Thursday, November 6, 2014

Is your religion ready to meet ET?

Is your religion ready to meet ET?
Milton is on pins and needles, waiting patiently with bated breath, that astronomers will find evidence of extraterrestrial life in the universe. Microbial life will do, says Milton. Slap some breading on it and fry it up in the pan, it will taste just like Alien chicken.
Sure, Milton could just show himself and all this crazy drama would be over and done with. Yeah, right. The military and only "god" knows how many other secret organizations employ extraterrestrial beings such as Milton. They housed them up in dingy, damp, underground shelters, so as to keep them out of sight, and out of mind of the human masses. "Don't want to freak the masses out", they say.

It's ok to dangle a few squiggly "microbes" in peoples' faces on a big screen televisions as long as the microbes are at a safe far away distance, like say billions of light years that the microbes don't reach out and grab a innocent human(s) and eat them alive.

That's right, we humans are not alone in the universe, we got microbes out there! Billions of them!!! Probably flesh eating microbes. Oh my.

How will humankind react after astronomers hand over rock-solid scientific evidence for the existence of life beyond the Earth? No more speculating. No more wondering. The moment scientists announce this discovery, everything will change. Not least of all, our philosophies and religions will need to incorporate the new information.

Astronomers have now identified thousands of planets in orbit around other stars. At the current rate of discovery, millions more will be found this century.
Having already found the physical planets, astronomers are now searching for our biological neighbors. Over the next fifty years, they will begin the tantalizing, detailed study of millions of planets, looking for evidence of the presence of life on or below the surfaces or in the atmospheres of those planets.
And it's very likely that astronomers will find it. Despite the fact that more than one-third of Americans surveyed believe that aliens have already visited Earth, the first evidence of life beyond our planet probably won't be radio signals, little green men or flying saucers. Instead, a 21st century Galileo, using an enormous, 50-meter-diameter telescope, will collect light from the atmospheres of distant planets, looking for the signatures of biologically significant molecules.
Astronomers filter that light from far away through spectrometers – high-tech prisms that tease the light apart into its many distinct wavelengths. They're looking for the telltale fingerprints of molecules that would not exist in abundance in these atmospheres in the absence of living things. The spectroscopic data will tell whether a planet's environment has been altered in ways that point to biological processes at work.
If we aren't alone, who are we?
With the discovery in a distant planet's light spectrum of a chemical that could only be produced by living creatures, humankind will have the opportunity to read a new page in the book of knowledge. We will no longer be speculating about whether other beings exist in the universe. We will know that we not alone.

An affirmative answer to the question "Does life exist anywhere else in the universe beyond Earth?" would raise immediate and profoundly important cosmotheological questions about our place in the universe. If extraterrestrial others exist, then my religion and my religious beliefs and practices might not be universal. If my religion is not universally applicable to all extraterrestrial others, perhaps my religion need not be offered to, let alone forced on, all terrestrial others. Ultimately, we might learn some important lessons applicable here at home just from considering the possibility of life beyond our planet.

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