Not many people realize that the Vatican has an expensive state-of-the-art observatory in Arizona that they are using to search for extraterrestrial life (and they hope to have results soon!) The facility is run by Jesuit Jose Gabriel Funes, who is also an astronomer. Did they pick Arizona not only for its clear skies, but also because of the Phoenix Lights?
In the Huffington Post, Ariel David quotes Funes as saying, "The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration." Funes adds that the possibility of alien life raises "many philosophical and theological implications."
David quotes astronomy professor Chris Impey as saying, "If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs bio-chemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound."
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