July 16, 2014
From September 18-19, 2014, NASA and the Library of Congress are hosting a symposium on how society can prepare for the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Leading astrobiologists from around the world will convene at the Library of Congress in Washington DC., to discuss the latest scientific theories and developments in the search for extraterrestrial life. Presenters will discuss the implications from recent scientific breakthroughs in discovering the existence of exoplanets, new theories of the conditions under which extraterrestrial life can flourish, and how to communicate with them. In addition to broad discussion of the societal implications of discovering alien life and how to prepare for these, two of the presenters will discuss the theological implications. More specifically, Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit from the Vatican Observatory, will discuss “Would you Baptise an Extraterrestrial?” Consolmagno’s topic suggests that the Vatican approves viewing preparation for the discovery of intelligent alien life as an opportunity for gaining new recruits to the Christian faith.