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