Looking to The Heavens for Alien Life
Church Leaders call in Experts to Discuss Implications of Astrobiology



Looking to The Heavens for Alien Life
Church Leaders call in Experts to Discuss Implications of Astrobiology

News Coverage of the Vatican's conference on the possibility of alien life. E.T. phone Rome.

Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.


E.T. phone Rome

Science and Religion do not always blend well together in some cases but the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of alien life and what it would mean to the Catholic Church.

Some believe that an event such as discovering an intelligent alien life would be catastrophic for religion as a whole.


"The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration," said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.

Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology — the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos. 


Funes said the possibility of alien life raises "many philosophical and theological implications" but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue.

Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said it was appropriate that the Vatican would host such a meeting.

"Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe," he told a news conference Tuesday.

"There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe."

Thirty scientists, including non-Catholics, from the U.S., France, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Chile attended the conference, called to explore among other issues "whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds."


 
'E.T. Phone Rome.' The Vatican Ponders Alien Life. News reports on the Vatican exploring the possibility of the existence of alien/Extraterrestrial Life at a week- long conference attended by 30 Scientist.