Saturday, 3 September 2011

Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life

Hello Bishop, I would like to ask you if you think believing in the existance of extraterrestrial life contradicts a belief in the Catholic faith? I know some traditional Catholics don't believe in aliens in outer space, but at the same time I hear people like Dr Michio Kaku and Dr Stephen Hawkings say that there probably is other intelligent life in the universe. Ruben H

We should retain on open mind on such matters until proof positive one way or the other arrives. I hold the view that the likelihood of intelligent extraterrestrial life is remote at best and most probably non-existent. I emphasise that we are discussing intelligent extraterrestrial life and not low level life forms such as might occur where certain elements are present. This might surprise some people who have come across comments fraudulently attributed to me on the internet and the proliferation of same by someone particularly hostile towards me and my Christian faith. Regarding the latter, I do not regard the two scientists referred to as supporting the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life as being (a) Christian, or (b) believers in God as that belief would be defined and understood by traditional Christians and especially those in the Catholic Church.

Michio Kaku (born 24 January 1947) is an American theoretical physicist, the co-founder of string field theory, and a "communicator" and "populariser" of science. Light-cone string field theories, however, were introduced by Stanley Mandelstam and developed by Mandelstam, Michael Green, John Schwarz and Lars Brink. An explicit description of the second-quantisation of the light-cone string was given by Michio Kaku and Keiji Kikkawa. According to Michio Kaku, about 30% of scientists (polled since WWII) are religious and believe in God, and he says he believes the Bible is scientific. Michio Kaku also says: "I work in something called String Theory which makes the statement that we are reading the mind of God. It’s based on music or little vibrating strings thus giving us particles that we see in nature. The laws of chemistry that we struggled with in high school would be the melodies that you can play on these vibrating strings. The Universe would be a symphony of these vibrating strings and the mind of God that Einstein wrote about at length would be cosmic music resonating through this nirvana … through this eleven dimensional hyperspace — that would be the mind of God. We physicists are the only scientists who can say the word 'God' and not blush." He further explains: "Einstein believed in two types of Gods, for example. He did not believe in a personal God, or a God of intervention. He did not believe that God answered our prayers. But he did believe that there was a God of Spinoza. This is the God of Harmony. He said we are like children entering a huge library for the first time, not knowing how to read the thousands of books that are beyond our understanding."

The Cambridge research biologist Stephen Hawking (born 8 January 1942) was originally more in line with the direction of traditional thinking on God with his famous book A Brief History of Time in which he said: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.” Unfortunately, in his new book The Grand Design and in a companion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Hawking now says God is unnecessary after all. Stephen Hawking's interests have been in thermodynamics, relativity, and quantum mechanics. Hawking's key scientific works to date have included providing, with Roger Penrose, theorems regarding gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation (or sometimes as Bekenstein–Hawking radiation).

Any confusion which may have arisen over my position on intelligent extraterrestrial life is probably due to the online version of the Dorset Echo receiving comments falsely attributed to my name in the summer of 2007 that were widely disseminated to the effect that "mysterious lights" seen in the sky over that county, thought by some to be UFOs, were the "supernatural powers" conjured by a man who has made a career out of harassment and stalking; a man, moreover, who was sentenced to almost five years' imprisonment in the 1970s for vandalism, desecration and threatening police witnesses with black magic. This sad individual, noticing reports on television and in newspapers about strange lights over a coastal county, obviously felt there was potential mileage in this unusual phenomenon for his agenda, namely self-publicity and furthering his personal vendetta against a Christian bishop. The online comments in the Dorset Echo were unmoderated. One of his coterie, posting fraudulently in my name, claimed that the eerie lights over Dorset had nothing to do with UFOs but were the remarkable supernatural powers of the offender who in the past has unconvincingly claimed to be a "high priest of witchcraft." With stage one accomplished (publicity in a newspaper for the offender) it was time to post abuse against me; stage two having already been set in place because the original comment had been fraudulently attributed to me, which left the way open for a tirade of abuse in subsequent comments. However, the IP behind the fraudulent "Bishop Seán Manchester" comment proved to be identical to that of a member of the offender's cabal. The comments were immediately removed by the editor after his newspaper was alerted by my secretary who requested a record be kept for the police should the problem keep recurring. Needless to say, I do not believe (and have never believed) that the offender in question has any supernatural powers, or that he is anything other than an incorrigible hoaxer and a charlatan.

The same offender attempted to repeat the exercise last month when equally fraudulent comments appeared in the same newspaper under the name of a religious order (Ordo Sancti Graal) which I happen to oversee and am Superior General. The following false attribution was posted in the Dorset Echo:

"We recall a spate of UFOs sent to disturb our fair coastal region in 2007 and suspect that the current unpleasantness originates from the same demonically infested individual.”

Within a matter of a few hours of the bogus comments made on August 19th, the offender posted in the early hours of the next day what follows:

"Oh dear! I was just sent this report by somebody who spotted this in the '[Dorset] Echo' yesterday. I wouldn’t mind, except that ‘I’ am the ‘demonically infested’ person who was supposed to have sent a ‘biblical flood’ upon the quiet town ... yesterday. That newspaper reported that [the town] had suffered the worst rainfall for 30 years, and it was possibly related to a similar UFO invasion upon this fair tourist town (previously reported by the reliable '[Dorset] Echo') in the latter part of 2007. Needless to say, I was the ‘black magician’ held for being responsible for these alien disturbances, and , not least, for causing one particular resident to take refuge in his loo outside his bungalow [sic] on a cliff-top in [the town]. What can I say!? It is true that I am in personal contact with the Commander of the alien invasion force who plan to return to the planet Earth very soon, to ‘escort’ certain earthlings to their distant planet of Bonkinite for the purpose analysing, and eradicating certain forms of evil human behaviour."

Once again, the newspaper in question was contacted and informed of what was going on. They confirmed the geographical location of the IP behind the comments to be many miles removed from Ordo Sancti Graal, and immediately deleted the falsely attributed foolishness, promising to monitor the situation in future now they know for a fact that neither I nor my religious order (Ordo Sancti Graal) have ever posted comments on their newspaper website.

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