Pope wades back into debate on “seductive” science

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Benedict warned on Monday of the "seductive" powers of science that relegate man's spirituality, reviving the science-versus-religion debate which recently forced him to cancel a speech after student protests.

"In an age when scientific developments attract and seduce with the possibilities they offer, it's more important than ever to educate our contemporaries' consciences so that science does not become the criteria for goodness," he told scientists.

Scientific investigation should be accompanied by "research into anthropology, philosophy and theology" to give insight into "man's own mystery, because no science can say who man is, where he comes from or where he is going", the Pope said.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

8 Comments
Posted January 29, 2008 at 5:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Larry Morse wrote:

At least there is one man who understands the grave evils and damages caused by shimmering mirrors of scientism.  LM

January 29, 9:42 am | [comment link]
2. ElaineF. wrote:

The Holy Father captures the mind and the heart in one fell swoop!

January 29, 11:02 am | [comment link]
3. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

Demarcation:
Science: Falsifiable (testable) theories.
Non-science: Non-falsifiable theories.

Religion needs to recognize that it is not science and science needs to recognize it is not religion.

January 29, 11:49 am | [comment link]
4. Larry Morse wrote:

Bu t the Pope is not talking about science properly so-called, he is talking about scientism, the ethos that has grown up around science and technology which asserts values derived, as it supposes, from science, and therefore at one with the Truth. Moreover, stop and consider a moment how much science - still science qua science, now - that is not testable - reproducible - yet but which is treated as if it is, dark matter and dark energy, for example, the Big Bang, a whole host of particles, and all the published material by reputable scientists about t he events following the Big Bang. Moreover, the Pope is telling us not to confuse science qua science and certainty, a vital distinction t hat all scientism fails to pay attention to,                indeed, a distinction that most of us commonly ignore. Larry

January 29, 5:10 pm | [comment link]
5. David Fischler wrote:

Re #3

By that standard, I believe neo-Darwinian evolution would be religion rather than science. But y’all already knew that.

January 29, 5:11 pm | [comment link]
6. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

#5…Actually, neo-Darwinian evolution contains scientific and metaphysical aspects (as do all scientific theories). Some (neo) Darwinists hold it as almost a religion, but this misrepresents the theory itself (scientism).

January 29, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
7. Pb wrote:

I thought the study of squid would lead to new discoveries in theology. Science is the god of this age. It places our understanding at the center of reality. When Blake encountered Descartes state ment “I think, therefore I am” he said it was the most dangerous idea ever since it placed man in ther center of reality.

January 30, 1:00 pm | [comment link]
8. Harvey wrote:

“..who man is, where he comes from or where he is going…”.  So long as “science” ignores what is written in the Word of God, starting in Genesis and finishing in Revelation, no answer is possible.  If they believe then no answer is necessary.

January 30, 2:14 pm | [comment link]
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