Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Pope's senior scientist visits Nasa and talk aliens. The chat is now available below titled: Are We Alone? The Dance of the Fertile Universe.

Excerpts from the video are broken down at the bottom of this page if you wish to view only specific portions of the video.

The following is the back story which led to the video above.

The Church's interest in the stars dates back to well before Galileo's time. Five hundred years ago, papal astronomers in charge of fixing Easter's date noticed that the Julian calendar was getting out of sync with the stars, and in 1582 they replaced it with the Gregorian. In 1891, long after the Church had accepted the heliocentric universe, Pope Leo XIII officially founded the Observatory so that "everyone might see clearly that the Church and her Pastors are not opposed to true and solid science."

Today, the Vatican Observatory Research Group boasts 13 professional astronomers and cosmologists, all of them Jesuits. The group specializes in fields like galaxy formation and, to quote from their latest annual report, "the dynamics of inflationary universes with positive spatial curvature."

With a title like astrobiologist, one has to assume that Rothschild is at least open to the idea of life on other planets. The agency has been in on the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life since the 1960s. More prosaicly Nasa's missions as a rule keep a look out for life - or at least the building blocks of life - while tearing around the solar system.

The Catholic Church, perhaps surprisingly, is also somewhat open to the idea of life on other planets, with the current head of the Vatican observatory, José Gabriel Funes, conceding the possibility of extra-terrestrial life just last May.
Biography for Lynn Rothschild

He told the Holy See's in-house rag: "It is possible, even if until now, we have no proof. But certainly in such a big universe this hypothesis cannot be excluded."

Of course, the Church's interest in aliens is as much about their relationship with God and sin. It may be that they are in full communion with the creator - having never nibbled any solar forbidden fruit.

Alternatively - and perhaps much more likely - they could be sinners, and therefore in need of redemption through the ministrations of the Church. Just like us, in fact. Assuming of course they don't all come and eat us first.
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