The BBC reports on the NASA Kepler space telescope, and how the mission hopes to identify remote planetary systems (Is there anybody out there?). The article features a number of commentaries, including one from Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican’s observatory. Apparently he’s confident there is extra-terrestrial intelligent life because
The Bible has many references to, or descriptions of, non-human intelligent beings; after all, that’s what angels are.
Fortunately the Vatican has come to terms with heliocentric astronomy nowadays. But still, it must be fairly challenging to be a Vatican astronomer. Brother Guy is pleasingly realistic about the likelihood of making contact with aliens in his lifespan (but I guess that means he doesn’t expect to meet angels). He has had an interesting career before becoming a Jesuit (and actually afterwards) and ending up at the Vatican Observatory, judging from his web page. He’s certainly well-qualified as a planetary scientist, and he sounds like someone it would be interesting to talk to. I’d love to know how he squares science with religion.