Archive for ‘November, 2009’

Of God and Aliens

datePosted on 20:47, November 15th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

So, the Vatican is having an unprecedented big conference on what to do if extra-terrestrial life is discovered. To some, this may seem like a shock – but it shouldn’t. The Catholic Church, unlike the wacked-out Protestant Evangelicals in the United States, has recently at least made an attempt to embrace some scientific realities. The Catholic Church’s official stance is that it accepts both Evolutionary Theory and the Big Bang. However, it maintains that the Christian god is the driving force behind them both. But extra-terrestrial aliens! The truth is this is really an important issue for the Catholic Church – and religion, in general. A much bigger issue than most religious people are openly willing to admit.

Over the past decade there have been hundreds of extrasolar planets discovered (at least 400 as of this writing). Most of these are really large Jupiter size or larger and orbit their respective stars at a close distance that would preclude any form of life emerging. But that is changing very fast. New telescopes and technology are going to make it possible to detect Earth sized planets very soon. It is only a matter of time before organic molecules are discovered elsewhere. And then, perhaps, the possibility of discovering alien life begins to increase. If we should one day actually discover intelligent life somewhere else in the universe, what happens to God?

Most likely the Catholic will try and adapt the idea of other intelligent life forms into their church dogma somehow.

Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom.

Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, Director of the Vatican Observatory.

But the Bible states that God created us in His image. What if the aliens don’t look like us? What if the aliens don’t have a belief in Jesus – or any god for that matter? What if they believe in another completely different god or gods? The point is, Christianity can equivocate all it wants, but the whole concept of a supreme being that created humans in His own image goes right out the window.

What the Vatican is really doing is try to get a jump on a potential problem and save its sorry ass. To date, the Catholic Church is dying. All current surveys show the Church’s numbers have been declining faster than any other religious group. Galileo dealt the first crucial blow when he eliminated our “special, privileged place” in the universe. Darwin followed with the death blow by providing the explanation as to how we were actually created. The Church has been reeling ever since.

Beginning at the end of the Dark Ages, when religion still maintained that virtually every phenomenon in the universe was a divine act,  science has replaced all of that dogma with cold hard non-religious facts. Knowledge replaced ignorance. Can religion still find a home in a scientific future devoid of fantasy and superstition? Unlike others who make the claim that science and religion have “non-overlapping magisteria,” as first proposed by biologist Stephen J. Gould, I completely disagree. Religion has No magisteria period! There is no venue at all that religion is sufficient or necessary for. Today, even intangible emotions like love and hate can easily be explained by secretions of various chemicals in the brain. These facts can be demonstrated and replicated at will. There are very few things that religion can contribute to society other than the ignorance and hatred it breeds.

Whereas I applaud the Catholic Church for at least making a feeble attempt at trying to redeem itself for crimes of keeping knowledge locked up for centuries – so what? The Church’s days are numbered and their alien convention will conclude nothing other than they were wrong; again. If intelligent extra-terrestrial life should ever be discovered it would not surprise me if they concluded that Jesus was really an alien. Then they could claim they were worshipping the aliens all along.