What various religions say about the possibility of extraterrestrial life: "How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere?... Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom. Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial'? It would still be part of creation."
The Rev. José G. Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory and part-time Tucsonan, in a recent interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
"If there's life in other places, then that's what God wants. … It doesn't challenge or frighten me. If God created the universe, why not accept other forms of life as well? If you look at rabbinic texts, the commentary is not afraid of talking about how God created many different worlds before God created this one. Maybe the other ones are still there."
Rabbi Robert Eisen of the conservative Jewish Congregation Anshei Israel in Midtown.
"Basically we feel the Bible answer is no, there would not be intelligent life elsewhere. The Bible is clear: Christ came to Earth and gave his life once. If God saw it necessary to redeem mankind, wouldn't he see it necessary for life on other planets? We can't imagine Jesus Christ going from universe to universe, planet to planet, redeeming individuals. In that sense, the planet Earth is truly unique, as are its life forms. God's son gave his life to redeem mankind here on Earth."
Mark Febbo, an elder with the Jehovah's Witnesses in Tucson and a spokesman for the faith's regional convention in Tucson this weekend.
"From a Buddhist point of view we believe all experiences arise from the mind, so in that sense the mind can create infinite worlds and infinite experiences. So that philosophy neither negates nor affirms the existence of life on other planets. It's possible and probably likely this isn't the only thing the mind created." …
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"The Bible is silent on the subject of whether God created life on other planets. But we're told in Genesis Chapter One that he created the heavens and the Earth, so he's not just a local operator. … The Bible does tell us God created life here on Earth. We know we are wonderfully made, that life is in fact a miracle, and this Earth is perfectly situated by design for the perpetuation of life. I also believe God gave us the intelligence and curiosity to put a probe on Mars and I don't believe he gave us that for no purpose." (MORE)