NASA Enlisted Religious Experts to Predict How Humans May React to Aliens
A group of theologians took part in a NASA-sponsored program at Princeton’s Center for Theological Inquiry (CTI) to determine how the world’s major religions would react to news that alien life exists.
The University of Cambrdige’s Rev. Dr. Andrew Davison said he and 23 other theologians participated in the program from 2016 to 2017. Davison’s work centered on Christianity.
Will Storrar, director of the CTI, said NASA wanted to examine the “profound wonder and mystery and implication of finding microbial life on another planet.”
According to Davison’s upcoming book, Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine, upon discovery of alien life, a “large number of people would turn to their religious traditions for guidance.”
“Detection [of alien life] might come in a decade or only in future centuries or perhaps never at all, but if or where it does, it will be useful to have thought through the implications in advance,” Davison wrote.
In a statement to Changing America, NASA said its “Astrobiology program provided partial funding through a grant to the CTI in 2015, with the agency-funded portion of the project concluding in 2017.” The spokesperson said that “NASA was not directly involved in the selection of researchers for the study.”