The beautiful picture on the cover of our journal this month is very familiar to most of us. As man has pushed farther and farther into space, we have all been astounded at the diversity of the objects that make up our solar system. Each planet seems to have its own set of peculiar properties with very little in common with the other members of the solar system. Even the larger moons of the solar system show amazing diversity in almost every property you can imagine. Jupiter's moons vary from asteroid sized hunks of rock to what appears to be an ice-covered world that may have liquid water. One of Jupiter's moons named Io is covered with active volcanoes while another named Callisto appears to be old and battered with impact craters covering its whole surface. Massive amounts of carbon are seen around the solar system, even within the rings of Uranus. Organic molecules have been discovered in meteorites, some of rather high complexity. Does not all of this suggest that there should be life out there somewhere?
In addition to all of this information about the solar system, science
has learned that life can exist in incredibly hostile places. Miles below
the surface of the sea, scientists have found deep sea vents where hydrothermal
activity is extensive. Around these vents are many living creatures, some
of which function on a chemistry much different than their counterparts
near the surface. Primitive life forms have even been found in hot water
pools around geysers living in water that is close to the boiling point.
If life can live in such austere places, is it not reasonable to believe
that life exists in places other than Earth? Is this a threat to those
who believe in God or who believe in the biblical account? We suggest that
life in space is not a biblical issue nor a religious one. Here are some
When there is a conflict between science and the Bible, you either have bad science or bad theology. The search for life elsewhere in the solar system/cosmos is a fascinating study, and it has been plagued with some dubious science in its history. Whatever is learned in the years ahead will just broaden and deepen our understanding of God and His power and wisdom in all He has done.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JulAug00.