NASA wants to know exactly how the world’s religions would react if evidence of extraterrestrial life were discovered. For this reason, she decided to fund a special program called The Societal Implications of Astrobiology.
Already in 2016, she created a 24-member theological group at the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton University, whose task was to find an answer to the question outlined above.
It may seem like a waste of money to some, but you need to keep in mind that billions of people around the world are among the followers of this or that religion. How would life on another planet change their perception of God? How would a biblical creation story affect things?
Priest, rabbi and imam
“The main finding is that adherents of many religious traditions say they can accept the idea,” wrote Anglican priest Andrew Davison, who took part in the program, in his new book Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine.
Davison also noted that atheists generally tend to overestimate the challenges that believers would face in such a case.
The rabbi, the imam and another Anglican priest then told The Times basically the same thing – that Jewish, Islamic and Christian doctrine would be fine if some form of extraterrestrial life were found.