Why the news is covering this paper from the 1980s, which was last revised in 2004, is beyond my comprehension, and I could say the same thing about all the UFO news coverage over the last couple weeks. According to Google Trends, searches for UFOs spike every two years. It would be interesting to compare this trend to SETI fundraising cycles.
For whatever reason these topics get attention in the first place, bloggers and journalists move around in large herds like cattle, so they all mindlessly follow the group, only changing around sentence structure to thwart the plagiarism-detecting bots. Information blight is what we have.
They all seem to be excited about the phrase “zoo theory.” Zoo theory! Zoo theory! Somebody said zoo theory! Wikipedia calls it the “zoo hypothesis” in its article created in 2006. One blazingly stupid and misinformed click-bait headline reads, “Shocking new discovery about aliens floors scientists.”
Despite the headlines, it’s not new, nor is it shocking or bizarre. I remember talking about similar ideas with friends in the 3rd grade, and that’s where it belongs. Such musings are the bread-and-butter of sci-fi, and just reading about them brings to mind the smell of bubble gum and the feel of Legos in my hands.
Never mind all that silliness. I find this paper interesting for one reason only: the radio astronomer who wrote it has God on his mind, but he has no scientific means to deal with those thoughts. In other words, he’s spiritually dazed and confused, but in his heart he knows God exists.
Underlying this paper is the typical scientistic worldview, which is enabled by Darwinian evolution. The theory of natural selection popularized by Darwin finally gave unbelievers an intellectual handrail to grip on their way down to destruction. The knowledge of God nags the mind of the unbeliever like the thumping heartbeat heard by the guilty character in Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart – that is, unless the unbeliever can subdue, suppress or mask that knowledge somehow (Romans 1:18).
Darwin knew God exists, as these words of his reveal: “The strongest argument for the existence of God, as it seems to me, is the instinct or intuition which we all (as I suppose) feel that there must have been an intelligent beginner of the Universe; but then comes the doubt and difficulty whether such intuitions are trustworthy.”
Darwin was able to suppress his knowledge of God through intellectual doubt, and now lots of people enjoy the same tactic in the guise of science falsely so called. Darwin continued, “No man who does his duty has anything to fear, and may hope for whatever he earnestly desires.”
Here, Darwin is directly disputing the gospel, which says that you cannot be saved by any amount of doing your duty (by following your own moral code of righteousness or the law of God), that such a person who tries has much to fear (specifically, to fear the wrath of God), that hoping for whatever you desire is the direct path to hell, and that you can only be saved by believing in Jesus Christ. To use an inflammatory term, Darwin is spouting antichrist doctrine.
These days, children are raised to believe in Darwinian evolution from the start, as the baseline assumption until contrary scientific evidence can be shown. Inculcated as “science,” they’re taught, ironically, that the idea of God is a primitive, anti-intellectual delusion. So today, not only do unbelievers suppress their knowledge of God, but they don’t even know they’re doing it! Unlike Darwin and his generation, who grew up in a society that explicitly embraced Christianity, people today grow up inside a public school system that shuns belief in Jesus Christ. So unlike Darwin, who said with full knowledge of his apostasy, “I never gave up Christianity until I was forty years of age,” people like me can say today, “I never gave up atheism until I was forty years of age,” with full knowledge of my own abandonment of the prevailing secular view.
Back to the paper in focus, the author uses two words to describe our planet and ourselves, two ideas that follow directly from Darwinian evolution: he says we’re ordinary, and we’re intermediate. We’re ordinary in the sense that nothing makes us special as humans, aside from our local advantage of intelligence over other lifeforms on this planet – basically, we’re just apes, ants, pond scum with big brains. And we’re intermediate in the sense that we’re still developing through natural selection and such, since evolution continuously operates, and now our evolution is supercharged by our understanding and utilization of the scientific method and technology. This last idea brings about the belief in transhumanism and “the singularity.”
With regard to ETs, this mindset leads directly to the assumption that we are probably not alone in the universe, and further, that ETs are probably more advanced than us, and further still, that they would view us as mere primitive animals, and finally, that they either don’t care about us or they’re just observing us without revealing themselves (as if we’re animals in a zoo. Zoo theory, zoo theory! What a mind-blowing concept! How shocking!).
With regard to the Christian view of things, which asserts that mankind is special, unique, created in the image of God and taking part in His eternal plan, this scientist warns, “Now we must be wary of slipping off the craggy cliff edge that forms the boundary between the solid ground of science and the mists and vapors of philosophy and religion.”
Now, here we witness the reversal of presuppositions that Darwinian evolutionary theory has accomplished. From the Christian perspective, it is Darwinian evolution that dwells in “the mists and vapors of philosophy” and it is belief in Jesus Christ that provides the “solid ground.”
Despite what your public school teachers may have taught you, Darwinian evolution (and the rest of scientism) is philosophy, not science. As for the solid ground,
Jesus said, “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:47-48).
There is no solid ground to be found in this scientist’s paper, but only the mists and vapors of philosophy. It’s full of questions, as it admits, and conjecture. It is no small matter that the author points out the millions of dollars up for grabs in prizes and awards for the first person to show that ETs exist. For the unbeliever floating in a relativistic cloud of meaninglessness, it is cash and fame that delight, not the truth of God and His saving work through Jesus Christ.
God’s children are not confused, doubting our place in the vastness of space, seeking cash prizes and looking for answers in the outer darkness. God’s children are founded upon the rock of Jesus Christ, understanding our place on the earth and our role to preach His gospel throughout all the world so that many can be saved by believing in Him.