Vatican City, Nov 10, 2009 / 10:09 am
The Vatican Observatory and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences have just concluded a week-long gathering of scientists to examine the origin of life and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. “These questions offer many philosophical and theological implications,” said Fr. Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory.
After bringing their Nov. 6-10 talks to a close, four of the scientists held a press conference at the Holy See's press office on Tuesday.
Participating in the press conference were Fr. Jose Funes S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory; Jonathan Lunine, professor at the department of physics in Rome's Tor Vergata University; Chris Impey, professor at the department of astronomy in the University of Arizona and the Steward Observatory, Tucson, U.S.A., and Athena Coustenis, professor at the "Observatoire de Paris-Meudon", LESIA/CNRS, France.
Fr. Funes began his remarks by answering the question, "Why is the Vatican involved in astrobiology?"