Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space

Vatican Says Alien Life Plausible 775

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-charitable-of-the-vatican dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to BBC, the director of the Vatican Observatory stated in an article titled 'Aliens Are My Brother' that intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space. 'The search for forms of extraterrestrial life does not contradict belief in God. — Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God.' Mind that this is not the same director who said that evolution is more than a mere theory — that was Father Coyne. I myself agree. There might be intelligent beings created by God in outer space even if there are none here on earth."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vatican Says Alien Life Plausible

Comments Filter:
  • Finaly! (Score:5, Funny)

    by n1_111 (597775) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:05PM (#23409712)
    And who is this God they are referring to ?
    • Re:Finaly! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:06PM (#23410674) Homepage Journal
      There are two main theories groups that attempt to explain the creation of the Universe and the origin of life and humanity.

      Group 1. Big Bang & Evolution. Essentially this version says, it all just happened, mostly by accident but with the amount of time and mass involved it was inevitable.

      Group 2. Created by God (or gods). Essentially this version says it all originated from the imagination of a being with virtually unlimited intelligence and power.

      You know what I find cool? That under both scenarios it's almost inevitable that we will encounter other intelligent life, somewhere out there.

      Why? Because accidents tend to repeat when the conditions allowing them are also repeated. Sul isn't that uncommon a sun type so why shouldn't other Yellow dwarfs have wet rocky planets? And why shouldn't some of those mud-balls have critters on them ? Even intelligent critters?

      As for the creation version. That makes it even more likely that the universe would be swarming with intelligent life. Religious people believe the Earth is teeming with life because God enjoys playing with DNA. So why wouldn't he just go wild when working with whole galaxies rather than just a single planet?
      • Re:Finaly! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cajun Hell (725246) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:19PM (#23410830) Homepage Journal

        There are two main theories groups that attempt to explain the creation of the Universe and the origin of life and humanity.

        Group 1. Big Bang & Evolution. Essentially this version says, it all just happened, mostly by accident but with the amount of time and mass involved it was inevitable.

        Bzzt, wrong. Group 1 knows the origin of humanity, but doesn't make any strong statements about the origin of life in general, or the origin of the universe. Group 1 merely says that Evolution and the Big Bang obviously happened. Group 1 also says they don't know what happened before that. They can't make any statements about origins, because there isn't any information to work with.

        They keep making speculations about origins (particularly with life, since even though it's hard, it's a lot easier than the universe) but there's no consensus or unity. When scientists talk about origins, they're not a "group" at all, except that they're all saying, "Oh yeah? Show me why you think that" to the one who just advanced the speculation.

        • Re:Finaly! (Score:5, Informative)

          by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:04PM (#23412004) Homepage Journal
          DOn't confuse evolution with the creation of the universe. two different things.
          Evolution has FACTS, falsifiable test, and makes predictions.
          Evolution is a fact, it's been proven. There is not scientific argument against it, only people saying it isn't so and lying about it, and refusing to look at any recent evidence.

          The creation of the universe is another matter; however they go bacl very close to befor the first second with some very good science. What caused the big bang? Don't know.

          neither of these prove or disprove the existence of God, only that the current Biblical interpretation probably isn't literal. Something almost every theologeon will tell you, btw.

          If you look at the hebrew, the word interpreted to 'Day' didn't not mean a 24 hours day.
          So even in the oldest context, Evolution fits fine with the Bible.
          Considering the science is very good, and there are mountains of fact it is obvious that 6 days is not literal as we know a day.

          Yes, the origins of life on the planets is pretty well known. Primordial soup and all that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Biologist Francisco Ayala calls that the god of the gaps, because it only occupies those gaps of human knowledge that haven't been explained yet. I like picturing science slowly eroding the terrain of superstition, but then again, that's just a way to say that religions simply adapt to survive, and then move on with the same old crap.
          • nitpick (Score:5, Insightful)

            by aepervius (535155) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:19PM (#23413992)
            "So even in the oldest context, Evolution fits fine with the Bible." which would somehow say that the bible is the mass to measure everything on it.

            So it should read "the bible stories can be made fit with evolution (which we know to be a very successful theory at explaining all life today as we know it)". It is not that evolution fits, it is that the bible is interpreted in the light of evolution.
            • Re:nitpick (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@gmail. c o m> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @07:03AM (#23416126) Homepage Journal
              There is a little more to it than that.

              1. Go throgh Genesis chapter 1 and write down all the different categories of life forms listed there in the order created.

              2. Go throgh a textbook on evolution with the list you wrote in step one and you will discover something very odd. Same order.

              Not only that but the order is counter intuitive. Specifically, everyone assumed Mammals came before birds ontil the fossil record showed otherwise.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Yunzil (181064)
                3. Skip over Genesis chapter 2, which disagrees with Genesis chapter 1 :)
              • Downright wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

                by aepervius (535155)
                From skeptic anoted bible :

                In Genesis, the earth is created (1:1) before light (1:3), sun and stars (1:16); birds and whales (1:21) before reptiles and insects (1:24); and flowering plants (1:11) before any animals (1:20). The order of events known from science is in each case just the opposite.

                A few clarification why it is not the correct order :
                1) Bird were certainly late at the party after the reptile were created.
                2) Sun and star were certainly created before planet and earth (heavy element were
      • Re:Finaly! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:22PM (#23410872) Homepage
        Group 1 doesnt say its inevitable that we'll meed other intelligent life.
        It says that there probably will be other intelligent life.

        The chance of us meeting them is next to nothing.
        Space is *big*.
        • Space is Big (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bareman (60518)
          And time is big.

          Meeting alien life isn't just a matter of somewhere, it's a problem of somewhen as well. There probably have been and will be countless instances of intelligent life that just never traverse the same space at the same time as another.

  • Mythbusters (Score:5, Funny)

    by qoncept (599709) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:06PM (#23409726) Homepage
    I'm waiting for an answer from a legitimate authority.
    • by DanWS6 (1248650) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:28PM (#23410104)
      How exactly would they attempt this? Adam would run around trying to kill Christians to see if God intervenes meanwhile Jaime would try to build a holy communication device to call God then at the end of the show they'd claim the myth is busted?
  • by Clockwork Apple (64497) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:06PM (#23409742) Homepage
    Doesn't the Pope have direct communication with god? Why doesn't he just ask for christ's sake?

    C.
  • by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:07PM (#23409748) Homepage Journal
    ... just made humans as a cautionary example, and shows us on CCTVs all over the Universe as a sort of "The More You Know!" service.
  • by way2trivial (601132) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:07PM (#23409754) Homepage Journal
    there is a related announcement coming soon from world leaders,
    and this pronouncement from the vatican is so that they don't bleed followers in the mayhem to follow.

    • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:55PM (#23410520)
      Not to go all tin foil hat, but this was the exact thought I had as well. There isn't a single aspect of modern life that wouldn't be somehow affected by the announcement that proof of alien life has been found. New religions (and cults) would spring up almost overnight. Industries related to space programs probably quadruple over the next 10 years. Diplomacy between countries is affected, either positively (OK it's us against them now) or negatively (You are not worthy to talk to our Space God). It doesn't matter if it's just microbes on Mars; just confirmation of the possibility of alien life means that everyone is suddenly taking the Drake Equation a lot more seriously. If I'm a world government, or some other group with international power and influence, and I know or suspect that an announcement like this is imminent, I don't want this dropping on the populace light a thunderbolt out of the sky.
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:02PM (#23410614) Homepage Journal

      there is a related announcement coming soon from world leaders,
      There is a UFO cult called the Raelians, I did a school paper on them.
      Basically, the cult leader is knee deep in pussy since he started telling people he's Jesus' half brother by way of their shared alien daddy, Yaveh.
      Anyhoo, in his second book, said cult leader mentions that his alien overlords have created another race of intelligent beings, nearby, that don't know about them.

      So if any aliens ever do land, and they don't know what the hell he's talking about, he's covered.

      so that they don't bleed followers in the mayhem to follow
      They're just covering their ass, just in case. There doesn't need to be any actual aliens, you just need to have all your credible bases covered. What if aliens land and say they never heard about this "god" fellow? Then we say Jesus was unique and we have to spread the good word to the stars!
  • But of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Blinded By The Light (1248724) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:08PM (#23409764)
    But of course only WE were created in His image, right?
    • by Fx.Dr (915071) <exterminans@pala ... com ['the' in ga> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:12PM (#23409834)
      Yes, but he was looking in a funhouse mirror at the time. Go fig'.
    • by brunokummel (664267) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:29PM (#23410122) Journal

      But of course only WE were created in His image, right?

      maybe there's an Alien god that created the aliens in his image as well ...then we would have religous interplanetary crusades!
      SPACE TEMPLARS!

      I know it does sound like a horrible B movie...
    • by clonan (64380) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:39PM (#23410274)
      If god is omnipotent than he(she/it) can appear in any form (say a burning bush).

      Therefore god must have created us in the image of the only part of him that doesn't change. His morality, his way of thinking and his personality. We have a dim image of this immutable portion of god.

      Therefore aliens COULD look very different but still be created in his image.

      The only remaining question is how did they get so many light years from eden?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ins0m (584887)
        Oh, that opens up so many questions. I'll do my own take on the Epicurean riddle:

        If a god is omnipotent, then it follows that said god is omniscient. If it thus knows all, then it would come to the quick conclusion that creating natural beings with its morality would relegate itself to obsolescence.

        To wit: If a deity is possessed of nothing but righteousness, then we would already have heaven on earth, as there would be no sin. If, however, we do possess the same ethos and moral constructs, then the ver
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bazman (4849) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:08PM (#23409772) Journal
    And is the Catholic church going to fund expeditions to these alien civilisations in order to convert them? Kinda sounds familiar, doesn't it?

  • Catholics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:09PM (#23409778)
    Apologizing to Galileo, Hell is a metaphor, evolution is real, now aliens could exist. The Vatican is really taking their modernization seriously, aren't they?

    • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:18PM (#23409940) Homepage Journal

      Apologizing to Galileo, Hell is a metaphor, evolution is real, now aliens could exist. The Vatican is really taking their modernization seriously, aren't they?

      Next week they'll be approving a new brand of condoms. They're open at both ends ...

    • by number6x (626555) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:22PM (#23410030)

      Bruno suggested that there could be an infinite number of worlds and that they could be inhabited by intelligent life [rice.edu].

      For this they burned him at the stake.

      Galileo was only 'shown the instruments' of torture and placed under house arrest.

      Bruno is the guy they need to apologize to!

    • Re:Catholics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Logic and Reason (952833) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:35PM (#23410224) Homepage

      Hell is a metaphor
      Excuse me? Hell is definitely not a metaphor in Catholic theology. I'd like to know where you got this idea.
  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:09PM (#23409780) Journal
    UFO true believers stop pestering the UK government [slashdot.org] and start demanding to see the Vatican's top secret UFO files?
  • by bugs2squash (1132591) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:09PM (#23409786)
    So is the pope God's representative on Earth, or God's representative for everywhere outside of heaven ?
  • just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God
    This seems to leave open the possibility of undiscovered intelligent species here on earth, or even known species whose intelligence is undiscovered.

    (So long, and thanks for all the fish!)
  • by spineboy (22918) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:14PM (#23409868) Journal
    I'm glad that the Catholic Church is taking an educated view of the sciences, with the support of evolution, and now this. Of course this will also lead to many useless comments about pedophilia, non-existance of God, and other useless flame wars.

    Scientific illiteracy here in the states is really bad, and I'm embaressed that my church has a more progressive attitude than our current administration. This should change with the next admin thankfully.

    This is Slashdot, and everyone needs to get their 2 cents in, but please try to submit meaningful/useful posts.
    • by bugs2squash (1132591) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:23PM (#23410038)
      I don't like to see childish attacks on anyone either. But it seems to me that the only reason the church is taking these strides is because it has been attacked on these issues in the past.

      Do you imagine that the church would have made these statements without external pressure ?

      Hell no, this is simply to inoculate the church against the inevitable progress in tolerance, and discovery and to try and carve out some future relevance.

      Seems like the rock of the church is being eroded by the water of enlightenment - and about time too.
  • doubtful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trybywrench (584843) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:15PM (#23409888)
    So does that mean that any intelligent alien life is doomed to hell because they don't have the benefit of baptism and the forgiveness of original sin? Did they get a messiah from the catholic god and does that imply more than one "jesus"?

    Or, being that they are not human and never ate from the garden of eaden does that mean that original sin doesn't apply to them? Better yet, does that make them more holy then humans and therefore closer to the catholic god?

    I don't see how the catholic clergy can just say "yeah alien life doesn't contradict our religeon" without addressing these questiosn.
    • Re:doubtful (Score:5, Insightful)

      by illegalcortex (1007791) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:30PM (#23410138)

      I don't see how the catholic clergy can just say "yeah alien life doesn't contradict our religeon" without addressing these questiosn.
      Of course they can. The answer will just be "I don't know" and/or "God works in mysterious ways", same as their answer to numerous other major theological questions.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Em Adespoton (792954)
      Well, look at it this way: any being inheriting original sin would either be human or a half-breed (like the [angel/demon]/human offspring wiped out by the flood). Any true alien would have to have its own sin.

      All the Catholic church is saying is that there is nothing revealed from God that says other intelligent life doesn't exist -- and Angels/Demons are proof that SOME other intelligent life DOES exist. The catholic clergy is stating "facts" based on their knowledge. They can't provide an answer other
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pbhj (607776)

      I don't see how the catholic clergy can just say "yeah alien life doesn't contradict our religeon" without addressing these questiosn.

      Naive ever? You think Christian theologians haven't questioned the salvation of alien beings?

      http://answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/are-ets-and-ufos-real [answersingenesis.org] is clearly not buying the whole alien thing.

      http://www.beliefnet.com/story/35/story_3519_1.html [beliefnet.com] is open and suggest a path of Christ to have been presented to other worlds.

      does that mean that any intelligent alien life is doomed to hell because they don't have the benefit of baptism and the forgiveness of original sin

      Original sin goes back to Adam and so probably the doctrine doesn't come in to play. The one thing we can be certain of is that God is a fair judge and that people will be judged acc

  • Bwahahaha!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by deglr6328 (150198) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:20PM (#23409994)
    Hello Earthlings, my name Zorbo, I'm from the planet sh388wg32 in what you call the Andromeda galaxy and I think the time has come to reveal ourselves to you. The reason I am contacting you now is that we have some Good News for you creatures, the all powerful creator of everything (Zippin52, praise be His name) has a plan for you and everyone you know!!! Can I take a little of your time to explain why we're all imperfect and need saving in His forgiveness??!

    Yes Catholic church, that is precisely how idiotic you sound right now.
  • And who.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by denoir (960304) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:22PM (#23410024)
    ..created God?

    It's the same old problem of infinite regress when you try to state that a complex thing has to have a more complex designer. An über-powerful deity has to be much more complex than a human (or alien) and you end up with a bigger problem than the one you started with and you have explained exactly zero. And that's without even mentioning that there is no evidence of any form of supernatural creation of living beings (or anything else for that matter).

    • Re:And who.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Incredible Elmo (86263) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:56PM (#23410540)

      ..created God?
      That's a simple one to answer. Humans did :)

      Now where's my prize money?
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:28PM (#23410102)
    ...the Flat Earth society has just announced that there might be alien life "after and slightly beneath the fringes".
  • In my 'hood (Score:3, Funny)

    by dedazo (737510) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:33PM (#23410192) Journal
    We call this hedging your bets.
  • by MasterRat (1223392) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:35PM (#23410226)
    Are thrilled to see that our Earther brethren have finally publically acknowledged our existence. Please prepare your altar boys for our arrival.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:43PM (#23410332) Journal
    It takes only the most basic of reading and comprehension skills to understand that nobody was saying that extraterrestrial life was 'plausible'. I guess that's expecting too much around here.
  • When you get right down to it, nothing can contradict that a supernatural being exists outside of it's actually appearing to us ... at which point it would become a natural being since we could observe it.

    I can believe that the only two people in the world are Steven Hawking and Darl McBride and that ice cream is made from grub worms. If anyone provides me with evidence to the contrary, I can always say "Ah, but that's just what $DEITY wants you to think!"

    The only thing a belief in a deity doesn't support is non-belief in a deity.
  • by kaltkalt (620110) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:42PM (#23413350)
    Sucks to be those aliens... since they have no way to learn about Jesus (except, of course, the Gray aliens that visit earth all the time) all those extraterrestrials will burn in hell since they never accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. Brings up an interesting question - what percentage of hell is human? With all those alien species being sent to hell by default, I bet humans make up an extremely small percentage of hell's population. Even the Greys that visit earth have likely not become Catholics. Though in that one episode of South Park there was one alien species that actually was Catholic. But that's just one species, and south park is just a cartoon anyway. Make believe TV shows have no place in a discussion about magical human beings and aliens.
  • Misleading Title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by afabbro (33948) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @11:51AM (#23419758) Homepage
    Normally when one says "The Vatican says," he is referring to an encyclical by the Pope or a statement by one of the chief offices. This a an astronomer who happens to be a priest speculating. He works as director of an observatory, but it's not like this is Church policy.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

Working...