Did Jesus die for Klingons too? Christianity would struggle with proof of alien life, professor tells space conference

Very interesting article on whether the discovery of alien life would shatter religious belief..


Did Jesus die for Klingons too? Christianity would struggle with proof of alien life, professor tells space conference

By Gavin Allen

Last updated at 4:27 PM on 3rd October 2011

A Christian professor has told a U.S. Government-backed conference on space travel that the discovery of aliens would lead to significant problems for his own religion.

In a speech entitled 'Did Jesus die for Klingons too?', German academic Christian Weidemann outlined the possible ramifications that the ultimate space discovery would engender.

Speaking at the 100 Year Starship Symposium in Orlando Florida, Professor Weidemann also attempted to outline how the inevitable theological conflict might be resolved.

Saved by God too? The Klingon character Worf, played by the actor Michael Dorn
Messiah to the aliens too? The actor Jim Caviezel portrayed Jesus in The Passion of the Christ

Saved by God too? Was the Klingon character Worf, played by the actor Michael Dorn, also saved by Jesus, played here by actor Jim Caviezel

Weidemann, a professor at the Ruhr-University Bochum, said that the death of Christ, some 2,000 years ago, was designed to save all creation.

However, the whole of creation, as defined by scientists, includes 125billion galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars in each galaxy.

That means that if intelligent life exists on other planets, then Jesus or God would have to have visited them too, and sacrificed himself equally for Martian-kind as well as mankind.

The alternative, posits Weidemann, is that Jesus chose earthlings as the single race to save and abandoned every other life form in the galaxy.

Or, it could have been because humans were the only race who had sinned and required 'saving', said Weidemann, who added: 'You can grasp the conflict.'

'If there are extra-terrestrial intelligent beings at all, it is safe to assume that most of them are sinners too,' he said, according to Space.com.

Are they out there? The Darpa-backed 100 Year Starship is designed to engender a deep space programme and alien discoveries could result from that

Are they out there? The Darpa-backed 100 Year Starship is designed to engender a deep space programme and alien discoveries could result from that

Religious tension: Jesus is said to have died to save all of creation - which scientists define as 125billion galaxies and not just earth
Science v religion: Professor Christian Weidemann gave a speech to the symposium

Science v religion: Professor Christian Weidemann, right, gave a speech to the symposium, wondering loud if Jesus died for the people of other worlds too

'If so, did Jesus save them too? My position is no. If so, our position among intelligent beings in the universe would be very exceptional.'

Among Weidemann's suggestions as to how Jesus and God may have tackled the issue of visiting other alien planets, he argues it is possible God could have sent multiple incarnations of Himself into space, with one attending each inhabited planet.

Given scientists' best guesses as to how many civilisations there may be in space, that would require around 250 incarnations of God to exist at any one time.

However, this theory would also lead to much beard-scratching among Christians as God is assumed to have taken on corporeal form as Jesus, making the multiple-Gods theory difficult to absorb into prescribed Christian thinking.

Prof. Weidemann's speech is highly theoretical and based on two very different instances of faith, which means one could be forgiven for dismissing it.

However, the 100 Year Starship Symposium is not a conference for those on the fringes of society.

The event is sponsored by U.S. defence department Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and is designed to further the discussion of issues surrounding long-distance space travel.

It is an off-shoot of the 100 Year Starship programme, which seeks to inspire a new space race using contributions from the various worlds of science, mathematics, engineering, biology, economics and the social sciences too.

However, the conflict of theology would be more of a problem for Christians than it would for other religions.

Hindus believe in multiple gods, and would therefore not have an issue with Weidemann's suggestion about multiple incarnations of God, and in the Muslim world Muhammad was not God incarnate, simple a prophet, which would also allow for the 'multiple God theory'.

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Comment by Kris King on October 9, 2011 at 12:22pm

Good article ... to be honest, I don't think Christianity will be around by the time aliens finally get around to saying hello to us :)

I say "think", but actually I mean "hope" - if we ever make contact with another world, I'd put money on the religions of this one royally screwing it up somehow.

Comment by Steph S. on October 3, 2011 at 11:56pm
Interesting article! Thanks for posting.
Comment by David Anam on October 3, 2011 at 6:17pm

No, alien life will not pose any problem for Christianity. No one seems to mind that God only cared about Jews during the Old Testament, and likewise, no one will mind that the Bible only care about humans. Klingon Christians will say "yes, humans were God's chosen people, but clearly his glory and mercy is intended for all of us."

That is assuming they actually bother to read the Bible in the first place, or spend more than 5 minutes thinking about the details of their religion.


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