Astrobiology and Religion. The need for reason and dialogue

This seminar is part of the EAI on-line seminars

ByJacques Arnould, CNES, France

10 January 2023, 16:00 CET

Fascinated by the sky, humans have always wondered about the possibility of meeting supernatural beings, extraterrestrials, about the possible existence of other worlds than ours. The birth of astrobiology, combined with the fashion of flying saucers, has given a new relevance to this ancient question. If the extraterrestrial hypothesis became a reality tomorrow, would religions be threatened with extinction? Some fear it, others hope so. But it seems that religions possess the resources to survive a “third-type encounter.” However, astrobiology must prepare to dialogue with religious traditions about two philosophical questions:
* What is the origin of life?
* Are there other forms of life in the universe?
Monotheistic religions are very sensitive about these two issues; creationist movements are a sad illustration of this; we must learn a few lessons from this.
This seminar aims to address these topics and questions.