I like Cracked.com, but sometimes…

…they need to have their writers do a little more research.  Case in point:

But America is far from the only nation worried about meeting ET. Even the Vatican is devoting serious thought to an idea formerly relegated to trailer parks and hill-folk. Father Jose Funes, speaking for the Vatican after its official conference on astrobiology (wait, what?), stated that the church has concluded that the existence of life on other planets would not invalidate anything in the Bible. And Guy Consolmagno, one of the pope’s astronomers (wait, double what?) said that he would be delighted to baptize any extra terrestrial life that comes his way, but “only if they asked.”

The Roman Catholic Church has been interested in astronomy as a scientific discipline for over four hundred years, which makes sense when you consider the Gregorian calendar reform.  They’ve had official observatories since the 18th century: the current Vatican Observatory is based out of Tucson, Arizona.  The Jesuits alone have been significant contributors to astronomy (and other sciences) for that entire period.  I understand that relying on the historical narrative of the Galileo affair (which is not inaccurate so much as it is highly simplified) can obscure things, and that Cracked.com is a humor site, but… still.  Google, madam.  Google.

Moe Lane


  • Rob Crawford says:

    As I understand it, the Vatican astronomer is responsible for officially determining when Easter falls.

    Kinda important…

  • jimf says:

    Guy C. has written several books, e.g. Turn Left at Orion and Brother Astronomer…he is also a very pleasant and interesting fellow.

  • pst314 says:

    Howard Johnson–I mean jimf–is right: Brother Guy is a great guy: Genial, witty, a great conversationalist, and full of fascinating facts and ideas.

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