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Astrotheology and the ETI Myth

Astrotheology and the ETI Myth Abstract The task of astrotheology is to speculate on the theological, cultural, and ethical implications of space exploration, especially the exploration of astrobiologists into the (1) origin of life; (2) a second genesis of life; and (3) expansion of life beyond earth. When assumptions within the field of astrobiology are examined, we find that the Darwinian model of evolutionary development is imaginatively projected onto extrasolar planets; and this model includes a built-in doctrine of progress. The assumption of progress within evolution permits astrobiologists to look forward to contact with an extraterrestrial civilization that is more intelligent and more advanced than that on earth. Such an extraterrestrial civilization will allegedly have an advanced science that can save earth from its primitive and under-evolved propensity for violence. However, no empirical evidence for a more highly evolved or advanced civilization currently exists, despite these beliefs. The theologian labels the constellation of scientific assumptions here the “ETI myth.” Astrotheology celebrates hard-nosed empirical science and even encourages space exploration; but the mythical assumptions regarding the doctrine of progress within evolution are here given critical analysis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theology and Science Taylor & Francis

Astrotheology and the ETI Myth

Theology and Science , Volume 7 (1): 27 – Feb 1, 2009
27 pages

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References (39)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1474-6719
eISSN
1474-6700
DOI
10.1080/14746700802617097
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The task of astrotheology is to speculate on the theological, cultural, and ethical implications of space exploration, especially the exploration of astrobiologists into the (1) origin of life; (2) a second genesis of life; and (3) expansion of life beyond earth. When assumptions within the field of astrobiology are examined, we find that the Darwinian model of evolutionary development is imaginatively projected onto extrasolar planets; and this model includes a built-in doctrine of progress. The assumption of progress within evolution permits astrobiologists to look forward to contact with an extraterrestrial civilization that is more intelligent and more advanced than that on earth. Such an extraterrestrial civilization will allegedly have an advanced science that can save earth from its primitive and under-evolved propensity for violence. However, no empirical evidence for a more highly evolved or advanced civilization currently exists, despite these beliefs. The theologian labels the constellation of scientific assumptions here the “ETI myth.” Astrotheology celebrates hard-nosed empirical science and even encourages space exploration; but the mythical assumptions regarding the doctrine of progress within evolution are here given critical analysis.

Journal

Theology and ScienceTaylor & Francis

Published: Feb 1, 2009

Keywords: Astrotheology; Exotheology; Astrobiology; Extraterrestrial non-intelligent life; Extraterrestrial intelligent life; SETI; ETI myth; Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey

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