Posted by: cjobrien | 23 December 2009

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

I want to point this Washington Post article out for two reasons. First, the radio telescope array is on our own Lassen National Forest! I’ve been up there several times and it’s fascinating that this kind of work is being conducted in our own backyard. The Allen Telescope Array is one of the jewels of the forest. The article refers to the array being in view of some of California’s tallest mountains – those would be Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta.

Secondly, this kind of work (the search for extraterrestrial life) will pose a major crisis for the more fundamental elements of religion. No doubt, religions will, as they always do, find a way to morph their traditions and texts to claim that such discoveries fit within the predictions of their ancient texts. But the very existence of extraterrestrial life will force a lot of uncomfortable questions about the nature of god, earth as uniquely suited for humans and the silly notion that humans are the ultimate in creation. I look forward to such discussions.

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Responses

  1. Some have already started exploring such questions – both in theoological books ansd articles but also in short stories and novels. Obviously there is a difference between discussion of hypothetical scenarios and discussion of something that has become certain, but at least the process of exploration has begun!


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