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Old 19-09-2010, 06:16 AM   #1
piratecooper
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Default Pope’s astronomer would be pleased to baptize

Pope’s astronomer would be pleased to baptize an alien“no matter how many tentacles it has.”
By Lounge Daddy, 18 September, 2010, No Comment

Guy Consolmagno, astronomer to the pope, is profiled in the Economist. What’s getting a bit of interest is the story that he says intelligent design is “bad theology” to begin with; and complains that the phrase itself has been “hijacked” by American creationist fundamentalists.

Science and religion aren’t mutually exclusive; and I think most scientists and religious people do feel that way. It’s possible for one idea to inform the other. I believe that.

But the science vs religion thing quickly gets boring to me.

Here’s the interesting story: He also would be “delighted” to discover intelligent extraterrestrial life. He added that he would he happy to baptize an alien; but, of course, “only if they asked.”

Here’s the short article about Brother Guy Consolmagno. I skipped the dull intelligent design crap.

Guy Consolmagno, one of the pope’s astronomers, said he would be ‘delighted’ if intelligent life was found among the stars.

Aliens might have souls and could choose to be baptised if humans ever met them, a Vatican scientist said today.

Guy Consolmagno, who is one of the pope’s astronomers, said he would be “delighted” if intelligent life was found among the stars. “But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it – when you add them up it’s probably not a practical question.”

Speaking ahead of a talk at the British Science Festival in Birmingham tomorrow, he said that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” Would he baptise an alien? “Only if they asked.”

Consolmagno, who became interested in science through reading science fiction, said that the Vatican was well aware of the latest goings-on in scientific research. “You’d be surprised,” he said.

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. 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.”

Consolmagno curates the pope’s meteorite collection and is a trained astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican’s observatory.

Consolmagno’s comments came as the pope made his own remarks about science this morning at St Mary’s University College in Twickenham. Speaking to pupils, he encouraged them to look at the bigger picture, over and above the subjects they studied.

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. Galileo confirmed that the Earth went around the sun – and not the other way around – and was charged with heresy in 1633. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest in Tuscany. Only in 1992 did Pope John Paul admit that the church’s treatment of Galileo had been a mistake.

Consolmagno said it was a “complete coincidence” that he was speaking at the British Science Festival at the same time as the papal visit.

http://www.datelinezero.com/?p=3891
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