Friday, December 16, 2016

Alan Padgett Discusses Science & Religion

There are many evidences to support the claim that science has progressively advanced our understanding of the universe, nature or reality. In a work published by Eerdmans (dated 2003), Alan G. Padgett argues that there is no inherent conflict between science and religion, once "science" is properly defined. Padgett contends that science is not a worldview (a Weltanschauung); furthermore, aptly-understood scientia is capable of existing collegially with religion.

Padgett discusses ways in which science may collegially work with religion. He directs our attention to Galileo, portraying him as "a brilliant scientist whose work has influenced human culture and fundamentally shaped our understanding of the world. He made significant advances in many areas of natural science and is justly famous for his work in physics and astronomy" (A. Padgett, Science and the Study of God: A Mutuality Model for Theology and Science, page 5).

Pope Benedict XVI confirmed what Padgett states above. When addressing the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, he professed:

"The history of science in the twentieth century is one of undoubted achievement and major advances. Unfortunately, the popular image of twentieth-century science is sometimes characterized otherwise, in two extreme ways. On the one hand, science is posited by some as a panacea, proven by its notable achievements in the last century. Its innumerable advances were in fact so encompassing and so rapid that they seemed to confirm the point of view that science might answer all the questions of man's existence, and even of his highest aspirations. On the other hand, there are those who fear science and who distance themselves from it, because of sobering developments such as the construction and terrifying use of nuclear weapons. Science, of course, is not defined by either of these extremes."

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