Yesterday, we heard from the people who think they know why we might never hear from alien civilizations. Today’s turn goes to Santhosh Mathew at the Guardian, who wonders if religion will survive if we do hear from them:
The interaction with alien life is not just being discussed in the domain of philosophy any more, it has entered into the traditional scientific realm. Realising this possibility, Nasa, in 2014, gave $1.1m to the Center of Theological Inquiry, an independent institution, to support an initiative to study “the societal implications of astrobiology”. Nasa was criticised by some for providing money to an organisation rooted in Christian theology.
Yes. That’s because it sounds to many of us like a solution in search of a problem. We keep looking for evidence that most religious people much care.
The core question would be, does God’s creation extend beyond a single planet? If so, would the inhabitants of those planets believe in the same gods as humans do? How could the creator of the universe deny the inhabitants of those worlds a chance to redeem their sins? Does that mean that God incarnated as Jesus in those worlds contrary to Bible teachings that say that the redemption in Christ was a unique event meant for humans on Earth?More.
One can’t think what “Bible teachings” Mathew is referring to, teachings that entail that space aliens do or don’t exist, that they need salvation, that they are offered salvation (or not) or how. He doesn’t follow the usual custom of providing the reader with references. 19th century poet Alice Meynell, a schoolbook choice, tackled the idea, and it sometimes comes up in apologetics essays. But really? Isn’t this just another idea in search of a Templeton grant?
See also: Why we might never hear from alien civilizations
Suzan Mazur: NASA, tax dollars, space aliens, and religion…
Suzan Mazur: NASA, tax dollars, space aliens, and religion… Of course, it’s yet to be determined that most religious people have much invested in the matter one way or the other, relative to their irreligious neighbours.
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