As humanity struggles to learn more about space, NASA has hired a team of 24 priests and theologians to prepare people for contact with aliens. Experts-theologians should help to understand how representatives of different religions of our planet will react to the news of the existence of extraterrestrial life.
It sounds like bad sci-fi movie plot and no, they are not launched into space to fight space demons.
According to The Mirror, one of them is the British clergyman Rev. Dr. Andrew Davison, a theologian at Cambridge University, who also has a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Oxford. The Reverend Dr. Davison believes that the prospect of finding alien life is becoming more and more likely.
As The Times reports, NASA and other space agencies are heading towards finding evidence that life exists outside of planet Earth.
Thus, in his new book Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine, he discusses whether God could have created life elsewhere in the universe. And he asks questions – will it take after the discovery of extraterrestrial life for religions to rewrite their stories? Or will believers easily accept it? If you believe that God or the gods created all beings, large and small, why not apply this throughout the universe?
According to Davison’s assurances, Christian, Jewish and Islamic religious teachings will not be affected by the alien discovery.
Carl Pilcher, who headed NASA’s Institute of Astrobiology until 2016, said NASA wants theologians to consider the implications of applying the tools of science from the late 20th and early 21st centuries to issues that have been addressed in religious traditions for hundreds or thousands of years.
“In his opinion, it is “inconceivable” that the Earth was the only place in the Universe where there is life – when there are more than 100 billion stars and more than 100 billion galaxies in the Universe in this galaxy.”
Officially, this NASA initiative is linked to the launch of the $ 10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, which is slated to launch this Christmas. The telescope will deploy cutting-edge technology to study every phase of cosmic history and the solar system, and the most distant observed galaxies in the early universe.
The device, which supports infrared, will study a wide range of scientific issues to help humanity better understand “the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.”
Another question that British priests are trying to solve is whether the discovery of extraterrestrial life requires religions to rewrite the entire history of creation in Genesis?
Davison applied for the program after discussing these issues with his theology students, and then spent an academic year at Princeton University in 2016 under the $ 1.1 million NASA-sponsored Social Impact of Astrobiology program.
Will Storrar, Director of Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), says the program is just getting started and NASA wants “serious scientific research published in books and journals” dedicated to “the profound miracle, mystery and significance of discovering life on another planet.”