May 18, 2008

The Vatican Acknowledges Life May Exist Elsewhere: The Implications

The Vatican seems to be getting more and more intelligent every day. At least in comparison with the Fundamentalist Baptists, the ones who continually make themselves look foolish by denying the reality of evolution, and in many cases, the real age of the earth and the universe.
The Catholics are embracing science, not fighting it. Maybe they realize that fighting science causes their flock to migrate to agnosticism and atheism. This is something the Baptists fail to grasp, or just willfully ignore.
Kieran Bennett has a post entitled What Works in Deconverting Christians? It is full of deconversion stories.
Jewish Atheist gives a breakdown of why people deconvert:
14.89% Stupid or incoherent answers by religious leaders to simple questions.
14.89% Science contradicted their religious dogma.
12.76% Contradictory dogma.
?% Exposure to atheism. [Kieran seems to have omitted the number here.]
10.63% Reading the Bible.
8.51% Hypocrisy of the Church.
8.51% Prayers went unanswered or person came to believe he was talking to self.
8.5% The existence of other religions.

Back to the Vatican. 'The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.'
Now time to have fun with the implications:

If intelligent life forms exist in the universe outside earth, does that mean that Jesus visited other planets?

Do these planets have bibles? If so, how many?

How about Catholics, do aliens call themselves Catholics and Protestants?

Are their alien Jehovah Witnesses too? Maybe Jesus was able to convey God's word better with practice. Maybe there is only one Christianity cult/sect on some of the later planets Jesus visited.

Did Jesus die at the cross on these planets, or did he get killed in another manner? Remember Lenny Bruce's quote in the late 50's or early 60's: "If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses."

Is Jesus going to return to all these planets around the same time for the second coming? Does this mean he will have to clone himself, or is that God's job to clone him?

Kidding aside, the Catholic church is starting to swing away from the need for a Jesus. They are grasping on the need for a creator, but they need to grasp something other than little boys....oh wait, I said kidding aside...


  1. It would be funny if extraterrestrials were studying our Earth for the last 20,000 years and could provide documented evidence that Noah's Flood never happened. Some of the YEC Fundies probably still wouldn't believe it.

    "They're just demons trying to trick us!"

  2. Don't underestimate the extent and degree to which various Christian denominations have embraced science, not just now but also in the past. In the case of Catholicism there was a strong scientific revival near the end of the Middle Ages when, largely as a result of the crusades, these Christians learn of the works of Islamic scientists in the early European but Arabic centres of learning. At that point Catholicism discovers and embraces even, the then very advanced subjects of for instance alchemy and astronomy. The works of much earlier ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, hitherto unknown in Europe, also become available to Christian scholars, because the Arabs already had copies of these works and had studied them.

    Platonian/Aristotelean views on the universe then became part of Catholic dogma, which is exactly why later they fought to exclude the heliocentric view.

    The Catholic Church has also long since recognised modern cosmology and evolutionary biology, as well as other scientific paradigms, as well as some other less well known and amazing admissions. In public this is a face of the church you won't see so often though.

    As regards American Protestants of various stripes, it's ironic that the descendents of a European Christian but dissenting movement that thoroughly embraced industriousness, scientific endeavour and truth seeking, has now descended into a parody of itself and which seeks to ally itself with the corridors of power, 'patriotism', half-baked ideas about 'family values' and of course the 'Clash of Civilisations' (or the Great Fizzle, as I like to call it...)

    Historically, Catholicism's somewhat belated embrace of scientific progress has more to do with competing with Islam than with seeking numbers.

  3. The good news is that everyday religious fundamentalism, is losing influence. Actually the Christian right is to the GOP an albatross.

    You are correct that the inability of religion to answer questions, has been causing a rebellion. For fundamentalists its been downhill, since the Schiavo affair.

  4. Newton




    Gee, by the comments on this blog you'd think no-one who believed in God made important contributions to science.

    For any premise there are three possible outcomes: proof of truth, proof of falsehood, no proof either way. No atheist can disprove the existence of God. No theist can prove (to a logical certainty) the existence of God. Therefore we are in the realm of belief.

  5. Zeppo, everyone knows that Newton for example was a Christian. There were a lot more Gaps back then. Newton was around before Darwin and the Big Bang as well.
    Today, Dr. Ken Miller, a biologist, is a Catholic but was also the key person to defeat ID in Dover.
    There are still scientists who believe in God.
    And yes, no atheist can disprove God, but nobody can disprove Leprechauns or the Tooth Fairy completely either.
    Are we in a realm of belief when it comes to Leprechauns too?
    The fact is that there no evidence for either Leprechauns or God. Except in literature.