Modern exotheology risks repeating the error of the Galileo debacle. Since those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, let’s start at the beginning of exotheology.
The first recorded discussion of the possibility of extraterrestrial life comes from the 5th century BC Atomists. The Atomists were deistic; they believed that the universe was created by a Deity or deities, but that it had developed on its own since then. The atomists believed that the universe was made up of building blocks called atoms which had randomly assorted themselves to form everything we see. Although materialist, it was an essentially deist position; God started things perhaps but had little to do since then and didn’t bother to meddle with the affairs of men at any rate.
The most well known Atomist was Epicurus (341-270 BC). In a letter to his student Herodotus, he wrote:
“There are infinite worlds…
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