Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Your own, Alien, Jesus...

The Vatican is discussing the existence of alien life and the implications it may have on the Christian Faith and humanity. After centuries of blocking science, independent and innovative thought, and putting some of history's brightest minds to task for questioning the status quo, it seems as though the Catholic Church, and Christianity along with it, may be opening their hearts and minds to speculative thought and independent reasoning.
"The Church of Rome's views have shifted radically through the centuries since Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600 for speculating, among other ideas, that other worlds could be inhabited."
What is most fascinating about this, to me, is that it absolutely reinforces my belief in a collective conscious awakening / awareness - where reason, logic, and spirituality overtake fear, intimidation, and brutal submission... the line between advanced spirituality in Christian based faiths (and other Eastern originating faiths) and oppressive faiths of submission, such as Islam, has been further defined.

There are those who are free to think and question, and those who fear thought and independent questioning of spirituality.

I pose some questions:

1. How would the discovery of alien life affect your faith?
2. How would it change your life?
3. How do you think it would change humanity?

To answer my own questions -

1. It would not. As a man of science AND spirituality, I firmly believe that life is not limited to this tiny planet. Life is so diverse, so resilient, and so unpredictable that to assume over the Billions of years and across the great expanse of this existence we are the only single source of life is not only improbable but irrational. Whether or not advanced species visit this planet in space ships, I don't know... but to think that life is so limited when the universe is so UNlimited is wasteful!

2. If we discovered life on another planet, I would personally feel relieved that we are not alone in this expanse! If we find microbial life on a nearby planet or moon, great - if we find intelligent or advanced life, better. I think we are approaching a time in our human development when real lessons and advancements are able to be fully comprehended. We are ever-evolving, and are at a point of great awakening... or re-awakening - ask me and I can explain further.

3. There are those of us who would be greatly relieved to find such a discovery... there would be those of us who would equally be horrified by it. It will be the challenge of humanity to overcome our preconceived notions of universal uniqueness and accept our place in the Universe... I think we are ready.

How would you answer those questions - the same questions being asked by the highest Christian leaders in the Vatican...


  1. Much ado about nothing, by my lights.

    First, it makes no difference to millions of Christians, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant, what the Vatican does or does not do. The ecclesiastical functionaries in the Church of Rome get it right much of the time and wrong other times. And sometimes they just flat go weird, as they do here.

    Second, as the authors of the book Rare Earth cogently argue, the chances of highly evolved life existing in this universe are next to zero. It is therefore arguably the case that we are quite alone in the universe here on Earth.

    Third, even if there is highly evolved life out there, and there isn't even a scintilla of evidence that there is, the chances of us finding each other are also next to zero given the vastness of the universe.

    So, I can't even begin to address your questions, Steven, because I believe they rely on assumptions that are all wrong. If and when we ever get hard evidence that ET has come here seeking Reeses Pieces, then I will ask myself what impact that has on my faith, my life, and humanity. Until then, I consider those questions to be speculative nonsense.

    My good friend the blogger Caedmon ;-) has some related thoughts:

    As does Kerry Livgren:

    (Our first fight.) ;)

  2. The same could be said of God and all religions :
    " there isn't even a scintilla of evidence that there is " any truth in what they preach...

  3. Yes, drveee, the same *could* be said of it. People say stupid things all the time.

  4. Certainly not in the empirical sense of that term, but not all philosophical questions are adjudicated by an appeal to sense data or the scientific method. With respect to metaphysical questions such as whether there is a spiritual, unseen being called a "deity", and if that being (should it exist) is to be known, then the epistemology involved in that process of knowing won't be empiricism.

    Something I'm sure they didn't teach you at the Madyln Murray O'Hair School of Pop-Atheist Apologetics.

  5. Thank you for your admission your first two words sum it up...
    You should have stopped there. Rather than attacking the character of someone you do not know by trying to belittle them with a load of garbled clap trap.
    But its been going on for centuries though, if someone doesnt agree with the point of veiw put forward the next course of action is to attack...
    Oh what a wonderful world we live in...;-)

  6. It's been a pleasure talking to you, drveee. Now get thee to a library.

  7. Q: How would the discovery of alien life affect your faith?

    A: It wouldn't, I already believe life exists elsewhere.

    Q: How would it change your life?

    A: It wouldn't, because the existence of life elsewhere has no effect on my life, my livelihood, my responsibilities or my goals.

    Q: How do you think it would change humanity?

    A: Atheists would lay claim to the idea that the existence of life elsewhere is proof that there is no God, and religious people who are steadfast in their faith would resoundingly respond.

    The wackjobs, mentally unstable, misunderstood and abnormal people would come out in droves dressed as if to go to a Star Trek convention and run around like idiots.

    I personally believe that the vastness of space and the laws of physics are such that even if there is intelligent life beyond our planet, we will never find it. The odds of two civilizations developing at a similar technological stage of development AND be close enough to one another AND looking for each other AND possessing the capacity to make sense of anything the other says is just a next to mathematically impossible wet dream.

  8. Patz - Interesting take on question three!

    I also find it interesting, the math behind the probability of two advanced cultures within "communicating" distance... in the 1960's, i believe, the Drake equation specifically identified the variables for intelligent life in our galaxy, finding that anywhere from 1 to 10,000 advanced civilizations may exist in our galaxy. There is much speculation and until we better understand the development of a stable life bearing solar system, as well as develop some "outside the box" thinking about how a culture advances, it will remain simple speculation.

    Remember, if not for a large scale war and international tension, humankind would not have advanced into space at the rate we did... certain variables are so random that it is almost impossible to accurately model...

  9. Jones you dick head goodbye 2 u & all your false prophets........