"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Another World (More Worldlies?)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another World (More Worldlies?)

Check out this fascinating article about the discovery of a solar system much like our own. I will never forget seeing my first photos of the earth from outer space as a child. I found them both fascinating and a little freaky, because I could not imagine that its creator would have chosen a tiny little portion of humanity for salvation. Here's an excerpt:

Astronomers said Wednesday that they had found a miniature version of our own solar system 5,000 light-years across the galaxy — the first planetary system that really looks like our own, with outer giant planets and room for smaller inner planets.

“It looks like a scale model of our solar system,” said Scott Gaudi, an assistant professor of astronomy at Ohio State University. Dr. Gaudi led an international team of 69 professional and amateur astronomers who announced the discovery in a news conference with reporters.

Their results are being published Friday in the journal Science. The discovery, they said, means that our solar system may be more typical of planetary systems across the universe than had been thought.

In the newly discovered system, a planet about two-thirds of the mass of Jupiter and another about 90 percent of the mass of Saturn are orbiting a reddish star at about half the distances that Jupiter and Saturn circle our own Sun. The star is about half the mass of the Sun.

Neither of the two giant planets is a likely abode for life as we know it. But, Dr. Gaudi said, warm rocky planets — suitable for life — could exist undetected in the inner parts of the system.

“This could be a true solar system analogue,” he said.

Wow! If there is anything that could enlarge our concepts of God and nature, it would be life on another planet. What do you think?


  1. To 4eyes...

    Stylux here...

    I do not know who you are and if you are willing to identify yourself... email Free and I hereby grant her permission to give you my email...

    Both MTH and Free know who I am. Perhaps that is not a blessing but we have had some fun

  2. Wouldn't life on another planet just be another nail in the coffin of religious superstition?

  3. Troll here

    "The total number of stars in the
    universe is greater than all the
    grains of sand on all the beaches
    of the earth."
    Carl Sagan

    Next time you are on a beach pick
    up a grain of sand and visualize
    it as our sun, look down the
    beach (only one of many on the
    earth) and get some idea of the
    insignificance of the earth in
    the universe .

    As you look down the beach do you
    think that the God that created
    the universe would have stopped
    at this pale blue spot in the
    sky as the only one suitable for
    life ?

    When one of our space craft
    passed near Pluto it looked
    back and took a picture of
    earth . It was only a small blue
    dot in the black sky.

    If life on another planet is
    discovered the impact on all
    religions would be enormous.

  4. exbuns, I doubt finding sentient life on another world would do anything to stop religious belief. (Although it would certainly give us a new perspective from which to examine our beliefs.)

    Would it change they way we believe? Would it change the way we pray? Here is a snippet from the current Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer, where we've tried to incorporate "cosmic" themes:

    God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.
    Glory to you for ever and ever.

    At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.
    By your will they were created and have their being.

    From the primal elements you brought forth the human race, and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill. You made us the rulers of creation. But we turned against you, and betrayed your trust; and we turned against one another.
    Have mercy, Lord, for we are sinners in your sight.

    Again and again, you called us to return. Through prophets and sages you revealed your righteous Law. And in the fullness of time you sent you only Son, born of a woman, to fulfill your Law, to open for us the way of freedom and peace.
    By his blood, he reconciled us. By his wounds, we are healed.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the aliens had their own religion(s) already, with haunting similiarities and jarring differences from our own.

    How long would it be before humans tried to prostelytize the aliens, or vice versa? :-)

  5. That would be SOOOO COOL!!!!!

  6. Watch out all the aliens, here we come to convert you! ;)

    As Tomte, I can't see any reason why finding life on another planet would harm religious belief. It would certainly mean some challenges the religions would have to face, but in essence it wouldn't be much different from the "discovery" of the "New World" in the middle ages. Personally I doubt there is life anywhere else in the Universe, but we don't know everything, and it's of course possible.

  7. hibernatus: I agree that finding life would not harm my religious beliefs, but I dont think I am in the majority :p It would take awhile for the mess to settle.