Voices from Russia

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Professor Osipov of the MDA says that Orthodoxy is Sceptical of the Existence of Intelligent Extraterrestrial Beings

A still-shot from the famous sci-fi classic film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)


Professor Aleksei Osipov, an eminent theologian at the Moscow Theological Academy (MDA) said:

From the point of Orthodox theology, there are no grounds for talking about extraterrestrial civilisations that have reason and are capable of creating artefacts. Such a position is based on the fact that allusions to intelligent extraterrestrial life-forms are not found in the New Testament. Secondly, there have been very many people in the Church who reached the highest degree of God-likeliness and sanctity, but, not one of them ever mentioned [extraterrestrial civilisations], although they spoke about many other things. This argument is very important. Besides, modern astronomy, in its advance into the depth of the Universe, still hasn’t found any planet with life similar to that on Earth. We have solid grounds to refuse to accept the existence of any intelligent extraterrestrial civilisation. The Orthodox Church didn’t consider this question on purpose to arrive to at a given conclusion. There are some theologians who studied the question of extraterrestrial civilisation and concluded that the universe is very rich and there are phenomena that remain unknown. However, they believe these to be astronomical phenomena, rather than spiritual ones.

Also on Wednesday, the chief astronomer of the Roman Catholic Church, Fr Gabriel Funes, stated that he does not rule out the possibility of life on other planets. In an article entitled “Extraterrestrials: My Brothers” in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, he wrote that other intelligent life-forms created by God might exist.

14 May 2008



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