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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Science a replacement for religion?

Fr Georges Lemaitre who first proposed the theory of the big bang, with Albert Einstein

A comment on the post The Lord of DNA (and everything else) deserves a post to itself because it highlights a common misunderstanding:
I'm never sure how to respond to students (such as a lad in my A level class) who claim that people had religion in the past because they didn't have science. ;)
Two recommendations: 1. the magazine and pamphlets of the Faith Movement, especially the "Reasons for Believing" series "Can we believe that God exists?" and "What makes man unique?" 2. The excellent pamphlet by Frs Marcus Holden and Andrew Pinsent "Apologia" published by the CTS.

Science developed within the Christian culture of the middle ages precisely because Christian philosophy admitted the importance of secondary causes and therefore thought the world worth studying. As the Apologia pamphlet demonstrates, many of the great advances in science were brought about by people with strong Christian faith and in some cases Catholic priests.

Science is not a replacement for religious faith, it is a further reason to wonder at the greatness of the Creator. In fact, as post-modernism grows in influence, seeing science as just another of the myths that we live by, it is likely that real research, based on an objective understanding of the world, will become less popular. We already see this in the utilitarian approach to science teaching in schools.
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