Grew up… believing in God. Palmer Joss has always had a gift for theological inquiry, which led him to his career as a Christian thinker.
Living… in strange times. The twentieth century might have brought great scientific progress, but Palmer Joss is skeptical about its effects. As he asks, “Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the Web… at the same time, we feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history."
Profession… Christian philosopher. Palmer Joss has always been drawn to the big questions, hence his involvement with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program.
Relationship Status… involved with the scientist who first discovered extraterrestrial signals, Dr. Ellie Arroway. While Joss’s religious beliefs are at odds with Ellie’s atheism, he tries to not to let philosophical differences get in the way of romance. “As a person of faith I’m bound by a different covenant than Dr. Arroway,” he tells a reporter. “But our goal is one and the same: the pursuit of truth.”
Challenge… doing his part to make humankind’s first contact with extraterrestrial life successful. Palmer Joss is a part of a panel to select the first human who will go into outer space to meet with the newly discovered life forms. But if he wants to be objective, he needs to find a way to balance his relationship with Ellie and his devotion to the pursuit of truth.
Personality… intelligent, kind, and skeptical of society’s reliance on technology. It's not that Palmer Joss is against science per se, just “The men who deify it at the expense of human truth.”
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