Another Earth?


#21

Why would it…the same God created it all, even if there is intelligent life in multitude, it just means God likes to create. Just look at the wide variety of life that has been on this planet alone…that tells me God is extremely creative,

I believe it is probably like Star wars or Star trek, LOTS of different systems, LOTS of different types of life.


#22

I do agree, but there is always that possibility a race could claim to be our creators…if that ever happened, it could threaten our religion, lots of people already believe ‘they’ seeded the earth or we are some experiment, would not take much to convince the other sheeple everything they have been taught is wrong.


#23

It really depends on how you define the question. Could such findings negatively affect an individual’s faith? That is, could someone lose faith as a result of new findings? If intelligent life is found on another planet, there are a number of possibilities:
[LIST=1]
*]They may have experienced Christ in some manner as their savior.
An individual may lose faith when he realizes that humans are not as unique as he once thought. Alternatively, he may lose faith when he realizes the manner that the aliens experienced Christ is contrary to what had been the accepted understanding of how Christ acted and continues to act.
*]They may never have experienced Christ.
An individual may lose faith when he discovers God has created intelligent life, and one may suppose souls, without apparently giving them a means of salvation.
*]They may not be fallen, as you suggest - an idea that had never occurred to me before.
An individual may lose faith when he reflects on the contrast between the difficult life he leads and that of the non-fallen aliens.[/LIST]So I think there are a variety of ways that one (or many) could lose faith based on first contact with intelligent life on another planet.


#24

Well, all we know is that it can support liquid water and possibly life. It is not confirmed that there is life in that planet.

And if there was, it might not have any sapient free-willed beings like humans.


#25

If someone non-earthly had visited this world two billion years ago, “he” would have found nothing to admire, just a volcanic rock with a steam atmosphere.

If “he” had arrived ten-million years ago, “he” would have seen a living world, but no mind: nothing to rewrite his philosophy, if any, over.

So even if another world seems from the ground to be a copy of Earth (it almost certainly won’t be), the odds that we would hit the perfect window and find our kind of minded-body life are vanishingly small.

I’ll wait to change my beliefs until I find empirical reasons to, thank you. “What-if” questions **can be **fun, but are the poorest stuff to anchor a worldview to.

Shalom and ICXC NIKA.


#26

That is based on incomplete information. We don’t know how long human life will continue on Earth.

I have read that the Sun will turn into a red giant that may engulf the Earth in another 5 billion years. If human life continues until that time, and we assume that Earth is ~ 4 billion years old now, then an alien encountering our planet would have a greater than 50% chance of finding intelligent life here.


#27

Keep in mind that Venus and Mars are in the “Goldilocks Zone” - not too hot or cold, where life as we know it can be sustained and that means that, with Earth, we have 1 planet in 3 that supports life. If you look widely, it isn’t clear that Earth is the rule or the exception as far as supporting life.


#28

I don’t think it would affect our faith (i.e., what the Church teaches) in any negative way whatsoever. God is still the Creator, and He can create as many worlds as He wishes.

(It might cause trouble for someone who does not understand the Faith very well and thinks it is tied to a geocentric world view.)

It would, however, raise some interesting issues.

Suppose, for example, that it were proven that the planet is not only inhabitable, but inhabited by intelligent creatures. Clearly, intelligent aliens would be just as much in the image and likeness of God as we are. But there are interesting things to speculate about:

[LIST=1]
*]Is this species of intelligent creatures also subject to Original Sin? If not, do they still retain their integral (i.e., unfallen) nature? If yes, is it through the sin of their own “Adam” or through ours?
*]Should they be evangelized?
*]Could they receive Baptism?
[/LIST]

An interesting take on this topic is C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (especially the first two, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra.)


#29

Exactly. Distance from the sun isn’t all that governs biological life. Else Luna, which shares our slot in the “zone”, would be a living world.

ICXC NIKA


#30

The only thing that negatively impacts our faith is doubt.
When one allows the evil one to place doubt in our minds…and to question every single detail, every word, every phrase in the Bible, every motive of the Church Fathers, every dogma, every devotion, then he wins. He takes us from a place of trust and love for the Creator and tricks us into believing that we have found that “gotcha” moment. Like God can’t be in control, like God does not have a plan, and that we are smarter than God. He colors outside of the lines, and uses a black crayon.
Doubt.
It’s deadly.

God has revealed many beautiful and intriguing scientific things to us. But it doesn’t change our faith or the reality of God’s plan.

God bless.


#31

Not in the slightest. The Catholic faith doesn’t address the issue, either pro or con. It would be entirely different if the Catholic faith definitely stated as a part of dogma that there is or isn’t intelligent alien life out there. However, that isn’t the case.


#32

Certainly an individual could have their faith negatively impacted. The question asked was if our faith would be negatively impacted. I was interpreting that question from the standpoint of the Catholic religion in general.

Individually, it may be challenging from the standpoint that the person is encountering something that had been completely foreign to their understanding of what it means to have faith. We deal with that now without the introduction of an intelligent alien species into the mix.


#33

I broke this story on CAF last week when it was just a rumour. Now it has been confirmed but it doesn’t actually mean what the headlines are saying it does, even though the discovery of a rocky planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, undoubtedly is the discovery of the decade.

The scientists know nothing, at the moment, regarding the atmospheric composition of the planet or whether it even has an atmosphere. There is no evidence of life on this planet - there cannot be, since astromoners are yet to have seen it during a transit so as to test for such things.

The significance of the discovery is that the nearest planet to earth outside our solar system - just over 4 light years away, a tiny distance in space terms - is in the habitable zone of its parent star and is a rocky world similar in proportions to the Earth. But Venus in our own solar system is the same and it is an inhospitable desert of immense heat. Proxima Centauri b could be like our own evil twin in that respect. Or it might be cold and lifeless like Mars. Or it might be host to microbial life or more advanced life forms. Who knows? We’ll know when scientists eventually look for its composition through advanced space telescopes like the ones set to launch in 2018 and 2022 or if they are lucky enough to catch a transit before then.

This is a stroke of immense good fortune for the human race, since the Centauri star system is potentially observable by humans through advanced telescopes and/or probes.

It will likely become, therefore, our interstellar gateway in the distant future and in the near future our laboratory for understanding exoplanets.


#34

Agreed.

More likely than not, the discovered planet is not inhabitable.

To me, the most exciting part of this discovery is it’s close proximity to Earth. It makes me wonder if planets in a habitable zone is actually a common occurrence.


#35

Thanks!


#36

I dont think it will affect our faith in a negative way if life is found elsewhere. Just yesterday I was thinking if life could evolve as machinery. Just look how complicated we are as life. Could there be a planet that has “transformers” that evolved that way?


#37

Will the new telescopes be able to pick up the presence of water on a transit? Maybe an absorption band? That would be the most interesting question that I’d like answered.


#38

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