According to The Guardian, it is uncertain as to the origin of life on other planets orbiting other stars. NASA’s current count of exoplanets – planets capable of hosting life as we know it – is at 3,500. Six are thought to be similar candidates to Earth.
With advancements in technology, researchers suspect possible discovery of life similar to Earth’s on an exoplanet. Two decades ago, this was more uncertain because of less advanced technology and fewer candidate exoplanets.
“…contact with intelligent life elsewhere in the universe will present theological and philosophical conundrums that many religions will find deeply challenging. This is especially true for Christianity, which primarily focuses on humankind.”
One core education in Christian theology asserts the creation of humankind by God with the flora and fauna of the Earth, and the Earth itself, made for human beings. Alien life has moved from the scientific into the theological now.
NASA invested $1.1 million into the Center of Theological Inquiry, which is an independent institution devoted to the study of the implications for society based on the research findings from astrobiology.
“The idea of infinite space with the infinite glory of God originated with Nicholas of Cusa, a German philosopher who kept his infinite theology within the Catholic framework. In 2017, such philosophical thoughts have given way to practical science…”
The theological inquiries begin with God’s creation possibly existing outside of Earth’s solar system. Outside of the Solar System, others might exist with life, even intelligent life with civilizations and technology – and religion.
“If so, would the inhabitants of those planets believe in the same gods as humans do? How could the creator of the universe deny the inhabitants of those worlds a chance to redeem their sins? Does that mean that God incarnated as Jesus in those worlds contrary to Bible teachings that say that the redemption in Christ was a unique event meant for humans on Earth?”
“Exotheology” could become a thing; “theological issues as related to extraterrestrial intelligence.” Religious institutions, The Guardian claims, have been durable with new paradigm shifts.
The scriptures become reinterpreted to suit the times. “There is also, quite simply, something special about religion that resonates with humans on a fundamental level.”
“For traditional religions and religious institutions, the desire to expand their material wealth and power has often take precedence over the spreading of theological doctrines.” The Earth and humankind have been exploited by it.
The Guardian author speculates that the Copernican or Darwinian revolutions did not overturn the established religious institutions – outside of ideas and some basic views – “in a significant way.”
“The triumph of these institutions is analogous to the audacity of organisms when facing challenges in nature. Religious institutions possess impressive survival skills, greater than individual human abilities.”