NASA, Religion and Life Beyond Earth

Rumors have swirled around the internet that NASA hired a team of 24 theologians, with many media outlets claiming it was in order to prepare humanity for extraterrestrial contact. This was all deduced when University of Cambridge religious scholar Reverend Dr Andrew Davison released a statement, “Since the evolution of life is clearly not impossible, and the places where that might happen are probably extraordinarily numerous, there may well be a great deal of life elsewhere… Religious traditions would be an important feature in how humanity would work through any such confirmation of life elsewhere… Because of that, it features as part of NASA’s ongoing aim to support work on ‘the societal implications of astrobiology,’ working with various partner organizations.” The reality, however, is that back in 2015, NASA did indeed work with the Center of Theological Inquiry when they provided $1.1 million to fund a program “to study the social impact of finding life beyond Earth,” specifically to “convene an interdisciplinary inquiry into the societal implications of the search for life in the universe.” The portion of the program that NASA funded concluded two years later. Read more at Inverse.

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