More Unanswered Questions from Question Box on August 20

Q. Would your sermons change at all if life were discovered on another planet?  There are two plausible scenarios where this could happen.

1) Microbes are discovered in our solar system by one of the NASA rovers.

2) Radio emissions from an exoplanet are discovered by SETI.

This question is prompted by the public Congressional hearings on UAPs, though I think it is quite implausible that we have been visited in this manner.  It is not consistent with known laws of science, etc.  What do you think of these hearings?  The possibility that they suggest bothers me in a way that is spiritually significant.

A.    I don’t think my sermons would change much if microbes were found on another planet in our solar system. I suppose, in a way, I’m assuming they are there, yet to be found.  If radio emissions were discovered, yes, my sermons would change.  For one, our rather human narcissistic tendency would begin to unravel with the knowledge that we’re not at the center of the universe, and we’re not alone.  And I’m confident the theology of many world religions would change.  I don’t think UU theology would change, but I would want to include the changes in the thinking of say, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, for example.  In fact, I suspect one or more new religions would be spawned by such news. 

I also want to take this opportunity to add another dimension to one of my answers to a question proposed by Erica Shadowsong in the For All Ages section.  The question was offered as a child query, but I think adults are also interested.  The question was what came before the Big Bang.  Grounded in the Hebrew text, I gave the religious response of “nothing.” Frankly, it is the easy answer.  Philosophically, “nothing” is a broad and deep water to explore, but which I’m not capable at entering.  The emerging science on the pre-bang era is fantastic and is the focus of the recently launched Webb Space Telescope, exploring the beginnings of the universe.  Not being a cosmologist, I’m hesitant to enter these deep waters, too, but I do honor the dance of helium and hydrogen, which I offer as the original “Adam and Eve.”  They produced amazing offspring.