Okay, so I’m sort of conflicted over something. I love the Catholic Church, I’m heavily involved in my univerity’s Catholic youth group, I feel like I could only ever date (and especially marry) a Catholic girl, and while I try to keep it separate from religion, I’m the president of my university’s pro-life group.
However, I’m also REALLY into scientific stuff, especially astronomy. I took a break from college for nearly two years, and I got into watching Wonders of the Solar System/Universe (with Brian Cox) and How the Universe Works (plus I took 2 astronomy classes when I came back to college). It absolutely fascinates me there’s 1x10^20+ stars in the universe, making us humans here on Earth basically a boson that makes up the universe, yet many of these stars (if not a vast majority) have planets, and we are finding some that are Earth-sized (so far 1800 exoplanets have been discovered, some of which are Earth-sized and are in the “habital zone”). Plus, life on Earth has shown to thrive in the most extreme places (like 2 km under the ocean around a hydrothermal vent, where it’s pitch black, the atmospheric pressure is over 100 atmospheres, and the water is heated to nearly 800 degrees F, yet there’s actual complex organisms just living it up down there), so it suggests that if life can exist in the most extreme environments that are more similar to the conditions on other bodies even in our own solar system (such as under the soil on Mars, in the oceans under the ice surfaces of Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceledus, and possibly even in the liquid methane lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan), then it almost seems certain that life could exist everywhere in the universe; even in environments that are completely different than the Earth.
However, I always think, how can The Bible and how it explains humanity here on Earth encompass the rest of the universe, especially if there is indeed life on trillions upon trillions of worlds? If the life on another world is in any way intelligent (like us), could Jesus have gone to those worlds and saved them, too? Given this (along with the constant angry rhetoric from atheists, which you can’t avoid these days, especially if you’re involved in the pro-life movement), I hate to say it, but often my belief in God (at least as we know Him) does sometimes become rocky. But lately, the real kicker has been my mom, who you could say is a borderline fundamentalist Catholic. While she acts interested in my talks/TV shows about astronomy, for the most part she thinks it’s a waste of time and thinks a lot of it isn’t true because it contradicts the Bible. She HUGELY believes there is no life anywhere else in the universe that’s more complex than bacteria (she said she’d bet me $10,000 that there isn’t), and tonight, as I was watching one of the latest episodes of How the Universe Works, in which they were talking about preserving the human race (in the case the world ends) by building and launching an interstellar “ark” to another planet and how it could be done, my mom thought it was the dumbest idea ever, as not only does she think it’s simply impossible, she says the human race will simply die off when the world ends, no questions asked, as that’s what it says in the Bible.
While of course the technology to even begin to build a spaceship that can go between planets hasn’t even begun to be far off, so that isn’t science fact (yet at least), she denies a lot of things that could very well be science fact, and if what she says is true to what the Catholic Church believes……I actually find the science to be more believable than the Bible, therefore further making my belief in God more rocky. (Not to mention, she gets a little mad when she explains all of this, which also doesn’t help).
So basically, I’m just asking what is the Church’s position on how the Bible can also encompass the rest of the universe in how it all fits into God’s plan, what the Church’s stance on the possibility of there being life on other worlds (especially intelligent life), and what the Church’s position is on the possibility of sending humans out into space to live on other planets and restore the human race elsewhere, therefore “cheating” the end of humanity? Again, I will definitely say my belief in God has been shaky lately, as the science just seems to make more sense, so I do need some reaffirming He exists.