Saturday, September 18, 2010

Religion and Science: Conflicted or Complementary?

Pope Benedict is making a number of significant headlines during his visit to Britain this week to mark the Beatification of John Henry Newman, one of which is on the topic of religion and science.
"The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious and ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding."

Meanwhile, Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno has some intriguing thoughts on religion and extraterrestrial intelligent beings. He also talks about a phrase that has taken on an altered and more controversial meaning recently.
On 'intelligent design', which claims that Darwin's theory of evolution cannot explain the complexity of life, he said: 'The word has been hijacked by a narrow group of Creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn't originally mean at all.

'It's another form of the God of the gaps.

'It's bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning.'

The phrase 'intelligent design' was centuries old and described the idea that God could be discovered in the laws of space and time and the existence of human reason.

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