A couple of years ago, some friends and I went camping up North near Canada. After having spent a week in “the wild,” we decided to drive over to Canada for pizza at the place where our friend worked. Pulling up to the Customs booth at the border, I felt the pit in my stomach. They act like we are at war with Canada or something. The Customs officer asked me all the usual questions. “Where do you live?” “Lansing,” I answered. “What is your business in Canada?” “Well,” I said, “we came here to get pizza.” He looked at us strangely and said “You drove all the way from Lansing to get pizza?”
Dear Fr. Joe: What is the deal with God and science? I hear all kinds of questions about the two, and everybody seems to contradict each other. What is the truth? Faith and Science.Sometimes it seems like we’re crossing into enemy territory when we talk about the two. “Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man’s dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man ... By themselves however, they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church and look at number 2293) Good stuff comes from that Catechism! The point is this: we are foolish if we try to live in faith at the expense of scientific knowledge. We are foolish if we ignore faith and worship science. Francis Bacon says, “A little science pulls man away from God. A lot of science brings him back.” We have confidence in God and the fact that knowledge of His creation will point to Him. The scientist who learns all he or she can is worshiping God, because knowledge of God’s creation is knowledge of God. The catechism reminds us that science can take us only so far. In God alone does the human person find the meaning of life and progress. Jesus and His Kingdom have to be at the center of what we learn for it to be truly worship. Scientific findings are not threats to our faith; they are, instead, opportunities to discover more about this wonderful creation and about God. Let’s not fight the inevitable or worship the unlikely. Instead, we can be a part of helping science and faith to join hands in worship of God.
Dear Fr. Joe: Are any great scientists Christians? There are tons. Ready for this? The author of the Big Bang Theory? A Catholic priest. It’s true! “But Father,” you may say, “how is this possible?” It’s very possible and a perfect example of how I answered the first question. We must never be afraid of knowledge. If it is true, then it will teach us something about God. Here is an example. Although the Big Bang Theory may contradict the words of Genesis, it does not contradict the message of the creation account in Genesis. What is important about the creation account in Genesis? Six days? Rest on the seventh? What happened each day? The order of creation? No.What is important is that a loving God created everything out of nothing and only for reasons of love. God created us in His image. These facts are what make the Jewish/Christian account of creation unique from any other creation accounts. Einstein said that if the Big Bang occurred, the odds of it being random are similar to that of an explosion occurring in a print shop that resulted in a complete set of encyclopedias. It just ain’t gonna happen. For more amazing Christians in the world of science, check out Blaise Pascal, Sir Isaac Newton, Copernicus – and the list goes on! Enjoy another day in God’s presence!