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Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence$
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David Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680207.001.0001

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The ‘Myths’ of SETI and Religion

The ‘Myths’ of SETI and Religion

(p.116) 8 The ‘Myths’ of SETI and Religion
Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

David Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

The chapter critically reviews a number of popular myths concerning the relationships of SETI and religion, sustained by recent scientists writing in the area: Paul Davies’ suggestion of evidence for cosmic design and that the biblical accounts could be read as visitation by aliens, and Jill Tarter's suggestion that human religion would be superseded by alien religion. These suggestions lead back to consideration of older arguments concerning the design argument, the nature of biblical literature, and some more recent myths of human progress and secularization. It is argued that Davies and Tarter are not convincing on these points and that Christian theology has nothing to fear. However, Davies and Tarter are right in raising issues which need to be taken seriously by religion.

Keywords:   design argument, revelation, davies, von däniken, tarter, myth of human progress, secularisation thesis

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