Did you know that there was a federal project that gave NASA 1 million dollars to prepare religions for the potential discovery of extraterrestrial life?
Hoping to cut huge federal budgets, in 2017 US Senator Jeff Flake, published a document called Wastebook: PORKémon Go (a pun on the then popular mobile game), where he listed several examples of what he believed to be unnecessary spending of money.
Before Congress, he highlighted one in particular that included $ 1,000,000 for NASA. The objective? That the space agency help prepare world religions for the impact that the discovery of extraterrestrial life forms would have.
“Do we really need to spend the money on that?” the senator said. “Prepare Religions For The Discovery Of Extraterrestrial Life. A fundamental point for the participants was to define what life was. Much of the discussion focused on that question, what is life? It turned out that life is something remarkably difficult to define.”
In June 2020, our friends from The Black Vault They submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting the files related to this project. Below you can find the link to see what the US government received (34 pages, 21MB, PDF):
To present a sample of what he says to those who do not know much English, we translate a few paragraphs that, in the downloadable document, are under the subtitle Creating a New Cohort of Scholars in Astrobiological Humanities:
“In the two years that the project lasted – from 2015 to 2017 – the CTI (Center for Theological Research) has successfully transmitted this scientific knowledge to an international group of academics in theology, ethics, philosophy, anthropology and literature, through a series of residential symposia that took place in Princeton, New Jersey. These scholars, in return, had a rigorous interdisciplinary dialogue on relevant topics in the sciences and humanities.
The result is that 25 senior academics and 15 young people in the humanities have been residing at the Center, holding conversations with visiting astrobiologists about the implications of their work for society and the future of humanity.
They broke with speculation about extraterrestrial civilizations, in an exercise to understand the latest research on the matter and the potential of the universe to host life beyond Earth. They have been among the pioneers of what we may now call the new interdisciplinary field of astrobiological humanities.”