NASA hired dozens of religious leaders to study humanity’s possible reaction to news of alien life

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As the world’s first space exploration agency, NASA has spent a fairly large amount of money on various missions throughout the outfit’s decades-old history. One of those missions – or experiments, if you will – involved consulting 24 theologians recruited by NASA from around the world. The task at hand? Determine how the world’s religions would react if humanity found out that extraterrestrial life does indeed exist among the stars.

The research was first brought to light by the religious scholar, the Reverend Andrew Davison, a staff member of the University of Cambridge. Davison shared a blog post on the university’s Faculty of Theology blog last week, revealing that he was a member of the project. The scholar also has a book to be released next year, Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine, looking at his time in the course of the study.

The project in question actually took place in 2016 when Davison and others gathered at Princeton’s Center for Theological Inquiry. In the end, the group ultimately suggested that not much would change if an announcement was made.

“The main results are that followers of a range of religious traditions report that they can embrace the idea in their stride,” Davison says in his upcoming book. The Times UK, the first to obtain a copy of Davison’s book, also confirms that a rabbi, imam, and other Anglican preist Christian, Jewish and Islamic doctrines “would be fine” if alien life was discovered.

Interestingly enough, the news pauses just days after NASA and other joint space agencies successfully launched the James Webb Space Telescope into the cosmos, another move some researchers believe is necessary before they can find definitive proof of the extraterrestrial life.


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