Sunday, March 25, 2007


Peter S. Williams discusses UFO's, Aliens and Christianity on Premier Christian Radio

I recently took part in an edition of Justin Brierly's Unbelievable apologetics discussion show on Premier Christian Radio discussing UFO's, Aliens and Christianity as one of two Christian guests providing input along with two non-Christian guests to the show.

There was of course so much more that could have been said than was - on radio one really has to choose one's points with care and make them precisely. For example, some of our discussion centred around Ezekiel's vision of 'wheels within wheels' etc. in 1 Eziekiel. John Allan, the other Christian guest does a good job with discussing the biblical context and hermenutical issues around this passage, but it is worth adding that the passage is known as Eziekiel's 'vision' for a reason: the passage claims not to represent a depiction of something Eziekiel actually saw in space-time history; rather, it is explicitly presented as a mystical, visionary experience, and an experience of God at that. Verses one-three of Ezekiel one read:

'In the thirteenth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exhiles by the Chenbar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exhile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Cenbar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.'

All of the italicized language makes it clear that when the descriptive passage begins Ezekiel is not trying to describe something that he physically saw with his eyes, something that is either very odd or very hard to describe with the vovabulary available to him (the position of the 'Ezekiel saw a UFO' interpretation). Instead, he is describing a mystical, visionary, religious experience using religious symbolism (for example, wheels represent God's omnipotent power, by analogy with the wheels of the chariots of the military powers of the time), the eyes represent God's omniscience, and so on. By jumping into the book of Ezekiel after verse 3, the visionary nature of what is being described is partly obscured.

On the subject of aliens and so forth, allow me to bring to your attention my paper on Christianity, Space and Aliens also available (with pictures) here and in pdf format here.

Also, the book I mention in the show, Back in Time: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Doctor Who, which I co-wrote with Steve Couch and Tony Watkins, and which contains a chapter on the evidence relevant to the question of whether sentient alien life exists.

Relevant data is also discussed in this paper: Dr. Ray Bohlin, 'Are we alone in the Universe?'

More detailed presentations of the relevant astrobiological data can be found in the books Rare Earth and The Privilaged Planet.

Even if sentient aliens do exist, could they get here from where they live? Astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross thinks this is unlikely. cf. 'Aliens from another world? Geeting from there to here'

Taking boths sets of data into account, it seems very unlikely that UFO's are alien space-craft.

What isn't unlikely is that people misinterpret experiences of everything from tricks of the light to secret military aircraft as extra-terrestiral craft. cf. 'The American Black Triangle', 'MoD confirms "black" military aviation projects exist, sort of', Wikipedia, 'Military Flying Saucers'

cf. The UFO Skeptics Page

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