Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Aliens are My Brother?

No, not that brother. The generic Biblical one.

The title of this post is the same as the one written by a Vatican astronomer who claims that a search for life on Mars, or even SETI, is acceptable because G*d could have created life on other planets.

The short article raises a few semi-serious questions.

If life on other planets falls into the category of "brother", then do all other forms of life on earth fall into that protected category? That would move the Catholic Church deep into the territory of PETA and general tree-hugger environmentalism, which is wildly at odds with their implicit endorsement of neo-con Republicans by actively opposing environmentalist Democrats via single-issue politics.

Does this imply that sentient life on other planets would have souls, and that Christ would have had to be incarnated there to save those souls? If so, that would cause some complications for doctrinal opposition to the claims of Mormons ... unless its done on a one-visit-per-planet basis. OK, so no real problem there, and a good reason for the Church to build missionary rockets just to be sure.

The comment about the possibility that aliens might be free from original sin was especially interesting. My view has long been that Original Sin is code for the animal instincts that remain in our genetic wiring as a result of the way evolution works, what Freud called the Id. How could an alien not have to deal with a similar life history?

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