While scientists with an increasing dose of certainty say it’s only a matter of time before we discover aliens, some are asking more philosophical questions. Like “Can religion and aliens coexist”?
Drake’s equation says it’s practically sure that there are more intellectually advanced civilizations in the universe besides ours, even though we haven’t found them yet. More and more scientists advocate that it is only a matter of time before we get a message from the universe.
Should Science Care About the Impact Between Religion and Aliens?
However, like any question concerning the unknown universe, we cannot just coldly scientifically give unambiguous answers to complex questions. Even NASA is aware of this, so they decided to give more than a million dollars to the Center for Theological Research in New Jersey to study the social implications of astrobiology, which is just a more complicated name for the existence of life on other planets.
Some citizens’ associations were very angry. Their view was that science should not care about the impact of new discoveries on religious beliefs. It is important to note that, although such an attitude may seem reasonable, the vast majority of people belong to some religion. Even the great Carl Sagan was aware that space exploration inevitably leads to religious and philosophical questions. Questions and answers that could shake human beliefs from their roots or religions could easily accept the existence of life outside our planet.
Religious People Believe In Coexistence Between Religion and Aliens
If we wake up tomorrow and hear on the news that life outside of Earth exists, could that mean the end of religion as such, the BBC wonders? Some believe that the discovery of aliens will be only the first step towards the complete disappearance of religiosity. Still, it is interesting to mention one study that showed that twice as many non-religious people think that the discovery of aliens would bring problems to religion. In that survey, 69% of non-religious respondents said discovering aliens would bring problems, while only 34% of religious people share those views.
Religion Is Very Flexible
Religions have existed continuously for thousands of years and have shown almost incredible flexibility. Despite the slow changes, religions are still changing. Is it so excessive to expect religions to adapt to the existence of aliens? Some major world religions say that God gives names to all the stars. Is it too much to expect that God also gave names to the possible inhabitants of the planets around these stars?