Lately there has been a lot of extra-terrestrials in the news.
Last month, astronomers announced that they had 'spotted' a planet 20 light years away from Earth that appeared to have many of the characteristics of a life-sustaining planet. The name of the planet is Gilese 581g. This is the first Earth-like planet found in another solar system that could have the conditions necessary for life as we know it.
Also last month, a group of seven retired air force officers held a press conference and claimed that during their time of service, they witnessed Unidentified Flying Objects disabling nuclear missiles. Of late, UFO's have even been sighted at O'Hare airport.
Reputable research has always found that close encounters are usually experiences best left to science fiction, conspiracy theorists, and cuckoos. But, the strange subject does bring up interesting faith questions. Seton Hall Professor David Opderbeck wonders how theology and faith changes if we indeed discover life outside of Earth. Opderbeck writes:
Such discoveries have the potential to upset Christian theology. We assume that the Biblical picture places humanity at the pinnacle of creation. Psalm 8, for example, affirms the exalted place of human beings in the order of creation. Notice, however, that even in Psalm 8, there are “heavenly beings” that occupy an order higher than humanity.
Where are we at in the universe? Are we alone? Are we the ultimate being or are there higher life forms out there? What does your faith say about all this and how could new discoveries affect your faith?
Join us for an out of this world conversation Thursday night at Short's Brewing, 7pm!