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8/18/2010 11:31:00 AM
Faith and science both seek truth
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Benedict blessed physicist Stephen Hawking during a Vatican assembly of scientists.
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Benedict blessed physicist Stephen Hawking during a Vatican assembly of scientists.

For too long, we Catholics have allowed a fiction to endure. It’s time to declare that faith and science, far from conflicting, help one another.

Albert Einstein said that a legitimate conflict between the two cannot exist.

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind,” the great physicist explained.

Let’s not forget that math and science flourished in times of great religious influence — in Islamic North Africa, Asia, the Middle Ages and especially in Christian Europe. Some of the great scientists of the 19th and 20th centuries were Jewish.

Science seems to have been the natural outgrowth of Judeo-Christian doctrine.

Science of the 17th century was to an amazing extent a Jesuit affair. Catholics of other orders and lay Catholics also were giants in science for centuries — Father Roger Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus, Father Gregor Mendel and Georges Lemaître. Even Leonardo DaVinci was no enemy to faith’s world view.

Today, science needs faith to keep it within moral bounds that simply make sense and to invigorate the sense of awe. Faith needs science to help it grow in awareness of truth.

Our lives today could echo the tombstone of Imanuel Kant: “the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”

 



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