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Pope’s Astronomer Would Baptize Aliens, Rejects “Intelligent Design”

5 April 2011
This is old news—originally written for a graduate class at the University of Colorado in Sept., 2010. But I’m publishing it here, now, because I think it’s well-written and fits the theme of this blog. And because I think it’s fascinating that a man who is so logical about ID/Creationism and is willing to consider the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life also believes in non-physical souls and practices archaic rituals to “cleanse” them.

If extraterrestrial beings ever visit the Vatican, they might ask to be baptized—and could be, according to one of the Pope’s astronomers. Catholic scientist Guy Consolmagno recently [as of 20 Sept., 2010] told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper that aliens could meet the traditional requirements for having a soul: intelligence and free will.”Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul,” Consolmagno was quoted as saying.

Consolmagno also commented on the Intelligent Design movement that many see as trying to place Creationism side by side with Darwinian evolution in U.S. school curricula. He told the Guardian that “the word has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn’t originally mean at all. 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.”

Consolmagno studies astronomy and planetary science at the Vatican observatory and is curator of the pope’s meteorite collection. He was in the U.K. to speak at the British Science Festival in Birmingham.

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