We might be preparing to set up a colony on Mars and go even beyond, but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants to know if humans will be okay if we come across alien life out there. So, it set up a year-long program to bring together 24 theologists to discuss the impact of such a finding, Futurism reported.
Our very own solar system might appear devoid of life but with billions of galaxies in the universe, there is a high probability that planets revolving around the billions of stars in those galaxies have life on them too. Space agencies are keen on finding out which of these planets actually harbor some form of life and the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope is likely to provide some clues as well.
When it does there will be two major questions before us. One, how do we get in touch with those life forms? And two, how do we communicate to the billions of Earthlings that we are not alone? NASA's program was aimed at understanding how such a piece of news might affect an individual's belief system and how religious groups would respond to it.
The year-long program called The Societal Implications of Astrobiology was conducted at the Center for Theological Inquiry (CTI) at Princeton University, New Jersey and wondered if religions would have to alter their doctrines as well.
Religious doctrines are quite open to the idea that life could exist elsewhere and would do just fine, the theologians concurred. Among them, a British priest who is also a theologist at Cambridge University, Rev Dr. Andrew Davison went ahead and recently published a book on it titled, Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine. David's findings argue that the non-religious community has overestimated the challenges of the religious people.
While this is an interesting finding that could probably pave the way for more inquiries into religious doctrines, it is also a signal of how close NASA thinks it is to actually find alien life. We might not be able to contact them immediately but at least we would have an answer to the biggest question, are we all alone?