Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Pope John Paul II said on Creation and Science

Recently celebrity physicist Stephen Hawkings spoke at CalTech, in which he spoke on the Big Bang and that it was unnecessary for God or any other outside force to start the universe. There was no need for Hawkins to misrepresent the Church on science though, considering it was a priest who discovered the Big Bang Theory and Pope Francis has a degree in chemistry. Georges LemaƮtre, Father of the Big Bang
According to the Big Bang theory, the expansion of the observable universe began with the explosion of a single particle at a definite point in time. This startling idea first appeared in scientific form in 1931, in a paper by Georges LemaƮtre, a Belgian cosmologist and Catholic priest. The theory, accepted by nearly all astronomers today, was a radical departure from scientific orthodoxy in the 1930s. Many astronomers at the time were still uncomfortable with the idea that the universe is expanding. That the entire observable universe of galaxies began with a bang seemed preposterous.
Big Bang Didn't Need God, Stephen Hawking Says via Space.Com (commercial, for pro-fit media site)
In another observation of modern religion, Hawking noted that in the 1980s, around the time he released a paper discussing the moment the universe was born, Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy. “I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition,” Hawking joked.
But this isn't what Pope John Paul II said at all.... Pope John Paul II on Creationism from National Center for Science Education
In October of 1981, in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Science, Pope John Paul II said:
"Cosmogony and cosmology have always aroused great interest among peoples and religions. The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise but in order to state the correct relationships of man with God and with the universe. Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer. The Sacred Book likewise wishes to tell men that the world was not created as the seat of the gods, as was taught by other cosmogonies and cosmologies, but was rather created for the service of man and the glory of God. Any other teaching about the origin and make-up of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how heaven was but how one goes to heaven."

To Add: Digital Hairshirt's thoughts.

I do not see any "anti-science" sentiment in what His Holiness said. It seems that Hawking, who is presumably one of the smartest men in the world, cannot grasp the premise of science and faith co-existing and does a disservice to fellow men of both, such as Pascal and Mendel. Instead, he incorporates a snarky, anti-religious schtick into his presentations that frankly grow old and embarrass him.

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