Monday, July 14, 2008

Abducted by ramblers

So I spotted this post the other day, which sort of follows my own insane ramblings about UFOs, so I thought, why not revisit the idea of life on other worlds.

I don't expect the 'established' church has an official view on extra-terrestrial life, although I can well imagine the lengthy and controversial debates over whether Venusians should be allowed to become priests...

However, as respected a Christian scholar as Charles Haddon Spurgeon at least appeared to accept the possibility, and the Vatican's Chief Astronomer Father Gabriel Funes said recently:

...there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God. This does
not contrast with our faith because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom
of God. To say it with Saint Francis, if we consider earthly creatures as
“brother” and “sister,” why cannot we also speak of an “extraterrestrial

On the other hand, when you have a director of SETI quoted (in Wired) as saying that ET is inconsistent with the existence of God, well, I wonder exactly where she's coming from. Presumably (and I apologise if she reads this and I've done her a total disservice!) a scientific worldview which holds that religion is bunkum and any alien life form we encounter will tell us how they out-evolved religious beliefs eons ago.

Personally I would approach first contact fully aware of the very real possibility of meeting the Martian Richard Dawkins.

Some would say that, given the huge number of variables which have to be just right in order for any life, never mind intelligent life, to exist, life on other planets is extremely unlikely. I wonder what the odds are of those variables falling into place just once in an infinite universe?

And besides, creative sci-fi writers have come up with intelligent races from all kinds of wierd and inhospitable worlds, so surely God just needs to settle down with some good sf, knock up a plastecine impression of the wierdest alien, and hey presto, we've got life on other planets.


Matthew Celestine said...

Thanks for the link.

I don't think the universe is infinite.

UKSteve said...

Infinite, really big... it all looks pretty much the same from where I'm standing. :)

Matthew Celestine said...

It can't be infinite. If it was, you could destroy a star (with a sun-crushing machine) and you would still have an infinite number of stars.

UKSteve said...

I was, of course, referring to the Hitchhiker's Guide for my universe stats, but on furtehr research it appears they just copied it off a cereal packet, so you could be right.

I don't think sun-crushing machines exist. :p