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What’s the Catholic position on the existence of extra-terrestrial life?

Full Question

What’s the Catholic position on the existence of extra-terrestrial life?

Answer

There isn’t one, as such. Whether life exists on other planets is a scientific, not a theological, question. If life on other planets is ever discovered, there are theological questions which can be considered.

In his novel Perelandra C. S. Lewis speculated about the possibility of a fallen race (such as ours) influencing unfallen extra-terrestrials. We were affected by the fallen angel Satan. There’s nothing in the Bible to say humanity couldn’t have a similar effect on another race.

On the other hand, we might also play a part in the redemption of another race–a role in their salvation history. The good angels played an important part in ours (Mt 28:2-5; Acts 7:38, 53).

It’s possible God has set up multiple worlds, some fallen, some not, but there’s not the slightest scientific evidence he has. A few scientists, pandering to the tabloids, claim extra-terrestrials mustexist, based on the mathematical likelihood of other stars having planets, but their theories are scoffed at by nearly the entire scientific community.

The argument runs like this: If some of those planets have atmospheres like Earth’s, and if some of those Earth-like planets spontaneously generate amino acids, and if some of those amino acids result in higher life-forms, then intelligent life exists on other worlds. You’ll note a lot of “ifs” there.

To insist there must be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is to overstate the case. It’s also theologically irrelevant because the central tenets of Christianity remain intact with or without little green men.









6 comments

  1. Joseph Webb Reply

    The Vatican acknowledged the existence of ET’s a while back.

  2. sarah cutter Reply

    I think that god has not stopped creating after all didnt jesus say in my fathers house there are many mansions I go there to prepare aplace for you .so in my opinion heaven must b spread all over the universe who knows wat the lord has in store 4 for us.

  3. marriuszek Reply

    demons demons demons.. no extraterrestrials..

    1. joanne ford Reply

      i agree its demons

  4. matt Reply

    I feel certain there is life out there. God created a universe so he probably didn’t limit it to us. It would not challenge my beliefs at all….only reinforce them!

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