" 'God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.'218.... "
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 355)
[after seeing Optimus Prime transform]Besides uneasiness, that "who made him?" line suggested a rather narrow world view. That may be reading too much into that bit of dialog. I don't think philosophical insight is a top priority for folks when they're creating Transformers movies.
USAF Tech Sergeant Epps: "You gotta wonder: if God made us in His image, who made him? "
("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009) via imdb.com)
Mark Twain" as a pen name, was in a more "reflective mood" when he wrote about being made in the image of God:
"... The Deity that did frighten him [Samuel Clemens] 'is the caricature of him which finds in the Bible . . . I have met his superior a hundred times - in fact I amount to that myself' 33 In a similarly reflective mood, he wrote to his sister,Despite writing "a very near-sighted person," I suspect that Twain realized that "image of God" wasn't meant to be taken literally. At least not in terms of physical appearance.
"I love you, & am sorry for every time I have ever hurt you; but God Almighty knows I should keep on hurting you just the same, if I were around; for I am built so, being made merely in the image of God, but not otherwise resembling him enough to be mistaken for him by anybody but a very near-sighted person.34"(Page 258, "Mark Twain: A Life," Ron Powers (2005) via Google Books)
As for cracks he made about the American religious quirks of his day? Given what I've read about the era, I'm impressed that Mark Twain was as conventionally devout as he was.
Genesis: and that authors seem to like using it.
I suspect that Western culture's tendency to take metaphor and imagery literally accounts for some of what I've heard and read.1 Putting a simple, literal, one-dimensional idea in the middle of a situation that's filled with evocative imagery can be funny.
But I'm a practicing Catholic, so I can't say that we're living on the only patch of inhabitable real estate in the universe. That rule has been on the books for more than seven centuries.2
As a Catholic, I figure that part of my job is to learn about God. Studying God's creation seems like one reasonable way to do that. (March 14, 2012)
But that's just me. As I've said before, I've got the authority of "some guy with a blog." Let's see what's being published about the possibility of life on other worlds, back in Rome:
"Astrobiology is the study of life's relationship to the rest of the cosmos: its major themes include the origin of life and its precursor materials, the evolution of life on Earth, its future prospects on and off the Earth, and the occurrence of life elsewhere....Looks like studying the increasing catalog of planets circling other stars is okay.
"...The study of Astrobiology is a quite appropriate subject for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences which has a multi-disciplinary membership...."
(Introduction, "Study Week on Astrobiology," Pontifical Academy of Sciences (November 6-10, 2009))
- "Open Eyes and Assumptions"
(March 25, 2012)
- "The Beauty of the Universe, God, and Respect"
(March 21, 2012)
- "Huckleberry Finn, [redacted] Jim, and Making Sense"
(June 24, 2011)
- "Life on Other Worlds, and the Catholic Church"
(January 11, 2011)
- "The Catholic Church: Universal. Really"
(April 19, 2010)
- "Study Week on Astrobiology"
Pontifical Academy of Sciences (November 6-10, 2009)
(archived September 2, 2011, from vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdscien/2009/booklet_astrobiology_17.pdf)
- "Alien Ideas Christianity and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life"
Benjamin D. Wiker, Crisis 20, no. 10 (November 2002), via Catholic Education Resource Center
- "Saint Bonaventure, Francis Mayron, William Vorilong, and the Doctrine of a Plurality of Worlds"
Grant McColley, H. W. Miller, Speculum, Vol. 12, No. 3, (July 1937), via JSTOR
1 Western civilization's literalist streak produces some odd notions: but I also think my native culture has its good points:
- "The Eighth Day"
(April 4, 2012)
- "Apocalypse Whenever"
(June 14, 2011)
- "It's the Catholic Church in America; Not the American Catholic Church"
(November 9, 2010)