NASA is steering towards seeking divine knowledge and help from theologians to understand how humans will react if they found aliens existed and how the discovery could change our ideas of gods and the creation of the universe. It has hired 24 theologians for this. The theologians will be working at the agency’s Centre for Theological Inquiry (CTI) at Princeton University in the US. With two rovers on Mars, several probes orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, and the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA believes it is on the right track to finding signs of alien life sooner than previously anticipated.
When that happens, it will have a profound impact on the global psyche and our understanding of the world and its creators. NASA thinks it will need help from theologians, who study the nature of the divine and, more broadly, religious beliefs, to make sure the discovery is received well.
For this purpose, NASA gave a $1.1 million (roughly Rs. 8.21 crore) grant in 2014 to CTI. The theologians will take part in a NASA-sponsored programme, titled Societal Implications of Astrobiology. It aims to answer baffling questions such as what is life, the possibilities of finding aliens, and how do we distinguish them from humans, the Daily Mail reported.