Several years ago British bookmakers slashed the odds on aliens being discovered after astronomers announced they had discovered an Earth-like planet. Bookies William Hill cut the odds on proving the existence of extra-terrestrial life from 1000-1 to 100-1. Astronomers announced they had discovered a ‘super-Earth.’ One caveat—for bookies to pay out, the Prime Minister would have to officially confirm the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life within a year of the bet being placed. William Hill did not have to pay out any money.
Just this month we have the breaking news that astronomers have discovered not one or two new planets but seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1. But that’s not all, at least three of them are in the so-called habitable zone—that is, they have conditions by which liquid water can exist on the surface making possible the existence of life. The space agency calls the discovery record-breaking. And it is. Thomas Zurbuchen, an associate administrator at NASA, called this a “major step forward” towards the goal of answering the very big question: Is there life on other worlds?
Are there aliens? Who can say? Nothing in Holy Scripture gives us an answer to the question of the existence of life on other planets. We simply don’t know. That means God could have created extra-terrestrial life, or he may not have. If he has, then we may eventually meet aliens, or we may not. We don’t know.
We do know these things, however. We know God is the creator of all things, the heavens and the earth, and all planets, animals, and life. We know that God has created what we might call alien life forms already, we know them as Angels and Demons. We know that the Father sent his only Son to become a human, Jesus of Nazareth, to redeem humanity and all of creation. And we know that in his incarnation or coming to us and taking on human flesh, Christ died a special death for humanity (by substitution). Angels are not, as far as we are told, able to find forgiveness for sins (redemption) in the death of Christ. We might offer an educated guess then, that if extra-terrestrials do exist, they are creatures of the one true God, they come under the reconciliation of all things in Christ Jesus, but they are not redeemable as are humans. Beyond that, we wait with baited breath (but not with TAB bets!), on what agencies like NASA discover next. To God be the glory, great things he has made!