UFOs and the Bible: Space Travel

Category: Culture Wars/Popular Culture 606 3

[This is part two in a three part series. Click here for part 1 and here for part three.]

In part 1 of this series, I wrote about how popular UFOs have become worldwide. I also discussed the theological reasons why Christians should reject the idea of God creating aliens. In this article, I want to examine one of the biggest problems with aliens visiting the earth: the impossibility of UFOs travelling from distant worlds. The purpose of doing this is to show the reader that UFOs must be coming from somewhere other than outer space (we will discuss where that is in part 3).

Space Travel

It wouldn’t be possible for most alien movies to exist without the idea of very fast space travel. Star Wars, for example, tells the story of a handful of characters within the confines of a Galactic Republic and Empire. Civilizations exist on many different planets and include many kinds of creatures.

In the Star Wars universe, the different civilizations communicate and mingle together by travelling at very fast speeds. In Star Wars, we have “hyperspace” (in Star Trek it is called “warp drive”). This method of travelling propels the spaceship to amazing speeds where the occupants can travel vast distances in a very short time.

Travelling at such speeds is required in any kind of story where the characters need to be in different places in a vast galaxy. This kind of technology is so common place in Science Fiction that many people think that it is possible to do such things. Travelling at these breathtaking speeds is also required for the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) that teaches that aliens have and are visiting us today from other worlds. However, there are major problems with “hyperspace” and “warp drive.”

Problems with Space Travel

There are maybe 400 billion stars just in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and there are possibly billions of galaxies each with billions of stars. To help us understand the size of the universe let us take a look at how long it would take for us to travel across it. The maximum speed possible according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity is 186,000 miles per second. UFO researcher and writer Gary Bates notes, “Taking off, you could circle the earth seven times in one second. Leaving our planet, you would pass the moon in two seconds and Mars in just four minutes, and it would take you only five hours to reach Pluto.”[1]

Once we leave our solar system, the next closest star is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 light years away. Traveling at 186,000 miles per second you would reach this star in 4.2 years. To reach the edge of the Milky Way, it would take you about 100,000 years. However, it would take you, after leaving the Milky Way, another 2.3 million years to reach Andromeda, the next closest galaxy.[2]

It would take 20 million years to reach the next galaxy after Andromeda. And all of this is only a very, very small fraction of what is out there in our universe. Remember there are billions of galaxies. In fact, if you were to do nothing in your life but count the stars you would not live long enough to finish.[3]  This is just how vast the universe is. Out of all of the money and research put into searching for ETs, there is nothing to show for it. The planets in our solar system are too hostile to support life (except for Earth of course). So if aliens are visiting us they must be coming from planets in solar systems possibly millions of light years away. This means that they are traveling for millions of years at light speed to get to us.


Other problems with Space Travel

When you travel across the galaxy at the speed of light you would arrive at your destination without perceiving that anytime had passed. However, a person back on earth would observe the passage of time. So, if we took a trip to Proxima Centauri, which would take us 8.4 years to get there and back at the speed of light, we would arrive back on earth as if no time had passed at all. However, it would have been 8.4 years to people on earth. Thus we would be younger than the people who we left on earth! This is a problem that Science Fiction stories leave out because it would ruin the story telling.[4]

Another problem with fast space travel includes the energy requirements for travelling at the speed of light. I will quote one writer at length on this topic:

“Although I believe there are structural limitations that will keep spaceships from flying this fast, there is another limitation. There is no power source great enough to propel a spaceship to these speeds. As we will see shortly, even propelling a small object to these speeds would require an impossible amount of energy.

Many people assume that when something becomes “weightless” in space, it can be easily moved. This is not the case; the object still has the same mass in space as it does on earth. The more mass an object has, the more energy is needed to move it.

To illustrate, let’s say that an astronaut is on a space walk and is going to throw two objects. The first object is a “one-pound” ball and the second object is a “30,000-pound” ball. Neither ball “weighs” anything because there is virtually no gravity up there.3.1 If the astronaut has a good baseball arm, he would be able to throw the small ball very fast. However, he would barely budge the large ball. It would feel like he was pushing against a wall. The only movement taking place (apart from a slight movement of the big ball), would be the astronaut moving backwards.

How much energy will it take to propel a spaceship to ultra high-speeds? To keep things easy to visualize, we are going to calculate the energy needed to propel a one-pound object to 50% of the speed of light. The formula to determine this is:

Kinetic Energy = (1/2) (mass) (velocity) (velocity)

To propel an object that weighs one pound to a speed 50% of the speed of light would require an energy source equal to the energy of 98 atomic bombs. That’s a tremendous amount of energy.”[5]

He continues:

“it would take energy equal to the energy of 23 million atomic bombs to propel the space shuttle to 50% of the speed of light. I have another way of looking at it. Visualize all the energy (from utility companies) consumed in the U.S. in a whole year. Multiply that number by 108 and that is amount of energy needed to propel the spaceship to 50% of the speed of light. To propel the spaceship to 90% of the speed of light would equal the energy of 73 million atomic bombs or 351 years of U.S. energy.

Of course, once the spaceship reaches its desired destination, it will need to slow down. To stop the spaceship would require the same amount of energy as it took to get it moving. Of course, if the spaceship plans on returning back to earth, it will need energy to speed up and slow down one more time. This means we need four times the energy listed above. One trip over and back will consume more energy than what the entire United States does in 432 years (or 1,406 years flying at 90% of the speed of light).

Actually, the required energy would be much greater. We’ve only calculated the amount of energy needed to move the actual spaceship. We didn’t calculate the amount of energy needed to move the massive engines and fuel.”[6]

I’ll stop quoting him there. The point is simple: we do not have the energy requirements to live in a galaxy like Star Wars. There can never be Galactic Empires. We simply do not have the energy to accomplish this.

Other problems with travelling at the speed of light or faster are:

1)      Collisions at these speeds – Estimates are that there are about 100,000 dust particles per cubic kilometer in space. Colliding with just a tiny object at one-tenth the speed of light would cause an explosion the equivalent of 10 tons of TNT. At just 50% the speed of light the impact would create the energy equal to 2.2 atomic bombs.

“Science Fiction has invented concepts such as force fields and deflector shields to deal with these problems. Although some electrically charged objects can be deflected using electromagnetic fields, how such concepts could be applied to withstand impacts as large as multiple atomic bombs remains imaginary. This would only increase the energy requirements of the ship, too, because an equally powerful force would have to be generated to deflect such objects.”[7]

2)      Detecting approaching objects at these speeds would be impossible. How can we develop technologies that can detect a grain of sand millions of light-years away? Remember that colliding with a grain of sand would cause a massive explosion.[8]

3)      How can we avoid these approaching objects? When a spaceship maneuvers, whether it is changing course or accelerating, it exerts g forces on those inside the ship. A g force of 1 equals the earth’s gravity (think about what you feel when riding a roller coaster). An air force pilot would rupture his blood vessels in his eyes at 3 g’s, and at 5 g’s he would pass out. 9 g’s would kill him in seconds, and any more would destroy the plane. Changing directions at the speeds we need to travel the universe would create millions of g’s.[9]

Science Fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke notes in his Three Laws, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This shows us that the belief that mankind (or some kind of alien) will develop this kind of technology is based not on science but faith. Science involves observation and experimentation on natural phenomena (and it must be repeatable too). The technology and feats that are required for space travel simply are impossible within the known laws of physics.

The Point of this Discussion

The conclusion is inescapable. There is simply no way that UFOs are coming from outer space. If the UFOs that millions of people are seeing worldwide are not coming from outer space, then where are they coming from? I will discuss this topic in part 3 of this series.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and visit us on Facebook.

[1] Gary Bates. Alien Intrusion. Powder Springs: Creation Book Publishers, 2004. Pg. 63-64.

[2] Ibid. 64.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[9] Bates, Bates, 69-70. http://www.biblehelp.org/ufo8.htm.

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3 thoughts on “UFOs and the Bible: Space Travel

  1. mmcclellan2

    Thanks for the comment. The problem with bending space and time is that there is no observable scientific evidence for doing such a thing. It is simply Science Fiction.

  2. Pingback: Is God an Alien? - Christian Worldview Press

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