An anonymous reader writes "There's an Astrobiology.net interview up with a Vatican astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, who also curates one of the world's largest meteorite collections. On the possibility of a non-terrestrial lifeform, he says initially 'I don't know', followed by three scenarios. First, he argues: 'We find an intelligent civilization and there's no way in creation we can communicate with them because they're so alien to us. We can't talk to dolphins now. In which case, we'll never know.' Secondly, he suggests: 'We find the intelligent civilization. We can communicate.' As agents of free-will, the aliens are self-aware of good and evil, thus convertible to some terrestrial religion. Thirdly: 'We find a dozen civilizations out there, and a bunch of Jehovah's witnesses go up and convert them all.' The question of whether an alien civilization might convert Earth to their religion, or become a religion unto themselves, is left unconsidered. This compares to the many reasons people give for hosting a SETI@home client, including that ET contact would unite humanity, challenge religion, or all of the above."
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