Is belief in alien life a whole new religion ?
By T.K. Randall
June 5, 2019 · 113 comments
Belief in intelligent alien life is on the increase. Image Credit: PD - Comfreak / Pixabay
In the United States, there are almost as many believers in intelligent alien life as there are believers in God.
Professor Diana Pasulka of the University of North Carolina has recently published a new book - American Cosmic
- which delves in to the parallels between religion and belief in UFOs.
The notion that mankind is not alone in the universe she argues, is itself becoming more and more like a kind of religion - especially given that over 50 percent of Americans and more than 60 percent of young Americans believe in alien life, a figure very close to that of those who believe in God.
"One way we can make sense of this is by using a very old but functional definition of religion as simply the belief in nonhuman and supernatural intelligent beings that often descend from the sky," Pasulka told Vox.com's Sean Illing in a recent interview.
"There are many definitions of religion, but this one is pretty standard."
One way in which belief in God and belief in alien life differs, she argues, is that the idea that we are not alone in the universe is something shared (and often promoted) by prominent scientists.
"Here we have people who are actual scientists, like Ellen Stofan, the former chief scientist at NASA, who are willing to go on TV and basically make announcements like, 'We are going to find extraterrestrial life'," said Pasulka.
"She says we're going to find life, we're going to find habitable planets and things like that."
"So that gives this type of religiosity a far more powerful bite than the traditional religions, which are based on faith in things unseen and unprovable."
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