Watch and enjoy a relaxed and delightful debate between 2 of the Jesuit astronomers that I was fortunate enough to meet during my recent FAW course in Arizona. Both skilled scientists, clergy and communicators, Father Chris Corbally and Brother Guy Consolmagno share their openness and willingness to embrace the concept of meeting life elsewhere in the Universe and what it will mean to our understanding of God, his love and ultimately, ourselves.
If my recent instruction on how to plug in videos to my blog ( thanks, Cory–my webmaster–you are truly heaven sent 🙂 this link should bring you right to the video. If not, I hope that you will be patient enough to take the longer route to visit the Vatican Observatory You Tube channel ( yes, they really do have one ) and dial up the video “Extraterrestrial Life” .
Here are my musings:
I love the relaxed , thoughtful and respectful atmosphere of this discussion between two of the men who are closest to it, from both a scientific and theological perspective. Brother Guy has lectured many times on the concept of how life is defined, from a scientific point of view as well as a religious one and I have referenced some his points in previous posts. It is, after all, the foundation of this discussion—we can’t talk about how we will be impacted by the discovery of life elsewhere without having some understanding of what or who we are talking about when we use the term “life”.
To me, he hits it out of the ball park when he says “ Only by finding life elsewhere, will we really understand what it means to be alive. ” —adding the provocative and universal image of a baby who sees another baby for the first time. Beautiful—maybe this is what it is to find the ultimate truth and our place in a larger Universe. In order to understand where we fit–we have to see what the other puzzle pieces look like 🙂
I was especially touched by both Br. Guy and Fr. Chris’s genuine understanding of and empathy for people who may feel that the discovery of other life will make them feel smaller and less significant. This is a very real and human reaction but Fr. Chris points out that having to redefine our place in the Universe has already been happening all throughout our human history –and will continue with each new discovery that challenges our beliefs. But God’s love for us never changes and he points out with a smile that I found rather comforting and adds ” We never make God big enough.”
Both of these men of science and God conclude with a thought that really resonated with me and I think that we will likely come back to again and again, in some form or another:
“We have to be open to wherever science takes us”.
Stay tuned and join the conversation at any time —all thoughts and perspectives are welcome 🙂