Sunday, October 14, 2007

scientific faith

A friend thought of my reference to an essay about Creationism and Catholics after hearing a recent lecture at my alma mater. Bill Gavin, a religion teacher at Bishop Ireton High School, spoke to the Catholic Campus Ministry at George Mason University this past Thursday. The topic of his talk was "The Catholic Contribution to Western Civilization." His high school students deliver presentations on the societal contributions of famous Catholics almost every day of the semester.

I listened to the podcast of Gavin's speech and appreciated his remark that faith and reason are not on a collision course. He cites famous scientists like Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project, who thinks of God as the greatest scientist. The Christian world view encouraged scientific discovery. Jesuit priests who were also scientists wanted to understand the natural laws created by God. Gavin mentions a priest who pitched the big bang theory to Einstein.

Throughout history, the Catholic Church initiated many things that we now take for granted like universities and hospitals. I didn't know that the some of the first clocks were created by monks. Before finishing, Gavin segued to Catholic contributions to the arts, economics, politics, and literature. The list of famous Catholics is impressive. I wonder if he could work Batman's faith into his next lecture.

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Anonymous Lance said...

Theatre was essentially born out of religious plays.

The Greeks performed plays (and drank) for Bacchus.

A few hundred years after the pagans were snuffed out, monks began reenacting bible stories and even had a traveling troupe. Don't know if they were Catholic, but probably.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that link, Frank. I really learned a lot from listening to Bill Gavin. Maybe I'll be able to defend my Catholic faith to critics a little better.


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