By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A Malaysian astrophysicist is set to be appointed by the United Nations as the Earth’s “first contact” should any aliens from outer space decide to pay us a visit.
FoxNews.com is reporting that Mazlan Othman, head of the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has been chosen to serve as the contact person should any UFO’s land on earth and ask to be put in contact with a someone of authority.
Professor Othman, who oversaw the Malaysian national space program, has been serving as director of UNOOSA, in charge of projects such as deciding what to do if a large asteroid or comet threatens Earth and a variety of other issues pertaining to aerospace technologies.
During a talk she recently gave to fellow scientists, Othman said “the continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account the sensitivities related to the subject. The U.N. is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”
Professor Richard Crowther, a friend of Othman’s and an expert in space law and governance at the U.K. Space Agency, told Fox “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘take me to your leader’ person.”
However, he believes our first encounter with intelligent aliens is more likely to be in the form of radio or light signals from a distant planet rather than by beings arriving on Earth. Even if we do encounter aliens in the flesh, he believes they are more likely to be microbes than anything intelligent.
The Church’s chief astronomer, Father Jose Funes, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, has said that if aliens do exist, Christians should consider them to be an “extraterrestrial borther” and part of God’s creation.
In an article appearing in L’Osservatore Romano in 2008, Fr. Funes said it was difficult to exclude the possibility that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. His thought is that these life forms probably would be of a kind that do not need oxygen or hydrogen to exist. However, just as God created diverse forms of life on earth, He may also have done so in outer space.
“This is not in contrast with the faith, because we cannot place limits on the creative freedom of God,” he said. “To use St. Francis’ words, if we consider earthly creatures as ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters,’ why can’t we also speak of an ‘extraterrestrial brother?”
When asked what implications the discovery of alien life might pose for Christian redemption, Fr. Funes cited the parable of the shepherd who left his flock in search of the lost sheep.
“We who belong to the human race could really be that lost sheep, the sinners who need a pastor,” he said.
“God became man in Jesus in order to save us. So if there are also other intelligent beings, it’s not a given that they need redemption. They might have remained in full friendship with their creator.”.
Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice was a unique and unrepeatable event, he said, but believes that if needed, God’s mercy would be offered to aliens just as it was to humans.
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com