The Gods vs. Aliens Debate
In 1968, an intriguing theory captured the world’s attention. By chance, two adaptations of a new hypothesis emerged that pondered the possibility of advanced extraterrestrial beings having visited the Earth in the distant past, thereby initiating the foundations of religion.
The Swiss author Erich von Daniken is sometimes called the "father of the ancient astronaut theory." His book, “Chariots of the Gods” popularized the argument that ancient aliens interacted with primitive humans. The Swiss born Greek writer and television presenter Giorgio Tsoukalos, seen on History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens,” is the director of von Daniken’s Center for Ancient Astronaut Research.
The American Presbyterian minister Rev. Barry Downing also investigated the connection between UFOs and religious conviction. His book, “The Bible and Flying Saucers,” was a groundbreaking hypothesis on the biblical perspective of the UFO phenomenon.
The von Daniken theory suggests that our primitive ancestors “mistook” alien visitors for gods and produced supernatural belief systems around their encounters. Rev. Downing, on the other hand, says that certain so-called aliens are in fact God’s angels or divine messengers sent to Earth, including perhaps Jesus Christ himself.
Between these two viewpoints has appeared a varied scope of journalism ranging from the Anunnaki, a group of Sumerian and Babylonian deities that supposedly created mankind, to the 1947 UFO incident of Roswell, New Mexico, and more recent lingo like the alleged Face on Mars.
The ancient astronaut theory in general supposes that alien visitors were advanced mortals that evolved by Darwinist natural selection, and there need be no creator. Bible ufology, in contrast, states that some celestial visitors are eternal beings created by God, who might be at war in space with aggressive alien entities.
By strict definition, a god is nothing other than an immortal being. Throughout the timeline of anthropology there have been animal gods, humanoid gods, spirit gods, and totem gods. In nearly every case, they were considered to be everlasting.
The gods could experience death, pain, and human passion, but death could not hold them. Not all gods were good or caring to mankind. A universal premise of the ancient gods was a “generational shift” or handing down of sovereignty from parent to child. In some cases, humans could receive the reward of immortality and become gods or mate with them.
The American scientist and Singularity movement futurist Ray Kurzweil claims that humans could become immortal in as little as 20 years through nanotechnology capable of replacing our vital organs. The Technological Singularity is a term coined by the science fiction author Vernor Vinge. It refers to the creation of smarter-than-human computers that develop their own intellect. Transhumanists advocate the improvement of human capacities through advanced technology.
Oddly, the ancient gods were not described as indestructible supermen that a childish imagination might impulsively bring into play. Instead, the gods at times suffered and died, but were promptly stitched back together or resurrected, in accordance with Kurzweil’s claims that vital organs would be regenerated in a post-human world.
If members of an alien civilization have indeed become immortal through advanced technology, they are, by strict definition, nothing other than gods. The von Daniken hypothesis proposes that extraterrestrial visitors taught primitive humans the study of astronomy, geometry, and even monolith construction. But why couldn’t they teach us the difference between imaginary gods and living aliens? Perhaps eternal beings deservingly wanted to be treated as gods or angels, depicting humanity's immortal future.
The Japanese American physicist and author Michio Kaku has described the scientific search for possible alien civilizations as Type I, II, III and IV. On Earth we are approaching the entry to a Type I civilization that directs the resources of an entire planet. But we aren’t there yet.
For the moment, our abuse of nuclear weapons and space rocketry allows us the chilling prospect to menace every planet near us. This could provoke a preemptive response from a hypothetical Type II civilization that controls the energy of an entire solar system.
A Type III civilization controls the energy of an entire galaxy. Not essentially based on carbon molecules, it represents superhuman intellect that could usher as much bewilderment as a realm of archangels.
A Type IV civilization controls universe creation of the big bang. Its unmatched intelligence is sometimes referred to as a quantum replicator, or as the London-born astrobiologist Paul Davies recently called it, “Q-Life.” It symbolizes the supreme Godhead of the human psyche and inhabits the singularity of a multiverse.
Existing beyond the time dimension, it can send a string of information billions of years into the past, thus setting the initial conditions for the big bang. The American physicist Ronald Mallett has used Einstein's equations to describe time drift with circulating laser beams. A Type IV civilization never stops creating new universes.
The American author Michael Talbot advanced a theoretical model of reality that suggests the physical universe is akin to a giant hologram. After examining the work of physicist David Bohm and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, who both independently arrived at holographic theories and models of the universe, Talbot argued that our existence is the holographic likeness of a “master hologram” which projects the initial conditions or structure of the big bang itself.
At the flash of creation, the singularity of the big bang inflated or “replicated” its image into a manifold of singularities -- self-gravitating fractals -- each having the holographic semblance of the initial conditions. If so, any gods or alien civilizations we might ultimately encounter could prove to be the holographic doubles of ourselves on the threshold of immortality.
Peter Fotis Kapnistos