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Gonzalo
06-01-2006, 12:17 PM
The C&P below is from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=418689

I don’t expect to change anyone’s opinion on the question of non-overlapping magisteria but I was interested in some of the statements made by the director of the Vatican Observatory in the C & P below. I thought was interesting because it is a Vatican source supporting the case that science and religion are non-overlapping magisteria as I, Keith, George, and others discussed it in the last semi-civil Darwin thread.

I have put two passages in bold to emphasize points that seem to me to support the case we were making.


Father George Coyne, the director of the Vatican Observatory since 1978, has his feet on the ground and his mind in the heavens. Born in Baltimore, the 73-year-old Jesuit has a doctorate in astronomy from Georgetown University and is an adjunct astronomy professor at the University of Arizona. He divides his time between the observatory's traditional site atop the pope's summer home at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, and Mount Graham in Arizona, where the Vatican's advanced technology telescope is located. He is in Milwaukee to give a free public lecture titled "Dance of the Fertile Universe: Chance and Destiny Embrace," at 7 tonight in the ballroom of Marquette University's Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave. Religion reporter Tom Heinen interviewed him. For more information, go to www.vaticanobservatory.com.

Q: What's the Vatican's position on the role of science in religion and faith?

A: The essential thing is that they're two independent human experiences of knowing. Science has its methodology. Theology and philosophy, supporting religious faith, have theirs. But they have to dialogue, since the truth is one. Pope John Paul II says beautifully that science can teach religion to avoid becoming a mythology without its roots in a rationalistic foundation, and religion can teach science not to be idolatrous, to think science is everything.

Q: The stance on evolution?

A: John Paul II said evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis but all of the sciences converge upon the fact that scientific evolution is the best explanation we have for all the scientific facts.

Q: How does the Catholic Church square that with biblical creation accounts?

A: It says Genesis is not teaching science. There is no science in the Bible. Did Alice go through the looking glass? I don't care. It's a beautiful story that teaches a lot of truth.

Q: Do you find evidence for God's existence in science?

A: No. I don't see evidence against the existence of God, either. Science is absolutely neutral with respect to anything that is beyond matter. If I believe in God, then my science to me personally, and I think to many, says a great deal about my faith and about God. My sense of the evolutionary universe very much colors the God in whom I believe. Absolutely. Why shouldn't it?

Q: You say that in the early 1990s, the Vatican Observatory helped the University of Arizona develop the first telescope using the spin-cast method of producing large mirrors?

A: Yes. It was the beginning of this whole new surge of modern telescopes. That 2-meter telescope (though smaller than later telescopes) is still the highest imaging quality telescope on the surface of the Earth. The Vatican Observatory is a research institute. So (for example), we do very high-quality imaging of nearby galaxies to compare to Hubble Space Telescope pictures of distant galaxies so that we can study how galaxies age. The farther out in the universe you look, the farther back in time you are seeing. It's a very important program. It's not going to make better butter or Wisconsin cheese. It's going to help you understand the universe and ourselves as part of the universe.

Keith Wilson
06-01-2006, 12:22 PM
Oh, boy . . .

http://uplink.space.com/attachments/407643-can_of_worms.jpg

:D :D

Actually, that's a very good quote, and eminently reasonable.

peb
06-01-2006, 12:30 PM
A: The essential thing is that they're two independent human experiences of knowing. Science has its methodology. Theology and philosophy, supporting religious faith, have theirs. But they have to dialogue, since the truth is one. Pope John Paul II says beautifully that science can teach religion to avoid becoming a mythology without its roots in a rationalistic foundation, and religion can teach science not to be idolatrous, to think science is everything.


Your choose of highlighting reveals your bias all too well. My position still stands. The people on this forum who advocate this non-overlapping magesterium crap really just want a one way dialogue. Science can teach religion. Religion has nothing to say about science. Well the non-bolded part of this quote shows that this priest does not agree.

Oh and BTW, about that issue with the Church being hostile to science that keeps popping up???

John Bell
06-01-2006, 12:34 PM
I heard an interview on CBC with this same guy a few years ago, a promo for a lecture he was giving somewhere in the Candian Maritimes. How badly I wanted to attend! As one who was trained in the sciences (how much actually took is a matter of some debate!) and who also subscribes to the Christian faith, it's taken me a while to reconcile my faith with my understanding of the universe. It's complicated to explain, but I don't see where the two, science and faith, are incompatible. Or maybe it's simple to explain, only that I'm not smart enough to explain it. Fascinating stuff, can of worms that it is.

Milo Christensen
06-01-2006, 12:53 PM
...teach science not to be idolatrous, to think science is everything....

This is the part that irritates me about the insistence on the non-overlap.


The truth is one.

Yes. And no, I can't prove it to your satisfaction. The mystery is why this is not obvious to all.

Gonzalo
06-01-2006, 01:32 PM
Your choose of highlighting reveals your bias all too well.

I admit to a point of view. That is why I posted the article. Is that the same as bias?

I didn't and still don't think that the unbolded sentences in that paragraph change or disprove anything I have argued, and Keith and George as well. The point being that while religion and science may be taken as a whole to find truth, religion doesn't teach facts about the physical world and science teaches nothing else. That is the meaning of the awkward phrase non-overlapping magisteria. I believe that point is perfectly supported by the entire paragraph, and indeed by the whole article.

If you disagree, please explain how the statements by George Coyne contradict that point of view.

Meerkat
06-01-2006, 02:21 PM
Do fiction and non-fiction overlap? How about what you know to be true compared to what you believe to be true?

peb
06-01-2006, 02:25 PM
Gonzola, in previous threads i have pointed out how their definition of non-overklapping magistrium is a one-way street. I have given specific examples of where it is okay for science to affect religion, but not vice versa. the non-bolded part of the quote specifically rejects this (albeit denied) portion of the non-overlapping magestium argument.

Not getting into it again beyond this. If you are interested, go back and reread some of my points in the previous evolution thread(s).

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-01-2006, 03:47 PM
Our Bog is dood, our Bog is dood,
They lisped in accents mild,
But when I asked them to explain
They grew a little wild.
How do you know your Bog is dood
My darling little child?

We know because we wish it so
That is enough, they cried,
And straight within each infant eye
Stood up the flame of pride,
And if you do not think it so
You shall be crucified.

Then tell me, darling little ones,
What's dood, suppose Bog is?
Just what we think, the answer came,
Just what we think it is.
They bowed their heads. Our Bog is ours
And we are wholly his.

But when they raised them up again
They had forgotten me
Each one upon each other glared
In pride and misery
For what was dood, and what their Bog
They never could agree.

Oh sweet it was to leave them then,
And sweeter not to see,
And sweetest of all to walk alone
Beside the encroaching sea,
The sea that soon should drown them all,
That never yet drowned me.