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24/02/2012

Fellow-Terrestrials

This week it was widely reported that some scientists are now arguing dolphins and whales have a complex, self-aware intelligence - and that they should be given rights beyond that of 'mere animal'. I find this really interesting, and it takes me back to an article I once wrote for The Herald - Spring 2006 which posed the questions:

"Perhaps we are all being a little too complacent about the course in which the world is headed? Is humankind a little too arrogant about its apparent dominance over our planet? ...if there is extra-terrestrial life—particularly if it is as intelligent, self-aware and God aware as us (which is a real possibility given the magnitude of the universe)—then how might this affect humanity’s view of itself as God’s chosen creature?"

It seems we may now have to countenance the idea of not just extra-terrestrial intelligence, equivalent to our own, but other intelligent life on this planet. How can Christian theology adapt to this?

1 comment:

Charlie Talbert said...

I'm not sure about Christian theology, but perhaps Christians could try adapting by following their own Golden Rule.

Most Homo sapiens consider themselves the only Earthlings, but that’s not how we would appear to a person from another planet. She might wonder how we can consider ourselves advanced, moral creatures and yet mercilessly torment and torture the other beings we use for food, clothing, and entertainment, without any justification of survival.

Non-violence begins at breakfast.