Would Finding ET Shatter Religious Beliefs?
The discovery of life beyond Earth would shake up our view of humanity’s place in the universe, but it probably wouldn’t seriously threaten organized religion, experts say. The Bible, Koran and other sacred texts of the world’s major religions stress God’s special concern for humanity and for Earth. So the discovery of aliens — microbes on Mars, say, or signals from an intelligent civilization in another solar system — might seem threatening, by implying that we and our planet aren’t all that special. But our species has had plenty of time to get used to this idea.
Religious faith remains strong in much of the world despite scientific advances showing that Earth is not the center of the universe, and that our planet’s organisms were not created in their present form but rather evolved over billions of years. So it’s likely that religion would also weather any storms caused by the detection of E.T., researchers say.