In 2002, John Paul II addressed the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the beginning of its plenary session with “The Cultural Values of Science.” Eighteen years later, the truth of his words still resonates:
“It is also necessary—may God grant it!—that in providing others with books to read I myself should make progress, and that in trying to answer their questions I myself should find what I am seeking. Therefore at the command of God our Lord and with his help, I have undertaken not so much to discourse with authority on matters known to me as to know them better by discoursing devoutly of them.” -St. Augustine of Hippo, “The Trinity” I, 8
Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel were contemporaries, but did they know of each other’s work? There is clear evidence that Mendel read “The Origin of Species,'' and mounting evidence that Darwin had heard of Mendel’s work.
The name of Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution are so closely linked that most people are unaware of the history of the theory “before” Darwin.
One of the modern narratives is that science has knocked the human person off its pedestal. We are no longer seen as the pinnacle of creation, more important than other animals and meant to rule over the rest of creation. In fact, the idea of our being “made in the image of God” should be set aside since it has been disproved by science.
At the turn of the last century, a little remembered but dramatic debate took place between prominent astronomers Harlow Shapely and Heber Curtis. The debate concerned essentially several key issues: the location of the sun in the Milky Way galaxy, the size of the universe, and whether spiral nebulae were other galaxies.
Four hundred years after the trial, the mere mention of the name “Galileo” is often considered a powerful one-word refutation against the Catholic Church. Why? Because, according to the popular telling of the “Galileo Affair,” it was Galileo who: 1) proved heliocentrism, despite a Church that officially declared heliocentrism to be a heresy; 2) was tortured and martyred by the Church, and; 3) discovered that Scripture—and by extension, the Catholic Church—was a fraud.
Since its founding in 1972, the Templeton Prize has honored 17 scientists, 7 opinion leaders, 16 religious leaders, and 7 theologians/philosophers.
This is the third in a series of articles on the nature of time and the timelessness of God. Links to Parts I and II can be found at the bottom of the page.
If someone asked you who discovered DNA, what answer would you give?