As the discovery of the number of planets outside of our little Solar System increases (the count is now 400), the possibility of discovering earth-type planets (or moons) increases also.
There’s a theory that 10% of the estimated total of earth-type planets in the whole galaxy could approximately be at least 10 Billion . And of them, 10% could harbor intelligent entities (see Drake Equation calculator).
The implications for the world’s religious communities would be manifold to be sure and there could possibly be chaos, destruction and various social mayhem.
Now the Vatican, the center of the Western Catholic religion, is taking some preemptive action by acknowledging the possibility of discovering intelligent beings on exoplanets:
For centuries, theologians have argued over what the existence of life elsewhere in the universe would mean for the Church: at least since Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, was put to death by the Inquisition in 1600 for claiming that other worlds exist.
Among other things, extremely alien-looking aliens would be hard to fit with the idea that God “made man in his own image”.
Furthermore, Jesus Christ’s role as saviour would be confused: would other worlds have their own, tentacled Christ-figures, or would Earth’s Christ be universal?
However, just as the Church eventually made accommodations after Copernicus and Galileo showed that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, and when it belatedly accepted the truth of Darwin’s theory of evolution, Catholic leaders say that alien life can be aligned with the Bible’s teachings.
Father Jose Funes, a Jesuit astronomer at the Vatican Observatory and one of the organisers of the conference, said: “As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God.
“This does not conflict with our faith, because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God.”
Not everyone agrees. Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist and author of The Goldilocks Enigma, told The Washington Post that the threat to Christianity is “being downplayed” by Church leaders. He said: “I think the discovery of a second genesis would be of enormous spiritual significance.
“The real threat would come from the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence, because if there are beings elsewhere in the universe, then Christians, they’re in this horrible bind.
“They believe that God became incarnate in the form of Jesus Christ in order to save humankind, not dolphins or chimpanzees or little green men on other planets.”
The Academy conference will include presentations from scientists – by no means all of them Christians – on the discovery of planets outside our solar system, the geological record of early life on Earth, how life might have started on Earth, and whether “alien” life of a different biochemistry to our own might exist here without our knowing, among many other things.
There has been many rumors in the past the Catholic Church has already been privy to the knowledge of intelligent ETs and have been part of a cover-up to keep a lid on things until the world is ready for such information.
These rumors could be just so much tinfoil, but what if it is true?
It would give much credence to the extraterrestrial theory of UFOs, cattle mutilations and abduction of people against their will.
Although I’m not going to hold my breath any time soon about ‘disclosure’.