Tuesday, January 13, 2004

First Contact...

The search for life, or evidence of it, on Mars could be seen as more modest reaction to another quest... the search for life in our Galaxy. Is there life beyond our solar system? If so, is it intelligent and advanced? If so, are these life forms visiting us? I'm fully convinced that one of the reasons we, in Western civilization, seem to be so open to the idea that aliens really do exist, is the fantastic advancements made in the area of movie special effects. Compare the effects seen in the movie War of the Worlds (circa 1953) with that of Close Encounters: of the Third Kind (circa 1977) and with even more recent fare such as the shallow Independence Day. Without checking into the physics of what's portrayed, we end up falling for the glitz. Chuck Colson's Breakpoint hits on the issue of UFOs with Is it E.T.—or a Goose?: Why We Believe in UFOs. Colson references Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men, a book authored by Hugh Ross, Mark Clark, and Kenneth Samples, all from Reasons to Believe. Colson writes, "According to Ross, half of all Americans believe UFOs are real, not simply the product of someone’s over-active imagination. One recent poll indicates that 13 percent of our neighbors believe they have actually seen a UFO. One researcher estimates that during the 1970s, around one hundred UFO sightings worldwide were reported every night. Given that many sightings probably go unreported, Ross writes, “the number of sightings may in fact range into the millions.”" Lights in the Sky is a good book because it outlines the phenomenon of UFOs from three basic perspectives: the physics involved (Ross), the aspect of governmental intervention (Clark), and the cult connections (Samples). These are issues that the Christian should, at the very least, become aware of. Indeed, in late 2002 I reviewed the book for my Sunday School class and we learned about the Raelian cult months before they showed up in mainstream media with regards to cloning.

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