Catholics Search For Aliens
November 10, 2009 1 Comment
Tuesday (11-10-09) was the wrap up of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts in the Vatican City to discuss the budding field of astrobiology — the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.
“The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable [subjects] and deserve serious consideration,” said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Four hundred years after it sent Galileo to the dungeon for challenging the church’s view that the sun revolved around the earth, the Vatican is working with scientists to study the possibility of extraterrestrial life in our universe and what the implications would be for the Catholic Church.
Rev. Funes noted that the possibility of alien life raises “many philosophical and theological implications”, but added that the gathering was focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines may be used to explore the issue.
Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, who was at the conference said “Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe,” he told a news conference Tuesday. “There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe.”
The Catholic Church’s views of our world, the universe, and science in general have shifted radically through the centuries since Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for speculating, among other things, that other worlds could be inhabited.
Scientists have discovered over 400 exoplanets outside our solar system — including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency, and among all of these there are at least 20 multiple planet systems. Professor Impey said that the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away.
I wish I could be around if and or when some form of communication with an alien culture happens. Of course the churches will be right in there trying to find out what, if any, god they worship. And of course if they don’t have a god or gods, the churches will try their damnedest to proselytize them however they can.
What if they worship an alien god and try to proselytize us?? 🙂
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