ExoTheology & Space-Age Interpretations of the Bible

(religious implications of an inhabited universe)

another false dichotomy (it’s either the “the biblical worldview” or the ancient astronaut theory)

Ancient Astronaut Theory Meets 2012 (see article below).

This is another example of either/or thinking in regards to the “ancient astronaut theory” — the choice is between the “Biblical worldview” and the AAT. How about seeing it as seeing the Bible through a different lens? The traditional lens, the liberal lens, the space-age lens. They’re just lenses. It’s not either/or.

So I have to agree with “Adam,” who commented on this article this way:
Adam

February 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I have seen the History Channel’s shows that the author speaks of in this article. I am also a religious person as well. My question would be why can’t it be both? The exception I take to this authors writing is that he seems to be getting hung up on the words used by either side of the coin. Is it not an accurate description to say that God or even the gods are indeed “Extra Terrestrial” or not of this planet? And perhaps God who is often described as the King of Kings was in fact the leader of a higher intelligent species. And that there were good and evil amongst them both. There are in fact other ancient texts beyond the bible, most specifically texts that are linked to the Jewish faith that may add some credence to the Ancient Astronaut theory. Such as the ancient text of the Zohan or the Dead Sea Scrolls or even the Babylonian Talmud. I think it would be foolish for anyone to rule out one or the other as I am sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. After all, the one thing that can be said of both sides of the argument is, “none of us were there.” And to shut down the conversation by belittling or labeling them a “cult” by either side is far more dangerous than any editing job by the History Channel.

Ancient Astronaut Theory Meets 2012

28 Dec [by Cris D. Putnam]

Apocalyptic fervor is running high.  Maybe it’s the downturn in the economy or the tension in Israel but everyone seems to be feeling it. It has been building up for a few years too. There was that titanic tsunami in South East Asia and a devastating earthquake in Haiti too. Not to mention the emergence of communist China as America’s economic overlord and the burgeoning trend toward technocracy. While Alex Jones is frantically screaming at the top of his lungs about the NWO, most of the population is still oblivious to the incoherence of the government’s official 9/11 conspiracy theory. Religion is on a slippery slope as well. Sure there is plenty of Oprah inspired pantheism but the zeitgeist of the decade is leaning toward the new atheism promoted by Dawkins, Hitchens and crew.  While it is quite reassuring that the enemies of Christianity seem to be doing everything in their power to fulfill end times bible prophecy (2 Pet 3:3, 2 Tim 3:1-2, 2 Thes 2:3, Mat 24:11), I cannot say when the tribulation proper will begin. It feels imminent… or maybe it is just me?

Almost a year ago, Andrew Hoffman asked me if I would like to contribute a piece to this blog. I felt honored and I really wanted to but I just drew a blank. Chris White has done a masterful job of debunking the pseudoscience behind the major 2012 theories.  So much so, I thought that there really wasn’t a whole lot left to say. After all, the Mayan’s did not really predict the end of the world, their calendar just ends. There’s really no galactic alignment that amounts to anything more than an earthbound frame of reference. Unfortunately, nebular energy vortexes are probably not going to evolve our collective consciousness resulting in Utopian world peace. Finally, the return of Nibiru is only a Sumerian spin on some science fiction dreamed up by Zechariah Stichin. It’s all bogus. It would be like beating a dead horse.

Yet recently Chris returned with a brilliant post on the origins of 2012 theories. I was aware that Terence McKenna’s timewave theory was a product of some ayahuasca induced sorcery. But even more, it turns out that nearly all of these 2012 ideas are based on the metaphysical musings of trance channelers and demonic dingbats rather than sound physical science. Now all of this got me interested in 2012 again!  Channeling is just willing demon possession. Thus, this site has a doubly appropriate title (the blind leading the blind) because 2012 theory is literally the eschatology of demons (1 Tim 4:1). As a Christian apologist, dragging the darkness out into the light is a biblical mandate (Eph 5:11).

In exposing the “cosmic powers of this present darkness” (Eph 6:12), I often find that their hatred of the truth infects their reasoning. From Chris’s research I think we can all agree that they are fueling the 2012 meme. The purpose of this essay will be to unpack some the arguments they are inspiring and to point out their fallacy. I believe that the mass media is their most visible tool of manipulation. It follows that when it moves from the fringe to prime time, the push is on. There has been quite a bit of hype lately. Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory did a 2012 show. The History Channel ran a 12 episode apocalyptic series called the Nostradamus Effect which I found fascinating. However, now the Ancient Aliens series is not only promoting 2012 but even more disturbing, an arrogant atheism.  This piece will focus on them.

There can be no doubt that the Ancient Aliens show has an antichristian agenda. While it was somewhat subdued in the first season, it is becoming more virulent. In season one they quote mined LA Marzulli twisting his testimony with some rather obvious editing to give the impression he was positing Noah as a Nephilim hybrid when, in truth, he was arguing exactly the opposite.[1] This is a highly disingenuous way to make a case and calls all of their research into question. In academia it would completely discredit you and ruin your career but they count on a credulous public. If they are willing to so blatantly misrepresent a former pastor like LA, they will likely stop at nothing ethically to further their questionable agenda. Furthermore, the History Channel has a history of this behavior. In 2003 they interviewed biblical scholar Dr Michael Heiser and a few other Christians for the show UFOs and the Bible. Dr Heiser’s interview was cut entirely and Guy Malone’s was twisted out of context. For a detailed account, read this.  What is the motivation? Could it be profit, pride or is it perhaps something even darker?

In season two episode two “Gods and Aliens”, within the first few seconds they audaciously claim “our ancestors misinterpreted extra-terrestrials as gods because that was the only way they could explain away what they witnessed.”[2] My first thought was to ponder what exactly he meant by “explain away?”  Usually that phrase is indicative of a rival explanation, so one wonders, “as opposed to what alternate ancient explanation?”  It seems more accurate to me that Giorgio Tsoukalos is attempting to explain away the eye witness testimony of the ancients with an even more dubious and far removed ancient astronaut theory. At 22 minutes into this episode, David Childress revisits how in the various mythological traditions and in “even the bible” we find stories about the “sons of God or actual gods from Mount Olympus” who came to earth in pursuit of human woman. Then it crossfades to Tsoukalos,

“When all these encounters happened and women slept with those gods, which can be found in multiple texts all around the planet, that those women actually had sex with extraterrestrials, not with gods, because gods do not exist.[3]

Boldness aside, that sort of sophomoric reasoning is rather astonishing even for the History channel. His argument boils down to: (P1) if gods don’t exist, it must be aliens (P2) gods do not exist, therefore it had to be aliens. A basic undergraduate philosophy class should have taught him that a valid argument is not necessarily a sound one. It can only be sound if the premises are true. But how can he possibly justify premises one or two? They are just unsupported assumptions. Yet worse, premise one is actually a non sequitur because it simply does not follow that aliens are the only alternative to gods. It could have been time traveling atheists with perplexing pompadours posing as ancient alien astronauts just to get a date. (Maybe Tsoukalos knows more than he’s telling.) Premise two is just as bad, in that one would have to have exhaustive knowledge of the universe to claim it to be true. Even the likes of Dawkins do not claim so emphatically that “gods do not exist.” It can’t be proven.

Furthermore, he is exhibiting a curious chronological snobbery which is characteristic of the entire series. Ancient cultures were nowhere near as superstitious and stupid as they’re portrayed to be. For instance, after Jesus’ resurrection the first response by Mary upon discovering the empty tomb was that someone had stolen the body (Jn 20:2). The ancients were intelligent people. More than likely, they built the pyramids with no help from UFOs.[4] But they certainly were driven by a sense of the divine. They believed in and worshipped their gods. I think they had better reasons than most scholars think. In truth, we might actually be getting dumber but our collected and collective knowledge masks it. Seriously, Isaac Newton invented calculus and most of classical physics with just a quill and an oil lamp. Mozart was composing full symphonies as a child. Are people still thinking at that level? After all, the arguments presented by this Ancient Aliens series do support my de-evolution theory.

I hope that it is obvious that I am arguing from a Christian worldview. My tone is sarcastic but I feel there is biblical warrant for it (1 Kn 18:27; Gal 5:12). I accept biblical authority in matters of history and truth and I think the Bible has a better answer. Why is ancient astronaut theory preferable? I argue that it is less coherent than taking the ancient accounts at face value. For instance, when Tsoukalos assumes that extraterrestrials are more reasonable than gods he is making the same blunder that Richard Dawkins made in the movie Expelled when he was asked about the origin of life: [emphasis mine]

Ben Stein: How did it get created?

Dawkins: By a very slow process.

Ben Stein: Well, how did it start?

Dawkins: Nobody knows how it got started. We know the kind of event that it must have been. We know the sort of event that must have happened for the origin of life.

Ben Stein: And what was that?

Dawkins: It was the origin of the first self-replicating molecule.

Ben Stein: Right, and how did that happen?

Dawkins: I told you, we don’t know.

Ben Stein: What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in Darwinian evolution.

Dawkins: Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.

Ben Stein (as narrator): So Professor Dawkins was not against Intelligent Design, just certain types of designers such as God.[5]

The egregious error is that directed panspermia doesn’t attempt to answer the question of the origin of life; it only pushes it up a level. All we need do is ask Dawkins, “Who made the aliens?”  Of course, we can ask the purveyors of Ancient Astronaut theory the same question.

A biblical worldview has more explanatory power for the reality we experience. We live in a cause and effect universe. An infinite regress is irrational. It simply follows that if there is anything at all, then somewhere somehow something necessarily has the power of existence within in itself. In theology we call this aseity. It comes from the Latin a, meaning “from,” and se, meaning “oneself.” It is God’s attribute of being eternal, underived, necessary, and dependent on no other.[6] So when faced with ultimate questions like “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Theism has the only coherent response: God is eternal. He existed before everything and He brought everything into being. Anything else is an exercise in futile thinking. That is why the Bible unabashedly pronounces that “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Ps 14:1)

Although many English translations mask it, the Bible has very good answers to the questions posed by the Ancient Astronaut theorists. The little ‘g’ gods absolutely did influence the ancients but they owe their existence to Yahweh. Because God is self-existent it follows that all other spirits are created and necessarily have a beginning. The Bible speaks of these gods sitting in a divine council presided over by Yahweh (Ps. 82, Job 1:6, Dan 7:9ff.). Michael Heiser, an authority on the subject, has addressed this in indirectly his novel The Facade and directly in his scholarly work. He calls it the “Deuteronomy 32 worldview.” This is a paradigm based on the event after the tower of Babel incident when Yahweh gave the surrounding nations over to lesser gods while taking Israel for himself (Deu 32:8, ESV). [7] There is an epic cosmic narrative of celestial conflict running through the Bible. If you want to learn more about it, I highly recommend Dr. Heiser’s work.

This all comes full circle with the latest episode entitled “Alien Devastations.”[8] In this episode we ponder that “For Centuries man has lived at the mercy of the forces of nature, but can devastating natural disasters have really been caused by extraterrestrial forces?”  At 11:50 we learn that Noah was warned of the great flood by the aliens and that the aliens may or may not have caused it as well. Then we move forward to the 2004 tsunami and the UFO sightings that allegedly preceded it. Perhaps there is something to the sightings. I do not necessarily dispute them but while they are postulating aliens, you could exchange it for the Deuteronomy 32 worldview and follow right along.  Next at 15:28 we have footage of a triangular shaped object in the volcanic ash of the  2010 eruption in Iceland. Some say it’s just a flock of geese, but the shape of it honestly reminds me of the Phoenix lights sighting.  Then we are considering the high correlation of UFO sightings and all “so called natural disasters.” Again if there is anything otherworldly to any of it, insert the Deuteronomy 32 worldview and all of this speculation can be coherently explained within a biblical paradigm. But for the Ancient Aliens crew, it all comes back to the Mayans.

In this episode they delve into the “higher wisdom” of the Mayans and you guessed it, December 21, 2012. Of course, according to ancient astronaut theory, the amazing mathematical precision exhibited by Mayan’s is not their own but a product of their early contact with the aliens. This is standard operating procedure, and granted there are actually good reasons to believe that the Mayan’s were influenced by the little ‘g’ gods. But it’s not the math or pyramids that leads me to think that. A little detail Ancient Aliens neglected to mention last Thursday was their penchant for human sacrifice. Just like Israel’s Canaanite neighbor’s gods that Yahweh condemns in the Bible (Ps 82:6-7) the Mayan gods have an appetite for human blood.[9] Thus, if there is anything to it at all, the December 21, 2012 date is a prophecy issued by these very same blood thirsty fallen angels.  2012 Deception indeed.

As a final note, I can honestly relate to these guys. My father took me to see the Chariots of the Gods film in the theatre when I was a child and I have always had an interest in this stuff.  I was deceived by it.  It wasn’t until I became a Christian as an adult that I became aware of the occult overtones that often accompany the UFO phenomenon. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Satan is called the “prince of the power of the air” in scripture (Eph 2:2). Even direct proof of extraterrestrial life would not invalidate Christianity but Ancient Astronaut theory cannot deal with ultimate questions. Because the Christian worldview is true, it can address any subject no matter how weird or controversial. If you doubt that, please follow the links to LA Marzulli‘s and Dr. Heiser’s work. It is my hope for you that you will come to see that the Bible has a better answer than ancient astronaut theory.

Guest commentator Cris D. Putnam’s ministry is Logos Apologia.


[1] LA Marzulli. “The History Channel – Spin meisters of the Alien Gospel!” L.A. Marzulli’s Blog (5/19/2010) http://lamarzulli.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/the-history-channel-spin-meisters-of-the-alien-gospel/ (accessed 12/27/2010)

[2]Ancient Aliens S02 E02 Gods and Aliens. Performed by Giorgio A. Tsoukalso. 2010. (00:10)

[3]Ancient Aliens S02 E02 Gods and Aliens. Performed by Giorgio A. Tsoukalso. 2010. (22:40 – 22:48)

[4] Shemsu Sesen. Hemienu to Houdin: Building A Great Pyramid – Introduction.http://emhotep.net/2009/09/12/locations/lower-egypt/giza-plateau-lower-egypt/hemienu-to-houdin-building-a-great-pyramid-introduction/ (accessed 12/27/2010).

[5]Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Directed by Nathan Frankowski. Performed by Richard Dawkins, & Ben Stein. 2008.

[6] G.R. Lewis. “Attriburtes of God.” In Evangelical Dicitonary of Theology, by Walter A Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 494.

[7]Michael Heiser. “Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God”. The Divine Council.Com http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/DT32BibSac.pdf (accessed 12/27/2010).

[8]Ancient Aliens S02 E09 Alien Devastations. http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/videos/ancient-aliens-alien-devastation#ancient-aliens-alien-devastation

[9] Leon-Portilla, Miguel. “Mesoamerican Religions: Pre-Columbian Religions, Maya Religion.” In Gale Encyclopedia of Religion 2nd edition, vol. 9, by Lindsay Jones Ed., 5884. Farmington Hills, MI: MacMillan Reference, 2005.

12 Comments

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  1. Logos Apologia » Blog Archive » Ancient Astronaut Theory Meets 2012

December 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

[…] They got the attention of this apologist. Accordingly,  I just guest posted a piece called “Ancient Astronaut Theory Meets 2012” over on Chris White’s 2012 Deception site.  Just click the title link to give it a […]

Jared

December 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I really enjoyed this article and I am really interested in two of the resources you mentioned.

I’m comforted to learn that Michael Heiser is a Christian author (the Divine Council sounds very fascinating), but do you know if the same can be said for L.A. Marzulli? I don’t want to read anything that simply uses the Bible as just another reference.

Cris Putnam

December 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Jared,

LA is definitely a Christian. I understand that he even has a seminary education and has worked as a pastor. He believes that the great deception spoken of in 2 Thes 2:9-10 will involve the UFO phenomenon. He has a few books on the subject as well.

Luis

December 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I chuckled a bit at your de-evolution theory. I concede that it certainly bears merit as we no longer see polymath men, like Da Vinci. But I’d like to argue a case for us modern day stupids with a reference to Daniel 12:4.

Anastasia

January 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm

See Joe Ortiz’s “End Times Passover” blog (Dec. 14). WARNING: Bible prophecy fans may experience a 4-alarm earthquake when reading “Pretrib Rapture & Demons” !

James

January 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm

The Maya only referenced the 13th baktun once, and it has nothing to do with a prophecy. So there was no “prophecy” from the Maya. To say otherwise is a complete misunderstanding of their civilisation.

Their calendar does not end at all, its a day counting calendar. It will continue to count days.

De-evolution? I don’t recall finding evidence that ancient civilisations were any more intelligent than we are now. Until someone can show me an email from one of them, a picture of a 3,000 year old sky scraper, or a light bulb from ancient times….don’t try to convince me that we are dumber. Times change, Newton and Mozart are from different times. I can’t imagine why you would think we are getting dumber.

History Channel presents woo shows, you attempt to debunk the woo show with different woo theories, and ulitmately add more woo to the whole 2012 hoax. I love some of the posts on this site, but this deserved the facepalm.

  1. View From the Bunker | VFTB Live: Transhumanism, Ancient Aliens, and 2012

January 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

[…] discusses his articles The Doctrine of Man: A Critique of Christian Transhumanism and Ancient Astronaut Theory Meets 2012.  Basically, divine creation and the literal fall from grace — and thus sin and salvation […]

  1. Logos Apologia » Blog Archive » The R-UFO Hypothesis vs. Ancient Astronaut Theory

January 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

[…] life as we know it.” This is not good news for proponents of ancient astronaut theory whom I have criticized recently for their incoherent […]

Jeff Sheets

February 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Stumbled on your article. Sorry to see that you think anyone would try to debunk anything by claiming that it was anti-religious. (1) There has never been any proof of God. (2) Religion has always been a scourge upon mankind (and therefore should be abandoned entirely) (3) We only recently have the technology to “explain” some of the alleged miracles outlined in the bible. (4) we now have proof that Earth is not the center of the universe.

Adam

February 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I have seen the History Channel’s shows that the author speaks of in this article. I am also a religious person as well. My question would be why can’t it be both? The exception I take to this authors writing is that he seems to be getting hung up on the words used by either side of the coin. Is it not an accurate description to say that God or even the gods are indeed “Extra Terrestrial” or not of this planet? And perhaps God who is often described as the King of Kings was in fact the leader of a higher intelligent species. And that there were good and evil amongst them both. There are in fact other ancient texts beyond the bible, most specifically texts that are linked to the Jewish faith that may add some credence to the Ancient Astronaut theory. Such as the ancient text of the Zohan or the Dead Sea Scrolls or even the Babylonian Talmud. I think it would be foolish for anyone to rule out one or the other as I am sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. After all, the one thing that can be said of both sides of the argument is, “none of us were there.” And to shut down the conversation by belittling or labeling them a “cult” by either side is far more dangerous than any editing job by the History Channel.

DR

March 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Trying to debunk the ancient astronaut theory is only adding to the close-minded point of view todays society has. We are only concerned about our own needs as a nation. As well as china, russia, africa, and any other country that has structure. This too is associated with the ancient structured civilizations. But they were more open minded to the possibility of a higher plan. They viewed things not as a person of Egypt or a person of Mexico. But as an inhabitant of planet earth. And they made it their duty to find out as much as they could about what mattered. Not what theyre going to eat for dinner. Not what insurance company they needed. Nothing that we feel that is important to us now was important back then. We have strayed so far away from the core values a inhabitant of this planet should have. We have become so urbanized. We lost our connection to nature. And nature not only being the woods, but our solar system. Our galaxy, our universe. And that is why we will continue to bring our downfall and not be accepted into the much much higher structure other than of our own tiny spec of a planet in the vast entirety of space. This is a prison planet, and until we can open our minds and accept that there is a greater force working with us, we will never be able to reach our full potential.

Daniel

March 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Tsoukalos never says the word alien, at least in the passage that you use to bash him. He uses the term extraterrestrials, which simply means life that does not originate on earth. This could mean a man or group of men from a different planet that started progressing (technologically) a fraction in time earlier than us. Which could give some credit to Tsoukalos’ theory, because in almost every culture or religion across the world, our primitive ancestors DID come in contact with a technologically advanced society long before our time. This even happens in the Christian Bible in the book of Ezekiel.

So, to see you say this, “dragging the darkness out into the light is a biblical mandate”, and then to bash a man who makes a living by investigating the traditionally unquestioned is absurd.

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