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At Mind Matters News: Will religions crumble if we find extraterrestrial life?


Some seem fixated on the idea so NASA funded a group of theologians to try to assess the probable reaction of religious people to extraterrestrial life or intelligent aliens:

One of them, Andrew Davison, has been talking about it of late, not only because of the active pursuit of fossil microbes on Mars but because he is set to publish a book this year, currently titled Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine.

He doesn’t foresee any particular angst among religious believers.

“The headline findings are that adherents of a range of religious traditions report that they can take the idea in their stride,” Davison wrote in “Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine,” a forthcoming book that touches on his time during the program, reported The Times, which obtained portions of the book.

Davison also wrote in the book, which is set to be released in 2022, that the nonreligious community tended to “overestimate the challenges that religious people” might face if evidence of extraterrestrial life were discovered. Erin Snodgrass, “How would humans respond to the discovery of aliens? NASA enlisted dozens of religious scholars to find out.” at Insider (December 29, 2021)

That makes sense. The most likely find would be fossil (or even living) microbes somewhere but it’s not clear what they would prove or disprove. Evangelical Christian astronomer Hugh Ross believes, for example, that we will find fossil microbes on Mars but that they probably came from Earth when the planets were less solidly formed and were exchanging materials. It’s not clear that there are any theological implications for that.

News, “Will religions crumble if we find extraterrestrial life?” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Theologian and astrobiologist Andrew Davison reports in his forthcoming book that religious acceptance of extraterrestrials is strong and goes back a long way.

You may also wish to read:

Harvard astronomer: Hunt for ET can unify science and religion. Avi Loeb told The Hill that the Galileo Project, which looks for physical evidence of extraterrestrials, could answer religious questions as well as science ones. Fewer scientists seem to think we can do without any source of intelligence for the creation of the universe. Hence the idea that advanced ET created it.


Harvard astronomer: Advanced aliens engineered the Big Bang.
Avi Loeb writes in Scientific American that when we humans are sufficiently advanced, we will create other universes as well. Avi Loeb’s hypothesis is not logically stranger than the many hypotheses that attempt to account for the Big Bang without underlying information/intelligence.

@Zweston Interestingly, some of the top and most respected researchers in the field of ufology have concluded that the so-called UFO phenomena is likely inter-dimensional in nature; it exists at a level of consciousness that we do not understand. In this sense, one could easily argue that there is a spiritual element to it, as you have already suggested. Additionally, many UFO encounters are often accompanied by poltergeist activity and other strange phenomena (e.g., The Skin Walker Ranch). Perhaps more importantly, ufology in general has been heavily influenced by occultism (see for example Steven Greer and his CE5 contact experiments). Although some will claim Greer's research is inline with new age philosophies, a great deal of it is actually predicated on the same types of mystical eastern traditions that formed the basis of Madame Blavatsky occult teachings during the 19th century. KRock
Given the low probability that they will be able to get here or vice versa, or that communicating with them will take longer than a human lifespan, there won't be any impact at all. EDTA
Christians should look at this in a positive light as a potentially infinite source of tithings...... chuckdarwin
aliens don't resolve the something from nothing problem... I wouldn't be surprised if aliens wouldn't be a great delusion sent from Satan... there are documented cases of people being "abducted" but when the name of Jesus is called upon it stops right then. zweston

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