Does God exist? That is a question that has been pondered over for 1000s of years since humanity could first think about his existence. Religions claim to know the answer and scientists take an objective view that is always changing as evidence appears. Most religions have to look at their beliefs differently or disregard science completely to justify their beliefs as science comes up with theories such as evolution and can say with some certainty when the universe came into existence.
But what would happen if we came into contact with an alien civilisation? Would religion collapse completely? Would beliefs change to suit beliefs already held? Perhaps it would be justified as another government cover up?
Some religions would remain unaffected but Christianity, for example, believing that man was put on the Earth by God and that man is extremely special, might have a few problems when it comes to explaining the existence of an alien civilisation. Will the aliens be seen as inferior beings as we were the special ones created by God or are we not really that special after all?
It is likely that if we come into contact with aliens they will be millions of years in advance of us otherwise we probably wouldn’t have come into contact with them in the first place as the poor old human race doesn’t possess star travel and radio signals take such a long time to travel between the stars, even if it is at the speed of light. If we did receive a radio signal it may contain knowledge that would be years if not thousands or even millions of years old. We haven’t received anything for the last 50 years that SETI has been listening, which probably means that there is nothing in our immediate vicinity with a radio telescope.
So, if we did chat to an alien civilisation and they were millions of years old it is possible that they may know a little bit more about the existence or nonexistence of God and of which form or not it may take. This would give us a few things to think about. This information may not only be available from direct contact with aliens but be available from an encyclopaedia Galactia which would be beamed across space perhaps as part of a universal Internet. This is wishful thinking really as information is power and may not be a very good reason for them to share their knowledge randomly with the rest of the universe, but we can hope can’t we?
Among scientists there is actually something called intelligent design that puts forwards the concept that the universe shows deliberate fine tuning in its basic parameters such as the ratio of strengths of the four basic forces of electromagnetism, gravity and the weak and strong nuclear forces. It is important that these four forces are balanced otherwise this universe would not have been produced which would have meant as you may have guessed no intelligent life, if we can call ourselves that.
This doesn’t make intelligent design fact as there may be an infinite amount of other universes and one of these universes at least had to have the right ingredients for life which has to be the one that we are in otherwise we wouldn’t be in it. We can theorise all we like about other universes but at the moment and perhaps for the next million years or so we will be in the dark unless a friendly alien gives us a couple of good hints and tips.
After gaining this knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of God after perhaps SETI introduced us to knowledgeable aliens we would continue in the search for God and SETI would continue in this respect because we may be lucky and have an intelligent creator or perhaps a student in a laboratory playing around with our universe in a petri dish or perhaps some geek who has created us on his computer as a piece of software.