Posts Tagged ‘ alien life ’

“It’s like science has won.”


Last week, I was struck by a moment during the first of Torchwood’s five episodes.  Gwen Cooper, Torchwood agent, was talking to Doctor Rupesh Patanjali, someone who could potentially be brought in as a new member of their team.  His explanation of his interest in alien life was intriguing:

The past few years, suicide rates have doubled and that’s ever since the first alien.  My first case… my first… death, was a suicide.  D’you know why she did it?  ‘Cause… she’d written all these letters, been a Christian all her life, and then alien life appears.  She wrote this bit, she said “It’s like science has won.” [Gwen comments ‘Lost her faith?’] More than that.  She said she saw her place in the universe.  And it was tiny.  She died because she thought she was nothing.

Leaving aside the fact that we can’t necessarily trust what the charming Dr Patanjali was saying, as his motives in the conversation were not quite as Gwen or the audience believed, this is an intriguing statement, and I suspect it may reflect the views of the scriptwriter (for Day One, Russell T. Davies) to some extent – that the existence of alien life would terrify some, amaze others, and cause believers to lose faith and hope.  I wonder – is this true?  If alien life were to make itself known somehow, whether in peace, war or otherwise, would faith suddenly become meaningless?

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