Are We Alone? Reason, Religion, and the Search for Life in the Universe

Are We Alone? Reason, Religion, and the Search for Life in the Universe

The religions of the world – including Jewish tradition – give humanity a central role. The clash between science and religion is fundamentally a consequence of science demoting humanity from this pedestal. Astronomy, which has been central to the growth of science in the West, has taught us that we are not at the center of anything, at least in terms of physics and chemistry. We have learned that we are in a corner of the universe that is typical, not exceptional. But is the same true of biology? How can searching for life on other worlds tell us? And how might science and religion, and the tense area between them, respond to a prospective future discovery?

Ariel Anbar, who is Professor of Earth and Space Exploration and of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University, as well as a Distinguished Sustainability Scholar in the Global Institute of Sustainability, explored these questions at in an online event with Valley Beit Midrash.

(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. This was an online adult education event co-hosted by Valley Beit Midrash, a recently awarded Scientists in Synagogues organization, and Congregation Or Tizon).

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