Distant Planets, Distant Gods

In a recent conversation with a neighbor, we were discussing the possibility of intelligent, human-like life on other habitable worlds in the universe and he posed these questions:

If people did live on these distant planets, do you think they would have a god? And if so, would it be the same god as the “earthly” Christian god?

I told him I supposed it could be possible but I thought it highly unlikely since they too would have to have a “history” book on their god that was identical to the one “earth people” claimed.

What do you think?

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77 thoughts on “Distant Planets, Distant Gods

    • Since I haven’t read these novels, would you care to share a bit of what C.S. had to say?

      BTW, this question is open to anyone who cares to contribute their perspective on Lewis’ books.

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  1. From a astrophysics (and mathematical) point-of-reference or from a Homo sapien point-of-reference? 😛

    Also, I’d seriously think a reasonable answer hinges on time/evolution of the alien species. It is possible that Earthling Homo sapiens COULD (strong emphasis on could!) be slightly more advanced. Hahaha.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hmmmm. Perhaps.

      But this is the question — Assuming this far-distant alien species is as advanced as current humans … and they happened to believe in a god … would it be the same God the Christians worship?

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        • According to the canonical OT and NT, yes. But since I personally can no longer subscribe to that reasoning-theology, in light of modern astrophysics, Quantum physics, paleoanthropology, linguistics, paleography, archaeology. genetics, neurology, psychology, etc, I think it is well beyond a reasonable doubt that an Abrahamic God/deity “created all things” in every cubic centimeter of the entire Universe/Multiverse. That model of thinking is simply overly ridiculously antequated. 🙂

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  2. I think it depends on how the other species evolved. Our evolution gave us a need to find something bigger / better than ourselves. It gave us a need to create a purpose for our living. I did hear of one tribe that had no concept of a god, but that was the only one. So many different groups of humans at different times in history created so many diverse gods.

    So if they evolved as we did they may have gods, but it wouldn’t be our gods with our gods rules and holy books. It would be specific to their species. They say if humans had not taken the top spot on this planet then the family of octopuses might have. Nothing says that alien life has to look or think as we do. SO they would have their own versions of gods, if they have them.

    Great question Nan. I love this line of thought. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • ” it depends on how the other species evolved. ”

      I couldn’t agree more. It all depends on evolutionary pressure. If the planet was completely covered with water, of if the life were silicon based instead of carbon. No guarantee they’d even think like us much less be a hominid.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The gods rise from ignorance and are burried by knowledge. The gods of the universe will look just like the minds that envisaged them… Until those minds get down to business and started working towards immortality.

    Liked by 6 people

    • True statement johnz. ‘The ‘gods’ rise from ignorance.

      How many times have I said that collectively all the gods’ that were, are, and will be, can neither tie their shoes nor count to three. They are borne of ignorance.

      Now God,’ note that, capital G, as in the only God, He owns all knowledge. He owns arithmetic. He owns astronomy. He designed the human brain, so ignorance is your choice.

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      • Of course, and your particular Middle Eastern god, who made its literary debut in the 7th Century BCE, and was not envisaged by a single culture outside the postage stamp of its inventors geography, is the “one” god… Naturally.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Sorry neighbor, but I don’t have a ‘particular god.’

          God has no competitors, and is revealed through nature, logic, common sense, law, order, beauty, death, your conscience, and oh by the way, scripture agrees with this assessment. 😉

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        • Here’s a reality check for you:

          The god of the Pentateuch (re-invented in the New Testament, then again revised in the Qur’an) is invisible and inaudible. It gives off no odour and has no perceptible taste. It generates no heat signature, produces no electromagnetic field and provokes no resonance at any frequency. It cannot be detected with any instrument and no measurement of any natural phenomena has ever indicated its presence. Its influence cannot be inferred from any secondary observation, no earthly geological record speaks of its intervention, and no examination of any biological or astronomical system has ever alluded to its agency. It is massless, it displaces neither liquids, solids, gas nor plasma and has no perceptible gravitational effect on anything. No disturbance in the fabric of spacetime suggests it’d once moved through any region of the cosmos, and the last remaining place where the Christian god could possibly reside (undetected) is a place where the Christian god cannot reside; beyond the last Schwarzschild radius of a black hole where events can no longer affect an outside observer.

          Temporally speaking, the god of the Pentateuch is entirely absent from all but the last 1.25% of human history, and even after its literary debut in the 7th Century BCE failed to register as anything other than a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly envisaged by no other culture on the planet. It didn’t materialise independently in mainland Europe, emerge unassisted on the British Isles, or rouse a single word across the entire Far East. It inspired no one in any of the 30,000 islands of the South Pacific, energised nothing across the African continent, stirred naught in North America, and didn’t move anything or anyone in Central or South America. No one across the vast Indian Great Plains or Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Azorean fisherman suddenly spoke of it, no Scandinavian shipwright carved its name in a stone, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it.

          Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing in the natural or anthropological landscape which might even remotely lead a person blissfully ignorant of the claims made in bible to suspect that that particular Middle Eastern god has ever inspired anything except the imaginations of a few linguistically specific Iron Age Canaanite hill tribes looking to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives.

          Liked by 6 people

        • Nan, what I’ve noticed is that either implicitely or explicitely, brash arrogant Christians deny the fact that even after 2,000+ years, over 71% of the world IS NOT Christian! In fact, their numbers are declining. It’s very safe to say, that 71% of the world cannot all be ignorant, unintelligent, and unmoved by “the Good News” for that long! 😉

          What does that say about your questions here? Hahaha.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nice work jz.

          ‘Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing…………..’ etc. etc.

          I’m smiling because it is exactly this reason that gives the scriptures its credibility and strength.

          It is the monarch of books, Goliath like, so unlike the felling of the pebbles by detractors.

          Tkx for the support for God’s word.

          ‘Let there be light……….and there was light.’

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      • Colorstorm, I have shared this quote from Alvin Boyd Kuhn concerning Christianity on other sites but not sure you have seen it. Most of us can see how true this is. We can only hope you have an “aha” moment during our lifetime. 🙂

        Concerning Christianity, “As ignorance was its mother and the source-spring of its world power, it is bound to cherish ignorance as its patron saint and monitor forever, for the breadth of knowledge would wither it away.”, Alvin Boyd Kuhn

        Liked by 4 people

        • Tkx chief, but you just do not get it.

          You cannot even open your mouth to flap your tongue without God’s help.

          And Kuhn is no different from Sagan, Nye, or Hawking. All heroes of the godless living at the expense of the Creator they deny.

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        • Colorstorm, “Tkx chief, but you just do not get it.”

          I along with most of the people here eventually did “get it”. That’s why I am holding out hope for you !

          Liked by 2 people

        • Too funny chief!

          Here’s some better thoughts for the day:

          Where were you when the seas and the earth were created?

          What help did you or your godless friends provide in the architecture of the universe?

          What grand accident was responsible for this thing called ‘true north?’

          Boyd can’t help you. Zande can’t help you. Einstein can’t help you.

          Apart from the Creator, you are a mere tresspasser in His world. There is hope for you.

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  4. You folks are missing the point of the post! *sigh*

    Yes, there is a possibility any life that may exist on distant planets would create a “god,” But would it be the god that earthlings worship? Would it be the “Christian” god? I think not but I would be interested in how a Christian would answer this question.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha… are we folk being silly and dense? 😉

      I would agree with and say the same thing as John Zande and add that EVERYTHING known about the Catholic or Protestant New Testament God is silent about extra-terrestial life beyond in 100-billion galaxies of which 1,000-trillion Earth-like planets… all with different or VASTLY different God-histories… that the New Testament writers could never phathom. In other words, their entire existence, knowledge, and ignorance was centered on the known world during that very brief window of time. The fact that we KNOW the Earth revolves around the Sun — not everything around the Earth — speaks VOLUMES about 2nd-3rd century Judeo-Christian Catholic astrophysics! 😛

      Therefore, respectfully I don’t feel like the question is really relevant for any non-Christian. Christian core doctrines and beliefs — from the canonical NT — revolve strictly around Antiquity about ONE deity in ONE tiny region of ONE tiny planet among approximately 1,000-trillion Earth-like planets. ❤

      Then again, I am no longer a "Christian" either.

      Liked by 3 people

    • It’s highly unlikely, Nan, to say the least. To bring up a salient point not raised by other commenters here, extraterrestrial life would not only be quite different from us physiologically, it would also likely be different from us psychologically as well. The combination of human misperceptions, fears, etc. which led to hero worship and inevitably to the belief in omnipotent gods might be rare in the universe or even unique. Species more advanced than us might have evolved beyond emotion, for example. One of our greatest egocentric faults, in my opinion, is the assumption that we Homo sapiens have set some kind of evolutionary precedent or standard of achievement. Until we learn much more about the cosmos, that seems rather silly.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. No. i agree with you.

    But as I said, Christians believe their god created EVERYTHING. But that’s based on the stories in their “holy book,” right? But if the inhabitants of a distant planet have no knowledge of these stories, they would have to create their own god. BUT … The Christian god created everything …

    I believe it’s called a conundrum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it clearly shows one more failure of the holy books for early Earth religions. The people who dreamed them up could only write what they could imagine. Now newer religions do invoke space aliens and planet fictions. It is safe for them to do so for now as we have the idea of those things and yet no concrete proof they are wrong. Heavens Gate cult had a spaceship hiding behind a comet if I remember correctly. They killed themselves to go to the spaceship to be taken to heaven. OF course no spaceship was detected as the comet went by but there were not around to tell that to. I still haven’t figured out the space nonscience of the mormons and the scientologist. I think they think their god has created the alien life, but I doubt the alien life agrees to it. They forgot to get approve of the script before the movie was shot. The bible did have alien creatures if I remember but we were told they were different types of angels, why not different planet life forms. The big question is if Adam and Eve’s craving for apple pie was the big sin that damned all mankind in perpetuity did it damn other life on other planets? Did christ die for them also, or did it take a million christ deaths . IS Satan working to mes them up also because he deserves a raise if he has all that territory to cover.

      Have a good night. I have to go to bed. I have to get up early for another lab draw. Good night. Hugs

      Liked by 3 people

    • You replying to me?

      Understand where you’re coming from now.

      Yes, HUGE conundrum, which is one reason why many are terrified of science. The Discovery Institute (which is careful not to say Yhwh, rather the Designer) has been in a confused flap since thousands of exoplanets have been discovered by Kepler, and more will come with The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and CHEOPS. For them, just the existence of these planets is as awkward as the amoeba proteus, a gelatinous, microscopic, single-celled blob of primitive organics that boasts a staggering 670 billion base pairs in its genome, whereas a 5 trillion-celled human being has only 2.9 billion base pairs. Quiet the design!

      Liked by 7 people

      • @John, Nan, and anyone else —

        A great add John! The endless discoveries and advancements of science make so much more sense to my brain.

        Here’s one thing I’m noticing about our and Nan’s unweildy(?) Q&A — that’s not at all meant to be derogatory to your approach Nan! 🙂 ❤ — with (theoretical) Christians, especially fundamental Christians, on a likely 2nd, 3rd, or 40th “YhWh” in the universe/multiverse…

        Two drastically different languages, vocabulary, alphabet, cognition, etc, trying to communicate together perhaps similar to the African Xhosas meeting the Jin Chinese for the first time. They are SO FOREIGN (alien) that it is/will be quite awkward to understand each other for a period of time, if not forever if one culture is completely unwilling, unbending, intolerant of others different from them. It is impossible today for me to phathom how fundamental Christians cannot move outside the box, outside their extremely ancient biblical theological dogma (balls-n-chains?) and join the rest of the human race and universe/multiverse. That’s just me. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        • The whole point of a shared religious belief is … community. To step outside of the box is to lose that community (ask any apostate Mormon) and the cost of that is very, very high. If I were in their situation, I would be loathe to lose that community, so I understand their reluctance to “play with fire” by exploring all kinds of hypotheticals which offer no real improvement in one’s life.

          Liked by 3 people

        • The interactions with ColorStorm above support my point about two “foreign cultures” and “foreign thinking” trying to communicate while using completely different alphabets and inferences.

          The peculiarity is that CS represents 21% of the world population (and declining) and most of us here represent 71%, the rising number. What’s the most reasonable conclusion? 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

        • Ha you are the professor!

          You should know that ‘polls’ are poor barometers for measuring the pulse of truth.

          After all, the majority is rising in thinking a man can marry a horse. You have lost the argument using your own broken logic. And I would think that even a fair minded atheist would agree.

          I will side with what is true and be alone, as opposed to voting with the rising percentile who do not know left from right, right from wrong, or truth from lies.

          To say there is no God is the greatest of lies.

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        • @Colorstorm, ” I will side with what is true and be alone, as opposed to voting with the rising percentile who do not know left from right”

          Christianity has been developing it’s religion for 2,000 years through the votes of a few select men. Redactors have been used multiple times to interpret , blend and change the manuscripts you now refer to “The Word of God”.

          You don’t have the slightest clue what the “Word of God” is and neither do any of your other believers.

          Liked by 2 people

        • An excellent summation kcchief.

          There are certainly no boundaries, no standard formula, no limitations whatsoever for any esoteric knowledge or paranormal activity (i.e. “miracles”)… never has been and never will be. Genius, or if one wants to call it something else (abnormality?) has never been, is not, and will never be the exclusive possession of one ___________. (fill in the blank)

          Liked by 2 people

  6. To have the same imaginary god would require the “aliens” to have the same shape as human beings and much of the same environment. Since the odds of that happening are very long, I imagine they would imagine completely different gods, but which would cover the normal bases (lightning, natural disasters, volcanoes, etc.). To argue that they would have the same god would require a belief that whatever god one believes in is demonstrably real and that is at best a strange belief. (If “god” were real and demonstrably so, why would people believe in other gods in that they are not demonstrable.)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “If people did live on these distant planets, do you think they would have a god? And if so, would it be the same god as the “earthly” Christian god?”

    The question was culturally telling.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Alrighty then. I think we’re all (finally) getting on the same wavelength.

    Of course it’s impossible for any interstellar gods to be the Christian god Yahweh because Yahweh is the center of an earthly book written many thousands of years ago (very late in the development of humankind, I might add).

    In fact, had this book never been written, there would be no belief in Yahweh … or Yeshua, for that matter. Yes, there would most likely be some kind of belief in god(s) because humans have a superstitious (and inquisitive) nature. But it would NOT be the “God” that is known and loved by earthly humanoids.

    And, yes, I would agree it’s entirely possible a species on a far, far distant planet might invent a god. BUT … it would not be the Christian god.

    P.S. I think what happened (and what caused the confusion) is most of you answered the first question I posed in the post and bypassed the second one. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • The appalling thing is that the Jews are still trying to figure out what the Book of Genesis actually is. Their language was not capable of enough nuance to clearly indicate what is being said by the author. There is very much room for interpretation. If there were an all-powerful, etc, etc. god who provided things like language, etc. do you not think that god would be a bit more careful about his communications? And if all of the other books on all of the other planets are equally vague, what a mess (and source of misunderstanding). But if one of those other books were perfectly clear and made sense out of our book … well there wouldn’t be enough hills for the apologists here to run into.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. Colorstorm, “Here’s some better thoughts for the day:”

    CS, you don’t have the answers to your questions anymore than I do. The beautiful part is that Science and our ability to comprehend it keeps answering life’s questions all the time ! No fairy tales needed. No mental gymnastics.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are crackin me up chief!

      You are admitting ‘Science’ is your new god as you try to cloak His existence with supposedly ‘new’ discoveries; discoveries which are revealed in every age. So what.

      If you recognized the God who put Science in motion, you would have a more harmonious outcome. 😉

      As to my not having answers? Ha. There is One whose understanding is infinite. He is quite friendly in passing along information. Read all about it.

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      • @ ColorStorm you said

        If you recognized the God who put Science in motion, you would have a more harmonious outcome.

        How. Please show the evidence that scientific results are improved with religious beliefs. Break the thought down for me please. Also please don’t hide behind platitudes and tripe, or it will confirm you have nothing concrete to show and you are wrong. Thanks. Have a good night. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • It begins scott with the division between light and darkness. Pure science. Pure fact.

          And oh, the science of the sun, and the science of the moon, and the science of the night lights, also known as stars, courtesy of Job and astronomy.

          Then you have the science of animal husbandry, with lions reproducing not elephants, but lions, per the Creator’s design.

          Then you have the science of botany, the ecology systems of water, then you have man and woman, male and female, aka, biology, reproducing AFTER THEIR KIND.

          Your modern science steals from God and calls it progress. Laughable really.

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        • Hello ColorStorm. Ok going to bypass the digs at science right now except to say you can’t ridicule something if you don’t understand it. So yes there are those branches of science, cosmology, biology, botany and so forth. Making progress ColorStorm. Now you are starting to learn evolution. I can see you understand evolution never said lions produce elephants, you must have been reading up on it about. Yes I bet you learned in your reading that you are an example of evolution. Yes right now. See you are a link between what came before you and what comes next after you. There are small minute changes in you from them, and them from you. let’s say you could look back from you to your mother, to her mother to her mother. Nothing would really jump out at you for any particular one, but as gaze over them going further back you would see the changes. Then as you go further back for mother to mother to mother you would get to the point where they looked more like lucy than like you today. A slow progression of very small changes. How can we prove it. Have you ever traveled to St. Augustine. They have displays there of the beds and chairs the people who settled there used. They have a fort. The beds were very small and they slept two to a bed and it was too small of a person today. They had a statue of Ponce de leon. He was a ship’s captain and by law had to be the tallest man on ship. Yup, he was said to be extra large for his time. At four foot seven inches. 4’7″ tall. Now today that would be a medical condition in a fully grown adult. I am so glad you noticed that point of evolution. So what other science would you like to talk about. Have a great day. By the way what timezone you in? Hugs

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        • I am truly sorry my comment sailed over your head scott.

          It is obvious your god you worship is science so called.

          It is obvious also that God created the human brain that men may actually understand true science.

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    • kcchief,

      A.B. Hill once said:

      All scientific work is incomplete — whether it be observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have, or to postpone actions that it appears to demand at a given time.

      It is wonderfully liberating and inspiring to know we and science are not chained to a 2,000 year old lead ball. We gladly welcome peer-review, scrutiny, along with any praise because perfection, like imperfection, is always fluid. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Nan, I can’t even try to compare.
    The Pale Blue Dot we are aware of, provides the EXACT conditions for the existence of earthlings. I therefore think that the environment of other planets will be SO different that the creatures (probably) existing there will have completely diverse, not carbon-based, patterns of thought. My estimation of the possibility that they would make up earthly-like gods is 1 in 2,3776 thousand trillion – more or less.
    Have a nice Sunday!
    .-

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I take issue with the question as there isn’t a common Christian God. No one can convince me that the God of say the Southern Babtists in the USA has any similarites to the God of liberal Quakers.

    No matter whether or not life is common outside this planet, the sheer vastness of this universe (and perhaps others) means there’s sure to be many forms of life “out there”. Even if a species exists somewhere that has some form of supernatural belief, the odds of such beliefs being similar to any earthly beliefs, let alone some specific Christian denomination, must be incredibly small.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I’m always late to the damn party! But on the upside the boat I’ve been working on is darn near done.

    As is usually the case being late to the blog party, someone has come along and pretty much nailed my thoughts on the matter.

    Barry, great comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. @Professor Taboo

    The peculiarity is that CS represents 21% of the world population (and declining) and most of us here represent 71%, the rising number. What’s the most reasonable conclusion? 🙂

    The most reasonable conclusion? That you are a lefty pinko commie heathen atheist christ-killer who will do anything to denigrate God and his faithful servants like CS and therefore we should burn your lying arse at the stake and roast marshmallows over the flames and sing kumbaya my lord … because Jesus loves you?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I would certainly assume that any place where intelligence and consciousness developed there would be periods of uncertainty where God might be used to fill in for that uncertainty. We see how environmental determinism has shaped the rise of civilizations and how some civilizations have come to dominate others and thus causing certain belief systems rise to the top. The mythological stories themselves are indicative of the culture of those people. So a new planet would have different stories in terms of characters and content, but attempting to teach certain morals, or create fear to ensure obedience, to explain why certain events happen.

    However, to dig a little deeper, one wonders how dependent our invention of God is on the kind of animals we evolved from and our today. For instance we are prone to Type I errors (finding patterns where none exist). Is this an important part of intelligence? We know creatures who make Type II errors. This is often governed by how much energy we need to consume compared to energy spent looking for it. Could intelligence evolve from that, and if so would make so many mistakes of false correlation, which is a large part of what leads to the assertion of the supernatural. Seeing unexplained events and forcing an explanation upon them. Similarly as social species we apply agency to things. Given our propensity for Type I errors we begin to apply intention to things that don’t have intention. To what degree the possibilities of intelligence are, without these characteristics, we don’t really know, but it’s conceivable at least to think of a species that doesn’t react quite as fearfully as we do. Perhaps one that has 1000’s of offspring assuming that a good portion of them are going to be killed and pays no attention as long as some survive to have 1000’s of offspring themselves. Who knows!? 🙂

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    • As is your usual style 🙂 , your thinking (and thus, your response) causes the synapses of my mind to overwork. Nevertheless, I plowed through it. *smiling meekly*

      If I read you correctly, I get the impression you’re comparing intelligence on a far distant planet with that which has developed on this planet. Personally, I find this inconceivable. IMO, any intelligent life that might exist elsewhere in this universe is not going to be “human-like” — in appearance or in any other way. I just don’t believe the conditions of any other planet would warrant it.

      But even more to the point, IF life did exist on another planet and IF my personal hypothesis is correct (see this comment) … I most definitely do NOT believe their “god” would be the Christian god.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no…I agree that it is not likely to be the Christian God. I was also just imagining a scenario which might not lead to be any God at all. I guess I was postulating on what intelligence might look like if say we evolved from birds, or ants. The diversity of species and how they organize and survive might give us some indication of the possibilities of how a more evolved version of that species might behave.

        In regards to things like intelligence and consciousness, I guess it depends on how far you want to go. Dogs have intelligence, but certainly haven’t developed any religion. So I guess if we are talking about an intelligence that has the ability to move beyond their evolutionary confines, which I would say is sort of what separates us from the chimpanzee, then the conditions that might lead to that intelligence are somewhat unknown since we simply don’t have any basis for comparison. It’s possible though that certain characteristics like curiosity, organization, tribalism, and others might be possible. But you’re right that our conception of what is even possible in terms of intelligent life is likely limited by our own experience in this matter. As I said we might look at the various types of cognitive behavior at our own diversity of species and conclude that it might be possible to become an intelligent species without a notion of God at all, given that our invention is based on certain tendencies of primates.

        Like

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