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Ear to the Ground

We May Not Be Alone, Says Vatican

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Posted on May 14, 2008
The Universe
nasa.gov

Father Gabriel Funes, the author of the article, also suggests that aliens who do not descend from Adam could be free from original sin.

The pope’s chief astronomer has written an article in the Vatican newspaper that argues that intelligent beings “created by God could exist in outer space.” The article, “Aliens Are My Brother,” is likely a move by the Vatican to strengthen its scientific credentials, bringing science and religion closer while maintaining papal control over the entire universe.


The BBC:

The Pope’s chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out.

Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space.

Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with universities around the world.

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By Nelson, July 2, 2008 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I will have to say that I a terribly disappointed in the catholic church for comming up with such nonsense. I think that they are only looking for favour from the world to gain power and they are losing there grip on solid Christian doctorine. I pray this is not so!

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By Dave24, May 18, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Wow, nice job, Doug.  You managed to completely not respond to anything I said, yet at the same time utter a lot of words. 

“Pretense” belongs to those who claim to *know* God exists; it does not belong to those who question such claims. 

And what you said is absolutely the opposite of being true.  Complexity arises at the *end* of an evolutionary line, not at the beginning.  And to place a supernatural complexity at the beginning is precisely illogical.  The top-down view is not required when one looks at the reality of nature.  The top-down view is a fabrication of our species, whereas Nature reveals itself as bottom-up.

There is nothing more humble than recognizing one’s cosmic, objective insignificance.  Humanity means something in subjective terms, but again there is nothing to suggest anything means anything in an objective sense.

I’m glad you think you’re special, Doug.  Real humble.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

By Dave24, May 15: “Personally, I don’t believe there is any intention or reason behind humanity…..  I don’t think there’s an objective purpose behind anything, so far as we can see…”

Its nice for you that you know that you alone “crawled out from that biological soup”, Dave24,  however your “level of intelligence” is not an “attribute to your survival”, uhh.

Some might think this is “sad” but, as there is no “intention” for your existence, you no longer need to keep up the pretence….....

Even though there is “design in the universe”, your “bottom-up” view is not required as others have already seen the top-down view. Even people in China have a more positive view of their creation and existence (no, its not called ‘the China syndrome’).

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

But DC, I suggested this idea to you, not you to me.  So you must see that my moniker is my making fun of myself, along with a few others, as well. 

Please excuse me for that; I work hard at trying to take myself and life a little less seriously, given all the mierda we have to deal with.

I simply tried to suggest that if ETs exist, it is quite possible, especially if they’re intelligent, really intelligent, that the notion of creators and supreme beings may never occur to them, or if they do, the ETs dismiss them outright as being stupid ideas.  Or maybe their ways of thinking may be indiscernible to us because of our intellectual limitations.  Who knows????  Who cares???

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

evilive, I don’t understand your reply, “YIKES! and word to your mother.”  I do get that you think I’m dropping LSD, but what in the world did I write that would lead you to think that?

Besides that, you hurt my feelings.  Not just with your reply, but you misspelled my moniker.

Here I am, trying really hard to raise the level of discourse on this thread and you’re putting me down.
No wonder humanity never gets anywhere!

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By Hemi*, May 15, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Father Funes: “Your Holiness, the universe and all of its inhabitants are a wonder to behold!”

Pope Benny: “Yes my son, it is wondrous indeed. Astronomy has always been a source of fascination for me. For instance I have always found a fondness for Uranus.”


Sorry folks but if TD is going to lob these over the plate somebody’s got to hit em out of the park.

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By crudisaile, May 15, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

read"moses@Aaron

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By Dave24, May 15, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Personally, I don’t believe there is any intention or reason behind humanity, or insects, or hydrogen gas, or anything else.  Subatomic parts that form atoms that form molecules that lead to complexity seem to lack “willful” intentionality.  I don’t think there’s an objective purpose behind anything, so far as we can see. 

Some might think this is “sad,” as if that’s a counterargument.  Well it’s not a counterargument; and to the contrary, I think it’s realistic, not sad.

There is design in the universe, but who is the designer?  Some would say God; I would say, Nature.  It is a bottom-up design, rather than a top-down design. 

We did in fact crawl out from that biological soup, and through evolution, our brains developed intelligence at a level of being able to turn it back on itself, sparking self-awareness, or consciousness.  This became an attribute to our survival, which demonstrates a natural intentionality, not a supernatural one.

Intelligence is our distinction from the animal kingdom, but it does not disconnect us from our animal kin.

Moreover, the notion of “meaning” is human born.  To think the universe “cares” or has “intentions” or has a creator with these attributes is simply the wrong way of looking at it.  People *apply* meaning to the universe; and because they are inspired, they think the inspiration is a source, rather than a perception which is then articulated by the person doing (and creating) the perceiving.

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By Maani, May 15, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Dave (and Doug):

“Simply put, the very idea of God is a fallacy, logically speaking - because what created God? What created the thing that created God?”

Rather than my trying to provide an answer here (since I do not have the requisite background in science or philosophy), I highly recommend “The Devil’s Delusion,” by David Berlinski.  He is a secular agnostic Jew with a Ph.D. in philosophy (and post-doctoral work in molecular biology and mathematics), and this is the very question he addresses in his well-written book.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 15, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Nature may be more than just a process, Dave24. The real failing of the human race is that it still hasn’t discovered the real reason for its own existence.

Whether you believe your ancestors crawled out of the biological soup or not, there must have been a purpose for the existence of mankind. So far, all that we have been good at, though, is denying our own REALITY.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 15, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Uhh, the problem is that we are all too “intellectually conceited” and your moniker says it all, Dr.K, ha ha.

The fact that we all originated at Central Castings never seems to penetrate. That is to say that the Thing that created us (not a “he” or a “she”) is the All-knowing Designer of the entire Universe, no less.

Who, then, are we to complain, but complain we do. Its not that hard to be smarter than us and so we can’t really blame anyone else for our shortcomings. In other words, we are ALONE with our mess!

For the others, to ask “what created God?” is effectively stupid as none of us can imagine the Creator of the Universe so how could we possibly imagine its creator? The fact is that we are merely a product of ITS creation.

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By purplewolf, May 15, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

It looks like they need to expand their “universe” to scope for new chattel in which to give that personal one-on-one indoctrination that only the Catholic church can do to their own victims. So TOUCHING.

Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 15, 2008 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

You completely negated what I thought was a reasonable response to Maani with your last sentence.

I, too, believe Earth humans might be a bit intellectually conceited vis a vis the thinking ability of ETs.
At least, I can hold out hope that ETs are smarter than we are.  Speilberg thought so. 

We should all want to be beamed up, given, I have to say, the complete fiasco of humanity as a creative experiment by the Lord.  He must certainly have tried to correct his errors elsewhere.  If he screwed up somewhere else, too, then everyone should revolt and get rid of the bastard as being totally incompetent. 

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that one of those supreme being wars would have weeded out incompetence at that level?  Or, maybe they don’t really care.

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By Dave24, May 15, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Yes, Maani, it’s *possible* that our narratives are interwoven - but the mere possibility does not warrant or justify holding conviction or confidence in the narratives.

We can embrace these stories as fables, which is what they are.  And we can learn from them without subscribing to the superstitious baggage that comes with it.

Simply put, the very idea of God is a fallacy, logically speaking - because what created God? What created the thing that created God? Etc.  And if you say that God always existed, then I can certainly say it’s just as possible (and probably more likely) that Nature itself has always existed - even when it was in a seeming state of non-existence. 

Nature doesn’t care about us, because it isn’t a thing nor a deity.  It’s a process.

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By kath cantarella, May 15, 2008 at 2:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

they’ll be proselytising in outer space now. Great.

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By Thomas Billis, May 15, 2008 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

I just reread the article.The Popes cheif astronomer.I think it was 40 years ago that they cleared Galileo.I think he works with really strong glasses and a map of the universe dated 1620.What possible relevance could the Popes astonomer have on anything except the non thinking what ever the Nazi youth member says must be right.Sure he was forced to join.Cam I see the affadavits?

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 14, 2008 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

“Deist” and “theist” are merely human constructs. Humans are merely one of many constructs of The Creative Force.

“Our narratives” are our illusions, our dreams and our impotent fantasies. The “narrative” of those on other planets is most probably TRUTH!

That is, they are most definitely free of having a “white mans’ Jesus” to control them and are thus free to understand REALITY as IT IS. They don’t then need to ‘imagine’ anything because they haven’t prevented themselves from attaining Self-Realization.

So utterly pathetic that you have chosen to believe in a ‘selective God’ on ‘other planets’. Fuck yer Israelites, Maani!

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

“We may not be alone…” - Geez, I wish we were, uhh!

“We may not be alone…” - Vatican discovers Islam! (Wait’ll they discover China!).

“We may not be alone…” -  Anti-science fake Christian church ecouurages fake science, Christian or not…...

“We may not be alone…” -  But don’t think any further than Mars!

“We may not be alone…” - “...intelligent beings” NOT “created by God” could exist on Earth (humans!).

“We may not be alone…” - Papal “control” extends beyond South America…..

“We may not be alone…” - Only SOME   aliens “could be free from original sin”, duh (more control!).

After so-called science gurus like Richard Dawkins sold out, “Science and religion need each other…”!!!

But, to cap it all in grotesquely grandiose hypocritical pontifical style, “the Vatican is organising a conference next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin”. Make yer own “science credentials…” would be typical of a Neocon pope, uhh.

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By Maani, May 14, 2008 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Dave:

“My point is: ‘God’ is then deistic, meaning our narratives (theistic stories) likely are untrue, in a literal sense.”

Well, it may be that our narratives are true FOR US, while the narratives that are true on other planets are true for THOSE…beings.  Assuming any one or more of the narratives HERE are true, this does not preclude the possibility that one or more of the narratives THERE are true.  And ALL of the various narratives may be inter-related in a way that we cannot necessarily understand or imagine.

In fact, just as the Judeo-Christian construct believes that God “chose” one “people” as His own (the Israelites) to carry forth His message, it is entirely possible that He has done the same thing on other planets, with other beings.  And, of course, Jesus may well be the “focal figure” in all cases - though Jesus’ “form” may be different depending on the specific beings.

Clearly, all of this is ridiculously speculative, but I must admit it makes for fascinating speculation.

Peace.

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By Thomas Billis, May 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Sounds to me that the Pope and his Cardinals should hop on the first transport to Mars.Maybe their are some young male Martians who need “The Special Treatment”.Please take the jerk who is head of the Catholic league with you Pope.

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By DennisD, May 14, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pass the collection plate - to Mars.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, May 14, 2008 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

As a Recovered Catholic I have spent decades just answering ‘Atheist’ to avoid trying to explain how I feel ‘god’ is just the term used to Sum up all that is miraculous and Yet to be understood. God/ nature are interchangeable to me.Both Mysterious, both Creators, both require our respect and our sense of duty having been Crowned the ‘Steward Species’.In fact the more I learn about all the areas of science and how awe inspiring it is, the more Comfortable I become with the Term ‘god’ - Truely divine, all powerful and has a Secret Rythm We have yet to fully comprehend.I have found myself more interested in programs about the Bible (Old & new- could use some regarding the Koran too, along with ALL others). and have found I Can understand what ancients were trying to understand and explain in the best way they could with in the limits of their knowledge.
the Vatican, along with other religions should begin to move away from Trying to maintain their Power and begin to realize mankind has moved on in their quest for knowledge & understanding - old Myths which provoked fear is only driving mankind away from their Organizations. We know longer want a ‘Middle management’ to explain or control US. In fact we have seen how the heirarchial system has been counterproductive in mans quest to reach it’s true potential as the Stewards of the World.Time to join Us or get out of the Way- WE Have A HIGHER CALLING, and we don’t need an Interpreter anymore( A Proven Bad one at that!)

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By Dave24, May 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for your response.  I wouldn’t say I’m making assumptions; instead, I’d say I’m pointing them out.

I agree that there could be fluidity between our conceptions of “God” and the conceptions(?) of alien life elsewhere.  That’s not my point.  I agree with you there.

My point is: “God” is then deistic, meaning our narratives (theistic stories) likely are untrue, in a literal sense.

Make sense?  If not, or if you disagree, feel free to let me know.

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By Bboy, May 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

C’mon, your just spewing stuff now. Obviously before Jesus acsended to heaven HE bestowed authority on his Church on EARTH.

Now even thoough Catholic means universal, it by no stretch means that it has authority over the universe. Only the Father in heaven can give any such authority. Not the Son’s vicar on Earth.

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By Maani, May 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

David:

“If life exists elsewhere in the universe…it proves that we are not special in an objective sense.  It proves that “God” didn’t decide to use Earth as the host of these supernatural fairy tales…If intelligent life exists, maybe they’ve invented their own gods - effectively mooting our Jesus, our Allah, etc.  How do we know their gods aren’t correct?  How do we know our gods aren’t correct?”

You make an awful lot of assumptions here.  If “God is God,” then it is JUST as likely that the concepts of “soul,” “salvation” and “redemption” are the same everywhere, which would lead to similar (if not identical) “belief systems,” and belief in the same “God” that believers here on Earth believe in.

Peace.

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By jackpine savage, May 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Yea, verily we have scannethed the sky and found it blessed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…

Sweet, extraterrestrial Catholics.

Now, if (and i don’t doubt for a moment) there is life out in space then it is obviously more advanced than us if it’s capable of flying around and shooting laser beams.  Why would such a species want to talk to us.  They’ve easily been able to watch our movies where we always try to blow them up.

I do hope that the aliens get her before Jesus…how cool would that be?  The loopy conspiracy theory proves correct before the mythology of a whole “civilization”.  Or better yet, the aliens come to destroy us and then Jesus comes and fights them in order to save us before he ends the world…

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By purplewolf, May 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

AND HOW DOES THE VATICAN FEEL THAT WE MAY HAVE BEEN KICKED OFF THE OTHER PLANETS AND EXILED HERE ON EARTH FOR THE SINS OF OUR FATHERS?

Or is the church/pope’s chief astronomer becoming paranoid that people will finally wake up and realize that most of the ills of the world, the most vile acts against people, planet and all other species, originate from the organized religions of this world? By trying to bond with science after all the years of tearing down and decrying scientific proof and evidence of things already discovered, which prove that the Bible is a fantasy book of of superstition and here say is a desperate attempt to try to stay in control of the sheeple.

WWJS?

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By Dave24, May 14, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Why is this news?  If life exists elsewhere in the universe, which is likely, it proves that we are *not* special in an objective sense.  It proves that “God” didn’t decide to use Earth as the host of these supernatural fairy tales.  The Vatican doesn’t even see the hypocrisy of what they’re doing.

They already try to monopolize life here on Earth, so it naturally makes sense to monopolize life elsewhere by siphoning it through the prism of a philosophical, anthropomorphic idea called “God.”

If intelligent life exists, maybe they’ve invented their own gods - effectively mooting our Jesus, our Allah, etc.  How do we know their gods aren’t correct?  How do we know our gods aren’t correct?

And for any theist to say that their God and our God are the same are, in so doing, declaring DEISM to be correct, rather than their particular theistic belief system.

O, the hypocrisy of the Vatican and all religion. 

In a cosmic context, humans are not “special” in any meaningful sense.  Rare, maybe.  Special, not so much.  We may think we are special, and I think we are, too - but objectively, there’s nothing to suggest we are.  And the fact that the Vatican is pointing this out is LAUGHABLE.

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By Maani, May 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Hammo:

I would have dismissed your comment as mere rumor, were it not for the fact that the Vatican comments come fast on the heels of the British government’s release of almost all of its UFO files (which itself comes fast on the heels of the recent release by the French government of ITS files) - including many still-unexplained photos and reports, including by pilots and scientists.  See:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1573498/MoD-to-open-British-UFO-X-files.html

Carl Sagan once estimated statistically that there were at least a million planets in the universe (and perhaps hundreds in our galaxy alone) that could support intelligent life.  And although SETI has yet to receive a single bona fide signal from “out there,” who knows what the government has been hiding from us at Groom Lake and other places?

Peace.

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By Hammo, May 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

There is interesting information circulating indicating that the international community is being prepared for greater confirmation of possible visitation to Earth of beings from elsewhere.

I know ... it’s too far out and X Files-like. Grab your tin foil hats, etc.

According to some views, dismissive propaganda and ridicule have been some of the PSYOP methods used over the years to keep classified and sensitive information about this situation secret.

Now though, there may be the realization that the time is right for more information to be revealed and the people internationally must be prepared and “acclimated.”

Food for thought in the article:

“Human consciousness, intelligence may suddenly shift”

Joint Recon Study Group site
May 13, 2008

http://www.jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com

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