I remembered this quote when I came across this article about how the Vatican has accepted the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrials – ET – and how that possibility doesn’t contradict religion.
Well of course, it doesn’t. At least not unless you’re a Bible-thumping, hardcore fundamentalist and literal creationist. Another article on the same topic quotes the Vatican astronomer as saying that ruling out ET’s would mean “putting limits” on God’s creative freedom. One of Brin’s characters, Helena Alvarez – again from the Uplift Trilogy of David Brin – says much the same thing when she first sees alien lifeforms feeding off the sun’s electromagnetic fields. She says: “apparently, the Creator accepts very few limits to his imagination” … or something like that.
I totally agree with this latest pronouncement from the Vatican – despite the irony of it, this being the same religion that once almost burned Galileo. So I guess Carl Sagan’s “Contact” was right. Anyone who goes to meet aliens for the first time as a representative of humanity should believe in God. In fact, I kinda think that the idea of a Supreme Being or Deity might well turn out to be universal and that aliens will have their own gods too.