[I think I’m safe in posting this. I’m sure none of my students know I have a blog. My class just finished studying what it means to be made in God’s image and likeness, so I thought I’d use a real life example of bad journalism and even worse theology to help my students learn. Here is an Open Book Pop Quiz They will be getting tomorrow.]
Open Book Quiz.
By Tom Chivers
Published: 10:20AM GMT 10 Nov 2009
The Vatican joins the search for alien life
The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding its first ever conference on alien life, the discovery of which would have profound implications for the Catholic Church.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding a conference on astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth, with scientists and religious leaders gathering in Rome this week.
For centuries, theologians have argued over what the existence of life elsewhere in the universe would mean for the Church: at least since Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, was put to death by the Inquisition in 1600 for claiming that other worlds exist.
Among other things, extremely alien-looking aliens would be hard to fit with the idea that God “made man in his own image”.
Directions: The Above is an excerpt taken from an actual article from the United Kingdon’s leading news publication The Telegraph. Read the above excerpt from the UK Telegraph. Pay close attention to what the writer says in the last sentence. Using your notes and your textbook it is your job to write a letter to Tom Chivers, the author of the excerpt, explaining to him his misunderstanding of what it means to be made in God’s image and likeness.
Your letter should begin:
Dear Mr. Chivers,
Upon reading your recent article in the Telegraph about the Catholic Church’s involvement in the search for alien life, I would like to bring to your attention an error in your understanding of what it means when Catholics say that God “made man in his own image.” Your understanding is mistaken because . . .