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Friday, July 25, 2008

Biblical Aliens

I don't touch deeply on my own, personal religious beliefs very often here because they do not necessarily have a place in most of the discussions. Further, while I do have some deeply-held religious beliefs, when dealing in these areas, they are often used against you, so I find it best to largely leave my personal feelings on such matters aside.

Having said all of this, when I come across bizarrely ignorant articles (with which the Interent is so wonderfully rife), I feel a need to point them out for the nonsensical bunk they are. Such is the case with this article by "Babu Ranganathan" from The Conservative Voice.

I won't bother destroying each and every "point" Ba-Ba-booey here makes because anyone who can actually make it through more than a handful of paragraphs is doing better than I, but I do want to take aim at the author, itself:

This is a subversive work meant to "empower" zealous, Right-Wing Christians while simultaneously denigrating their beliefs. "Babu" translates best into "an Indian who writes English, often disparagingly" (see link for source). "Ranganathan" probably corresponds to the Indian scholar who developed Colon classification. More curiously, a Dr. Rama Ranganathan is a researcher into evolutionary theory... from Texas. Whether or not this is the same guy who wrote the article is unclear, but if it is, he should be deeply ashamed of himself! (For the record, I sincerely doubt the two have anything in common, excepting the name.)

This is a "hoax" article... or this guy had a seriously bad day and still has some real soul-searching to do to rectify his faith with his beliefs. And science, and the rest of the world, and...

How alien life fits into God's Plan and Creationism is a sticking point for many Christians - and one I can appreciate - though it need not be. After all, according to Judaeo-Christian Mythology, the Bible (and the supporting Canon) was written by men - generally accepted to be in the throes of Divine Inspiration, which others call the Holy Spirit - and Man is fallible (this, of course, being the very basis of the Christian faith and the entire point of the story of the Garden of Eden!); these men would be largely unconcerned with what we, today, call "alien life." In fact, had they witnessed such, they would have thought it/them to be angels, demons, or some other embodiment of the religious/mythological figures and persona in which they believed!

Men writing in Biblical Times would - according to what we think we know today - have had no more a reason to include alien life forms in their religion, mythology, or various disciplines and bodies of knowledge than we have of including lifeforms or shapes, colors, spaces - anything - with which we are unfamiliar in our own science. In fact, while there is some evidence that certain cultures had access to aerial vehicles (notably balloons), popular theory holds that men of ancient times had no means of becoming productively airborne, so whatever would lead them to think of intelligent life up there? (Read on!)

Yet this all comes with a caveat:

According to many, the Bible does mention UFOs - in many forms. The Book of Enoch, excised from the Bible for numerous reasons, is seen by some as evidence of an alien abduction. According to the excellent The Bible UFO Connection, there are at least 362 references to what can be construed as UFOs in the accepted, King James Bible. In fact, the most probable translation of the word, "Heaven" is sky - that's why people point up when they refer to it!

Of course, most all of this is conjecture - yet not of the faith-based variety; what has been accepted as The Word of God came from many languages and has been translated many times throughout the ages. In fact, therein lay the argument against the concept of Hell itself (as "sheol" can also be translated as "death" and the Bible makes it fairly clear that those who die without Salvation are doomed to forever be without God, not burning in lakes of fire or anything so poetically horrific). The corruption of the source material, through both translation across many languages as well as transcriber error (the handwritten documents were handwritten by translators and those seeking to make copies until the advent of the printing press, ca. the 15th-Century), as well as many changes made by the Church, the Court, and countless other factions, means we will probably never know what God's Word - that which was to be recorded and dispersed by the faithful of his flock - ever was!

But the existence of alien life, or cryptozoological finds, does not preclude the Word of God, the Bible, nor Christianity. And unchecked zealotry of the weirdest kind, as exemplified in the aforementioned "article" should be dismissed out-of-hand for the Bible-beating nonsense it really is.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008
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