This brief post is a personal insight following a talk and Q&A session led by Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, astronomer to the Vatican Observatory and curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection, 18th March 2013.
In a nutshell: what I took from this talk in my own words is:
signs in our environment invite us to hypothesise their origin. They invite us to search for truth by following a methodology.
Science & Faith are in many ways, expressions of the same search for Truth, for God, for Answers that will get us closer to the Origin.
This was the ONE thought I took with me and which further develops, again, in my own words:
1) Faith originates in the humanity and personal identity of every one of us _marvels of creation in our own right_ doing the ‘believing’.
2) Faith then takes many shapes and develops with the methodical search for the peaceful balance, the immeasurable genius and generosity that constitutes and governs our existence.
We need not be an Ordained, M.I.T graduate, Vatican Curator and worldwide recognised Astronomer to wonder how the Universe came into existence; how it evolves and what it is that maintains its apparent balance.
Some of us feel in our beings the existence of an Originator: a loving, giving, ever-present being that ordains and maintains the balance we live in. We follow the methodology of prayer and self-reflection to gradually come closer to that Originator. Scientists (whether believers or otherwise) are doing very much the same, but with more numbers…
They start with faith: an assumption, a blind belief, an observation, a bright idea and work their way with disciplined work, towards an answer.
So… Why do some insist in maintaining that Faith & Science do not complement each other?
Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ Talk, Questions & Answers session can be heard in full here: http://www.msjc.org.uk/newsite/2013/03/astronomy-and-belief-now-online/
If you are sitting down, do read a bit more about the jaw-dropping achievements of the aforementioned here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Consolmagno
Some of his published work to date:
* God’s Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion [Kindle Edition]:
* Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope – and How to Find Them: http://amzn.to/YfJnR9
* Astronomy and the Vatican: http://amzn.to/YfJIn2
* Worlds Apart (with Martha W. Schaefer, Prentice Hall, 1993)
* The Way to the Dwelling of Light (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998)
* Brother Astronomer, Adventures of a Vatican Scientist (McGraw Hill, 2000) Review (Dead link)
* Intelligent Life in the Universe? Catholic belief and the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life (Catholic Truth Society, 2005)