Aliens have long been of great interest for the general public, not to mention a cash cow for the entertainment industry. Ever since 1951 when the sci-fi movie The Day the Earth Stood Still flickered in black-n-white on the big screen, our modern pop culture hasn’t been able to get enough of humanoid alien visitors and their accompanying robots. But is the topic of aliens only suitable for entertainment value? Leading scientists and theologians don’t think so!
In 2009, the Vatican hosted a conference to discuss the implications on religion and human consciousness if extraterrestrial life is found. Chief scientists, astronomers, and religious leaders enthusiastically participated. And, at the close of their meetings they concluded that if aliens were discovered they would be part of God’s creation and therefore regarded as our “extraterrestrial brothers.”
NASA, the Library of Congress, and the Vatican discuss aliens!
Last year (2014), NASA and the Library of Congress teamed up, bringing together over 200 top scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians from around the globe, to host a two day symposium. Their stated goal was to discuss how to prepare the world for extraterrestrial contact, whether it be microbial organisms or intelligent beings.
“We’re looking at all scenarios about finding life. If you find microbes, that’s one thing. If you find intelligence, it’s another. And if they communicate, it’s something else, and depending on what they say, it’s something else! The idea is not to wait until we make a discovery, but to try and prepare the public for what the implications might be when such a discovery is made. I think the reason that NASA is backing this is because of all the recent activity in the discovery of exoplanets and the advances in astrobiology in general. People just consider it much more likely now that we’re going to find something — probably microbes first and maybe intelligence later. The driving force behind this is from a scientific point of view that it seems much more likely now that we are going to find life at some point in the future.” – Astronomer, symposium organizer and former chief NASA historian, Steven J. Dick. (source)
One of the theologians present was Brother Guy Consolmagno, who is the president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Here is what he had to say:
“I Believe [alien life exists], but I have no evidence. I would be really excited and it would make my understanding of my religion deeper and richer in ways that I can’t even predict yet, which is why it would be so exciting.” (source)
One of the leading question asked at the conference was does an intelligent alien life form have a soul? A Jesuit astronomer present answered he believed they do and would be excited with the discovery of alien life. And we may not have to wait long for that discovery announcement! According to NASA scientists, finding life out there is statistically inevitable, most likely within the next two decades.
If you believe in UFOs, you may be in better company than you think!
A 2012 National Geographic poll showed that 36% of Americans, about 80 million people, believe UFOs exist, and a tenth believe they have spotted one. The study also showed that 77% of Americans believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth, and the TV show The X-Files best represents what would happen if aliens invaded Earth.
The study, in which a random sample of 1,114 Americans 18 and over was surveyed, also asked what respondents would do if aliens visited Earth. Nearly a quarter said they would try to befriend the extraterrestrials, 13 percent said they would lock themselves indoors, and just one in 20 said they would “try to inflict bodily harm.”
Those numbers did not surprise longtime UFO investigator David MacDonald, director of the non-profit Mutual UFO Network, who said the idea of contact with extraterrestrials has become commonplace in the last few decades.
“We have grown up with ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica,'” MacDonald said. “We’re at the point where we’d say ‘What planet are you from? Oh well, let’s have a beer.'”
ABC News report aired in 2012
If you’re curious as to what people of faith think about aliens, be watching for my upcoming post – Alien Church (TWO)!
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