We come in peace!: Parts of this "actual photo" come from NASA.
We come in peace!: Parts of this "actual photo" come from NASA.Courtesy Mark Ryan
Wow...this news item surprises me on a couple fronts. I didn't know the Vatican had an astronomer and he says it's okay to believe in aliens and UFOs if you'd like.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

mdr's picture
mdr says:

Hi Thor, I hope you don't mind my adding this astounding photo of an actual alien to your post.

posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 10:51am
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Is he/she/it saying "Nanu nanu" or "Live long and prosper"?

posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 11:02am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

I don't know. There was no audio included with the photograph.

posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 11:21am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research institutes in the world. (Who do you think did all the calculations that led to the Gregorian calendar?) It has a history of adamantly defending science alongside religion.

As for believing in aliens, my brother and I discussed this back in fourth grade or so. We realized that, if there was intelligent life on other planets, Jesus would have to be born into and redeem each one, over and over again, for billions of years. Seemed like an awful way to spend eternity. ;-)

posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 4:33pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

You and your brother obviously had no faith in the innate goodness of intelligent creatures. At least some lifeforms evolving on the billions of inhabited planets would have surely made the correct choice concerning any Directives given them during their early development.

posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 7:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

No, we were simply developing a theological application for the Drake equation! ;-)

The equation, developed in 1961 by astronomer Frank Drake tries to calculate how many intelligent races exist in the galaxy. It starts with the number of stars in the galaxy (about 100 billion) and then figures X% of those stars have planets; and Y% of stars with planets have planets that can support life; and Z% of planets that can support life actually do support life; and so on.

The problem is that, for many of the variables in the equation, we have absolutely no idea what numbers to use. Even worse, some people -- including some scientists who really should know better -- try to describe the entire galaxy based on their study of just one planet: Earth. They will say, for example, that of all the planets we know that can support life (one, the Earth), 100% of them do support life. Therefore, they conclude, life is inevitable.

If this kind of reasoning is good enough for SETI, then it's good enough for us. My brother and I simply applied it to theology: of all the planets we know of where mortal beings could sin against God, 100% of them did!

And, before people start writing in with all kinds of complaints, let me remind everybody:

Irony is a subtle art.

posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 8:20pm
nelson.robin's picture
nelson.robin says:

im not go even lie i do believe in aliens i really believe that there is another university and just how we look at them they look at us scary lol but fa real i do believe in aliens.....

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 8:51am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I believe in another university, too -- just not Ann Arbor. ;-)

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:31am
Shanee's picture
Shanee says:

I personally believe there is another species of life out there somwhere...and aliens are cool i think...i just dont think we will ever find it. :(

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 8:56am
andyshadexx's picture
andyshadexx says:

to me it doesn't matter if there are or there aren't any aliens, but i do believe that there are other life form that we haven't discover yet.

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey well i think there r aliens so shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 12:35pm
Looney_Tooney's picture
Looney_Tooney says:

Oh DANG!!!!
If aliens were real, man i'd be like those guys off of Scary Movie 3...

U Kno Wat Im Sayin!!!

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:15am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

There's another discussion about life outside the solar system going on in this thread.

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:30am
Iam Toosmart's picture
Iam Toosmart says:

I want to know if there really are alians in space. Because everybody in my class says that there is because of books, and websites. I don't rerally beleive them. Is there such thing? If they were real, what would they look like?

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 1:50pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Nobody knows. Books and websites are fun, and they may contain good information, but so far there is no evidence of any aliens.

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 3:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

are aliens actually real. It doesnt seem like it.

posted on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 8:24am
scienceguy2288383's picture
scienceguy2288383 says:

Alians are real they are just hidding and they are to fast for us to see them. But we shouldn't desturb them.

posted on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 8:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Yes. They. Are.
FINALLY SOMEONE BELIEVES ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 10:16am

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