Vatican astronomer says if aliens exist, they may not need redemption
(03-16-2011, 01:18 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(03-15-2011, 02:58 AM)randomtradguy Wrote: Did anyone mention a pope's (I think Pope Zachary) who said (or defined infallibly, I forget) that aliens don't exist?
He said something like, if anyone says their are people like us but not descended from Adam, let him be anathema; i.e., it is false to believe there are sentient being besides humans, who aren't spiritual beings (angels and demons)

Based solely on what you posted, that sounds more like he is condemning the idea that humans evolved simultaneously around the globe in several different communities.  I don't think he's anathematizing the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, but rather the idea that not all humans are descended from one original parental pairing.

quote from Bonifacius on an earlier thread:

St. Zachary in 752 replied to St. Boniface regarding the teachings of a certain Virgilius, who may or may not be St. Virgilius of Salzburg.  Pope Zachary condemns the notion that there is another "mundus" or "world" housing "other humans" (alii homines).  (I cannot find a Latin text online that I can copy and paste easily at length.)  Virgilius apparently was accused of saying there were men at the antipodes -- i.e. on the opposite side of the earth.  The antipodes were commonly thought to be completely inaccessible.  Hence, any race of men there would not be descended from Adam and Eve.  Hence, these residents of the antipodes would constitute another race of humans not descended from Adam and Eve.  The upshot of Pope Zachary's message:  there are no men not descended from Adam and Eve.  The world of man we know is all there is.  As it turns out there were men at the Antipodes, but the Antipodes were accessible all along.  Hence, we all come from Adam and Eve.

Now, does that mean there are no other non-human rational animals?  At the time of St. Zachary, the Antipodes were regarded practically as we would regard another planet -- completely cut off from our own world.  To deny the existence of humans of another race at the Antipodes is tantamount to denying the existence of another race of intelligent corporeal beings on another planet.  That seems reasonable to me.  Plus, do we not define "human being" as "rational animal"?  If there are intelligent space aliens, why can there not be "alii homines"?  How much like us would these aliens have to be before they fell under Pope Zachary's condemnation?  Where in the 6 days of creation are we to fit these space aliens?  What day of creation were they made?  Did these space aliens also have an Eden somewhere?  Was the Serpent there, too?  Has God given them grace?  If so, have they fallen from it?  If so, has a Person of the Trinity become incarnate there, with another Immaculate Conception?  If they have not fallen from grace, how do they relate to the Incarnation of God on this planet?  The angels worship Christ -- what about these space aliens?

All rubbish.  Once we introduce the notion that there are rational animals other than man, once we think that there are rational animals not descended from Adam and Eve and not redeemed by the New Adam, at whose side stands the New Eve, Christianity goes to pieces.  We learn in the catechism that there are three types of intelligent beings:  God, angels, and men.  Period.  If St. Pio of Pietrelcina said something different, he would be saying something quite, quite novel, which is good reason to suspect he has been misquoted until positive evidence arises that he actually said this.  The burden of proof is always on the person advancing the attribution of the quotation.   
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Re: Vatican astronomer says if aliens exist, they may not need redemption - by randomtradguy - 03-16-2011, 02:04 AM



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