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Science Fiction and the Bible

By Richard Gunther


What is science fiction?

Sometimes called speculative fiction, this type of writing depends largely on the imagination, and usually focusses on scientific, technological or futuristic trends. One of the earliest examples was 'Frankenstein', by Mary Shelley, in which a scientist called Frankenstein discovers how to bring non-living matter to life, but the monster he creates goes on the rampage because it has no mate. In the end, Frankenstein himself is killed as he tries to stop his monster.

The story, in a nutshell, captures one of the major themes of s.f. - Man uses science to change the order of the world, loses control, and is destroyed by his own invention. In the last 50 or so years we have seen echoes of Frankenstein in the invention of the nuclear bomb, and now genetic engineering. Frankenstein represents, to many people, a fear of the consequences of tampering with Nature.

S.f. often runs ahead of science in a predictive way. Arthur C. Clarke for example imagined orbiting satellites long before they were put into orbit, and Jules Verne imagined using a rocket to reach the moon long before it was considered feasible.

S.f. usually involves alternative realities. Simply by using the imagination, with a little knowledge and a little intuition, s.f. writers can suggest possible futures, the development of robots, communication with aliens, perfect worlds and terrible worlds, time-travel, Man-made disasters, catastrophes, time-travel and psychic powers.

2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968)

One of the most significant (and I'll explain why in a moment) s.f. movies to ever come out was 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke. Although it received many scathing and highly critical reviews, the movie represented the four main areas of Man's efforts to live apart from God.

The story itself is very simple. A superior alien race is watching over and guiding the human race as it progresses from ape to human. When Man finally develops to the stage of space-travel the aliens use a huge obelisk to guide a mission out and beyond the solar system. One man from the mission is then drawn into infinite space and transformed into a godlike being. This perfected man is then sent back to earth to lead the way for all Mankind into glorious perfection.

The four areas which the movie deals with are :

1. Evolution. The movie opens with monkeys examining the alien obelisk. The date is approximately 40 million BC. Time passes . . . . and one of the monkeys learns how to use a bone as a club. This invention of a tool marks a significant step forward in the evolution of Man. In a breathtaking visual leap the bone becomes an orbiting space-station.

2. Man is self-perfecting. The movie shows how wonderful Man's science and technology has become. Given enough time Man can do anything.

3. Aliens exist - why? because life evolves, and so aliens can also evolve.

4. A race of super aliens will save Mankind, and perfect him.

These four themes run through all mainstream s.f. and each one is a challenge to the Christian. The remainder of this essay will be devoted to examining each of the four themes and comparing it to the Word of God.

1. Evolution.

It may seem like a pointless exercise to say that the Bible does not teach evolution, but there are many Christians who have been captured by its propaganda - usually because of the State-run secular education system. Right from kindergarten children are fed the lie, through songs and stories and picture books. When they reach primary school they are presented with pictures of Noah's Ark - a bathtub toy, and Bible stories - in a vein similar to fairy stories, and always at the expense of the Bible. At secondary school they are taught directly that the universe is billions of years old, and the story of evolution is part of their studies. David Attenborough, David Bellamy and other leading evolutionists constantly present evolution on television, and almost every reference work in every Library is laced with the Theory.

Consciously or unconsciously, s.f. writers work from the assumption that life appeared spontaneously in the universe, as a result of random events, and Christians tend to absorb this world-view without realising how opposed to it the Bible really is.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". Genesis 1:1

The first chapters of Genesis give a day by day account of how God created each part of our universe and world. When we place the Genesis account beside the Evolution account, the differences are so marked as to force the question : which of these can we believe? We cannot accept both, because they are so opposite to each other. (See diagram)

Despite the clear Bible narrative, there are Christians who question whether it means what it says. This kind of questioning leads to one of the most terrible sins - that of questioning the authority of Scripture. It is an attack on God's character -

* 2 Tim.3:16 All Scripture is "inspired" (God-breathed).

* John 10:35 Jesus affirmed that Scripture "cannot be broken".

* 1 Pet.1:11-12, 2 Pet.1:20-21, Acts 28:25 The prophets of God received their words from the Holy Spirit.

* 1 Tim.5:18 Paul accepted the Old Testament as divinely inspired.

* 1 Cor.2:13, 2 Pet.3:16 Paul's teachings have the authority of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible clearly points to an age for the earth that is counted in thousands, not billions of years. God miraculously created everything in the cosmos in a mere six rotations of this planet, allowing one day for humans to enjoy in resting.

The fact that the Bible says death did not enter into the world until after Adam sinned is also very important. Evolution requires billions of years of death and survival of the fittest - in this way it not only contradicts the order of Creation events, but also calls into question the origin of death.

Evolution also contradicts the nature of God. Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God use billions of years of slow, painful, struggling processes, full of death, suffering and extinction, before He created Man? And having done this, why would God lie to Adam and suggest that his creation was only hours after the world was finished? And why would God say all animals were vegetarian after billions of years of carnivorous life?

Getting back to the Space Odyssey movie for a moment, the idea that Man came from monkeys is one of the most pervasive stories we have today. Similarities in structure and behaviour between monkeys and men seem to indicate that there is some truth to the idea, but good science has proven the theory untenable - for the following reasons:

Genes. Man has more genetic material, giving him several unique advantages over apes.

Language. Apes have no part of their brain designed specifically for verbal communication, as humans have.

One of the unbreakable rules in genetics is that no new information can be added to the total genetic information in the DNA. The material can be deleted, rearranged, or mutated, but never increased. This means that apes will always, and can only ever produce apes - and humans can only, and will always produce humans.

The other area is that of language. The only way a human can learn how to communicate with words is through hearing and learning from others who use words. This means that, unless there was a first pair of humans who used words, no human today would have a language to speak. Apes, on the other hand, have never learned how to use words, despite years of intense instruction.

It is also interesting to notice that every time Man invents something, or advances in technology, or discovers something new in science, he increases the huge chasm between himself and the apes, proving yet again that apes are animals, and Man is not.

2. Man is self-perfecting.

It is a common assumption, (especially in the modernised Western world) that, given enough time, Man will eventually eliminate all war, disease, and stress-related problems. Hardly a week goes by without the News service presenting some startling 'breakthrough' - a new wonder cure for some deadly ailment, a new invention which helps a blind person see, a machine which maps the universe more accurately . . . s.f. writers project these developments into the 'bright, wonderful future' - and who can blame them for thinking this way? Many of today's trends certainly point towards a utopia or Man-mad paradise.

One of the most outstanding and influential s.f. writers was H. G. Wells. He was a Darwinian (evolutionist) and also a social critic. He believed that Man had the potential to build a glorious world, and he was devoted to the idea of progress - slime to life, life to Man, Man to glory. But tempered with this view was a certain amount of realism, because he saw that Man also had the ability to ruin whatever he touched.

One story which brings this out is called 'A Story of Days to Come'. According to Wells, the future world is both good and bad. The cities are layered, with huge, sky-piercing buildings in the heights of which only the rich and idle live (the good). Under the cities are the slaves, working till they die in foul factories and stinking quarters (the bad). Two people - lovers - in the story try to escape from the lower parts. They run to the countryside and move into an abandoned building, but the elements destroy their house, health and happiness. They return, defeated by Nature, to the city and conform to its rules, accepting the world as it is because they cannot change it.

Following on from Wells we have hundreds of stories along the same lines. Man progresses ever upward, the earth is totally subdued by Man and machines, beaurocracy takes over like a benevolent tyranny, people are reduced to stereotypes, class differences are polarised, and the value of a human is measured by his standing in society and his wealth. We cannot condemn Wells for his ideas, because he was only being logical, and true to his original premise. He simply followed his beliefs to their logical conclusion.

But we can condemn his ideas if they contradict what the Bible says. As we have already seen (regardless of what Creationist scientists say to support it) the Bible is clear when it describes the future history of Man.

Rather than Mankind enjoying an endless future, in which humans gradually overcome all obstacles and eventually spread out to populate the stars, the Bible divides human history into a series of short ages:

The days of Creation up to the creation of Adam and Eve

The time from Adam and Eve's sin to the great Flood

The post-Flood world to the coming of the Jesus

Our present age up to the return of Jesus

The setting-up of God's Kingdom on earth to all eternity.

According to God's timetable, Man does not have forever to experiment with science, technology and government. Time, in the Bible, is linear, that is, if we draw a line, we can mark events on the line as a succession of points. We have past, present and future, all set against each other. S.f. usually acknowledges the present, but projects the present into the future without allowing for any divine interruptions.

One way s.f. destroys the linear design is by using time travel. Wells and many others used the relativity of time as a way of exploring the past, and future, as if there was no real distinction between them. On television we see modern versions of this in some episodes of Star Trek, Deep Space Nine, Sliders, Star Trek Voyager, Red Dwarf and several others, the idea being that space can be warped, and events can be changed to produce an infinite number of possible futures and pasts. In 'Sliders' it is an infinite number of possible universes. On the other hand, God's Word tells us that Man's time is ordered by God, and that God has a definite timetable which no amount of s.f. will alter.

For example, the Flood :

"For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men". 2 Peter 3:5-7

And the Resurrection :

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord". 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17

God declares Himself to be in sole charge of Time, and He points out that He has divided linear time into sections :

" . . . I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" Is.46:9,10

"And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power". Acts 1:7

"Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began". Acts 3:21

"And (God) has made of one all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation" Acts 17:26

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ" Ephesians 1:10

When we look at the control which God actually has over Man, and also Man's territories, there is something of the 'caged animal' aspect about Mankind. The planet is our zoo, and its bars are the infinite reaches of space. In this 'zoo' God provides food and water and suitable materials for Man to survive - if Man is wise enough to avail himself of the provisions. God dictates when Man lives and dies. God also determines where Man lives and controls, to a great extent, Man's day to day living experiences. No army marches without God knowing, no baby cries without God caring. As a 'Zoo keeper' Man could not find a better, but Man would rather evict God and run the 'zoo' by himself.

S.f. tries to subvert God's sovereignty, placing Man, rather than God, in the driver's seat. Man, so the stories go, is alone in the universe, therefore Man will conquer it by his own strength. Man is the master of his own destiny, therefore Man will do whatever he likes. Man will never have to face judgement, therefore Man will destroy anything in his path to get what he wants.

Yet this is not to say that all s.f. is worthless. There are many great s.f. stories, which can teach us, if we are listening, much about God. In some stories we can marvel at the glories of space, or wonder at the beauty of planet earth; in others we can learn about courage, honesty, faithfulness and other noble qualities; we can appreciate the fragility of Man against the backdrop of galaxies, or consider how each decision we make has consequences which affect others. In most s.f. there is something worthwhile, if we look for it.

3. Aliens exist

The main, and only reason why aliens are thought to exist is because the Theory of Evolution has been accepted. This theory holds that, billions of years ago, the chemical 'soup' on our planet was perfect for several highly complex chains of molecules to form. These chains, it is theorised, grew more complex until suddenly a living cell was formed. The first cells grew more robust until they formed clusters, and so, over billions of years, life gradually developed into all its present forms.

Now, if we accept this theory, then it is perfectly reasonable to assume that what happened on earth could also happen elsewhere - hence the appearance of 'aliens' from other planets. The entire UFO phenomena is built in this false premise. Corn circles, abductions, strange relics such as the Nazca lines or the Easter Island stone heads, and even supposed faces on the surface of Mars, are all explained (by 'believers') as proof that 'aliens' have visited, or are still visiting, planet earth. There is a vast publishing industry dedicated to the propagation of the alien myth, and s.f. churns out hundreds of new titles every year with a fresh assortment of 'aliens' included in them.

Not only this but the entire SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is based on finding 'alien' signals in space, and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Exploration) is committed to finding life somewhere other than on earth. President Clinton, in 1999, used some supposed traces of bacteria on a Martian rock to promote the Space Program. It seems that many people are almost desperate to find some other intelligent being 'out there', yet the irony is God has given abundant proof that He is alive and real, by His Creation, which is all around us and easy to see!

This leads us on to the other division of s.f. which openly and confidently includes the psychic, or spiritual aspect. I put the two terms together because they are linked, and sometimes one can mean the other. The technical term is parapsychology.

Parapsychology is the study of phenomena that are not within the range of science, or can be explained by science. (Known as extrasensory perception (psi) ).

Typical examples are :

mediumship - supposed ability to contact the spirits of the dead

precognition - supposed ability to know events before they occur

telekinesis - supposed ability to move objects by using mental power

telepathy - supposed ability to communicate with other minds by using mental power

S.f. has popularised all these ideas. Aliens often communicate through telepathy. In Star Wars the dead Jedi masters appear to Luke. In Firestarter, a girl causes things to burst into flame. In Star Trek a member of the crew gains telekinetic powers before being transformed into a glorious being. In Roswell the main characters have many powers, such as the ability to heal. The list is long.

But a common idea which links all the aliens is that, because they have had more time to evolve, they have (naturally) gained more supernatural power. It is assumed that any life form, given a few extra million years, will develop towards ever higher and more perfect levels.

The Bible teaches the very reverse. According to the Bible, all Creation is 'winding down', or deteriorating. Science confirms this and defines it as the second law of thermodynamics.

The Law states (simply) that all complex systems always move towards less and less complex. In everyday terms, a new car will gradually rust and fall apart. A galaxy will unwind and scatter. A house will crumble and rot. Our bodies will gradually age and finally return to the soil from which they are made.

Psychic abilities are probably a result of ignorance, wishful thinking, imagination, deliberate deception, and some input by Satan.

Now that we have brought Satan into the picture, we can see how, in many instances, his lies have been at work in the field of s.f. He is determined to contradict everything which God has spoken. He has promoted his spiritual warfare in every way available to him, including the subversive ideas of s.f. writers. Here is what George Lucas, producer of Star Wars said in August 1999 :

" . . . it would seem to me that all of the religions are true; they are just a different part of the elephant."

This is why, when we watch the Star Wars movies, we see traditional Christian, Buddhist and Hindu motifs. Yoda is a Zen master. The Jedi knights meditate and dress like Buddhist monks. In 'The Phantom Menace' the slave child (Anakim Skywalker) is said to have an "aura" about him - very similar to the mark of a new Dalai Lama. He is also said to be born of a virgin.

'The Force' is explained by Yoda "For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it and makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. You - between you and me - the tree - the rock - everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship."

The Force represents evolution and Nature worship - concepts which are very close to the heart of Satanists - so the link between s.f. and Satan is strongly made. Through using the Force Luke Skywalker is able to read minds, see into the future, contact the dead and move objects at will - the four areas of parapsychology mentioned already. Satan has popularised his deceptions though Star Wars and other similar s.f. movies, leading millions away from the true God and His Word.

"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him". 1 Corinthians 8:6

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" 1 Timothy 2:5

"You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble". James 2:19

The Force is impersonal. It can be used for good or evil. It pervades the universe as energy, and has no personality. The God of the Bible is personal. He is only good, and evil is revealed by its contrast to Him.

Before I deal with the last point, I would like to point out that, in the hands of a Christian, s.f. can be sanctified and turned to the Master's use. C.S.Lewis, in his 'Chronicles of Narnia' demonstrates this wonderfully.



4. Super aliens.

One of the dominant themes in s.f. is the coming of kindly, powerful aliens, whose mission is to help and heal the human race. Usually these aliens have a Messianic feeling about them. A classic example is 'E.T.' in which the loveable alien does nothing but good to his friends, and leaves planet earth with the promise that one day he will return. The movie 'Coccoon' was the same - a number of old people were rejuvenated, and eventually taken on board the 'mother ship' and whisked away to some heavenly paradise. The same could be said for the aliens in 'The Abyss', who, despite their fantastic technology and abilities, mean only good to the human race.

It seems that many people, having abandoned the Bible teaching that Jesus Christ is the only one powerful and worthy enough to save the human race, are turning hopefully to aliens to do the job. Many people involved in the UFO movement actually believe that aliens are about to descend and teach the human race how to be peaceful and wise.

Even the Fatherhood of God is distorted by s.f. - in the movie 'Contact' a woman is whisked through a series of wormholes to meet an alien who behaves like a wise old grandfather with a child. "One day we will make contact with your species" says the alien telepathically, "When the human race is ready".

But the presence of super aliens begs the question : where did they come from? They could not have evolved, because we know that the spontaneous generation of life is absolutely impossible. Life is too complex to appear by random processes. If these super aliens were born, the origin of their parents (and their parents) is unexplainable. If they were created, then we must question God as to why He would create a being which rivals Himself - after all, He demands that all worship must be directed to Him, and Him alone.

Perhaps there is a need, deep in the human heart, for a super alien? Many people feel desperately alone in the world. They believe Satan's lies about the universe being just matter, and they accept the theory of evolution, so they have no sense of importance in a randomly generated cosmos. To whom can they turn for love? Who really cares whether they live or die? Life means nothing, and death means nothing . . .

I think the whole answer to all the errors found in s.f. is the man Christ Jesus. Every s.f. deception and half-truth is swept aside when we understand who Jesus was, where he came from, and why. If anyone was an 'alien' it was Jesus, yet he was also the creator of this world, and the greatest friend anyone could have. He had all the superpowers we dream of, he could heal any sickness, restore any disability, raise the dead, walk on the waves, change water into wine, multiply food with no limit, still the storm, drive out the demons, read the hearts, meet the needs of all who came to him. He showed his love and compassion to all, and then, like 'E.T' he went into the sky promising to return.

His miracles totally contradicted evolution. His teaching and death on the cross contradicted the idea that Man will ever perfect himself. He made no provision for Satan or any other extraterrestrial, and he focussed all hearts on Himself as the one and only Messiah.

By all means let us enjoy s.f., but let us always keep in mind the position and authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and only Saviour. (Philippians 2:5-11)



The universe came from a random explosion - or - God created an orderly universe

Billions of years passed before earth was formed - or - Creation took only 6 literal days

Plants evolved millions of years before insects - or - God created plants a few hours before

He created pollinating insects

Stars evolved long before the earth - or - God created the earth before He created the stars

Reptiles evolved, then birds evolved from them - or - God created birds before he created "creeping things" i.e. reptiles

Fish evolved before birds - or - God created fish and huge sea-creatures, and birds on the same day

Sea creatures evolved long before Land  - or -plants were created before sea the first land plants creatures

Animals evolved long before any humans - or - God created humans only a few hours

ever walked the earth after all the animals were created

At every major point, the theory of evolution is the opposite, or at least extremely at odds with the Genesis account of creation. There is no place for a 'blending' of the two, and a Christian who tries to believe both accounts at the same time is liable to lose first of God's respect, and secondly the respect of the unsaved, because compromise always breeds contempt. If we must be persecuted, let it be because we stand on the truth!

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