Archive for September 29th, 2010

First noted over at Triablogue

You got to read the original article for yourself here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/17/pope-astronomer-baptise-aliens

It’s about a Jesuit name Guy Consolmagno who is also an Astronomer

I think there’s a lot of ironies reading this.  I’m sure readers can point out even more.

Irony 1: “Aliens might have souls and could choose to be baptised if humans ever met them, a Vatican scientist said today. The official also dismissed intelligent design as “bad theology” that had been “hijacked” by American creationist fundamentalists.”

Thoughts: Intelligent alien life versus intelligent design.  It’s amazing the guy can speculate that aliens have souls, a claim that is non-empirical in nature and beyond his scope of astronomy.  Then he talks about baptizing them! What an interesting theology, I don’t know if he can find the support of Tradition or Scripture to support that kind of theology…and he then goes ahead to call intelligent design “bad theology”.  What’s ironic, Catholics subscribe to the teaching that God created the world, which “American creationist fundamentalists” also believes, and their attempt at intelligent design (arguing for an intelligent Designer) is seen as bad theology.

Irony 2: “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.”

Thoughts: How he come to this? Tentacles…of Aliens or of Octopus?

Irony 3: “The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, of which Stephen Hawking is a member, keeps the senior cardinals and the pope up-to-date with the latest scientific developments.

Thoughts: Oh my! In light of Hawking latest statements, this is quite amazing to know that Hawking is a member of the Pope’s academy of Science.

Irony 4: “Responding to Hawking’s recent comments that the laws of physics removed the need for God, Consolmagno said: “Steven Hawking is a brilliant physicist and when it comes to theology I can say he’s a brilliant physicist.’

Thoughts: What?

Irony 5: “He dismissed the ideas of intelligent design – a pseudoscientific version of creationism. “The word has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn’t originally mean at all.

Thoughts: Thoughts on Intelligent design, after his thoughts on intelligent life in space. Ironic.  And what does the word originally mean anyways before it was hijacked?  What does it mean now, as oppose to what it once mean? Wish the article could have elaborated.

Irony 6: “It’s another form of the God of the gaps. It’s bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning.”

Thoughts: Wait, how does ID turn God into the pagan conception of a god of thunder and lighting, as opposed to a Catholic conception of God? I would like to see the argument fleshed out on this one.

Irony 7: “Speaking to pupils, he encouraged them to look at the bigger picture, over and above the subjects they studied. “The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious or ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding of the world,” he said. “We need good historians and philosophers and economists, but if the account they give of human life within their particular field is too narrowly focused, they can lead us seriously astray.””

Thoughts: He argues for religion to influence science…judging from his exclusion of American Protestant Creationists, I suppose one can say he’s talking about Catholic Creationist (they do believe God is Creator too).

Irony 8: “The pope’s astronomer said the Vatican was keen on science and admitted that the church had got it “spectacularly wrong” over its treatment of the 17th century astronomer Galileo Galilei.‘”

Thoughts: What is the implication of stating something like Consolmagno did, back in the 17th Century?

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