I didn’t know that people talked like this outside of science fiction books.
I’m very familiar with sci-fi, because I’ve read a great deal more of it than is good for me. I read all but Robert Heinlein’s most obscene books, most of Asimov’s books, the early Dune books by Frank Herbert, Poul Anderson, and on and on. I stopped about a year ago when I found I’d read all the classics that were easily accessible in my library system, and was beginning to wander into more modern authors, who are simultaneously more indecent and more depressing after you plow through to the conclusion. Frederic Pohl, for instance.
I also became frustrated by how all science fiction plots seem to rest on two assumptions: evolution, and the insignificance of Christianity. Evolution, so that you can get all those weird, exciting, and dangerous other intelligent life-forms, and so that we can have some pressure on the human race to explore space, and change as it does so. And the insignificance of Christianity, because in most of the books Christianity doesn’t even exist anymore, or if it does, the only representatives are a bunch of nasty puritanical types who are either villains, or very peripheral to the plot. Those two assumptions are so counter-factual that they ruined my enjoyment of even the most plausibly-imagined future worlds (Asimov’s structure in the robot books seems more and more likely). I did try to write a few sci-fi stories myself, on Christian and creationist assumptions, but they really didn’t fly. If humans are the only intelligent race, then there’s not much to do in space, except spread yourself farther and farther, with no real danger driving; no races of giant bugs going to attack you (Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game), no real chance of human extinction, and evangelism just becomes that much more difficult as people get farther apart.
So, I felt as though I had wandered into a sci-fi book come alive when I picked up Friday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal and started reading the editorial “Colonize the Moon,” by William Burrows (professor of journalism and author of The Survival Imperative: Using Space to Protect Earth).
“Osepok, a character in Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes’s futuristic novel “Encounter with Tiber,” is the female captain of a huge intergalactic space cruiser. (I suspect they made Osepok a woman because women ask for directions.) She justifies the incredibly long voyage this way: ‘There’s not a place in the universe that’s safe forever; the universe is telling us, “Spread out, or wait around and die.” ‘ . . .
“. . . [T]he truly compelling reason to build a lunar base is not for adventure, though there will be plenty of that. Nor is it to mine resources to gain riches, though that will eventually happen. The overriding reason to establish a colony on the moon is humanity’s survival: Darwin achieves liftoff.
“Osepok had it right. It is abidingly dangerous out there. . . But we have to establish a foothold there anyway, or risk extinction. . . Earth has been pummeled by asterouds and probably comets, large and small, throughout its existence. The dinosaurs are thought to have met their end because of a huge asteroid that hit roughly 65 million years ago. . . As the old saw has it, the giant beasts would still be around if they had had a space program. . .
“NASA’s motives for wanting a permanent lunar colongy run the gamut. . . Left unmentioned – because it would be a psychological downer – is the fact [fact?? — Alice] that what happened to our reptilian predecessors could happen to us unless we take Osepok’s advice and spread out.
“It was for that reson that a few individuals, myself included, started a group called the Alliance to Rescue Civilization (ARC) several years ago. . . ARC has been absorbed by the lifeboat foundation, a group of likeminded people who are trying to make certain that we can survive a truly awful world-wide occurrence. . .”
I guess it’s naive of me to keep being shocked when people take their atheistic, evolutionary assumptions to a logical conclusion. I suppose if you really think the world has existed for more than 65 million years, and that the dinosaurs were killed by a comet instead of a Flood, it would be reasonable to make plans to avoid a similar fate. If you really believe that humans evolved, you have to consider that we could become extinct too.
Since I know that God made us, only several thousand years ago, and then took the extraordinary step of becoming human himself, I don’t think we need to worry about extinction. Jesus is coming back, sometime, and he’ll be coming to this earth. We do not live in a random universe, where comets and meteors fly around wild. On the contrary, all things hold together by the will of God; and he has promised that “while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
Creation vs. evolution is not merely a scientific debate, or even just a religious debate. It has a direct impact on national policy decisions.
(Although, secretly, I’m all in favor of space programs, and don’t mind the government spending my money on that, as much as I mind most of the other things they spend it on. But I know that’s just because I read too many sci-fi books at an impressionable age, and would love for some of that to become real, not because I have a really good reason for it – like, save our species from extinction!)