Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£14.95
  • RRP: £15.97
  • You Save: £1.02 (6%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Trade in your item
Get a £2.66
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: ... and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-Box at the Vatican Observatory Hardcover – 7 Oct 2014


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£14.95
£8.87 £12.29


Earn a Free Kindle Book
Earn a Free Kindle Book
Buy a book between now and 31 March and receive a promotional code good for one free Kindle book. Terms and conditions apply. Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Image (7 Oct 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804136955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804136952
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.7 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By David Wineberg TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover
Would you baptize an extraterrestrial tackles six space-related conundrums for Catholics, as requested numerous times by people who discover the Vatican has its own astronomical observatory. It actually employs astronomers, in Rome and Tucson AZ, and participates in the International Astronomy Union (IAU) proceedings. The questions are broken out as days of the week (The authors rest and give acknowledgments on the seventh). The questions range from the age old to the ultramodern:

Day 1: How does the bible rationalize the Big Bang (If there was a Big Bang, it just proves God created the universe)
Day 2: What happened to Pluto (Nothing happened. We just relabeled it after revising definitions)
Day 3: What about Galileo (He was asking for it, and really, he got off pretty lightly)
Day 4: What was the star of Bethlehem (Could have been anything, and it doesn’t matter)
Day 5: What happens after the world ends (Doesn’t matter how or when; faith, hope and love will survive – Saint Paul)
Day 6: Would you baptize an extraterrestrial. (Only if she asks, because Catholics would not baptize anyone who didn’t specifically request it and understand the commitment it represents. And only if the Church OKs it)

The arguments to get to these answers are long, involved, and Jesuit. They attempt to appear fair and balanced, but there is no one representing any other side. So you just read it for what it is, a Jesuit perspective on the universe.

The book is very chatty. It is laid out as a dialog between two Jesuit astronomers, a cross between a comedy team and a tag team. They try to be funny and keep it light. Each day their conversation takes place in a new locale in the world, to which they try to attach relevance, or at least lightheartedness.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"Only if she asks!" - A review of "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial" 22 Oct 2014
By Mr. Geurs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am an amateur quantum physics buff. I am also an amateur theologian. "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" is an example of how both of these interests can merge together in one book without contradicting each other. Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller are two highly educated researchers for the Vatican Observatory who take on some of the most common questions related to their work and theology which they have encountered over the course of their careers.
The book takes the format of a conversation between the two men over six days, where each day has a specific question as its focus. The fist question on the Big Bang versus Genesis (my favorite chapter from the book) is a chance to share that God is the author of Nature and the Bible, and that a person should not freak out when Science and the Bible seem not to be harmonious. Science and the Bible look at life from different angles with different purposes. The chapter on Pluto focuses on the demotion of the planet, as well as information about the galaxy. The Galileo question is one steeped in history which expounds upon how his work influenced modern science and thought. The Star of Bethlehem chapter is a discussion about the possibility for miracles and a scientific explanation on unexplained spatial and natural phenomena. The End of the World question is a chance to talk about the potential of life ending via meteor while at the same time encouraging people to embrace life given and not wait to be "spirited away to another world." The title chapter discusses the possibility of life in other parts of the Universe while not minimizing OR maximizing our "specialness" on Earth.
There are some great nuggets of insight in this book. One of my favorite lines from the book comes early when Mueller discusses the need for the "faith in the ultimate unity of truth" (p. 54). There are other profound moments throughout the book. The writers use Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner as an extended metaphor throughout the book, which seems to work. A reader with a curiosity about how faith and science can be in harmony would enjoy this book.
At times I felt like someone without basic background knowledge on the various topics in the book might end up confused, lost, or disinterested. I at times I lost interest throughout the book trying to follow some of the writers' extended object lessons and wanted them to get to the point quicker. The hardest part for me in reading the book was the "dialogue" format in the text where the writing bounces back and forth between the authors.
"Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" is a good book for an example for how to respectfully discourse both religion and science. For all the things about it I am not to crazy over, there are just as many good and enjoyable moments. This book should be worth considering for reading if the person considering it enjoys a good, well-balanced conversation.

***I received my copy of this book for free through the Blogging for Books program. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions in this review are my own.***
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very Interesting!! 31 Oct 2014
By sunnigurl1230 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while, I get in to random Non-Fiction moods. I know this blog is supposed to be about Romance, but I thought I'd switch it up today.

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?... appealed to my scientific mind. I've always been curious about religion, as I did not grow up in a super religious household. There was a period during my childhood where I was forced to attend Sunday services, but that eventually ended. Once in college, a friend of mine taught CCD, so I was constantly bombarded him with random questions, which would eventually lead to scientific debates.

I loved how Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?... was able to take both perspectives, both scientific and religious and combine the theories without trying to promote their religion's beliefs as being the end-all. The questions asked throughout the book were thought provoking and interesting. The reasoning behind the possible explanations definitely created unique possibilities that even the most skeptical people will give the ideas plenty of reconsideration.

I highly recommend Would You Baptize an Alien? to science and religion lovers.

**I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
We take it all too seriously 7 Oct 2014
By David Wineberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Would you baptize an extraterrestrial tackles six space-related conundrums for Catholics, as requested numerous times by people who discover the Vatican has its own astronomical observatory. It actually employs astronomers, in Rome and Tucson AZ, and participates in the International Astronomy Union (IAU) proceedings. The questions are broken out as days of the week (The authors rest and give acknowledgments on the seventh). The questions range from the age old to the ultramodern:

Day 1: How does the bible rationalize the Big Bang (If there was a Big Bang, it just proves God created the universe)
Day 2: What happened to Pluto (Nothing happened. We just relabeled it after revising definitions)
Day 3: What about Galileo (He was asking for it, and really, he got off pretty lightly)
Day 4: What was the star of Bethlehem (Could have been anything, and it doesn’t matter)
Day 5: What happens after the world ends (Doesn’t matter how or when; faith, hope and love will survive – Saint Paul)
Day 6: Would you baptize an extraterrestrial. (Only if she asks, because Catholics would not baptize anyone who didn’t specifically request it and understand the commitment it represents. And only if the Church OKs it)

The arguments to get to these answers are long, involved, and Jesuit. They attempt to appear fair and balanced, but there is no one representing any other side. So you just read it for what it is, a Jesuit perspective on the universe.

The book is very chatty. It is laid out as a dialog between two Jesuit astronomers, a cross between a comedy team and a tag team. They try to be funny and keep it light. Each day their conversation takes place in a new locale in the world, to which they try to attach relevance, or at least lightheartedness. Their Roman Catholic religion is sanitized, flexible and openminded. They admit that science advances, while religious stories remain fixed and simply get reinterpreted. If it turns out something in the bible is proven wrong by science, that text should just be interpreted figuratively (as directed by Augustine himself). As science provides solid answers, religion can just back off the literal and reclassify as figurative, thus keeping the bible relevant and vital. That is how a scientist can also be a Catholic priest. By making the bible more Talmudic than specific, we can all rest easier. And knowing God’s love should put minds at ease on these issues. And finally, it is God’s self restraint that permits science to exist at all. If God had chosen to interfere in the world (with miracles and his wrath) the laws of physics would be meaningless. This proves God’s command of the universe.

It was interesting that the authors attacked Protestant fundamentalists for their literalism. They claim there was no literal interpretation of the bible before fundamentalists got hold of it and caused all these controversies. And they freely trash astrology, which they say just doesn’t work, unlike Catholicism, which does. And they missed or ignored the irony in the reclassification of Pluto. The same bureaucratic, unfair process of the IAU changing the status of Pluto through committees and general assembly votes was precisely the process that produced the standard King James bible.

Would you baptize an extraterrestrial doesn’t break a lot of new ground, but the authors clearly had a big bang writing it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Its a great blend of religion and science 7 Nov 2014
By Charles Leonard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its a great blend of religion and science. Great for those wondering where religion and science fit together. I do wonder if you have to be a catholic to enjoy it the most.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fun at the intersection of science and faith 22 Nov 2014
By Chester Magruder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My father-in-law (Dr Bill McDaniel) was a great teacher. We could sit and have a beer, joke, laugh and have a great time. Later I'd be amazed at how much I'd learned. Everybody who knew him will tell the same story. This book is like drinking a beer with Dr. Mac - learning and fun.

I have a science education, but I have never believed that today's science has all the answers. I appreciate the way Brother Consolmagno and Father Mueller bridge the "gap" between science and faith. They demonstrate that science and faith are not competitors. In fact science can support faith. And that the Catholic Church certainly supports science (if not always perfectly).
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback