The NASA space agency has recruited a priest and other religious experts to help the inhabitants of Earth prepare for possible contact with other life forms, according to the Daily Star.
It is reported that NASA has recruited 24 theologians in total. The reason for this was the success of recent decades in the search for life on other planets. Next year, the rover Rosiland Franklin is scheduled to launch a space mission that will analyze fossilized microbes on the surface of Mars to find traces of life. More recently, scientists have also suggested the existence of life in the atmosphere of Venus.
As part of a new NASA project, religious experts gathered at the Center for Theological Research at Princeton University in New Jersey to answer questions about how the discovery of life from another planet might affect thinking about gods and creation. Carl Pilcher, head of the NASA Institute for Astrobiology, said theologians have been brought in to consider the implications of applying the tools of science from the late 20th and early 21st centuries to issues that have been studied in religious traditions for hundreds or thousands of years.
“It is simply unthinkable when there are more than 100 billion stars in this galaxy, and in the Universe there are more than 100 billion galaxies,” answered Carl Pilcher when asked if the Earth is the only planet in space on which there is life.