Buck Up; We're Stuck on Earth
Star Trek is out, scientists have found. Our bodies can’t take extended space travel.
Science Daily reported, “Houston: we have a problem.” Italian scientists studied epithelial cells growing in the International Space Station and found them aging much more rapidly than on earth. “Space-flown cells differentially expressed more than 1,000 genes and secreted high amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines,” they discovered. “Ultimately, this induced significant oxidative stress, causing inflammation among endothelial cells, which in turn, led to atherosclerosis and cell senescence (biological aging).”
So unless future space travelers have kids quick and train them well, long trips seem unlikely. And who knows what other deleterious effects will be found on the body during exposure to microgravity and cosmic rays? “We’ve evolved to rely on gravity to regulate our biology, and without it, our tissues become confused,” the journal editor remarked. “Worst of all: they age faster!”
Good grief; we didn’t “evolve to” rely on gravity. We were created to thrive on the environment we were given. “The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man” (Psalm 116:15). But even with our feet on terra firma, we grow old, groaning under the curse (Romans 8).
The only way to achieve star travel will be to get a new body in heaven that is not subject to aging and decay. The only way to qualify is to repent and believe the gospel (John 3,). For those of us who have accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation (see map), part of our inheritance will be a new, glorified body ( I Corinthians 15). What will it be like? We don’t know, except that Paul compares the old to a buried seed and the new to a sprouted plant. We will be like Christ, John said, because we will see Him as He is (I John 3:2). After His resurrection, Jesus was not limited by space and time; locked doors could not keep Him out, and He could appear and vanish at will. Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith speculated that these appearances sound like the resurrected Christ was walking in a higher dimension. Just as the inhabitants of Flatland would be baffled by footprints in their world, we would be flabbergasted by someone appearing out of nowhere and vanishing.
In the new heavens and earth, there will be no more tears, sickness, or death, because we will be raised incorruptible (1 Peter 1:3-8). Although there will be a new earth, the saints may not be limited to it. Since we will be like the angels in heaven, as Jesus said (Matthew 22:30), we may have the universe open to us for exploration. Paul said that eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things God has prepared for those who love Him (I Corinthians 2:9). Whatever we find, we know it will be fantastic beyond all imagination, most of all because we will see our Redeemer face to face and be overwhelmed with the glory of God, the Creator of all things. Will you be there? Don’t trust in mythical Star Trek hopes. You won’t live long enough to see a starship, even if one is ever deemed theoretically possible. If you rode on it, your body would age to death long before reaching the nearest star, even if you didn’t become demented (1/06/13). No one has observed physical beings traveling across the galaxy, but there are many eyewitnesses of the risen Christ (more than 500 at one time, I Cor. 15:6, many who were still living when Paul wrote about it). New Testament authors Peter, John, Matthew, James, Jude, and Paul were all eyewitnesses, not wavering in their testimony all the way to martyrdom, along with all the other apostles.
In these pages we have repeatedly shown that true science falsifies Darwinian evolution and other secular origin myths. We have also demonstrated that true science is consistent with the Bible (e.g., 10/27/13). If you respect observation and evidence, it’s time to go where the evidence leads, like the skeptical atheist Lee Strobel did. When he examined the evidence, he found it so strong, he decided it took more faith to maintain his atheism than to become a Christian. See his story in The Case for a Creator (watch on YouTube) and The Case for Christ. We hope you enjoy our science reporting here, but don’t stop with mere knowledge. It’s time to grow out of Trekkie adolescence and embrace mature responsible choices between fact and fiction, between myth and reality, between life and death. Billy Graham, in his 95th birthday special airing this weekend, shares the message he has faithfully preached to millions of people for decades, a legacy that his son, daughter and grandson are continuing. His aging body is going the way of all the earth, but his soul is filled with living hope and confidence. The message is simple. It’s for everyone. It’s the answer. Come to the cross.