One more for good measure

Why can’t science and religion work together? Why are we shocked when we discover that some physicist believed in God or that a biologist believes in life after death? Science and religion have basically everything in common. They attempt to answer the giant questions that float around in our head while we are in the shower or trying to fall asleep. And for many reasons I don’t understand nor agree with, society tells us that one is respectable and valid and the other is idiotic and old-fashioned.

Gregor Mendel is most famously (and basically) known as the scientist who looked at bean plants and somehow figured out genetics. What I did not know until recently was that Mendel was an Augustinian friar.

A Danish Catholic bishop named Blessed Nicolas Steno helped pioneer geology with the theory of stratigraphy. I really like Steno because the theory he came up with is a huge deal in geology (I learned this in my Geology of National Parks class) and he is a Blessed, on his way through the canonization process.

Alhazen was a Muslim scientist who started the idea of the scientific method and wrote respected commentaries on works by Aristotle. This guy is a triple threat because he has religious beliefs, basically started the scientific method, and read (and, I’m assuming, understood) philosophical works. Furthermore, Roger Bacon was a Franciscan friar who added the idea of inductive reasoning to the scientific method and added on to the studies done by Ptolemy concerning human eyes and how they work.

My personal favorite, Gabriele Falloppio, a 16th Century priest who is one of the most prominent anatomist and physician of his time. Fallopian tubes are named after him.

I want this back. I want people to be able to study science and still have religious convictions and not be completely discredited for them. I want to be able to look at my hand and be amazed that my skin is just thick enough to protect it from most things, but still porous enough to receive oxygen and then thank God for created me like that. Or how the planet Earth is just the right distance away to get warmth and light from the Sun by not be completely incinerated by it. This is why I love space and everything NASA does because it is a perfect combination of scientific fact and complete spiritual awe at something that is infinite.

I want it to be okay to think scientific things are beautiful and that religious things can be factual. I want it to be okay for religious people to believe in things like evolution and dinosaurs because there is factual proof of it, and for scientists to accept that some questions will not be answered in this lifetime.

Love, Caitlin

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2 thoughts on “One more for good measure

  1. I’m a Catholic and a research scientist (molecular biology), I never thought that they were in conflict at all. Neither do most scientists actually.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01447.x/abstract;jsessionid=CC3CF9F11725875C77F53951ECD8038B.d01t02

    Personally I know many other Christians at my lab, and Hindus and a Muslim girl as well, of varying levels of religiosity. I’ve been discerning religious life as well, and one of the religious I know formerly worked in cancer research. There was an anti-religion streak in some fields for a while (I think psychology was like this or so I heard), though that’s mostly dying out as more research on religion is done, and it turns out that more religious folk are much better off in terms of physical/mental health, social adjustment, compassion, etc.

    Anyone who says religion is “idiotic” is probably just ignorant. I’ve never heard it from an educated or reasonable person.

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