Lemaitre and Einstien
BBC allows Lemaitre to witness to harmony of Faith and Reason

BBC allows Lemaitre to witness to harmony of Faith and Reason

The BBC recently produced an excellent two-part programme concerning the beginning and end of the universe (available until 28th April). The presenter, Prof. Jim Al-Khalili, is a regular presenter of “The Life Scientific” on Radio 4 and has presented several television series on science. He is an excellent and enthusiastic explainer of things scientific. He has also been President of the British Humanist Association and describes himself as a 'cuddly atheist'.

The New Atheism debate has confirmed one significant cause of the atheism of many scientists, particularly physicists.  They view religion as engendering an anti-scientific outlook, one where the whole enterprise of scientific enquiry is undermined by dogmatism, even if the particular dogmas are contradicted by scientific fact, such as creationism.

It was particularly pleasing that in this programme credit was given to Mgr. Georges Lemaître, the Belgian priest-physicist who came up with the Big Bang theory, without implying that he was a physicist despite being a Catholic priest. We might argue that Lemaître's theological outlook actually provided a perfect philosophical basis for his physics. The very notion that observation, in this case astronomical, can enable us to explain, or at least try to explain, the structure of the universe implies that the universe is explicable, rather than chaotic. Indeed, the whole enterprise of human knowing, the natural sciences included, shows this. Philosophy indicates that we cannot just take this order within physical reality for granted. The very intelligibility to us of scientific 'law' and causality implications concerning spiritual mind which, in the Faith theology, implies the necessary existence of a supreme spiritual being. The orthodox catholic view is, and has always been, that faith and observed fact cannot contradict each other since truth cannot contradict truth.

Faith Magazine

November - December 2017

Recent Blog Posts

  1. Weinstein and Modern Judgmentalism

    Weinstein and Modern Judgmentalism
    The Harvey Weinstein affair has unleashed a can of worms. There has been a series of exposures concerning sexual offences or inappropriate sexual behaviour of MPs, celebrities and others. There is no doubt that sexual harassment, carried out mostly by men, deserves condemnation and certainly ther...
    Read More
  2. Islam and Terrorism

    Islam and Terrorism
    We are all aware of the horror of the terrorist attacks in recent years and of the senseless attack outside the mosque in Finsbury Park, London. It is inspiring how brave those who work in the emergency services are and how strong the community support has been in all these cases. As Christians, ...
    Read More
  3. Flirting with Fideism

    Flirting with Fideism
    In America magazine John J. Conley, S.J., of Loyola University argues in effect that we need a new synthesis of faith and reason given that “the world [of neo-scholastic philosophy] has disappeared”.He invites us to make “the synthetic passage through both Athens and Jerusalem t...
    Read More
  4. The Trump Election and Freedom of Thought

    The Trump Election and Freedom of Thought
    In a recent “Points of View” episode on BBC Radio 4[1], the well-known philosopher, Professor Roger Scruton, gave a reasoned analysis of something that may explain the surprise election of Donald Trump in America and of the Brexit vote here in the UK. Although clearly not a supporter ...
    Read More
  5. Bishop Barron Misses the Impact of Modern Science

    Bishop Barron Misses the Impact of Modern Science
    On his blog and in a recent Catholic Herald piece (9.9.16) Bishop Robert Barron offers some excellent reflections upon a recent Pew survey looking at reasons why young people are leaving Christianity in droves. He well shows how Roman Catholic leaders and teachers are dangerously underestimating ...
    Read More
  6. Jeff Mirus illustrates the fulfillment of Holloway's 1950 prediction.

    Jeff Mirus illustrates the fulfillment of Holloway's 1950 prediction.
    Jeff Mirus writes here on modern murder mystery novels. He says “Unfortunately, I’ve run into a number of telling cultural trends in these stories which make it more difficult to relax and enjoy the solution to 'a good clean murder'". He well articulates the over represen...
    Read More