Both topics have dominated recent news cycles, particularly the rekindled conversation of aliens among us after a former intelligence officer testified before the House Oversight Committee’s national security subcommittee last week.
David Grusch served 14 years as an intelligence officer in the Air Force and later with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. He told committee members about a “multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program.”
He also said he had interviewed officials who had direct knowledge of aircraft with “nonhuman” origins and that “biologics” were recovered from some craft.
This wouldn’t be so shocking were it not for a military cover-up, Grusch alleged.
Getting frustrated with a nonhuman “assistant” in a corporate effort at customer service is not extremely new.
But media accounts are emerging about how close to reality AI can seem … to the point of replacing personal relationships with artificial “soulmates.”
“Life only exists because God created it,” Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, a Christian and chemist, said on American Family Radio Monday.
“The only way life could appear here or anywhere else is if God created it, and there's no good evidence that God did create life anywhere else besides Earth,” Sarfati told show host Jenna Ellis. “The Bible's quite clear. God created Earth on Day 1 and created the sun, moon, and stars on Day 4. So Earth was clearly first. He created only humans in his image. There’s no evidence that he created any other creatures like Vulcans or Klingons in His image.”
Still, stories of sightings of something are out there.
What were called UFOs for years – unidentified flying objects – have now been redefined as UAP, or unidentified anomalous phenomena.
Ryan Graves, a former Navy pilot, told the committee that “UAP encounters are not rare or isolated.”
The stories can become confusing, much like AI. Images of Pope Francis in white puffer outerwear went viral earlier this year and showed how real AI can look.
Geoffrey Hinton, called the “Godfather of AI,” resigned from Google in May to bring attention to what he called “dangers” of the technology he helped to develop.
Hinton’s concerns are rooted in a new crop of chatbots that he believes can spread misinformation and displace jobs and are being embraced by a growing number of tech companies.
Hinton said Google has been responsible in its development of the technology but that he resigned so he could speak freely on the subject.
Tackling 'foundational issues of life'
“This is a massive topic, one that gets to the foundational issues of life. All of those life questions that have been along as humankind has been around,” Tom Ascol, a Cape Coral, Florida pastor told Ellis.
Christians, though, should not be alarmed but should return to their source of truth.
Ascol, of Grace Baptist Church, says there’s no reason to question the authority of the Bible if the teaching of Greek philosophers like Aristotle or Socrates are never met with the same skepticism.
“If you believe those things, and you don’t believe the Bible, there’s something going on other than you concern for evidence,” Ascol said.
He supports his claim with Bible prophecies proclaimed thousands of years ahead of the acts they predicted and with the impact the Bible has had on cultures, societies and nations throughout the history of the world.
“You see the transformative power individually that comes from the message of the Bible. There’s evidence after evidence regarding manuscripts, evidence that we have from the New Testament, thousands of manuscripts available to us that are closer to the original source than any of the ancient writings that we take for granted today as being accurate,” Ascol said.
“So there’s a logical foundation to consider the validity of the Bible.”
There’s also the human element. It just makes sense.
It explains the fall of man through original sin and existence of evil along with the presence of Satan, his thirst for destruction and the limited power given him by God the Creator who also grants free will to his children. Human beings are allowed to choose their path, one that rejects Jesus Christ and his mercy if they prefer.
“When you get a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates that creates wonderful tools that make life better they are bearing the image of God, their Creator," Ascol said. "When you get the Hitlers of the world, who commit inhumane atrocities, what’s going on there? Well, you see the work of the Devil which the Bible also reveals to us."
“We have revelations of goodness, beauty, truth and righteousness," he went on to say. "We can take what the Bible says and apply it, and we find that when we do, life goes well."
Are 'aliens' really demons?
Sarfati doesn’t dispute that some individuals have had experiences with beings they may consider aliens but that he considers demons as described in the Bible.
“There’s a minority of these alien abduction-type things which are probably demonic. And, also, it’s interesting that real, born-again, walk-the-walk Christians seem immune from these sorts of abduction experiences. Because if you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, then the demonic spirit can’t touch you."
On the topic of aliens and the congressional hearing, retired fighter pilot Derek Jones told AFN in an interview it is not unusual for pilots to see things that are unexplainable. A former Air Force pilot, Jones says it's quite common among pilots to share such stories of sightings that remain a mystery. But he views the topic as a distraction from God and His unique relationship with mankind.
On the issue of demons, Jones says he agrees with that explanation.
Physics and the 'dust grains' problem
If one wanted to entertain the question of alien life forms, it’s still unreasonable to think they could make it to Earth, Sarfati said. The physics simply do not allow it.
Such travel would require a spacecraft a minimum 10 tons in weight, he said.
Getting the necessary lift would require more energy than the earth produces in a month, and that much energy would have to be repeated for the breaking process, he said.
“The other thing is if you collided with a dust screen at the speed you’d probably blow up the spacecraft. Even a snowflake would be like four tons of TNT exploding if it hits. You’d have to have some way of deflecting even the tiniest dust grains from your path otherwise they would just blow the bloody spacecraft up,” Sarfati said.
So if the alien life form does exist with the capability of producing such a thing, it bears another important question.
“How could the U.S. government," he asks, "be able to hide them in the first place?”
Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments from former U.S. Air Force pilot Derek Jones.