Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vatican says it's OK to believe in aliens

E.T., be sure to mention this when you next phone home:

The Tribune reported Tuesday that Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes, S.J., the Director of the Vatican Observatory, says that aliens would still be God's creatures. To rule out the existence of aliens because, for example, they're not mentioned in the Bible, "would be like 'putting limits' on God's creative freedom."

The Jesuit astronomer has it exactly right, I think. I believe the creationists may fail to give God enough credit. Evolution -- to cite another controversial example -- doesn't disprove the existence of God, nor is acceptance of evolution a rejection of religion. Why can't we accept (as most Christians have been taught) that God 'works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform'?

If God always intervened directly and understandably in the affairs of this world, the recent cyclone in Myanmar would have drowned only the leaders of the ruling junta. Katrina never would have struck New Orleans while a stone was standing on a stone in any of Kim Jong-il's palaces in North Korea. Good people would live to ripe old ages with grateful children and grandchildren; bad people would be the ones to suffer from disease.

But God doesn't make it that easy for us. For any of us.

Today's Sun-Times carries an AP report that a letter of Albert Einstein's is to be auctioned off this week. According to the article, this letter, written late in Einstein's life, dismisses "the idea of God as the product of human weakness" and calls the Bible "childish."

But -- also late in his life -- Einstein wrote that "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

The first passage may have been written at a time when Einstein had momentarily succumbed to the doubt and despair that claims us all from time to time about the Infinite -- but, in the second quote, Einstein gets it exactly right.

I believe the religious right has been at least as harsh and critical of space exploration as the tree-hugging left... for different reasons of course. I submit that both are wrong. God gave us free will and an urge to explore (yes, even if He gave it to us through natural selection) and we spurn His gifts when we fail to use them. We bury our talents... and you Bible readers will remember what happened to that guy.


Ralph said...

Why not aliens in God’s always perfect creation?

For God’s intervention, with events like Katrina, it isn’t as if God caused the destruction. As humans were involved, it is natural:

- God didn’t build weak levees, it was men who designed, built and did not maintain the levees that fell apart when tested
- The Lord did not place inept city and state elected officials to totally botch the evacuation of many from NO (such as the flooded school buses meant for the evacuation)

God is perfect and left a natural order to things. Hurricanes are part of that natural order…but it was imperfect man who enabled far from perfect (ie: human) results to occur.

Patti said...

Guess I have to agree about the natural order of things.

Wife agrees with husband. Hmmmm...