Aliens: Real Or Fake? An Interview With Gary Bates
Aliens: friends, foes or fakery? A new documentary based on an Amazon best-selling book debunks the existence of extra-terrestrial beings.
Is there intelligent life out there on other planets? Are UFOs real?
Alien Intrusion: Unmasking A Deception, a movie documentary explores the true nature of alien encounters and seeks to shed light on the phenomenon. Based on research and interviews with both Christian and atheistic scientists and investigators from leading institutions including Harvard and NASA, it was recently launched in American cinemas to positive reviews.
The movie is produced by Creation Ministries International (CMI), based on the Amazon’s Top 50 best-seller Alien Intrusionin 2005 written by Gary Bates, who is also the CEO of CMI. CMI is an American non-profit apologetics ministry that aims to prove that real science supports the Biblical view of creation and affirms the power of Jesus Christ. CMI also employs more scientists than any Christian ministry in the world.
For believers who question why it matters, some theories about extra-terrestrial beings posit that aliens are a highly evolved species in the history of evolution, and that it is them, not God, who are responsible for life on earth.
Among the most revealing aspects of the film include how UFOs and aliens defy the laws of physics. In the interview below, Bates shares the theological argument against the existence of aliens, among others.
City News: The premise of your book and documentary hinges on the impossibility of extra-terrestrial life. How did you arrive at this?
Gary Bates: We start by asking, if God is the creator as the Bible states, did He create extra-terrestrial life? Genesis 1 says that the curse Adam brought was universal and that the heavens and earth are reserved for destruction. If God created these aliens that are affected by Adam’s curse, they can’t be saved because they are not descendants of Adam (Hebrews 2:17). (For more on this, click here)
What if God created aliens but He just didn’t talk about them in the Bible?
The things in the sky that people purportedly see…these are obviously not physical objects; they defy the laws of physics!
If God did create aliens that would visit us, He would have told us about them because to get here, their technology would make them superiors beings to humans, it, but He didn’t.
When people say that the Bible is silent about aliens and therefore they may exist, that’s an argument from silence, and you can’t argue for something in the Bible based on its silence on the topic! But the idea of intelligent, sentient life becomes a Gospel issue, and it is from this we can be sure that God did not create alien beings with moral awareness like humans.
The Bible says that the devil masquerades as an angel of light, so is it possible for the devil to heal somebody? Probably yes, so you can say it was a good experience. But what if the experience also said that Jesus was just an advanced extraterrestrial, and because of His advanced technology that’s why He could raise the dead…that wouldn’t be true, would it?
So, we have to be careful, because people are having experiences, and if we say they are probably aliens created by God, then what we’re doing is we’re putting our experiences above what the Bible says. All our experiences—including the supernatural ones—have to be interpreted through the lens of Scripture, otherwise we risk being deceived.
You used to be a staunch evolutionist. What and when was the turning point?
I had Christian friends who witnessed to me. In response to my challenge, my friend invited me to read the Bible. Reading the Gospel of John over three nights, I can narrow my salvation to this—Jesus on the cross saying, “It is finished.” I had always thought that He was just a good man, sacrificing Himself for the Jews, but to have nails in your hands and feet and still have the presence of mind to say that, it just didn’t add up. I’m usually loathe to share personal experiences, but that night I had an encounter with God and it turned my life around.
But the questions about evolution and the earth being billions of years old were still there. Once I understood the time issue, that the earth formed in six days and not over millions of years, it was the first domino in a chain to fall. People say it doesn’t matter, but it does matter, because you need millions of years for evolution to take place. No millions of years, then no evolution!
The idea of millions of years comes from the belief that rock layers were laid down slowly over eons of time. But as we’ve witnessed with modern catastrophic events such as dam breaches, volcanoes, mudslides or floods, this type of geology can be formed quickly. I then realized that the Bible’s account of a global flood could account for most of the world’s geologic layers.
In my 28 years, I have never found any scientific evidence that poses any problem for the Bible. When I first started (in the ministry), there were only a handful of books on the topic of creation, now we have are hundreds of books and DVDs—we have more information today to support the Bible’s account of creation than at any other time in the Church’s history. So it’s an exciting time to be a Bible-believing Creationist!
Gravity is a theory—I can test it and repeat it, but evolution is not even a theory. Theory has scientific support, a hypothesis. Evolution is less than that. And now we know—through science—that, for example, chemicals cannot just turn into complex cells by themselves! It’s just one area where we can use scientific methods that can be tested and repeated to refute the idea of molecules to man evolution.
Why do you think that the concept of aliens has caught on so much in pop culture? And how do we teach our children when it comes to consuming the sci-fi and fantasy genres?
Sci-fi is certainly the most popular entertainment genre. Look at Star Wars orAvatar.
Two things—we are fascinated with the future, even in the church. Sci-fi is not a bad thing. H G Wells predicted we will have lasers. Arthur C Clarke (who wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey)predicted we would have satellites in space one day.
I don’t have a problem watching sci-fi if one is discerning enough about the underlying concepts. When my children were old enough, I explained to them that they were watching fantasy.
But the thing is, most modern sci-fi have alien themes, and that’s where the problem lies, because we have to get back to the question of origins—where did the aliens come from? There are only two answers, either they were created or they were evolved, and if evolution is not true, then did God create them? That’s the issue that causes theological problems for many Christians.
What are your thoughts about things like AI? Is it possible that one day robots can be equal with humans and what would this mean for Christianity?That’s a really good question. I’ve watched movies about sentient robots, where robots become self-aware and all, but at the end of the day, robots are machines, and will only ever be as good as the programming. The secular view is that humans are biological machines, and our brains the “operating system”, but are we more than that? One cannot program for an eternal soul, for example.
Whenever we come to the intersection of ethics, morality, science and technology, it goes back to the question of origin and identity.
Take abortion—if we believe we are just evolved animals as our science textbooks still say, and that while the embryo is in the womb, it is not fully human, then we can get rid of unwanted children the same way we get rid of unwanted cats and dogs.
When we consider cloning, if we don’t believe that human beings are made in God’s image, then where do we stop? If we can modify pigs, cattle for more meat and milk, why not genetically manipulate a child to be super athletic or musical ability? Humans will then start to lose their individual-ness.
I’m all for science and technology, but without a Biblical mandate, you won’t know when to stop. Genesis 1:28 says that man’s dominion is to extend to nature and animals, but never to humans. Thou shall not kill. Of course, there are exceptions as seen in the Old Testament, but the rule is that each human life is sacred and belongs to God.
What do you think about space travel? If there’s supposedly no life out there, is it all just a big waste of time and resources?
Space travel—I’m all for it. There was Dr Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi, inventor and rocket scientist in World War II who gave himself up after the war and was brought to America. He became the father of NASA and developed the Saturn 5 rocket that took man to the moon, and he always said—and which I agree with—“I think our exploration of space will reveal God’s handiwork.” He became a Christian while he was at NASA.
In the movie, we also interviewed Dr Henry Richter who headed the development of America’s first satellite, Explorer I. It was a real joy for me, I was so excited to meet him because I loved that stuff growing up—he also got saved while at NASA.
But today’s space exploration is looking for life on other planets, that is, they believe that if we can see life evolving at early stage on another planet, it might give us a clue as to how life evolved on earth.
So the motivation, for believers, is not Biblical; in fact, the more we learn about space, the more it defies the big bang theory of cosmic evolution.
Science is ever changing. If I hung my Scriptural interpretation on the science of the day, which was that the big bang happened 10, 15, 20 and we’re now back to 14 billion years ago, I will have to keep reinterpreting Scripture based on ever-changing secular science.
If we as Christians do that, then we can never be sure that what we’re reading today is truth, because truth will be dependent on some scientific discovery you’ll make tomorrow that might change your interpretation.
We have to take the view that God is an eternal being and that He has given us His revelation. He changes not. Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever.
How did you get into the topic of aliens?
After I became a believer, I was trying to reconcile the things in sci-fi with the Bible, and I attended some UFO conferences. I realized that people, in geographically-disperse areas, were seeing things they couldn’t explain.
The skeptical view is that these were psychological delusions, but this is key: one thing both secular and Christian UFO researchers agree on is this—the nature of the experience is spiritual, and it’s deceptive.
One of these is the Pulitzer prize-winning American psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr John Mack, who undertook clinically-based investigations into these encounters and came away with the very strong possibility that we are dealing with spirit beings who should have stayed in their realms.
What are some responses you’ve received since the book was published?
People have written in to thank me for bringing light to this subject, and some of them are not necessarily looking for answers—it’s cathartic for them to find out that they’re not the only ones who have had these encounters because who do you tell? There was a guy who was going out with a girl he thought he would marry. When he told her, she left him. People don’t go to the church for these kind of things, it’s just a weird subject because generally, we as Christians are exempt from the experience. That’s why we don’t see it too much.
I’ve also had hate mail from people calling it nonsense. “Of course there’re aliens out there, so typical of you Christians to say that…” To that, the strongest comeback I have is, “Be specific.” It’s not just me who said it; the secular researchers all agree about the nature of these experiences.
We’ve also had some salvation testimonies. This has been a different area for our ministry to go into. But at the end of the day, the concept of alien life has an evolutionary basis, so it is a subset of the origins issue.
What is one question you would ask God when you come face to face with Him?
Why did He not make me more handsome? (Mrs Bates chimes in at this point and quips, “That would be my question!”)
Just joking, of course. But what I can say is this: I was self-employed, and we were reasonably successful and we walked away from that to serve in ministry full-time, and there was great worry for me that it would be a sacrifice. But you know, my life has been more interesting and more exciting than I could have ever imagined. If you’d told me I would written an Amazon best-seller, made movies, travelled all over the world speaking, I never would have dreamed it. And I think this is an encouragement to all Christians who are wondering how to serve. You can never out-give God.
Creation Ministries International (Singapore) is partnering with Cru Singapore Media Ministry to launch this movie in Singapore. To organise a screening, email email@example.com.
by Theresa Tan