NASA gets religion
Blog 20160824 NASA gets religion
[GB: Thanks to Jerry Coyne for his excellent blog post on NASA’s million dollar sponsorship of religion]:
“What’s up with the NASA grant to study theology?”
[GB: All this shows the close association between science and religion among cosmogonists and, in this case, Christians. The grant is about what the effect of discovering extraterrestrial life might be on religion. Duh? Every new discovery by the Hubble telescope is a ding on religion. Each one gets us closer to realizing that the universe is infinite. For god’s sake, NASA has observed over a trillion trillion stars (1024). So much for the creation of a special place for us on our way to some imagined eternal nirvana.
Will the announcement cause a “War of the Worlds” reaction, with rioting in the streets? Don’t count on it. There have been inklings of the conditions for extraterrestrial life before: fossils that almost look like worms, water once on Mars, and water beneath the surface of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. All this has amounted to nothing more than a big snooze. At best, cutting-edge religions will make up new stories to handle the new contradictions.
No, what this really amounts to is a free gift to Christianity made with your tax dollars. As Jerry mentions, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is challenging NASA’s faux pas as a church-state separation issue prohibited by the constitution. Sociology and religion should be studied by scientists, not those having a clear conflict of interest. A good topic for a proposal would be "The influence of religion on cosmology, physics, and NASA." Let’s hope NASA wakes up and rescinds its overt incursion into religion.]