CHAPTER V
THE RELIGIOUS IMPLICATIONS
OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE
A Jewish Exotheology
The existence of rational, sentient beings on a planet other than earth is no longer a fantastic, remote possibility conjectured by imaginative and unrealistic minds. It is de­clared not a possibility, but a probability, by an ever-growing chorus of distinguished astronomers and eminent scientists in all fields. ' Already there has been established a new science— "exobiology," the study of forms of extraterrestrial life— although neither specimens of such living matter nor definite proof of their existence is yet available. The speculation of these men of science is that in many corners of the universe life has developed to a degree far higher than here on earth, so that, in the words of Walter Sullivan at the beginning of his splendid volume on the subject, We Are Not Alone,1 "not only are we not central in the scheme of things, but we may be inferior, physically, mentally, and spiritually, to more highly evolved beings elsewhere."
Almost all descriptions of the current attempts to discover such extraterrestrial life are accompanied by exhortations about the profound implications for humanity's view of the universe and the need for theologians and philosophers to reexamine their doctrines. When the existence of life elsewhere is estab­lished, and especially if some contact is made with intelligent beings elsewhere, we will be confronted by as much of a challenge to our established way of thought as when the



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