Good news for science from… the Vatican? No joke. Father Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory and chief astronomer for the Pope, has just issued a public statement stating the following things:
- Intelligent beings could exist in outer space.
- Life on Mars cannot be ruled out.
- The search for extraterrestrial life does not contradict belief in God.
- Next year, the Vatican is organizing a conference to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.
Whoa. And whoa’s wobbly cousin, woah. Did I just step into the 21st century? After my post last week on what Americans don’t know, I was feeling a little disheartened. Now I’m quite heartened again! Let’s recap. We see continual creation of stars all over the Universe:
We find organic molecules on other planets and in other star systems and galaxies:
And now we have the leaders of the Catholic church, hugely influential in the United States, telling us that searching for more information about our Universe is a fantastic thing that they should support!
He stated that no man on Earth has the authority to place limits on what he calls “God’s creative freedom.” You can give it whatever name you want; I choose to call it the laws of Nature, and the freedom arising from those natural processes. Either way, I’m happy to have the support to help search for it! Maybe there’s hope for us all, yet.