Father Jose Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory in Rome, has said he believes in the existence of alien life somewhere in the universe after more and more Earth like planets keep being discovered with the most recent being Kepler-452b.
However Father Funes does not see this as a contradiction to believing in the Christian faith. Er, what?
Father Funes said: ‘Our galaxy contains more than a hundred billion stars.’ Yes. Yes it does. Well done.
Adding: ‘Considering the number of exoplanets discovered, it seems that the vast majority of stars in our galaxy, at least potentially, can have planets where life could develop.’ Again yes. Well done.
And don’t forget the universe has countless galaxies, all of which could contain more than a hundred billion stars, each supporting planets that could potentially allow for the development of life. Suddenly you are beginning to look at some very big numbers that, if I’m being honest, I just can’t comprehend.
So yes, when viewed in those terms, it looks almost certain as if there will be some kind of alien life somewhere out there in the universe. Probably some inside our own galaxy even.
It feels weird for the Vatican to be admitting to stuff like this considering what they put the likes of Galileo Galilei through for pointing out that the Earth was not the centre of the universe. Nice to see they can change their beliefs and ideas when it suits them.
He went on to say that even if there is intelligent life on another planet, he does believe it is a contradiction to the Christian faith. Er. Kinda is, let’s be honest.
He said: ‘The discovery of intelligent life does not mean there’s another Jesus. The Incarnation of the son of God is a unique event in the history of humanity of the universe.’
So does that mean God is unique to Earth? In which case he’s not really omnipresent is he? He’s meant to be everywhere. Or is he not powerful enough to visit other planets? In which case he’s not really omnipotent is he? Or has he just not gotten around to it yet? In which case he’s not really timeless or external either is he?
Oh dear. There seem to be a couple of flaws here.
Also why does the whole “Incarnation of the son of God” thing have to be unique to humanity? Why does he think we are that special? Why did we get that special kind of treatment? Out of all the planets in the universe what made God decide that humans some 2000 odd years ago were the ones most deserving of his son?
But it just went from bad to worse really as he then said: ‘The Bible is not a scientific book. If we look for scientific responses to our questions in the Bible, we are making a mistake.’
OK that’s fine. I can respect that. Just one quick question. Why the hell do you get involved in scientific debates? Or better yet, why do you get involved in any debates that are anything other than religious or spiritual?
Debates on medical or health issues like abortion, contraception, right to life, assisted suicide have nothing to gain from the Bible since it is not a scientific book. Debates on scientific issues such as stem cell research or cloning are also nothing to do with you. But no. You won’t respect any of that will you?
And finally he said: ‘It answers great questions, like “what is our role in the Universe?”‘ No. No it doesn’t. Philosophy doesn’t want you either. You slow it down and hold it back.