analysed the contents of the large glass globe wherein the experiment had been conducted, and found organic chemicals, including amino acids, the 'building blocks' of all plant and animal tissues. To this day, however, scientists claim to be frustrated because they cannot find an explanation for what gave these chemical the 'spark of life' and produced the first creatures, except for the scientists who believe in God that is.

#37 Anthony

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 03:35 PM

18th Century Russia.

" Let it be known that nobody under any circumstances may dare write or print anything about the multiplicity of worlds any more than about anything else that is opposed to the holy faith and is not in agreement with honest morals; and let this be on pain of the severest punishment for such a crime."

These are the terms of an ukase that the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church requested the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna to issue in a petition of the 21st December 1756."


I am only guessing here, but I am wondering if that could refer to the idea of "possible worlds" (i.e. universes) developed by some philosophers, rather than to the question of extraterrestrial life.

As regards the latter I am completely agnostic, though I have found the discussion interesting.

#38 Robert Hegwood

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 05:21 AM

Perhaps it is useful to note that in Genesis God did not directly create either animals or plants, rather He spoke to the water and to the land and told them to bring forth various kinds of life. Perhaps God made the foundational componants of creation fecund and life generating. That could mean perhaps that plant and a certian level of animal life might be possible on other suitably hospitable planets. Perhaps life is made to be an emmergent property of matter given the right conditions? Just a thought.

#39 Olga

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 06:00 AM

Are you familiar with the SETI project? We have been scanning the skies for decades, harnessing the collective power of thousands of computers to analyze the eletromatic spectra to find even the smallest indication that intelligent life might exist somewhere. Despite intense efforts and interest, and several proven hoaxes, there are NO verifiable evidence of even the possibility of "life" however you define it beyond a vague "hope" and some blind faith in random chance.


If I may make a comment on the SETI project: One of the elements of the project was to send into space two items: a plaque with various objects and signs inscribed on it, including the figures of a smiling man and woman with one hand raised in friendly greeting, and a diagram of the Earth relative to the Sun and the other planets of our solar system; and a device similar to a simple record player, with "instructions" in pictorial form as to how the gold-plated record could be played. The tracks on the record were an assortment of "sounds of the Earth", ranging from birdsong, waterfalls, animal calls, spoken word, and a broad range of music samples, ranging from indigenous/tribal, folk, jazz, classical and rock (the opening riff of Chuck Berry's Johnny B Goode - well, what else should it have been? ;))

I was a teenager when this assembly was sent into space with great hope and fanfare. Even then, and more so now, after a tertiary qualification in a scientific discipline, I thought this aspect of SETI was rather ridiculous. If an alien life form were to intercept these objects, the chances that their interpretation of either the plaque bearing "Greetings from Earth" or the successful playing of the record are negligible. Typical groovy '70s optimism? Probably.

The current efforts by astronomers in analysing the chemical compositions of the atmospheres and structure of outer planets and asteroids at least has a better chance of discovering the possibility of life (of whatever form, intelligent or otherwise) on other "worlds".

#40 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 02:02 PM

Perhaps it is useful to note that in Genesis God did not directly create either animals or plants, rather He spoke to the water and to the land and told them to bring forth various kinds of life. Perhaps God made the foundational componants of creation fecund and life generating. That could mean perhaps that plant and a certian level of animal life might be possible on other suitably hospitable planets. Perhaps life is made to be an emmergent property of matter given the right conditions? Just a thought.


I'm not sure this is right Seraphim. Usually wherever in Genesis 1 it says: "And God said", the Fathers interpret this as creation from nothing (ex nihilo) not a derivative creation. The creation of both plants ( Gen 1: 11- 12) and animals (Gen 1: 20-25) is referred to as a result of "And God said."

A second reason the Fathers would have greatly hesitated about a derivative creation is that in their historical context this would have meant creation from matter existing co-eternally with God which was the idea common for the philosophy of the time. This is different than the derivative creation expressed in more modern ideas about creation but it is doubtful the Fathers would have heard of this idea in the society they lived in.

In Christ- Fr Raphael




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