I have already addressed this in several places- here, and here– so I won’t dwell on things much. Instead, I want to reflect on an article I just read regarding the Vatican participating in an astrobiology conference to discuss the question.
In my previous posts, I argued that if aliens appeared, they might fly in the face of current expectations that are drenched in an evolutionary (and atheistic) outlook. Namely, we may find that these intelligent agents believe in God. They may not, as Richard Dawkins smugly posits, inquire first as to whether not humans have ‘discovered’ evolution. Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, in theological principle, to what we see in the Christian Scriptures. Naturally, they may have a belief system identical to other systems.
My point is that they may deviate a great deal from the common narrative of aliens either being hostile consumers of resources or super-intelligent, highly technological and benevolent agents that have transcended petty human foibles and myths. In this narrative, both sides assume not just evolution but atheistic presuppositions.
The article I was referring to comes close to my perspective here, with the Roman Catholic Church representative saying that these creatures would still be part of creation. Then it goes on to say,
Still, there are divisions on the issues within the Catholic Church and within other religions, with some favoring creationism or intelligent design that could make it difficult to accept the concept of alien life.
Nonsense. Creationists and IDers would only have a problem if this alien life comes bearing an atheistic message. But why should we assume they will, especially if it is assumed for the sake of discussion that there is a God as the Bible describes, as this Catholic representative clearly does?
Many folks take it for granted that alien visitors will come bearing a message or worldview that contradicts or challenges human religion, and Christianity in particular. As we have no firm evidence (that I am aware of) of any such encounters, it is unreasonable to assume anything. Rather, let us admit that the expectation one way or another is an inference, based on the assumption that our viewpoint is correct.
I refuse to concede even an inch to the likes of Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan and others who have commented on these affairs and while not surprised, I’m disappointed that this Catholic representative would not only concede the inch, but give a foot.
I will forgo discussion about the accusation of ‘privileged’ feelings humans and Christians allegedly have. From a Christian viewpoint, if one sticks to the Scriptures, anyway, it is a pretty back handed ‘privilege’ indeed to talk about God’s ‘special relationship’ with us, being, as we are, not specially blessed, but rather specially rebellious. But that is for another day.