Tip of the Iceberg CNA Article on Science and Faith

By Jon|August 27, 2012|Education, Empirical Science, Enlightenment, Faith and Reason, Philosophy|

How do we know there is no contradiction between biology and belief in God? Certainly not by the methods of science. Its called logic…

Scientists: No Contradiction Between Evolutionary Biology And Belief In God

RIMINI, ITALY, August 24 (CNA) .- Evolutionary biology and faith in God are not incompatible, two professors asserted at the international Rimini Meeting, an event that brings hundreds of thousands of people to Italy.

“A proper understanding of creation, especially an understanding set forth by a thinker such as Thomas Aquinas, [I'm pleasantly surprised that the Aristotelian perspective was put forth rather than the same old lame Christian scientistic view] helps us to see that there is no conflict between evolutionary biology or any of the natural sciences and a fundamental understanding that all that 'is', is caused by God,” Professor William E. Carroll of Oxford University's theology faculty told CNA Aug. 22.

“Evolutionary biology is that area of science which helps us to understand better the origin and development of human beings, but whatever those arguments are in evolutionary biology they, in principle, do not conflict with the fundamental understanding that all that 'is' is created by God,” Carroll said. [“Why is there something rather than nothing?” is a much more pointed way of putting it.]

Professor Carroll was a keynote speaker at the Rimini Meeting, an international gathering organized by the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation. From August 19 to 25 the event in the Italian seaside town of Rimini is exploring a range of contemporary cultural issues, including the relationship between faith, reason and science.

“God causes the world to be the kind of world which it is and the natural sciences help to disclose what kind of a world we have,” Carroll explained. [Why vs. How]

Sharing a platform with him was Professor Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Both men expressed a particular appreciation for Pope Benedict XVI's ongoing efforts to encourage greater dialogue between faith and science.

“There is a spectrum of intransigence in the religious community and in the scientific community,” Tattersall remarked, explaining, “that is why the dialogue is useful because maybe it will broaden flexibility on both sides.” [Unlikely. Secular humanism is a 'religion' of its own which at its core takes the utility of technology as a core value for mankind. Technology only grows by modern sciences…and the 'old' sciences of philosophy and particularly theology…ought to be committed to the flames…they are fairy tales.]

In January 2012, Pope Benedict established a new Science and Faith Foundation, which will be headquartered at the Vatican. He said that his aim in doing so is to build a “philosophical bridge” between science and theology.

“One of the great insights of the Pope, which he continually emphasizes, is an enlargement of reason, a recognition that rationality is not limited to what the natural sciences do but that there's a larger sense of rationality that includes both philosophy and theology,” Carroll said. [Exactly. The science before science… However, I'd be interested to know what Pope Benedict has specifically written on the topic…I haven't heard much. Do any readers know?]

He suggested that the recent debate has occasionally become confused by the interventions of high-profile scientists like Richard Dawkins or Lawrence Krauss. [Obviously. They are promoters of scientism.]

Both, he claimed, “are really ignorant of philosophy and theology, and so they make all sorts of goofy philosophical and theological claims.”

“Science is a different way of knowing than spiritual faith [and even different still from philosophical or first principles type knowing], both answer to a need that humans have 'to know,' but they are answering different parts of the question,” added Tattersall.

In fact, Tattersall pointed out, “many scientists are believers, so there's certainly no incompatibility in principle between the two.” [And that my friends was the worst way you could ever end this article. If the context in which he said this is true….Tattersall is just as bad as the rest… Where is the logic in that? Many scientists believe in God therefore there is no incompatibility. Ad hominem anyone?]

 On the whole this article summarizes very well the issues at hand. I would be interested to hear/read Pope Benedict's deepest thoughts on metaphysics and this bridge he is talking about building. Or rebuilding that is. 

About Jon

Jon connects leaders and organizations to Catholic philosophical resources to battle for the soul of the western world.