One of Pope Benedict XVI's advisors says it's OK to believe E.T. phoned home, because extraterrestrial life would be part of God's creation of the universe.
There ... how do you top that?
It's the one thing left out of the Book of Genesis. The writers of the Old Testament conveniently left out Marvin the Martian, the Klingons and E.T., while writing about Jonah being swallowed by a giant fish.
I don't recall Greys being in the manger, or a flying saucer leading the wise men to Jesus.
In fact, I don't recall Jar Jar Binks attending the Last Super.
You know, I somehow don't see the Book of Mordak being added to the Bible anytime in the near future. I can't see people going to sporting events and hanging signs which read, "Zinktar 3:16," either.
In all seriousness (better write this down because seriousness is a rare occurrence in my columns), it is logical to assume there is life beyond our little island in the sea of space. Some people say it is impossible because - Well, they never give a clear cut, well-defined explanation.
Whether you believe in the creationists' belief of God creating life in seven days, or the scientific theory of evolution, the fact is, what happened here on Earth was clearly capable of happening anywhere else in the universe. Space is infinite, and there are countless planets among the stars. Just because Earth is the only planet with life on it in our solar system (that we know of), it doesn't mean it's the only planet with life -- period.
Interestingly enough, Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, who said aliens probably exist, during an interview with a Vatican newspaper, also said the Big Bang Theory is the most reasonable explanation for how the universe was created. He then continued by reiterating his belief that nothing was created by chance.
It's natural to assume that life exists elsewhere in the universe, and if you believe in God, it's logical to assume the Lord created any life that exists among the stars.
In that regard, what the Vatican has announced is not really out of place. It's just some people in the media who want an excuse to mock the Catholic church (I'm a Catholic, by the way, so I have a right to crack these jokes. If you're not Catholic and you're making these same jokes, then I'm shocked and offended about what you are saying.)
OK, back to humor.
This story doesn't stand out because of absurdity, but rather because it's just plain unusual. It came out of nowhere like a speeding UFO. One day you just believe in aliens because it's something to do, and then the Vatican suddenly says, "Yeah, aliens probably exist and it's OK to believe in them because they are our brothers ..."
Extraterrestrial Brother ... Is that like Shaft on Jupiter? Or Superfly on Pluto (Sorry, while I was writing this column, a colleague cracked the joke that "Extraterrestrial Brother" sounded like the name of a 1970's Blaxploitation film.) Who would people rather see write the theme song for that movie? Isaac Hayes or someone who could emulate the late Curtis Mayfield?
"Who's the black man with the antennae coming out of his head?"
"Right on ..."
Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.