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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."
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Vatican Says Alien Life Plausible

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  • by way2trivial (601132) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:07PM (#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 genner (694963) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:07PM (#23409758)
    C.S. Lewis came to this conclusion years ago. Glad the Catholics finally caught up with us Protestants.
  • Catholics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:09PM (#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?

  • 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!)
  • doubtful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trybywrench (584843) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:15PM (#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.
  • by Kligat (1244968) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:18PM (#23409948)
    If an alien world were encountered with a Bliznorp claiming to receive instruction from Q'thalis Almighty, would the Pope claim to be God's infallible messenger on Earth, or for everywhere outside heaven? For his followers, then, wouldn't the Pope need to confirm the Bliznorp's authority on the homeworld of the sentient grey blobs of Shronos, lest a new "Space Catholicism" denomination be created believing in individual Popes for each inhabited world?
  • by Ghostworks (991012) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:19PM (#23409984)
    First, I would point out that this is not really news. The Vatican has actually had a plan for approaching and converting alien life just in case it should be discovered for decades. (In fact, the plan was one of the programs that Madalyn Murray O'Hair frequently liked to joke about.)

    This particular comment (the parent) is actually one of the few good comments I've seen so far. Since medieval times theologians have wondered, "did the Son of Man come to save everyone, or just humans?" There were a surprising number of medieval philosophers who were concerned with question -- should a race of sentient cyclopean starfish be discovered -- of whether human Jesus was sent to save their souls, or whether they would have to wait for cyclopean starfish Jesus.

    In any case, this isn't a deviation from established Vatican protocol, and isn't news. Not for Catholics, and not even for people who just care about alien stories.
  • by number6x (626555) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:22PM (#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!

  • by oskard (715652) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:27PM (#23410094)
    I find it offensive that some people are still implying that God is /unable/ to create extraterrestrial life.
  • by prestonmichaelh (773400) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:28PM (#23410116)

    I wonder, though, how the creation of freaky-ass-bug-eyed aliens would fit into the "God created man is his own image" idea. Perhaps that God is so wacky and cool he can take on any shape?


    Really, I have always thought the "in His own image" thing was taken way to literally. I don't really think God would give Himself a physical body like ours that is inferior to many animals in many ways (we are slower than cheetahs, can't see as well as eagles, can't swim like fish, etc.) Honestly if you get down to it, there are a lot of things that suck somewhat about our bodies (a quasi-flawed design that causes a large percentage to experience lower back pain, etc.). Obviously there are some who would say that God has a "perfect" human body that, since it isn't marred by sin, doesn't have the same flaws, but I honestly think the idea of God having a physical body is kind of silly. I mean, I can't even be in two places at once with my physical body, much less everywhere at once.

    So it comes down to, what does "in His own image" mean? We like much of the creation story in Gensis, I think it is meant to be taken figuratively, not literally. We are set apart from the animals in that we have a conscience and free will. In this way, we are like God. We can basically do whatever we want, and reason about what we want to do. Although I am not a Catholic, I agree with their stance that it is completely possible for alien life to exist (although I think intelligent life, at least that we can/will find anytime soon, is unlikely for other scientific reasons). This alien life could even be "in His own image" as well, since it isn't really a physical appearance thing, and more of a soul/conscience thing.
  • Re:Might be life? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:41PM (#23410294) Homepage Journal
    Riddles? Dude, he'll fucking kill your entire family on a dare from the devil, ask Job!
  • Re:doubtful (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:44PM (#23410350) Homepage Journal
    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 than "I don't know" to the issue of how God would relate to non-humans, as He never told them that.

    For some interesting reading in this area (from an Anglican perspective), try CS Lewis' trilogy foray in to SciFi. He explores the ramifications of all these questions.

    As a simple example answer for you: angels are depicted as not God and not Human. Some angels rebelled against God and are doomed to hell with no chance of redemption. Angels are also depicted as not having free will in the same way Humans do -- which makes the "rebel" situation kind of hard to fathom. However, the angels are also portrayed as without sin (except for the demonized ones), so those ones need no redeeming. The Bible implies that humans can be more holy than angels because they have a choice in the matter; thus you have to define more precisely what you mean by "closer to the catholic god".

    Oh, and be careful: "catholic" and "Catholic" have different meanings (to a non-Catholic): "catholic" is synonymous with "universal".

    Think about this statement as being the religious equivalent of "yeah, gravity doesn't contradict the laws of thermodynamics." Stating this doesn't require the speaker to explore all the ramifications of the laws of thermodynamics, just how gravity relates to those laws.
  • by Mab_Mass (903149) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:55PM (#23410518) Homepage Journal

    So it comes down to, what does "in His own image" mean? We like much of the creation story in Gensis, I think it is meant to be taken figuratively, not literally.

    What I find interesting is that this figurative interpretation is what is already being favored by the Catholic Church. From their acceptance of the Big Bang and evolution, it is already clear that they are comfortable with figurative interpretations. This is in stark contrast to a few hundred years ago, when you could be killed for minor points of dogma.

    I'm hoping is that some of the more extreme groups take heed and see that it is possible to have an open mind with religion. If you look at history, there has been a long track record of religion disagreeing with science and science winning. Is there anyone (of importance) out there who still disagrees with the heliocentric view of the solar system? I wonder how much of the current switch from the Catholic Church is a recognition that their obstinate views in the past backfired.

    That is one advantage of an older religious group - perspective. This reminds me of one conversation I had a few weeks back. My friends and I were musing at the relative levels of extremism and how that relates to the age of a religion. Take Buddhism for example. It is an old religion and there is very little extremism. Christianity is younger, and there is still some extremism with a whole lot back in the dark ages. Islam, on the other hand, is still relatively young, about the same age of Christianity in the dark ages, and we all know how much Islamic extremists make the news. Hopefully, then, as religions get older and settle down, they will start adopting the more peaceful, open-minded approaches.

  • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:55PM (#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 dfiguero (324827) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:56PM (#23410542)
    Exactly! Why would they need salvation, you assume that they would have a similar situation as explained in the Bible that they disobeyed an order from God as Adam and Eve.

    On the other hand if God is infinite love wouldn't it make sense that he would have created other beings and not just us?
  • This is news? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:56PM (#23410546)
    No, seriously. This is stupid. The only thing that surprises (and scares) me is the reaction of the average slashdotter to obvious announcements like this, and that this reaches the news. Is it because you have so imbued the cartoon-strawman image of the church created by the media (specially porn business), that when someone WHO IS NOT DUMB says something that is common sense, you are surprised that the real thing doesn't look like your delusions?

    And for all those offtopic morons that say that the Pope is responsible of the pandemies on Africa due to the Church's point against condoms: the Church is also against extra-marital sex, and if you are determined to ignore the last point, what stops you to ignore also the first one? Are you hypocrites, or what?

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:02PM (#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!
  • Re:Finaly! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Devout_IPUite (1284636) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:27PM (#23410942)
    I've always thought that it would be interesting to see other intelligent races reaction to humans. My guess is that aliens would notice a high tendency for delusion. Your faith is delusion to anyone who doesn't share it.
  • Re:Mythbusters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:35PM (#23411044)

    OTOH, I can imagine that the mere act of such a submission to a state of mind can have certain desirable effects (and, of course, also undesirable ones). I don't think it's an accident that many other religions propagate a certain way of "giving up".


    Oh without a doubt. I don't want to go too far off topic, but if I had to speculate about the origins of prayer, I'd say it's actually a clever way of capitalizing on a couple of aspects of the human psyche, such as the fact that we acquire habit through repetition, and our herd-mentality when in large groups. Since a religious person is encouraged to pray as often as possible (for an extreme example, see Islam), the constant repetition reinforces the basic tenets and beliefs in the mind of the believer. The more they repeat it, the stronger the belief becomes. Add to that the fact that humans in large groups respond strongly to simple statements with which they can identify (eg. "No War for Oil", "Meat is Murder", "Zeig Heil", "Zhu Mao Zhuxi wanshou wujiang!" etc.), and you have a pretty good incentive to want to indoctrinate your followers with something like prayer, and encourage them to repeat it whenever they can.
  • Re:And who.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by denoir (960304) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:54PM (#23411278)
    The problem with that kind of reasoning can be easily shown with another example. A few hundred years or so we didn't know what caused disease. Religion played an important role as an interpreter of the cause of disease - it had a lot to say on the subject. Does it mean that it was correct? No. Once we developed the germ theory of disease it was quite clear that the religious interpretation was wrong. When you have a bacterial infection you don't get better by not sinning or by praying or by donating money to the church - you take antibiotics.

    The argument that since science can't explain X, religion must provide the explanation is a false dichotomy. If religion wants to make a case for a claim it must do so by providing evidence - something that it doesn't.

    Folk 'wisdom' and folk science - or as you put it the "collective intuition of A developed by hundreds of generations of many million people" - tends to be completely wrong. We live on a sphere, not on a plane, we are not at the centre of the universe and force is proportional to acceleration, not to velocity - just to take a few examples of incorrect intuition. If our 'collective intuition' failed us in these rather elementary cases, what makes you think that it is correct on the much more complex question of how the brain and consciousness works?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:11PM (#23411456)
    Actually, ex utero fertilization is generally (although I don't believe officially) considered illicit because it to some degree separates procreation from sex (the theology goes both ways...the dignity of a human demands that their creation be the result of a loving act). The punctured condoms are for collecting samples for sperm counts, etc. Because doing this allows sperm to be collected without intentionally sterilizing sexual intercourse, it is considered acceptable.

    There may be zero chance of conception (for example, a woman who had her ovaries removed due to cancer), but having sex in that case is not wrong (assuming they're married, of course), because the persons involved are not deliberately sterilizing the act. They are not excluding God.
  • God of the Gaps? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JSBiff (87824) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:17PM (#23411512) Journal
    There is a difference between something not currently being understood, and something not being understandable. I've heard people talk about this argument that, since we don't understand X, the only explanation for it is God, and call it the "God of the Gaps" - that is, the argument that God must exist to explain a current gap in our understanding of the universe. The problem is, science keeps coming along filling in those gaps. Yes, it usually, so far, has introduced at least one new gap for every gap it fills in, but the point is, our current ignorance of the mechanism for some observable phenomenon, or hole in our current theories (like the theory of the Big Bang necessarily raises the obvious question - what caused the Big Bang to happen? What came before the Big Bang?) does not in and of itself prove the existence of God.

    My point is, when your whole faith is based upon a gap in knowledge, there is a significant chance that the argument for your faith can be discredited by advances in Science. We may, quite possibly, in the course of time come to understand how to correlate "certain chemical and electrical processes" with "self-awareness". As for "We have no way to tell what happens to our 'souls' before birth or after death", currently we have no way to tell if we actually have souls. The concept of the soul comes from a faith in the supernatural. I'm not saying we do not have souls, but what I'm saying is, how could you possibly tell what happens to 'souls', when you can't even find any way to actually prove the existence of a soul? I can't come up with any meaningful theory of how many Unicorns it would take to move an object of Mass 'M' up a hill with incline I, since I can't prove the existence of Unicorns or come up with any kind of average force that an average Unicorn can apply on an object.
  • by bastion_xx (233612) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:44PM (#23411778)

    What I find interesting is that this figurative interpretation is what is already being favored by the Catholic Church. From their acceptance of the Big Bang and evolution, it is already clear that they are comfortable with figurative interpretations. This is in stark contrast to a few hundred years ago, when you could be killed for minor points of dogma.


    I'm hoping is that some of the more extreme groups take heed and see that it is possible to have an open mind with religion. If you look at history, there has been a long track record of religion disagreeing with science and science winning. Is there anyone (of importance) out there who still disagrees with the heliocentric view of the solar system? I wonder how much of the current switch from the Catholic Church is a recognition that their obstinate views in the past backfired.

    Thanks for posting this. I totally agree and have always applauded that the Roman Catholic Church can, and does, change. Cynics may argue the change is to keep up numbers, but I think some the changes, especially the conservative ones, are to insure that they are reinterpreted for the current civilization based upon the old and new testaments.

    The Catechism does allows for an intelligent understanding of the bible. Genesis is a good example of mythos, and this is taught by our Arch Diocese. Of course, for younger children a more simplified version is taught, but what it comes down to is that when I was going through CCD, once you were confirmed, church initiated education stopped. As a teenager, it's hard to believe in Noah and the ark as a true story. Or to read some of the genealogy of Genesis, that people were living for 300-800 years.

    It is understandable that those who haven't studied religion take a literal interpretive view. "Man mad in God's likeness." I'd like to believe it's nothing to do with two arms, two legs, but more of Love. We may not live up to it all the time (sin), but seeing man's ability to love is heartening.

  • Re:Catholics (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:50PM (#23411822)

    Good work finding that source, but you misinterpreted it in your original post. He was not suggesting something equivalent to hell being a metaphor, but that it is not a physical location. It has a separate mode of existance (spiritual). Ergo, those who think drilling holes into the center of the earth is going to let the demons are on crack. The next sentence:

    This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist.

    If you read further on, you will see that many aspects of the popular views of heaven and hell really only work metaphorically. As you get really deep into Catholic theology it becomes clear that hell isn't really a place where God sends people He doesn't like away to be sadistically tortured as punishment for pissing Him off. Sadism would contradict the all-good nature of God and the claim that He desires what is best for us. Rather, it is the state of complete separation of a person from God, who is the source of all joy. As such, it is a thoroughly miserable state of existence, comparable to the agony traditionally associated with hell. Furthermore, it is the result of that person's freely willed choice to separate himself from God. That is to say, our free will is so thoroughly respected by God that He will not force us accept unity with Him. What constitutes acceptance of Him isn't explicitly clear, but the Bible lays out the basics through the 10 commandments and Jesus' ministry (the Sermon on the Mount in particular is useful).

    This does get frequently misinterpreted, even by Catholics, as suggesting that hell does not exist. I even had a priest who taught one of my theology classes in college say, "Heaven exists, but we don't know if hell does." Unfortunately, somewhere in his own studies, he got the roles of mercy and justice mixed up and concluded hell might be incompatible with mercy. A minor fault, I suppose, but it was interesting becuase he still taught that we have to in some way accept God to join Him in Heavan, yet without a Hell, the only other possibility is a state of limbo, a concept that was rejected by the church long ago.

  • Re:Mythbusters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Empiric (675968) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:58PM (#23411956)
    You say "let people die" like you think there's an alternative, other than timing.

    I find this form of argument very strange, though very common--making statements which presume ongoing continuity of life, or consciousness, while denying it. Reality is such that by default people don't die, so God should be blamed if they do, or reality is such that people do die by default, and your complaint is about when exactly it happens... which is it?
  • by TrekkieTechie (1265532) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:25PM (#23412212)
    You'd be shocked how little science can actually explain. We know next to nothing about the history of our species, of our planet, of our galaxy.

    To paraphrase Bill Bryson [wikipedia.org], if someone were to take a pair of tweezers and pull you apart atom by atom, when the last two were separated you'd be left with a pile of inanimate matter -- none of which is alive but all of which was you.

    Science has no provable explanation for how the Big Bang occured (assuming it did), simply that it looks like that's probably what happened. Science can't explain how the 20 amino acids we require to exist form on their own, nor how they combine and fold themselves into the hundreds of various proteins we require to function, nor why all the thousands of processes that occur within a cell occur. This all appears to happen "just for the hell of it".

    As for there only being room for God in the gaps science can't cover -- I submit to you that if we were to learn everything there is to know about everything, we would become Gods.

    For the record, I'm a confirmed athiest and devil's advocate.
  • What's next? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Capeman (589717) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:34PM (#23412280)
    The Vatican are trying to update their status in society because if they don't, they lose followers, I wonder if sometime in the future they will "approve" human cloning too by saying something like "maybe God wanted us humans to create clones", I don't know, they'll try anything to manipulate society, but let's see what happens...
  • Re:Finaly! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pablodiazgutierrez (756813) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:05PM (#23413542) Homepage
    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.
  • by kaltkalt (620110) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @12:45AM (#23414138)
    why wouldn't original sin apply to them? Or did god create them entirely separate from man (the obvious answer is yes, but I mean in terms of Genesis and the 'six days' and all that crap). Just because you had no chance to know about jesus doesn't mean you get a hell-pass for not accepting him as god, at least according to many of the wackier christians. Babies and children who die too young to learn about jesus go to hell. Retarded people who can't learn about him go to hell. Isolated, insular tribes who never met a christian go to hell. I don't see why intelligent life forms on another planet would be any different. They're analogous to a tribe of people isolated deep in the jungle or on a small island in the middle of the ocean - never coming in contact with a christian, the bible, or even so much as the word 'jesus' ... they still go burn in hell for all eternity according to most christians I've talked to about this issue. There's no due process for the heaven-hell adjudication. So based on the Drake Equation, I contend that hell is full of aliens. Only a de minimus portion of hell is actual homo sapien from the planet earth. Of course, each planet could have its own hell, or hell could be segregated by planet/species. Or religion could simply be a factor that precludes a species from being considered "intelligent" life.
  • by Artifakt (700173) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:56AM (#23414454)
    The thing is, Galileo got the exact same punishment we still use today for his crime, no worse. The only difference is, he committed his crime against Religious authorities and not Secular ones.
          G. was asked to write a defense of his position, in the proper Latin, and submit it to the church. Instead he wrote the defense in Italian so that the average guy could read it, and attempted to make it available to the public before the trial was over. What do we do to people today when a judge gives them some interogatives and they release their answers to the press in an attempt to influence the trial? Right, we find them in contempt and lock them up.
          G. used a character named Simplicio in his dialog, and put words that had been used by some of the church authorities in that character's mouth. He picked quotes that were easy to abuse or make fun of, left out a lot of points that were harder to deal with, and the whole work arguably became a straw man attack. What do most modern judges do if you misquote what they say in court? And what if you said the name you gave a character representing them was only because they claimed their view was simple, but the name you used actually best translated to "simpleton"? What would most judges do today to somebody who publicly called them simpletons and then tried to feed them a line of BS about why? Right, they take people like that, and lock them up.
            It's called contempt of court, and it can have an unlimited sentence right now in the present day, as in telling a reporter they will stay locked up until they name their source, however long it takes. You can argue, and I would, that a spiritual institution shouldn't have the power to be conducting courts or censoring publications at all, but the response the church gave snowballed into serious consequences because Galileo made it into a pissing contest first.
  • by Thanar (979567) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:02AM (#23414472)
    Just to bring you up to date about the Catholic Church's position on the possibility of salvation of unbelievers (including atheists & agnostics!): "Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium,DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH, 16) Check it out: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html [vatican.va]
  • Re:Mythbusters (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phroggy (441) <[moc.yggorhp] [ta] [3todhsals]> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @04:29AM (#23415116) Homepage
    Catholicism is different enough from most other branches of Christianity that most non-Catholic Christians think of Catholicism as not just being another Christian denomination like Baptist or Lutheran or Methodist, but a separate religion. Same goes for Mormons, only more so.

    Different denominations of Christianity have different interpretations of the Bible, but generally they all hold the Bible to be the ultimate authority, God's message to mankind. The Catholic Church's ultimate authority is the Pope, who can freely contradict and overrule parts of the Bible he doesn't like. Mormons believe Jesus visited North America after His Resurrection, according to some golden plates [wikipedia.org] written in "reformed Egyptian [wikipedia.org]" and buried in New York until the 1820s at which time they were translated into King James English [wikipedia.org]. Anyway, they don't hold the Bible to be the ultimate authority either.
  • Re:nitpick (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@g m a i l . com> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @08:03AM (#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.

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