Last year, I began writing a book about aliens and UFOs, with a particular emphasis on some bad arguments that are being tossed around by some of my fellow Young Earth Creationists against the possibility of extraterrestrial life. At long last, my trek down the Ufological rabbit hole has come to an end!
I’ve definitely learned a few things along the way, the chief of which is that I prefer writing fiction to non-fiction. One of the other things I discovered is that the YEC view on science fiction seems to be that it is dangerous and bad. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the primary sources for this view is a “peer-reviewed” (see Note) article that originally appeared in the Journal of Creation 15, no 2 (August 2001): pp. 81-88. The heavy-handed title of this article by David Laughlin is “Science Fiction: A Biblical Perspective.” It concludes that:
“Although science fiction has predicted a number of useful technologies, the genre is permeated with unrealism, humanism, occultism, New Age philosophy, Eastern mysticism and evolutionism which are of no value in the real world and are condemned in the Scriptures. It is because science fiction has its roots in evolution that the false belief systems mentioned have emerged and thrive in the genre.”
After examining Laughlin’s arguments, I can tell you that this is hardly the Biblical view of science fiction. I really doubt that my fellow Christian sci-fi authors at SpeculativeFaith.com or ApologeticsFiction.com would agree with his alarmist assessment. Just as I doubt that any Christian science fiction authors, editors or publishers were consulted for this attack piece. The fact of the matter is that the very first work of science fiction was written by a Creationist when Johannes Kepler wrote Somnium , so it’s hardly rooted in evolutionism. The rest of his arguments are just as bad, although I’m sure they went over well with the choir he was preaching to.
So I ended up having to dedicate the first part of the book to a defense of science fiction, specifically Christian sci-fi.
The next section of the book explains why UFOs really don’t have much if anything to do with the discussion about extraterrestrial life from the Christian perspective. This is the largest section of the book because like anything that has become layered in claims of conspiracy, Ufology takes a bit of time to sort through. I am cheerfully skeptical about the idea that aliens have been visiting this planet with impunity over the last several years. While some Christian apologists have suggested that the UFO phenomenon is 100% demonic, I think I provide more than enough evidence to conclude that this is unlikely to be the case. This section necessarily deals with government cover-ups, Men in Black, hoaxes, psychological factors, the contactee and abductee movements, and claims of Ancient Alien Astronauts over the authority of the Bible.
Having sorted through that question, the final section deals with whether a Christian can believe there is life beyond this planet. It is here that I examine some of the bad arguments that have been tossed around by my fellow creationists to say that Biblical principles forbid the existence of alien life. The Church is said to be the pillar and ground of the truth. Truth cannot be supported by logical fallacies.
I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Strangers & Aliens and weigh the arguments I make carefully. I wrote this book with the hope that it changes a few minds.
Until we reach The Last Door,
The article in question is from a peer-reviewed journal but whether it was actually peer reviewed is suspect. How Laughlin was allowed to comment upon science fiction without bothering to cite prevailing definitions of science fiction for context is simply mind boggling. The definition Laughlin gives is one of his own creation and certainly one that assumes the premise of his article: that it “usually involves fantasy situations (time travel, outer space exploration with alien encounters, etc.) sustained by an atmosphere of scientific credibility.” Any hard sci-fi author would beg to differ with that question-begging definition! For example, Isaac Asimov has stated that “Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology.”