Roswell Pastor Discusses UFOs, Alien Life, and Religion
Roswell is a town synonymous with the UFO phenomenon. The events of July 1947 put Roswell on the map and at the Roswell UFO festival this past weekend, we met a lot of people who were ardently passionate about the existence of UFOs. In order to get a different perspective, we talked to Dr. Doug Mills, the Pastor at a local Methodist Church about his opinions on extraterrestrials in general and the relationship between UFOs and religion.
Pastor Mills believes that, were we to find definitive evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, "we might have to rethink our theology or what we believe about God, but we might not, because this might be the story of the people on this particular planet." And in response to the notion from astrobiologist Paul Davies that there would need to be iterations of Jesus on other planets in order to reconcile extraterrestrial life with Christianity, he said, "we don't know the story of other life forms... ours is a story of sin and salvation... but certainly we would believe that God is capable of writing... any story that God wants."
The pastor also believed that aliens represented "the unknown" in our collective consciousness, particularly referencing the use of the word "alien" to refer to both immigrants and extraterrestrials. This speaks to a very deep-seated human need to think of anything foreign as "other" to ourselves. His church attempted to put the UFO festival to greater use by making a sign that stated, "Extranjeros Bienvenidos" or "Aliens Welcome," as a sort of double entendre.
Pastor Mills has a degree in quantum mechanics, which affords him a somewhat unique perspective on the relationship between religion and science. He stated that, when he was obtaining his degree, "we thought that all would make sense once we found the 'God particle,' well now we've found that... and I can't see that it's made a lot of difference." Essentially, people are looking for some kind of meaning or order to the universe, and science does provide some kind of order, which he characterizes as "mathematical," but it's not tangible and therefore not particularly meaningful to most people.
He also shared an interesting anecdote from many years before, when he was recruited for a special project that aimed to send religious leaders to space fin order to symbolize unity for all of humanity. While he conceded that this was an interesting concept, he was singularly unenthused by the idea, stating that he would rather use the copious amounts of money it would take to send religious leaders to space for a more immediate need, such as solving world hunger.
And, when asked if he believes in UFOs, he unsurprisingly said, "I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but no, not really."