Here is an article I came across. Not necessarily to spark a debate, though I welcome your thoughts and opinions on the topic! I just thought it was interesting as we were talking about some of this stuff on Nadja’s Blog a couple weeks back. (See links below)
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. “The search for forms of extraterrestrial life”, he says, “does not contradict belief in God”.
"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation." He also went on to say it "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures. Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom.
Funes said science, especially astronomy, does not contradict religion, touching on a theme of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made exploring the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy.
The Bible "is not a science book," Funes said, adding that he believes the Big Bang theory is the most "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. But he said he continues to believe that "God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the result of chance."
"The church has somehow recognized its mistakes," he said. "Maybe it could have done it better, but now it's time to heal those wounds and this can be done through calm dialogue and collaboration. "
Click here for one of the articles.
I appreciate the fact that at least the attempt to bring science and religion together is being made. It has only taken the Catholic church how long?!?! Of course first I think it is funny they use the word "reason" instead of science and second I do think it is a bit annoying that we have to get the green light to believe in something “new”.
It's Like....Ok, you may now believe in the possibility that God created life outside of our planet. Yes…we say you can believe that so believe it.
Whatever. I have faith but I also believe that there is no denying how remarkable God is, how vast this universe is, and the possibilities that other life forms could exist should not be ruled out entirely. I also believe that God created a world in a scientific way that would lead us to reach out and explore countless possibilities and just not accept things as they are. He wanted us to become thinkers while also maintaining our faith and beliefs. My favorite quote from the article "God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the result of chance." I agree.
A lot of this stuff was talked about on Athena’s Bees Blogs. Visit “Things to Ponder”, “The God Particle”, and “I promise I will stop soon” to see some of our talks on this subject and other subjects related to religion, the Universe, creation, & God…. :)