Pursuant to NOMA which is the effort of a scientist to defuse the debate between science and religion by playing ostrich, there is also effort by the Vatican to unite science and religion. I just read the article below in BBC published on 13 May. Vatican says aliens could exist. While I always thought aliens could exist because the almighty god cannot be bound by anything and that he would or would not create aliens, the notion which came from the Vatican has different meanings. Although it may be a gesture to dilute the confrontation with science in the face of religious myths being broken by science discoveries, the gesture has fundamental contradiction to the religious doctrines.
Are human (besides the Jews) the chosen people? What is the status of the aliens who may or may not be more intelligent than us, then what about other creatures?
Are aliens gods? If they are more advanced than us, then they may be able to perform miracles, govern us by supernatural power, reward and punish, and provide justice, perhaps even raise the dead.
If they have no original sin, then they may still be living in Eden. There is then no sacrifice of Jesus for them, and no basis of Christianity. Will they go to heaven after death?
Seems the Vatican is also prepared to celebrate Charles Darwin whose evolution theory is not accepted by those who believe in intelligent design and the creation.
Vatican says aliens could exist
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome, 13 May 2008
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. The official Vatican newspaper headlines his article ‘Aliens Are My Brother’.
‘Free from sin’ Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God. And some aliens could even be free from original sin, he speculates. Asked about the Catholic Church’s condemnation four centuries ago of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, Father Funes diplomatically says mistakes were made, but it is time to turn the page and look towards the future. Science and religion need each other, and many astronomers believe in God, he assures readers. To strengthen its scientific credentials, 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.