Archive for April, 2009
Here’s another article that details Roman Catholic perspectives on extraterrestrial life. As noted before, I’m not catholic, and so I have some reservations and disagreements about the content / approach of the author of this article. Nevertheless, readers ought to be aware of catholci scholarship on the issue. Here’s the abstract of the article:
This paper explores the relationship between Incarnation and extraterrestrial life in view of the question: can extraterrestrials be saved? The Franciscan theology of Bonaventure and Scotus is used to explore ‘‘exoChristology” by examining the Incarnation as a theological rather than anthropological event. The primacy of Christ, held by Franciscan theologians, provides an integral relationship between Christ and creation. From this relationship, it is shown that Incarnation takes place wherever there is intelligible life. It is suggested that all possible worlds, created through the Word of God, bear a spiritual potency within them and are open to spiritual transformation. The divine Word is incarnate in every created order through the appropriate form of intelligible life within that order and completes that order through love. Because Incarnation may take on other extraterrestrial life forms, it is suggested that there may be multiple incarnations but only one Christ.
Here is another good academic treatment of catholic perspectives on the interface of Christian (catholic) theology and ET life. Readers are reminded that I am not catholic, and so I don’t endorse all the approaches and conclusions in the article. I just wish non-catholic theologians were as interested.
I’m guessing I have some C2C listeners as readers, so I thought I’d blog this even though it’s outside the realm of UFOs and religion.
Ryan and Bob Wood are the guests tonight on the show. The topic is the MJ12 documents. I’ve had some people email me with some sort of teaser that the Woods are going to produce new evidence that the documents are real. Here’s my prediction for this C2C show — it’ll be just more of the same. Why? Read on.
The Woods will of course present their forensic work on the documents, which is old news. If they comment on forensic linguistic evidence and Carol Chaski, be warned, and do not be deceived. Carol is the forensic linguist I hired two years ago to do some MJ12 document testing, the results of which I presented in Roswell at the annual festival. Carol is an expert in her field (see this link for links about Carol). The Woods aren’t going to say anything that undermines Carol’s forensic LINGUISTIC work — at least if they are honest about things. Carol Chaski’s linguistic research is far different from the CSI kinds of forensic work the Woods have done (and done well). How do I know their appearance isn’t going to advance the discussion? Because Carol and I had a phone conversation just prior to the 2008 6th annual UFO conference in Las Vegas. Why does that matter? Because Bob Wood had asked Carol to do some testing for him of some of the MJ documents (this was after her work for me, naturally) and he was going to report on that work at the 2008 conference. This alone was humorous, given Ryan Wood’s near hysterical response, conveyed by many willfully uninformed people on the internet, to Carol’s work for me (if Carol didn’t know what she was talking about, why would his dad, Bob, ask her to do work for him?1
Anyway, Carol asked me if I was going to the Vegas event (I was not). She was specifically concerned that Bob Wood would misrepresent her results and conclusions — which, she added were consistent with her work for me — that a number of the MJ12 documents that bore authorship names were NOT authored by the people whose names appeared as authors. She was concerned Bob Wood would skewer her work and make it sound like her work proved the MJ 12 documents when it did not. I told her not to worry about it — I think Bob Wood has integrity and, as a scientist, would appreciate her conclusions and not misrepresent them, noting where she thought more work needed to be done. Ryan Wood is a different case altogether, as his behavior has shown.
So, I would expect this is much ado about nothing. And, for the record, Carol and I would be happy to appear with the Woods on this matter whenever schedules on all parties permitted. It would be nice to incldue Stan Friedman, too, since he uncharacteristically inept when it came to understanding (actually, even KNOWING) my position on alien life and the MJ12 documents. Maybe if Stan were on such a panel he’d be forced to actually listen.
- As usual for “internet UFO researchers,” NO ONE (as in zero) actually emailed me and asked about my conclusions, nor did anyone actually quote the document. What a surprise. I was very cautious about the conclusions — the UFO / ET issue does NOT hinge on the MJ12 documents. They are separate issues. Anyone who actually gets the PDF of the report and reads it will know this. And if there are intelligent ETs, they do not need to be demons, as anyone who reads this blog knows, or anyone who’s actually taken the time to view my lecture on ETs and Christianity. Lastly, I didn’t pay Carol “thousands of dollars” — it was around $1500 as I recall — a lot for me, but not huge to most people. ↩
Many of you are likely familiar with the Alexander Religious Crisis Survey (1994) conducted by Victoria Alexander. If you’ve heard me speak on whether Christianity can accommodate a genuine ET reality (news flash for Ryan Wood and Stan Friedman: this a subject I’ve lecture on a number of times at UFO festivals, and my answer is “yes”), you know that I’ve been critical of that survey since its questions are at times poorly worded, and the target audience lacks important nuancing (e.g., there’s no evangelical or fundamentalist representation in it — the groups most likely to respond negatively — and there was no attempt to include the laity, only ministers). These oversights result in uncertainty regarding the validity of its conclusion that, contra the Brookings Report of 1961, the revelation of intelligent ET life most ministers wouldn’t be bothered.
The Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey addresses those weaknesses in good measure. While not hitting certain things that I think ought to have been included, it’s a much better survey. Readers can visit the survey site at the above link, where summaries of the questions and results are available, as well as the complete survey documents.