Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: ... and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-Box at the Vatican Observatory

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: ... and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-Box at the Vatican Observatory

Hardback

By (author) Guy Consolmagno, By (author) Paul Mueller

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  • Publisher: Image
  • Format: Hardback | 293 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 226mm x 30mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 7 October 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0804136955
  • ISBN 13: 9780804136952
  • Sales rank: 134,117

Product description

In May 2014, Pope Francis revealed that, if Martians wanted to be baptized, he would welcome aliens to the Church. Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno and science historian Father Paul Mueller agree! "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? "sheds provocative light on some of the strange places where religion and science meet. So, could you really baptize an extraterrestrial? And exactly how do you reconcile the scientific version of The Big Bang with the Genesis account of creation? Is there really life after death, and will the universe eventually die? What then? Does the Vatican know something regular people don't about an imminent end of the world? Why isn't Pluto a planet, and what did the Vatican have to do with that decision? Was the Star of Bethlehem just a pious religious story or an actual description of astronomical events? What really happened with the Church and Galileo? These questions and more will be explored in a book that will certainly shock and delight readers who love science and spirituality alike.

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Author information

BROTHER GUY CONSOLMAGNO, SJ was born in Detroit, Michigan, earned undergraduate and masters' degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT (in 1974 and 1975), and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow and lecturer at Harvard University's Department of Astronomy, and MIT's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; served in the US Peace Corps, teaching physics at the University of Nairobi; and was a physics professor at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, before entering the Jesuits as a brother in 1989. At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies. FATHER PAUL R. MUELLER, SJ is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended a Jesuit high school and earned a degree in physics at Boston University before entering the Society of Jesus in 1982. As part of his Jesuit training, he earned masters degrees in both philosophy and theology, along the way developing an interest in religion-science issues. After being ordained a priest in 1993, he attended the University of Chicago, where he completed a third masters degree (in physics) and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science through the interdisciplinary program in Conceptual Historical Studies of Science.

Review quote

From "Publishers Weekly "Who knew that the Vatican owned an observatory run by Jesuit scientists? Consolmagno, an astronomer who studied at MIT, and Mueller, with a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Chicago, are brilliant scientists and theologians, and they both possess a slightly irreverent and refreshing sense of humor. The authors attempt to highlight how the perceived conflict between religion and science is severely overblown. To do this they employ a dialogue format, which works for a while but ultimately becomes tired. The content, however, is absolutely enlightening. Some of the topics the authors tackle include the Galileo controversy, an explanation for the star of Bethlehem, and the discrepancies between the book of Genesis and the big bang theory. Heady stuff for sure, but the casual writing style makes for an enjoyable learning experience. An excellent primer for anyone remotely interest in building a bridge between religious faith and scientific investigation. "I can't think of two people better suited to address some essential questions about science that Christians get asked (and ask themselves) on a regular basis. How can you reconcile the Big Bang theory with the belief in God as the Creator of the universe? Is the Catholic Church really against science? Can a scientific person be a believer? Can a believer look to science for answers that religion cannot provide? And what really happened with Galileo? These two talented Jesuit scientists answer these and many more of the most persistent questions about science and religion, in this fascinating, inviting, and frankly necessary new book." --James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything