I can understand a person believing in God without knowing science;
I cannot understand a person knowing science and not believing in God.
(detail painting on a column within Cathedral of Our Lady of Bayeux, France / Julie Cook/ 2018)
Yesterday I offered a few quotes.
Life is still hectic as I continue playing catch-up.
So, therefore, spending the proper amount of time and energy necessary for more
meatier posts continue to be proving elusive.
And so I offer thoughts and observations that I find to be heavenly and even Grace
filled in their offerings…
Yesterday I had found some rather interesting quotes…quotes regarding both
science and Christian faith…
as there seems to always be some sort of friction between the two.
And probably the most famous clash was between Galileo and the Catholic Chruch.
We all know that Galileo actually got had gotten it right…
he had realized that the planets revolved around the sun rather than the sun revolving
around the planets…with the particular planet being that of the earth…
as the earth was and continues to be, the seemingly center of all of our little universe.
Yet his thoughts, observations, and theories challenged a church that was unsure
and even afraid…as the hierarchy was unwilling to think outside of the box.
And so Galileo, who was a devout Catholic and whose daughter was actually a nun,
was in a bit of a pickle.
The Chruch demanded Galileo recant his conclusion…or if he chose not to,
he would be imprisoned as well as excommunicated.
History affords us the answer to this quandary.
He was imprisoned, living his life under house arrest and was indeed excommunicated
from the Church he respected and loved.
A great book which affords us a small snapshot into this moment of history…
is a collection of intimate letters written between a father and his beloved daughter–
Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel
Letters that were written from a father, who was currently under house arrest
by the Chruch, written to his daughter who was living her life for that very Chruch.
It wasn’t until 1992 that the Chruch actually owned up to the fact that they, the Chruch
as a whole, was wrong in their treatment of Galileo.
More than 350 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo,
Pope John Paul II is poised to rectify one of the Church’s most infamous wrongs —
the persecution of the Italian astronomer and physicist for proving the
Earth moves around the Sun.
With a formal statement at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Saturday,
Vatican officials said the Pope will formally close a 13-year investigation into
the Church’s condemnation of Galileo in 1633.
The condemnation, which forced the astronomer and physicist to recant his discoveries,
led to Galileo’s house arrest for eight years before his death in 1642 at the age of 77.
(New York Times)
Pope John Paul II, who had one of several degrees in Philosophy, and who actually delved
deeply into the study of both science and philosophy, understood better than most,
the relationship between Science and the Church.
“Karol Wojtyla’s second doctoral dissertation,
submitted in 1953 to the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland,
concerned the thought of Max Scheler (1874-1928)
a leading exponent of the philosophical school known as phenomenology.
Phenomenology, together with the more conventional Aristotelian-Thomistic
tradition, proved to be the two great influences on the philosophical development
of Karol Wojtyla.
From the latter, he learned to be a philosophical realist.
From the former, he learned to develop of rich sense of the moral life of the human person.
It is worth considering these two influences in a little detail.
And so thus we know that Pope John Paul II understood the importance of science,
and that he worked to rewrite the previous wrong with his “pardon” of Galileo.
I find the quotes by renowned scientists regarding their studies along with their deep
faith to be so refreshingly uplifting.
There are so many who are rabidly anti-church and who claim that atheists
cannot abide by the Chruch’s lack of acceptance of science…
and yet we have so many notable scientists who are deeply committed Christians…
so perhaps that arugument simply doesn’t hold water.
I find much of their arguments actually mute.
Thus after reading my post yesterday, our dear freind Oneta offered such a wonderful
reflection—a reflection that actually reminded me of something Albert Einstein had once
noted about his belief in God…
The more I study science, the more I believe in God.”
(The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects God.”)
My response to Oneta was that her comment to my post was quite the quote—
as she then resonded with the idea that I could then “run with it”…
and so run I have…
If the universe were a product of chance,
we would not expect to find such order and intelligibility and laws.
We would find chaos. Anyone who has studied the second law of thermodynamics
knows that any system, like the molecules of air and gases in this room,
by their natural state are in the maximum of disorder.
The molecules don’t line themselves up; they’re just bouncing around.
That’s what we would expect to find in the whole universe—absolute chaos.
This led Albert Einstein to make this famous statement:
‘The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it’s comprehensible.’
Fr. John Flader
from God and Science
Another amazing history lesson. Anyone who believes in God, has to believe in science, for God created everything with perfect design built into it. I don’t understand how atheists can accept science and not God.
Thanks, dear Julie, for doing the running. I have learned much. Love the Galileo story and the Einstein quote.
Great minds run together 😎
Great story and thoughts.
I posted on Galileo a while back. It was a bit more muddled than I expected. Galileo reached the right coinclusion, but his reasoning was flawed. Galileo was imprisoned but the motivation for doing so had a lot to do with the fact that he insulted the pope. That was not a good idea back then.
I don’t think the church knew what to do with him. The guy was not politically adept, and the times were perilous.
As we continue learning from our flawed natures on both sides of our perspective fences 🙃
Hi Julie, sorry for being absent for so long, I’m just not spending much time on WordPress any more. I just wanted to say that I totally agree with Oneta. I studied for my physics degree by distance learning when my daughter was small. The more I learned the more awestruck I became, especially when studying cosmology, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. I then went on to get a Masters in Medical Physics at Galway University and was able to study some anatomy and physiology. It all made me appreciate the complexity and beauty of the cosmos from the largest to the smallest scale, from the mineral to the biological. It all seems designed, which leaves one wondering about the designer.
Thanks Sarah—I’ve missed you!!!
I was out of pocket for about 3 weeks when I took Gregory to Normandy and then we went to Zurich with some friends—and down into Italy before coming home—it was his retirement gift…cause what could I give him??? Normandy was his bucket list.
So I didn’t get back here to bloging until that first week or so in Oct. Plus I’ve been having to keep our granddaughter right when we returned as she had a virus and couldn’t go to daycare…so I’m running around like a crazy chicken minus a head!
But yes, in all of my craziness I have missed you.
Life is not slowing down by any means and Satan is really putting the screws to me these days…so I hang on…
Abby is having a terrible time with the interim principal–an older gentleman that came out of retirement…old school Boston Catholic who wanted to “teach” a class besides being a principal—who does that??? and is co-teaching with Abby—he is doing a terrible job, the parents are so mad but he keeps trying to throw Abby under the bus—and the thing is there is no one to go to to complain…he has Monsignor under a spell but all the facutly is ready to jump ship—so if you could say a pray for her, I would be grateful…
Hope you and your family are all doing well….
Hi, Julie. It’s good to catch up. Your life always seems to be going at a million miles an hour! I’m gradually working my way through your posts. What an amazing retirement gift. I’m so glad you managed to pull it off. You’ll both have plenty of experiences to digest now. I hope it gives your hubby a bit of wanderlust so that he’ll consider coming to Ireland with you some time.
Sorry to hear about Autumn and Abby’s troubles. I will certainly say some extra prayers for Abby. The devil is pulling out all the stops at the moment but it’s a sign of desperation; he knows how close he is to losing. We have Mary on our side so I’m not worried! God bless you all.