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  #1  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:28 PM
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Default E.T. Phone Rome! Please!

VATICAN CITY (AP)—E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.

“The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration,“ said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.

Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology - the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.

Funes said the possibility of alien life raises “many philosophical and theological implications” but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue.

Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said it was appropriate that the Vatican would host such a meeting.

“Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe,“ he told a news conference Tuesday. “There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe.“

Thirty scientists, including non-Catholics, from the U.S., France, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Chile attended the conference, called to explore among other issues “whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds.“

Funes set the stage for the conference a year ago when he discussed the possibility of alien life in an interview given prominence in the Vatican’s daily newspaper.

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.

Scientists have discovered hundreds of planets outside our solar system - including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency. Impey said the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away.

“If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs bio-chemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound,“ he said.

This is not the first time the Vatican has explored the issue of extraterrestrials: In 2005, its observatory brought together top researchers in the field for similar discussions.

In the interview last year, Funes told Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God.

“How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?“ Funes said in that interview.

“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.“

Funes maintained that if intelligent beings were discovered, they would also be considered “part of creation.“

The Roman Catholic Church’s relationship with science has come a long way since Galileo was tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant his finding that the Earth revolves around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.

Today top clergy, including Funes, openly endorse scientific ideas like the Big Bang theory as a reasonable explanation for the creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter.

Earlier this year, the Vatican also sponsored a conference on evolution to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.“

The event snubbed proponents of alternative theories, like creationism and intelligent design, which see a higher being rather than the undirected process of natural selection behind the evolution of species.

Still, there are divisions on the issues within the Catholic Church and within other religions, with some favoring creationism or intelligent design that could make it difficult to accept the concept of alien life.

Working with scientists to explore fundamental questions that are of interest to religion is in line with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made strengthening the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy.

Recent popes have been working to overcome the accusation that the church was hostile to science - a reputation grounded in the Galileo affair.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared the ruling against the astronomer was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.“

The Vatican Museums opened an exhibit last month marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first celestial observations.

Tommaso Maccacaro, president of Italy’s national institute of astrophysics, said at the exhibit’s Oct. 13 opening that astronomy has had a major impact on the way we perceive ourselves.

“It was astronomical observations that let us understand that Earth (and man) don’t have a privileged position or role in the universe,“ he said. “I ask myself what tools will we use in the next 400 years, and I ask what revolutions of understanding they’ll bring about, like resolving the mystery of our apparent cosmic solitude.“

The Vatican Observatory has also been at the forefront of efforts to bridge the gap between religion and science. Its scientist-clerics have generated top-notch research and its meteorite collection is considered one of the world’s best.

The observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, is based in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the hills outside Rome where the pope has his summer residence. It also conducts research at an observatory at the University of Arizona, in Tucson.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2009, 06:45 PM
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Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.
I don't know why this would have any "implication for the Catholic Church".
Unless they think some of the children of Adam ended up on another planet.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:30 AM
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That would be more of a Morman-type issue

As I understand it--The Church has no problem w/ the idea of ETs--
The thinking is that God created the universe, and may well have created other life in its vastness. Such life may or may not have our fallen nature depending on the choices their 1st parents made.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:49 AM
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The thinking is that God created the universe, and may well have created other life in its vastness. Such life may or may not have our fallen nature depending on the choices their 1st parents made.
A couple of ways to look at this.


Since Adam's fall effected creation, and not just man ..... would that include everything in the cosmos?

Or did it effect just creation attached to earth?

I lean toward the creation attached to earth, because angels were created and their status doesn't seem to have anything to do with what Adam did, and are not said to have a need for a savior.

On the other hand, if it only effected earth, then why the need for a new earth AND and new heaven?

Which brings up another question. Have the "good" angels been sinless from their creation?
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Such life may or may not have our fallen nature depending on the choices their 1st parents made.
If they have no fallen nature from 1st parents that sinned, then they would also be sinless beings.
Unless they are as the angels, and if an individual ET sinned, they are are also fallen and have no savior, while the unfallen ones remain sinless.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:16 PM
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I just hope the ETs had better self contol than us weak humans.
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Peace will not be found at a MidEast table. Peace began at a MidEast STABLE, but everyone seems to deny it.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
Believing in evolution is like expecting a tornado to go through a junkyard and create a Mercedes Benz on its way out!
If you don't stand behind our US troops, then please feel free to stand in front of them. Yea, that's what I thought..........
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:31 PM
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is ET or ALF (Alien Life Form) the more PC term?
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:38 PM
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Just wondering--
so you guys accept the possibility of ETs?
I have no trouble w/ it, but I was speaking with a devought friend (Assembly of God) and she is totally against the concept since its not "Biblical" in her mind.

I offered (tongue in cheek) John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.

but she's not buying it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:00 PM
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Just wondering--
so you guys accept the possibility of ETs?
I am a firm believer that the UFO phenomenon going on is not another life-form created on other planets that have now arrived here.

I am one of those so-called "nut jobs" who believer they are malevolent spirits (be they demons or angels).
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:16 PM
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I have no problem in believing there are other life forms out there. It's a rather huge Universe. While they hate to admit it, even secular scientists can't explain just how big the Universe is. BUT IT IS HUGE. So why can't there be other life forms out there.

As to whether or not they are Christian, are another thing altogether. That would take much speculation on our part, especially since we first would have to accept that they exists. Unlike many science minded folks that like to believe the KNOW IT ALL, I KNOW very little in the scheme of things.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefalexander View Post
Just wondering--
so you guys accept the possibility of ETs?
I have no trouble w/ it, but I was speaking with a devout friend (Assembly of God) and she is totally against the concept since its not "Biblical" in her mind.

I offered (tongue in cheek) John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.

but she's not buying it.
I do accept that ET's exist. If you want a Scripture to quote look to Job where the sons of God where coming to a meeting with God. I do not believe we are it, I believe it is like Narnia from CS Lewis in that many worlds were created and one went rogue, that one would be us.

Any evidence? Just Job I heard Pastor Doug Batchelor speculate on it once at http://www.amazingfacts.org/

Now I am going to share my speculation and you all might think me nutty. They are not visiting us, I believe it is another either dimension or time travel in our distant future

Last edited by otrclassic : 11-22-2009 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:26 PM
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While I may think you are nuts, it's not because of your belief in aliens. LOL

I am in no position to agree or not agree with the many things that could be. And after BO got elected to President, I've come to the conclusion, anything is possible, no matter how STUPID it sounds.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:51 PM
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It shouldn't be when , it should be Swine FLU!!!
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