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Ear to the Ground

And on the Eighth Day, God Created Aliens

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Posted on Nov 10, 2009
Flickr / el fedora

The Vatican used to burn people for talking about aliens. Now it holds conferences on the subject. After presiding over such an affair, the director of the Vatican Observatory explained “we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom.”

The theoretical scale of the universe now dwarfs our ancestors’ greatest expectations, and scientists have discovered hundreds of planets since the bad old days when the church equated reason with heresy.

For the Catholic Church, it’s a question of evolution (ironically enough), and perhaps boldly going where no missionary has gone before.  —PZS

AP via Yahoo:

“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.

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By gerard, November 13, 2009 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Well, I tried to stay out of this one, but was drawn into it by a little green man who appeared in my soup today and told me to notify you all of a conference to be held in outer space not far from the Center of the Universe sponsored by NASA who brought you the recent LCross Mission that found water on the moon and thereby earned another $530 billion in funding to waste on future exploits, not including the cost of the champaign.  Or is it campaign? (No, that’s political and will set someone off on Obama, so forget it!)
  This conference, brought to you by the think tank called American Exceptionalism, Inc.,  will consider the possibility that there may be more than one universe, and that all the universes were not really created at all, but exist exclusively in American heads.  We create them just to prove that Americans have a monopoly on superannuated ideas.  We abhor a vacuum and would rather fill our empty heads with delusions of grandeur than worry about cleaning up this planet or some other constructive activity like stepping on ants. 
  Many stories have been invented about these unique universes, but one is more legitimate than the others and in attempting to find which one, the conference will discuss new ways to kill each other and step on all ants, large and small.  Operating with robotic machinse from a distance is the new gig, and improvements are coming out every day that prevent our being thought of as a bunch of unintelligent designs standing in front of a home depot looking for a job.
Admission to the conference is free, but early registration is advised because the private contractors need to know how many people they can shaft for accomodations and meals.
  The water on the moon is laughing but we can’t hear it so everything is okay.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

For more humor in your vein, you need to put boxing gloves on to improve your typing at this juncture. You will not thank me. But I will.

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By DaveZx3, November 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 12 at 4:23 pm #

“Dave, if my comments really annoy you, from some of the responses on occasion, it seems they may have! My amusement at your expense seems ignoble, so I will refrain from commenting on Dave posts in the future, I will instead tend me goats!”

Promises, Promises.  But actually, your posts do not bother me, I just feel obligated to come back with a comment so as not be seen as ignoring you. 

My mirth and amusement is usually generated by your mirth and amusement.  You have been declared the king of mirth, and I find it very amusing. 

Besides, we don’t have to take ourselves that serious, unless, of course, you are the “annointed one”, in which case, you had better get working, things are all f—-d up. 

I am not annointed.  My job is to have patience, and I don’t have to be an old sour puss doing it.

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By Leefeller, November 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Dave, doing better is not seemingly the issue, I find mirth and amusement in your posts, sort of a calling in me like the seventh planet from the sun or just comebacks on a bad real bad sitcom. May I suggest assumptions may only be assumptions and usually are!

Speaking of experiences, would it seem prudent in the scheme of things to learn from them?

Dave, if my comments really annoy you, from some of the responses on occasion, it seems they may have! My amusement at your expense seems ignoble, so I will refrain from commenting on Dave posts in the future, I will instead tend me goats! (read below)

Dave I have learned to type with my fingers crossed and am working on me toes, though I do not type with my toes so in the long run my toes may be easier to cross, seems maybe I should take off me boots?

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By DaveZx3, November 12, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 12 at 3:44 pm

You are right. Choosing “stoned” was a bad choice because of the connection to religions.  I am sincere, I should not have used that word.  I just really meant to say I would get severly criticized, as many, many do every day on these forums.  I am no better, nor am I any different than the rest.

Leefeller, Next to ducks, ants are my favorite topic.  At least the ducks stay outside, thats why I like them a little better.  You know my style and manner of speech.  It is irritating to many, including my wife.  I try to do better, but all that seems to come out is stories of ducks and ants.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 12, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

“Sorry for being so simplistic about it, but to me it is not a mystery.  It all is explained in detail, and fits together perfectly.

As usual, I am prepared to be verbally stoned for my comments.”-DaveZx3

Criticize? Maybe. But hurling stones was one of the ways that the death penalty was invoked in ancient Mesopotamia and elsewhere and your verbal version amounts to the same thing in relation to your ideas. The holy ones would die as martyrs for their cause, their religion, their god. Now you say you have had in essence a revelation where the veil was removed from your eyes and do you commune with what you call a god or the god, no?

I get my share too as do many but that is the risk on this or most any forum so buck up—-you’re not alone in the human realm. Does your god stay with you? Or was it more of an illuminated experience where everything comes together and you have full gnosis of it all?

Better if you explain it completely and a bit more clearly than “simply” to us. So far you are slippery and gauzey in your explanations but then that may be all that you can do. So you know that evolution is god powered, that humanity has a lofty place in the Cosmos and that god, of whatever sort, personally communicated with you. Not the first time or the last I’ll wager on this earth. That is how religions start as do shorter lived cults if they don’t catch on and implode or the voice of god leaves them and they degenerate. For others they are called spiritual and have a following but aren’t in any way cults like Gandhi was but they tend to end in violence by others who do not like what they say. I for one don’t like people reacting that way it shows humanity is still more in the gutter than looking up at the stars. To eventually reach them.

I did ask you several questions and you sort of answered them just not in a clear a way as I asked them.

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By Leefeller, November 12, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Dave,

“you are diametrically opposed to my knowledge of God.”

Diametrically? Knowledge? Not at all Dave, even if I was in total lock step agreement with you, my comment as usual was on ants and getting stoned, nothing to do with your ditty of choice. Dave, this was just like the Duck!

Look! How was one supposed to know Dave just happened to be a Republication?

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By DaveZx3, November 12, 2009 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 12 at 2:30 pm

“So you don’t like the idea that in the cosmos humanity doesn’t even rate a 1? Such a blow to your ego isn’t it? What about being humble? But then the early Christians adopted that concept from the Greeks so you might find that pagan. [Not that many Christians do—its hard when you are of the chosen isn’t it? The elect/elite on the right hand of god.”

Where did you read that I was a martyr for anything?
Where did you read that I did not like or even insinuated that humanity does not rate a 1?  Where did you read that I was of the Christian religion?  Where did you read that I was elected or elite on the right hand of God? 

You read all that into this or my previous posts, only because you have no compartment to put me in, and that is what irritates you.  You can not marginalize me easily.

I told you before where my knowledge came from.  You refused to believe it, which is your prerogative.

But I am not a martyr.  I am living, breathing proof that I am not a martyr, nor do I intend to be one. 

You, like Leefeller, and others just feel totally obliged to attack with vigor any hint of someone bringing up the idea that there might really, really be God.  I say again, that attacking someones honest belief or knowledge is not a very tolerant stance to take, but I fully understand why you must do so.

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By DaveZx3, November 12, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 12 at 2:08 pm #

“Everyone should be aware ants are not capable of understanding sign language, not because they cannot comprehend, for ants seem much more intelligent than most Republicans”

Leefeller, everyone should be aware that I am just using this story as type of analogy where an advanced society and a less advanced society may have great difficulty communicating. 

This should not be too difficult to conceive, since humans, supposedly fairly close in their evolutionary state, cannot seem to communicate with each other so well either, as evidenced by my really simple point. 

I try to write in very, very simple terms and analogies so that people do not misunderstand my point. 

But I also realize that no matter what I say, you will criticize it, because you are diametrically opposed to my knowledge of God.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 12, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3 stop being such a martyr queen! Where does disagreement end and martyrdom begin for you? So not the drama here. So you don’t like the idea that in the cosmos humanity doesn’t even rate a 1? Such a blow to your ego isn’t it? What about being humble? But then the early Christians adopted that concept from the Greeks so you might find that pagan. [Not that many Christians do—its hard when you are of the chosen isn’t it? The elect/elite on the right hand of god.]]

From readings taken sciences’ best estimation is that the universe is a mere 13.7 billion years old and maybe has 100 billion left before the dark matter/energy tears everything made of baryonic matter apart unless there is something to reverse that. Who knows? Our modern intellectual development is a slight 10,000 to 6,000 years. Give us a million and wait and see what could happen.

With over 100 million galaxies each one of them could have just one species evolved like us but they could be extinct now or just in the formative stages. However the same could be said for our own galaxy. Faster-than-light travel of any type may just be an imaginative idea without physical foundation so there could be one on the other side of the Milky Way right now and we wouldn’t know it! So many variables but we know now that life can exist in a far wider range than previously thought including in boiling water or frozen solid.

“Life will find a way.”—Jurassic Park (movie).

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By Leefeller, November 12, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Dave, Being stoned and getting stoned may be two different things!

Everyone should be aware ants are not capable of understanding sign language, not because they cannot comprehend, for ants seem much more intelligent than most Republicans,  it is ants have poor vision with a phobia of elephants, it seems they never see anything coming.

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By DaveZx3, November 12, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, November 12 at 4:17 am

“Has it occurred to anyone that considering the performance of the human race to date, aliens—whether from big bang or intelligent design—might be worth a try, maybe even an improvement? “

I understand your point, as you might have expected.  Shenonymous has a very good point also.  Just because a race is advanced, technologically, and are capable of visiting Earth, does not mean that they have advanced socially enough to treat us well.

When you observe nature, you see few examples of advanced life forms treating less advanced life forms with much respect. 

When the ants invaded my backyard, I exterminated them.  I went out and asked them to move, but they answered by moving into my house.  I suspect they did not understand my sign language.  I gave them every opportunity, being the fair person that I am.  But in the end, it was me or them, and I won out because I had the poison.  Sounds unfair, but that is nature, and it is what evolution is about.  The strong survive, and the weak get stepped on by a bigger foot.  (Not that I ascribe to it in that form.

If a civilization exists anywhere that has been evolving for 5 or more billion years then man has, they may see us as ants.  If so, what do we have to say about it?  I suspect we will not be able to argue our case in a court of law. 

I, personally, reject all these ideas, because I do not see our existence as meaningless and random.  We are like babies, who need constant supervision from the parent, and at every chance, we throw our food on the floor and whack our brother on the head with our spoon.  Until we grow up, the parent will keep us in the play pen so we don’t inflict too much damage.  To some, the damage that we do might seem irreversible, but the parent does not allow the baby to do permanent damage, it only looks permanent.  In my paradigm, everything gets cleaned up and put back in order, everything!  And the baby only gets out of the play pen when he/she learns to behave. 

I do not reject the idea that there are other civilizations, and that they can visit and take pictures of the baby.  But the parent doesn’t let them in the play pen. 

Sorry for being so simplistic about it, but to me it is not a mystery.  It all is explained in detail, and fits together perfectly. 

As ususal, I am prepared to be verbally stoned for my comments.

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By Shenonymous, November 12, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

An intriguing idea, Sepharad.  May I push it a little farther?  You more or less
find fault with humans, as a race in their tenure on this planet.  Okay, in what
way, hypothetically speaking, could aliens be better?  What would they do that
would be better, an improvement?  The other side of the coin would say aliens
could just as easily be worse.  The novel isn’t always a better thing.  Ought we
to risk the entire human race or throw them into thralldom at the hands of an
unknown race of aliens?  Invasion of the Body Snatchers comes to mind and War
of the Worlds, but then to help your thesis along, there is also the lovely Close
Encounters of the Third Kind and the parable story of The Day the Earth Stood
Still that warns Earthlings to stop their violent behavior.  It is a toss up.  It is
fun to think about it, havana nice day…

bortaS bIr jablu’DI’ reH QaQqu’ nay’
Klingon Transliteration:  When cold revenge is served, the dish is always very
good
or this one is very good
qaStaHvIS wa’ ram loS SaD Hugh SIjlaH qetbogh loD
Klingon Transliteration:  As a single night continues to happen, a man who is
running can slit four thousand throats.

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By Leefeller, November 12, 2009 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Seems as if the Catholic Church is sort of like Microsoft, improving Windows for the good of the people, all this good brings a tear to me eye.

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By Sepharad, November 12, 2009 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

Has it occurred to anyone that considering the performance of the human race to date, aliens—whether from big bang or intelligent design—might be worth a try, maybe even an improvement?

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By Leefeller, November 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Do I see a merger in the works, Catholic church Scientology and the Mormons, they all have the spaceman thing going and they will be bigger than GE, so maybe they will sell stock, not paying taxes is great for balancing the books?

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By Shenonymous, November 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

Eso, that is fascinating.  I’d read about some of it but not much.  Your post was
totally captivating.  Names do have much more original meaning.  There is enough
there to write a story really.  Maybe someone already has.  I will resist quipping
since I really liked your post and think you did some good research.  Take a bow. 
If I can find my books that had more of that etymology of the name Jesus I will
post what I dig out.  Guess it is relevant, it is kind of religious.  As you said, or I
will paraphrase, what else could be arcane?  Is it a Catholic conspiracy like Dan
Brown might be interested in?  Holy Moly

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By Eso, November 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

From Wikipedia: “The term “Mandaean” comes from Classical Mandaic Mandaiia and appears in Neo-Mandaic as Mandey?n?.”
...........
Mandeyana, Ramayana,etc. Note the second half of the word, yana. Yana is a cognate of John. The pronunciation of the name shifts with the language, and sometimes the name appears beginning with the letter G (as in Ganges); or Don (as in the Russian river); or as J, but pronounces as Y in Lithuanian JY)onas; or with a Z as in the Russian name Zhena and Jewish Zion; etc.

The original meaning of the name might have something to do with “the way”, because John is often thought of as a traveler [(Y)Ah(n)asverus, the wandering Jew; Yan among the Balts], a ferryman across the river Leite (Charon for the Greeks). The name also may have something to do with “gens”, from which such words as gentiles, gentlemen, genes, and—for the unbelievers—Ghengis Khan as King John.

If one thinks about it, there is much more behind the name than the Pope lets on, which is why he would rather have us think of John-Jesus in Alienland.

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By Leefeller, November 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Maybe the Vaudevillecan should bring back the burning thing, it would be entering, enterprising and exciting, lets face it, the anal probe thing is becoming long of probe. (tooth does not fit here)

Heretics need to be kept in their place for they ruin it for the non heretics, which may be their evil plan?

Cannot wait for the new Popemobile to come out, rumors are it will be running on hot air!

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By Dave24, November 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Nauseating.  It’s bad enough that Christians want to ignorantly monopolize
everything here on Earth let alone elsewhere.

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By Shenonymous, November 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

Oh yeah, really progress.  Just a little bit similar to Protestant intelligent design,
but not really.  The Catholic’s brew of science and religion is still on the
drawing board.  But I will hypothesize for them that god threw some
ingredients into a universal bowl, so to speak, and like Obama did with health
care reform when he threw it to Congress to sort out, god said to himself,
hmmmmm let’s see (he, himself, and the Holy Ghost) let’s see what happens??? 
Well Obama saw that chaos occurred and he might not get the health care
reform he was counting on.  Now god got a bit of chaos too, and maybe the
experiment called earth hasn’t worked out quite the way he had hoped.  But
shouldn’t he have known ahead of time what would happen since he is
alledgedly omnipotent and omniscient?  There is definitely more to discuss
here.  It is about as refreshing as Diet 7-Up!  Also as non-nutritious.  Who will
win?  Catholics and their amalgamated science/religion thing?  Or the
Protestants Intelligent Design?  Any one want to wager? 

No, Jesus’s former name is Joshua, not John.  Well some versions might have
called him the first John. Hmmm, what does that say about the evening trade?

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By Anarcissie, November 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Some of the Gnostics believed that John was the true Messiah.  There were still Gnostics of this sort around in the modern era—the Mandaeans—but they were in southern Iraq and Saddam Hussein may have eliminated or dispersed most them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandaeism.

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By Eso, November 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt.
What language is “John” in your context?
...........
Christians speak about Christianity is self-referential terms, which is one way of not letting the cat out of the bag. John is a name that can be found in most languages as I have pointed out. John the Baptist is, if you will, an Earthman. Jesus was an Earthman, but got pushed up and behind the clouds, because it suited some to get rid of John and Johns in the sense of the sadhus mentioned. I personally do not believe that the story of Jesus as presented in the New Testament is a true story, but was written as a myth. One of the myth’s purposes was to get rid of John the Baptist and his school of spiritual teachers. Look for John in Joan of Arc, too; and, yes, as a figure behind the clouds, Jesus is well suited to be imagined as an alien.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

What language is “John” in your context? Greek? For Jesus it is also Yeshua or Yeshuah but John? I don’t think so. Could you please elaborate?

Including life on other worlds is quite a stretch here. Where do they apply it? Unless they found it in the Apocrypha or one of the other books excised from the present Bible. Seems to me that the Catholic(sic) Church wants to be accommodating as much as possible to the widest audience.

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By Eso, November 11, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt. Re: ...it was Joshuah not John.

John=Johann=Jean=Huan=Ivan=Ian=Giovanni, etc. The names are cognates. They are one and the same name in different languages and with different inflections. The New Testament writers pushed John aside by a verbal fiat, thus displacing a college of Johns (like the Indian sadhus) with one Jesus.

Incidentally, my sentence should have read: ...Jesus used to be John and would still be if John were NOT fed to the flames.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 11, 2009 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

“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.”

Almost right only it is directed, by the environment itself so it does have direction and isn’t random as too many mistakenly believe.

Actually Eso it was Joshuah not John. Though in Greek there is no J so it is replaced with a Y.

People too often confuse Nature’s order with guided order as what humans do. Nature is a complex system of forces that to many humans they automatically make the mistake of thinking it must be guided by an intelligence even if one isn’t needed. DNA is complex but when broken down it is simply a code made up of 4 letters repeated many times and in many ways. Our 26 letter alphabet has more possibilities. But of course if you are predisposed to believe it is “God’s Work” then that is how it will all look. Very easy. Just so long as research isn’t interfered with nor teaching in all gov’t funded schools I have no problem.

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By tyler, November 11, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the vatican is a joke.  they change their doctrine and policies as they are proven undisputably wrong. 

they lock up gallileo for years for his blasphemous idea that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the universe.  Now, they have a museum honoring him, as if to say, ‘look at the findings of this great man that is a product of our nuturing and encouragement.’

another example of the hypocracy that embodies the catholic church.

i, for the life of me, can’t understand how this organisation has been allowed to continue to exist as a legitimate ‘church’.  the pain, suffering, and death, millions of deaths, inflicted on humanity by the catholic church makes me seriously critical of anyone who ‘practices’ their style of faith.

how does the vatican think jesus would react if he came back and found out that they have enough money to cure world hunger overnight?

its such a joke.  the real tragedy, however, is that there are millions of SUCKERS that still go to mass and revere the man in the silly pointy hat, and remain faithfull to the church’s backwards doctrine, failing to use their brains, that ironically god gave them, and fail to see the true nature of the oppresive, murderous organization.

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By Timothy1119, November 11, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Them aliens had better still be careful about what hole they go around sticking it in.

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By Eso, November 11, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

I trust that in due course, the Vatican will also remember that the name of Jesus used to be John and would still be if John were fed to the flames. So, welcome, aliens, from planet Heaven! Is not one of you called John?

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By montanawildhack, November 11, 2009 at 3:35 am Link to this comment

May I be so bold as to make a few suggestions
to our future Alien overlords…  The first order of business upon taking over the Earth should be to reduce to ashes Vatican City and all churches..  Then reduce to ashes all priests… Good job.. Now use your handy ray guns to reduce to ashes Wash. D.C.  Then blast all members of Congress… Nicely done….(Vaporizing all members of the military goes without saying, of course)  Now you’re going to need some Loyal and Competent humans to handle things on post Takeover Earth… I am your man….. 

Your humble servant…

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By DaveZx3, November 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

The Catholic Church is showing a tolerance and open-mindness which is refreshing.  Not that I believe in a lot of their theology, but I think they are rightly positioning themselves where they think they need to be when or if intelligent, alien life does make itself known to man.  In their opinion, it is better to accept it now, than look like complete fools later, I guess.

The idea that evolution was spurred on by the intelligence of God is also an idea that they are embracing.  And this is a smart position also, and one that I personally hold to be true.  Creation was not a “wham, bam, there it’s over” affair.  Creation is an ongoing intelligent design function.  The week of creation was 7 “days”, but like the “day” of the dinosaur, the exact length of each day (era) is undetermined and unspecified. 

Creation happened much like product designers who do design initially, but then using the same basic formulas, codes and theories, refine, define and “evolve” their product.  Genetics is the code of the intelligent designer we call the Creator.  You look at the scope of this design and you see an evolution of the things designed.  Things coming and going, and changing, but all interrelated, connected and codified to the original. Evolution is a long term intelligent design process.  Or better yet, creation is a long term evolving intelligent design process. 

The Catholic religion is embracing all of this because it is prudent to do so.  Science is on the threshold of discoveries which will greatly encourage belief in God, so the time has come to snuggle up to them a little and ride the wave.

On the other hand, Catholics may just be exhibiting their tendencies toward humanism and away from anything of God.  At any rate, I must add this idea, that anyone wearing a hat with the title “Vicar of Christ” inscribed on it is deluding himself and his followers greatly.  Or just his followers.  Be very wary of that man.

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By gerard, November 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Well, thanks for this article!  It represents real progress and is especially welcome to counter-balance the reactionary views of the Protestant Christian right. If the ponderous apparatus of Rome can stretch as far as outer space, surely some needed changes which are closer at hand can be reasonably expected?

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