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Science and Faith - Not Mortal Enemies

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science and religion are not mortal enemies

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Science and Faith - Not Mortal Enemies

  1. 1. Science and Faith What’s the problem? Mr. Matthew S. MacLennan, BSc Honours, BEd, PhD Candidate St. Thomas Aquinas School February 16-17, 2015
  2. 2. Outline • About me • Science and faith – problems? • What can we do about it? • The fullness of truth
  3. 3. About me
  4. 4. I LOVE Science! • Discovery of cures and medicines; the structure of the human body • Discovery of new particles of matter (quarks, the Higgs boson) and the age of planets and the universe • Discovery of bacteria and viruses • Evolution, ecology and the environment • Faster and better technologies, the internet
  5. 5. The “New” Atheists • Richard Dawkins • Christopher Hitchens • Daniel Dennett • …and some others.
  6. 6. Famous Scientists who Believe in God • Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton • Father Gregor Mendel – Founder of genetics • Father Georges LeMaitres – Originator of the Big Bang Theory • Dalton, Volta, Joule, Pasteur • Thousands of others… • Overall, Christians have won a total of 78.3% of all the Nobel Prizes in Peace, 72.5% in Chemistry, 65.3% in Physics, 62% in Medicine, 54% in Economicsand 49.5% of all Literature awards.
  7. 7. Reasons for disbelief • Fear • Hatred • Misunderstanding
  8. 8. Insulting language • “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.” – R.D. • “To 'choose' dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid.” – C.H. • “Go ahead and believe in God, if you like, but don't imagine that you have been given any grounds for such a belief by science.” – D.D.
  9. 9. Misunderstanding of God • “Believing in God is like believing in the tooth fairy or the flying spaghetti monster.” – Dawkins (not direct quote) • “God is the ground of all existence.” • “God is the sheer act of being itself.” • “God is the ultimate transcendent truth” • “I am” • “The one God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit”
  10. 10. Misunderstanding of faith • “Faith is a weak cop out; faith is a mental illness; faith is blind, but science is for intelligent, real people…” • “Faith is not irrational; it is superrational.” St. T.A. • “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth.” St. Pope JP2 • What has faith been for you? Is it time to take it to the next level?
  11. 11. Misunderstanding of science • Science asks questions about physical reality and obtains answers by measuring and detecting. • Science cannot answer questions about God because God cannot be measured. • “How tall is God?” “What is God’s shoe size?” • Is there reality that is not physical? Are there truths we know outside of “science”?
  12. 12. What can we do? • Pray and grow in REAL faith in the REAL God! • Never believe that insults are good arguments • Know the difference between “scientific evidence” and “philosophical arguments” • Follow philosophies that are life-giving, positive, community-building, full of purpose, and line up with reality. • Learn to love science and learn to love culture and religion – All methods of finding truth
  13. 13. SUMMARY • If you understand REAL faith, understand who the true God is, understand what religion involves, understand the goals of science… • THEN science and religion—faith and reason— are not mortal enemies. In fact, they work together to know the full truth about God and the full truth about ourselves.
  14. 14. Exercises • Modern materialism strips people of the need to feel responsible and often enough, so does religion. But I think if you take quantum mechanics seriously enough it puts the responsibility squarely in your lap. And it doesn't give answers that are clear-cut and comforting.