Welcome to the Gum, Geckos, and God Blog Tour! I was delighted to be invited to participate. I not only enjoyed reading the book, but interacting with Jim has been fun, too. Jim Speigel is Philosophy Professor at Taylor University in Indiana. (Also, Jim and his wife just launched a new blog as well, called Wisdom and Folly.) I had a hard time confining my questions, so I asked Jim a series of questions. I'll be posting a new one every couple of hours, and I hope you find these engaging. Here's the third installment. Embarking: On page 181 you intimate that there might be others - humanlike other persons - not from this planet. Two question: 1) Is this inspired by CS Lewis and his Space Trilogy? 2) What do you really think about the possibility of extra-earth non-angelic beings (and is that what Jesus means when he says, "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep-pen")?
SPIEGEL: While this is a highly speculative matter, if I had to take a side on this issue I would guess that there are indeed extra-terrestrial intelligences out there-perhaps, for all we know, hundreds or even thousands of different civilizations. So I suppose my intuitions would be like Lewis's here. And I would base this hunch on, among other things, God's vast creativity. He has made such a plethora of creatures on just our planet that it would only stand to reason that he would show his extensive creativity regarding living forms throughout the universe. Also, I think there is something to the intuition expressed by one of the characters in the film Contact: If ours is the only planet inhabited by living things-among hundreds of billions of galaxies out there-then "that's an awful waste of space." As for Jesus' comment about other "sheep," I don't know what this refers to, though it might indeed refer to extra-terrestrials. But, let me reiterate, I don't have a firm view here. I just lean on the side of credulity when it comes to extra-terrestrial life forms.
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