Milne, Edward Arthur (1896–1950)

Edward Milne was a British mathematician and physicist who in his Modern Cosmology and the Christian Idea of God (1952) confronts the problem of the doctrine of incarnation in the light of the possible discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence (see incarnation and redemption):


God's most notable intervention in the actual historical process, according to the Christian outlook, was the Incarnation. Was this a unique event, or has it been re-enacted on each of the countless number of planets? The Christian would recoil in horror from such a conclusion. We cannot imagine the Son of God suffering vicariously on each of a myriad of planets. The Christian would avoid this conclusion by the definite supposition that our planet is in fact unique. What then of the possible denizens of other planets, if the Incarnation occurred only on our own? We are in deep waters here, in a sea of great mysteries.


Milne offers a possible solution in the form of radio messages sent out from Earth into interstellar space. By this means, he suggests, we might convey the news of a unique terrestrial incarnation to other races. The idea was denounced by Eric L. Mascall.


E. A. Milne