Life on Earth ... and Elsewhere
A new legless amphibian named Chikilidae has recently been discovered in Northeast India that is unique from anything previously found.(1) DNA testing suggests that the Chikilidae is related to another similar species found in Africa. It has been suggested that the two species’ paths split some 140 million years ago when the larger land mass called Gondwana broke apart into the present-day Africa, Australia, South America and India.
Has this new species recently been created? Has it evolved from some other species? Or was it here from the beginning of creation? From Genesis 1, we know that all of God’s creation was created within the six days of creation week. Plants were created on Day 3, sea and flying creatures were created on Day 5, and all land creatures, the creeping things (of which this new species would be included), the beasts of the field and finally man were created on Day 6. So this kind of creature was there from the beginning – at least in some form.
God created life with the ability to have great variation but still remain the same type of plant or animal. Take the dog, for example. Today, through selective breeding, we have a great variety of dogs – from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane. No one would argue that these aren’t all dogs, which are different from cats. While the different breeds have different appearances and personalities, they are still all dogs. To get an idea of what the original dog-kind might have looked like, one could back interbreed the various breeds. What one would get would be a mutt. We can breed for certain genetic characteristics (say, small dog or large dog), which by default breeds out the complementary trait (large or small dog, respectively). The only way to get that trait back again is to breed it back in. But to call this variation within a kind “evolution” is disingenuous at best. No new information is being added to the genetic pool – only selection, whether it be “natural” due to kind isolation or environmental pressures, or “man-driven” as is the case with the dog. When we discover a new species we should be awed by the diversity of God’s creation. Again, this should point us to the Creator God and not to some naturalistic causes or a new life form that just mysteriously appeared.
Would our faith be shaken if one day we discover life somewhere else in the universe? The Bible is silent on this issue, I think, mainly because it is a love story between the Creator God and man. The whole focus is on redemption and restoring man’s relationship back to God through the sacrifice of God’s own son, Jesus, who died so that we would have life again. Could God have created other creatures on some distant planet in some far-away galaxy? Perhaps, but I am not sure what the point of that would be in God’s redemptive plan for us.
Are there other intelligent beings somewhere in our universe? I doubt it for the following reasons. First, this realm was created for us. By “realm” I mean this space-time universe we live in. Second, if there are other intelligent beings, they, too, like Adam, would have fallen and sinned, and thereby became separated from God. Would Jesus have to die again for them? I believe he died once for all mankind, so this would not be possible. While intelligent beings on another planet in some far-away galaxy makes for interesting science fiction, in reality I do not believe they exist. Besides, our focus and concern should be on our relationship with our Creator, learning to know and love Him as He loves us.
(1) Royal Society, Feb 22, 2012, http://royalsocietypublishing.org/gca?gca=royprsb%3Brspb.2012.0150v1&all...
This article is based on an interview broadcast by Broken Road Radio. To hear the original interview and many others on biblical creation topics, go to http://brokenroadradio.com/category/archives/dr-don-clark/