"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
This towering monument to faith would seem to suggest yes. There is more faith here than in most churches. But faith in what?
One can't help but find things like this and SETI vaguely amusing. Huge efforts and great wads of cash are expended in pursuit of something which has no basis in reality and no evidence to even suggest its existence. This latest outworking of religious zeal is particularly bizarre, and strikes me as very redolent of the Twitter generation.
But one wonders, if indeed there were intelligent life on Gliese581d, what the reaction of those aliens would be to messages like "Stage fright! What do you say in an intergalactic message? Hello? Peace? What's the weather like? Know that we're here, we're waiting. Hear from you soon. Ally". Humans from a century or two ago would have been mystified by a message like that (come to that, so probably would a modern tribesman from Papua New Guinea). What would a non-human intelligence make of it? Wondering if this, a random pick, was a poor example of the kind of messages sent, I clicked on Top Messages to find out what the best ones were. The best, apparently, was "Hello Gliese 581d inhabitant. Can you help us humans travel through space and become smart like you. Please do not eat us we are a friendly race." And the CSIRO funded this?! Hmmm.....
Since one would assume, given the style and vocabulary, that most of the messages have come from children or young adults, it seems supremely ironic that Richard Dawkins and others of the New Atheism, while decrying religious education as "child abuse", turn a blind eye to stuff like this. Does it really seem more rational to them?
UPDATE: A commenter has pointed out that not all atheists ought to be tarred with the same brush on this point, and that there are indeed some who are sceptical about the benefits of programmes like this one. Some of these can be found in this thread on the Debating Christianity and Religion Forum.
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