Christianity and Science, Creationism, Science, Young Earth Creationism

Ken Ham Rescinds Alien Damnation?

mars-1I wrote very recently about Ken Ham declaring aliens eternally doomed. Now, however, Ken Ham is claiming that headlines like my post (or those declaring aliens are going to hell) are mistaken. I just want to briefly look at this claim. In his most recent blog article, he states:

So, “is there intelligent life in outer space?” After reading the Huffington Post article and the other items on secular websites responding to my article, my answer is this: “there doesn’t seem to be much intelligent life left here on earth—let alone to find any in outer space!”

Well, that’s all well and good, but I’m curious as to how someone could say that I would be mistaken for thinking that this would somehow make invalid the analysis I made of his site regarding aliens being doomed. But it seems Ham is responding by simply saying that there are no intelligent beings elsewhere, and so we are supposed to conclude that that somehow means aliens would not be doomed (because there are none). But that doesn’t really meet the analysis of some of those who are critiquing Ham’s position.

What it comes down to is Ken Ham’s own words:

You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation.

Thus, according to Ken Ham himself, if aliens do exist, “they can’t have salvation.” I’m not sure exactly what distinction is to be made between this and going to hell, but it seems that Ham’s only answer is that there are no aliens, so this doesn’t apply. Again, that doesn’t meet the critique I’ve already leveled against his view.

But, perhaps I’m mistaken and Ham is merely trying to assert that only certain headlines are mistaken. He cites these specifically: “Creationist Ken Ham Says Aliens Will Go To Hell So Let’s Stop Looking For Them”; “Creationist Ken Ham: Aliens are going to hell so just stop looking for them.” I think it’s fair to say that these headlines are not exactly accurate representations of Ham’s view. Instead, Ham seems to be saying 1) Aliens don’t exist; 2) Because they don’t exist, we shouldn’t bother to spend time looking for them; 3) a theological reason for thinking they don’t exist is that they “can’t have salvation.”

It is point 3 which I took issue with in my post, but the headlines Ham cites seem to combine all 3 points into one without any clarity. Thus, I appreciate Ham clarifying his position. The points I brought up in my critique, however, still stand.

Links

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Ken Ham Declares Aliens Eternally Doomed– I analyze Ken Ham’s statements about aliens and the possibility for their salvation.

Alien life: Theological reflections on life on other planets– I engage in some [highly] speculative theology related to the possibility of aliens.

Did God Create the Universe for Humans?-Some Thoughts on God’s purposes for creating–  I argue that God’s purposes in creating are needlessly limited when people object that God created the universe [only] for humankind.

Aliens that believe in God: The theological speculations of Robert Sawyer’s “Calculating God”– I reflect on a science fiction book, Calculating God, which has aliens that believe in God.

 

SDG.

——

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About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. His interests include theology, philosophy of religion--particularly the existence of God--astronomy, biology, archaeology, and sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Ken Ham Rescinds Alien Damnation?

  1. What I am missing, I guess, is why, for Ken Ham and others (not you), the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life would in any way diminish or threaten anything the Bible teaches us about God’s relationship to humanity here on Earth. It seems adiaphora (although, again, super cool if true). I view it as analagous to Jesus’ comments to Peter in John 21, when Peter asks about the fate of the beloved disciple. “What is that to you?” Jesus told Peter. “You follow me.” (I am paraphrasing, I realize, but that is the gist of the conversation.) In Christ and in Scripture, God has revealed what we need to know about humanity before God – he has told us, o mortals, what is good! As for the rest, I think God leaves that to our curiosity and God-given powers of reason to figure out.

    Thanks for the update on this story!

    Posted by Michael Poteet | July 24, 2014, 8:22 AM
  2. Michael,

    After reading several of the AiG articles on ETs (after see J. W.’s post here) it seems to me that Ken Ham is opposed to the idea of alien life primarily because his position is reactionary to those secularists who wish to find alien life. Namely, Ken Ham believes secularists are biased towards finding alien life because it would fit with the story of evolution and indicate that the unguided generation of life isn’t as implausible as it seems (while also showing that mankind isn’t anything special). Ken Ham sees the motivations (which probably accurately reflect the motivations of many secularists) and thus reacts against the entire idea of alien life.

    Posted by Remington | July 24, 2014, 12:27 PM
  3. I am not really interested in the question of extraterrestial life (any ETs out there would be way too far for us to even know of their existence) , but ugh, did Ken Ham just imply that humanity is stupid?

    That P.O.S. has only himself to blame for the “erosion of God’s word”

    Posted by Daren H | July 24, 2014, 9:42 PM
  4. Very interesting fight in words.

    Posted by seepurple | July 27, 2014, 1:38 AM
  5. Oh forgot to say..absolutely love the picture!

    Posted by seepurple | July 27, 2014, 1:38 AM

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