"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Monday, November 12, 2007

Getting up to scientific speed

John Farrell, author of The Day Without Yesterday: Lemaître, Einstein, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology, has an excellent post up about Catholic attitudes toward science. I call it a post even though it originated as a full-length article he wanted to get published in some-or-other Catholic periodical. As he laments, none were interested. 'Tis a pity, since what he says and recommends is much needed. I shall say just a brief bit about why.

Among Western astronomers, the first heliocentric theorist was Nicholas Copernicus: a Catholic priest. The founder of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was a Catholic priest. The formulator of the Big-Bang theory in cosmology, so widely accepted today, was Georges Lemaître: another Catholic priest. Yet nowadays the Catholic hierarchy has a deserved reputation for scientific cluelessness. Farrell amply demonstrates why there is no reason why such ignorance should persist, and every reason why it should be dispelled.
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