NASA Asked To Stop Funding ‘How Alien Life Could Impact Christianity’
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is now asking NASA to refrain from investing any more money towards a two-year project Study How Alien Life Could Impact Christianity.
Last year, the NASA Astrobiology Program gave a $1.108 million grant to the Center for Theological Inquiry, for a project intended to refresh and expand scholarly and public dialogue on this subject, which is of growing interest due to the discovery of thousands of extrasolar planets and the ongoing search for potentially habitable environments in our solar system and beyond.
CTI’s director William Storrar said, “The aim of this inquiry is to foster theology’s dialogue with astrobiology on its societal implications, enriched by the contribution of scholars in the humanities and social sciences. We are grateful to the NASA Astrobiology Program for making this pioneering conversation possible.”
However, after Biology professor Jerry Coyne and author of “Why Evolution is True” who noticed the grant earlier this week and looked into it, raised the eyebrows of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, stressing “The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits any ‘sponsorship, financial support, and active involvement of the sovereign in religious activity,’”
FFRF Staff Attorney, Andrew Seidel writes to NASA officials, stating “The government may not fund religious projects, as various courts have ruled over the years.”
Seidel goes on to point out “First, religion deals in matters of faith, not fact, and faith-based arguments inevitably boil down to arguments that cannot be settled by appeal to empirical evidence. Second, history shows that religion does one of two things when presented with scientific discovery: denial or incorporation of the fact as “evidence” or “proof.”
As of yet, NASA has not commented nor replied to the letters.