Like I said the other day, Don't Look Up was my favorite movie of 2021. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I'm about to give something away. 22,000 years in the future when Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, the female Trump and other billionaires-- having escaped from earth on their private space crafts at the last minute-- arrive at the nearest habitable planet, they meet some aliens and within a few seconds, one of them eats the female Trump. It's a shocking scene, especially because the alien looks so beautiful and appears not aggressive at all, actually rather docile.
The Hill published a report by Brook Migdon this morning, NASA hired religious experts to predict how humans may react to aliens, theologian says. (Aside: I had 3 personal encounters and I pretty much just blocked them out because they were too intense to process.) NASA did this through the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton University from 2016 to 2017. One of the two dozen theologians, Andrew Davison, told the London Times about it last week. The 24 of them were hired by NASA to work at the center researching "how humans may react to news that intelligent life exists on other planets."
Davison said he and his colleagues examined how each of the world’s major religions would likely respond if they were made aware of the existence of aliens. His own work focused on the connection between astrobiology and Christian theology.
Will Storrar, director of the CTI, said NASA wanted to see “serious scholarship being published in books and journals” addressing the “profound wonder and mystery and implication of finding microbial life on another planet,” the Times reported.
In a statement posted to the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity blog, Davison said his research mostly concentrated on the concept of Christology, or the study of who Jesus was as both a human and divine being.
“The most significant question there is is probably whether one would respond theologically to the prospect of life elsewhere in terms of there having been many incarnations, or only the one theologians talk about in Jesus,” he wrote at the time. “I have also been thinking about the doctrine of creation, especially in terms of how it deals with themes of multiplicity and diversity.”
Davison added in the blog post that his research hasn’t been limited to religious texts, around which other research on the topic of extraterrestrial life has tended to center.
“In thinking theologically about life elsewhere in the universe, there has been a tendency to pick up mainly on passages from previous theological work where other life has been the topic under discussion. I want to move beyond that, and join the discussion to a much wider range of material and perspectives,” he wrote.
“Perhaps the main discovery I would report on to date is finding just how frequently theology-and-astrobiology has been a topic in popular writing for at least a century and a half: in monthly magazines for instance,” he added.
Davison’s upcoming book, Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine, set to be published in 2022, will cover part of his work with the CTI and NASA, The Times reported.
According to a portion of Davison’s book obtained by The Times, a “large number of people would turn to their religions traditions for guidance” if aliens were ever discovered.
“Detection [of alien life] might come in a decade or only in future centuries or perhaps never at all, but if or where it does, it will be useful to have thought through the implications in advance,” Davison writes.
Damn... I hope they're nothing like the Bronterocs.