I'm a Christian, Extropian SETI participant who counts Carl Sagan as a personal hero and yet accepts Jesus Christ as a personal savior as a straightforward, orthodox belief. Christianity and SETI are far from being irreconcilable. Christians can and should engage in the SETI program as an expression of the natural curiosity and sense of the numinous that God has given us.
Narrow minded religious hucksters, with their embarassing and medieval geocentrism, can go and soak their heads. They don't represent Christ's church to me.
Please consider joining the Christian SETI Alliance Team to support this view.
More information at my blog:
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
The SETI program represents the purest form of exploration. It is an exquisite juxtaposition that this exploration involves no physical motion on the part of it's participants, and indeed the process itself occurs largely in a computational space rather than the "real world". Yet the realms we are charting for the first time span light years, long eons, and very real star systems. I like to think of it as similar to a group of people kitting up with butterfly nets and pith helmets and setting off to explore the more dangerous reaches of the Mandelbrot Set. Only with SETI, the El Dorado of this undiscovered country is nothing less than the single most powerful revelation in the history of all civilisation. I appreciate the fact that we can play a real part in that search. Should the program pay off, the world will change forever, and I can say I played a part. I went on that expedition. I helped find the aliens. As a Christian, and working as I do at a Christian School, we devote more time than many do into dwelling on matters of purpose and meaning. It saddens me that some fellow Christians (normally medievally-minded Young Earth Creationists), regard programs like SETI as a godless quest. Very many fruitful and thought-provoking discussions have been started over the years regarding Man's place in the Universe when students and staff observe our participation in the SETI program. Ultimately, our various creeds must be prepared to evolve in response to the inevitable discovery of life in the Universe, and the discussion SETI has generated is a step in that process. The idea that we can take a part in leading edge scientific research and human discovery is a privilege. We're very proud to be a part of the SETI program and will continue to do so. Carl Sagan once described Science, properly practiced, as "a kind of informed worship." Amen.