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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Believers Say Aliens Won't Cause Crisis of Faith

According to a new study released by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, most religious believers would welcome meeting and interacting with extraterrestrials. The "Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey of 2008," led by systematic theologian Ted Peters, was designed to test the idea that the discovery of an extraterrestrial civilization of intelligent beings would lead to a crisis of faith for religious believers and possibly a collapse of religious traditions altogether.
Yet more than 80 percent of Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Mormons, Jews, and Buddhists said they didn't think the discovery of aliens on another planet would cause a crisis of personal belief. (Click on image for larger view.)
Notably, nonreligious respondents were more likely to predict a crisis for religious belief systems as a whole than were religious respondents themselves.
Also interesting is that only about 25 percent of those who identify as nonreligious said they expect aliens to have no religion and to rely exclusively on scientific knowledge.