According to Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory, “The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration.” It seems that the Vatican is again attempting to further their knowledge of the cosmos, in search of alien brothers who “may even be free of original sin.”
News broke in May of last year that Funes was apologetic for the Catholic Church’s previous treatment of historic astronomers, namely Galileo. “Mistakes were made, but it is time to turn the page and look towards the future.” Galileo was condemned four centuries ago by the Church for his interest in worlds that may exist beyond our star system, as well as for his suggestion that the Earth may not be the center of the universe. Galileo wasn’t the only man persecuted by the Church of Rome for speculating about life elsewhere, however. Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600 for holding similar views.
But, as Funes emphatically states, the Church’s views have changed since those times. “If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs bio-chemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound,” Funes says, begging questions such as whether or not man–made in God’s image–made aliens in his image also.
But what of other biblical stories that might involve strange inhabitants of other galaxies? After all, Fox News reported yesterday that “Scientists have discovered hundreds of planets outside our solar system