What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
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29-01-2014, 12:25 PM
What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
While I don't believe in any sense it would be a death knell for religion, I think it would send many of them scrambling to redefine their histories and explanations (again). To me, I would hope to them it would mean definitively that Earth was not "put" here for us, that we aren't special. Life could come about anywhere in the universe given the right balance of environment and chemicals, etc.

It would destroy fine-tuning, genesis myths (which we know are bunk but they don't) and the magical "spark of life."

One thing I think will happen is they will just say god did it. That no matter what we find, it still was all created by their god, so they will dismiss it out of hand. I guess only when we find intelligent life and can communicate with them will those dismissals have to go extinct. Then again, who am I kidding?

How do you think religions will react and what will be the outcome of finding life elsewhere?

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29-01-2014, 12:28 PM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
It would certainly mean that some ingenious religious people would have to figure out new ways of interpreting the Bible to account for such a discovery.

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29-01-2014, 12:49 PM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
Indeed. I've been watching a bunch of the Planets episodes on Science Channel and the relentless pursuit of this endeavor, and all I can imagine is my devout sister-in-law thinking, "Why do scientists want to prove god doesn't exist?" Ugh.

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29-01-2014, 08:49 PM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
I think it would have an effect on people at the margins who are questioning but not much effect on the devout or should I say the delusional. They already ignore the evidence of evolution, geology, physics, and anything else that contradicts their particular beliefs. I do think this question will be answered in the next 5-10 years by spectroscopic studies of light from some of these planets that we are finding and which are more abundant than was thought before we started finding them. I think that some will just claim it is all a conspiracy by scientists to disprove God just like they do now with every other science.

On a side note I think that if earth is the only planet with life it would go against the order we see in the universe. It would be like there being only one raindrop, grain of sand, wave on the ocean or cloud. For every type of thing there are multiple examples. I totally reject the idea that life either happened by random chance or it had to be created There is another alternative which is left out by the creationist which is natural processes happening in accordance with natural laws and according to the nature of matter and energy.

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29-01-2014, 08:57 PM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
There's also the standpoint that we are the first to have life, or the last. But I reject that because of the sheer volume.

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29-01-2014, 09:30 PM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
(29-01-2014 12:25 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  While I don't believe in any sense it would be a death knell for religion, I think it would send many of them scrambling to redefine their histories and explanations (again). To me, I would hope to them it would mean definitively that Earth was not "put" here for us, that we aren't special. Life could come about anywhere in the universe given the right balance of environment and chemicals, etc.

It would destroy fine-tuning, genesis myths (which we know are bunk but they don't) and the magical "spark of life."

One thing I think will happen is they will just say god did it. That no matter what we find, it still was all created by their god, so they will dismiss it out of hand. I guess only when we find intelligent life and can communicate with them will those dismissals have to go extinct. Then again, who am I kidding?

How do you think religions will react and what will be the outcome of finding life elsewhere?

They'll say that "God made it all for us". :/

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05-02-2014, 08:13 AM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
I think the answer to that question is quite obvious. A lot of religious people do not value evidence and facts. If all the evidence and facts that we can present them today is not enough, I doubt alien sentient beings will be.

And btw, I can't imagine how we are ever going to reach another star, knowing that Proxima Centuri, the closest star to ours is 4.27 light years away.

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05-02-2014, 08:50 AM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
(05-02-2014 08:13 AM)Youkay Wrote:  I think the answer to that question is quite obvious. A lot of religious people do not value evidence and facts. If all the evidence and facts that we can present them today is not enough, I doubt alien sentient beings will be.

And btw, I can't imagine how we are ever going to reach another star, knowing that Proxima Centuri, the closest star to ours is 4.27 light years away.

Could you imagine 10 years ago you'd have a tiny box in your pocket that can answer any question you could ever imagine? While I find it just as daunting, I can never rule out anything. We are making organs from stem cells and printing things in 3D. They are working on methods of propulsion now that dwarf what our current fuel and technology can provide, so I'll never underestimate science.

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05-02-2014, 08:57 AM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
It might mean that some theists will have to agree that it doesn't matter which monotheist religion you believe in if you asked them whether intelligent aliens were going to Hell because they are not Christians.
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05-02-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: What would the discovery of life on another planet mean?
I suspect the response from religion will be generally the same across the board.

"See how awesome god is?? He can even make aliens!!! Praise Jeebus!"

Religion in this age of scientific advancement is a practice in denial beyond all other forms of lunacy. Reconciling aliens with religion ain't no big thang.

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