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.
January/ February 2019
Recent Blog Posts
- Blog: 10.04.18Professor Stephen Hawking RIPWith the death of Stephen Hawking, the world has lost a great physicist who made important contributions to our understanding of cosmology. Together with Prof. Roger Penrose, he linked General Relativity with Quantum Physics in the immensely challenging context of Bla...Read More
- Blog: 13.02.18Over at First Things a transcript has appeared of the 2017 href="https://www.firstthings.com/events/2017-erasmus-lecture">Erasmus Lecture given at the end of last year by Bishop Robert Barron on the subject of “reaching the nones”, that is those who self-declare as being of “no religion”. The whole piece is definitely worth reading, a...Read More
- Blog: 28.01.18The recent Channel 4 News interview of Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, by journalist Cathy Newman is currently trending high on YouTube and various Social Media platforms. The 30 minute interview rapidly covers a lot of ground; the difference between the sex...Read More
- Blog: 08.01.18“Peace is the harmony of good order. Good order is the membering of man in ready acceptance and honest love.” (Edward Holloway, Catholicism: A New Synthesis, 1)As we begin 2018, the sense of tension in the international order is strong. There are fears of nuclear war given the problem...Read More
- Blog: 30.12.17Fr Chris Findlay-Wilson made the below defence of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Herald (15th Dec., letters):"a fresh witness of true love is desperately needed; that it is love – not sex – that fulfils us as human beings." This is a point often made by Fr Holloway, ...Read More
- Blog: 24.11.17Last Saturday was the 100th anniversary of Agnes Holloway giving birth to Edward.He was born just as Lenin’s revolution began. This was the beginning of changing the poor, Christian country of Russia into the powerful Marxist one. It was predicted by Our Lady of Fatima over the previous six...Read More