Theistic evolution? What About Aliens?
Not to be confused with the idea of theistic evolution, where the questioner is wondering whether God initiated a naturalistic process to afterwards evolve an original creation; rather, the person is really proposing an agnostic sounding concept that they can’t actually articulate, pleading ignorance to concepts perhaps not yet discovered.
I am not bringing up objections such as the idea that perhaps “aliens” seeded the earth and so are perhaps our “creators.” This simply pushes the question of ultimate origins out a step, as the questioner should then consider whether the aliens themselves evolved or whether they were created; rather, this is an actual retreat to complete intellectual ignorance: a proposition of an undefined “something” they cannot explain whatsoever.
The Law of the Excluded Middle
In logic (which many our in culture today seem to be increasingly unaware of), laws can help us think through concepts rationally to an absolute conclusion. The law of the excluded middle states that for any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is true (because it excludes a middle ground between truth and falsity).
Now of course any discussion can quickly die the death of a thousand qualifications, and so some try to argue that if God used evolution to “create,” then there is a middle ground between creation or evolution. But to add the specificity needed to fully clarify the question we could simply state, “Was the initial cause of everything we experience brought about by a Creator or was everything we experience caused by purely naturalistic processes?” In other words, saying God used evolution is stating there is a creator. Saying evolution is true typically excludes God from the equation, especially for the atheist, as all thinking atheists have no choice but to believe in some form of “evolution.”
A Third Option?
And that statement is typically the trigger for whenever I have had someone propose the idea that perhaps there is a third option for the question of ultimate origins that we simply haven’t discovered yet. My question back has always been, “If you have a third option to either creation or evolution, please state it.” In over 20 years of speaking, I have never had an intellectually sound response from anyone, whether at a university, church, or any other place where I have spoken. Nor have I come across a good answer in any book I’ve read or any other presentation I have watched.
Now some have not delved into the topic fully, so those declaring they don't know which of the two is more intellectually sound (needing more information or time to examine the data enough, etc.) would be a legitimate statement, but it’s not actually providing a third option. It simply means they haven’t decided between the two available options yet.
A Valid Proposal?
An analogy I’ve often used on this type of inquiry is one of a police officer giving testimony regarding a first-degree murder trial to his superior.
Police Chief: “Well, officer, in your opinion did Mr. Jones die from accidental causes, or did someone kill him on purpose?”
Police Officer: “I believe neither, sir.”
Police Chief: “What?!”
Police Officer: “You see, sir, I believe there may be a third way it could have happened.”
Police Chief: “Oh really? What is it: please describe how you would explain it to a jury?”
Police Officer: “Oh I really don't know, but there may be some way we just haven’t thought of yet, and maybe someday we’ll find it.”
Police Chief: “You're relieved of duty, officer!”
Can you imagine a police officer responding to his police chief that way? That’s because there can be no third way. The person either was killed by an intelligent, active agent, or they died because of natural causes or events; hence, the law of the excluded middle.
Why Would Such a Proposal Be Put Forward?
As the exposure of fake news, fake science, and hidden deep-seated motivations in our education systems in the West continue to be revealed to the average person, long-held beliefs taken for granted are being re-examined by many, including belief in evolution and “millions of years.” Evolution is increasingly being exposed as a sub-par proposal for our origins, not even worthy of being called a true scientific theory.
Many are seeing the true nature of the glass house the evolutionary story is based upon; however, the only logical alternative to it is belief in a Creator God. This truth is a truly fearful option for many who have openly mocked God for decades now, and so a retreat into incoherent and mindless meanderings is often preferable to exploring knowing the true Creator God they are accountable to. As Hebrews 11:6 says,
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Keep Advancing the Kingdom
For many Christians, watching the unbelieving world act foolishly and irrationally can be a frustrating experience. However, we must not grow weary, but press on. We must be kind to those who have not yet accepted God’s Word and speak truth and life to them as Jesus did. Continue to have GREAT Conversations with those around you and use the resources we have available to impact them. We thank our Lord and Savior for your prayers that he continues to use the Answers in Genesis ministry to draw people to his kingdom through our outreach efforts.