I can see where the idea that faith and reason, religion and science, are seen as bitter enemies. Bishop Ussher, when he wasn't writing about " 'papists' and their 'superstitious' faith and 'erroneous' doctrine" (Linder), used the best (Protestant) Bible scholarship of his day to determine the date, in the year 4004 B.C., when the world was created.
Between Ussher and his acolytes, and fans of Thomas Carlyle, it's easy to get the impression that religious people - particularly Christians - live in a special little world of their own.
Darwin and Huxley's mix of science and proselytizing, and the (in my view) imprudently passionate and somewhat clueless responses by well-meaning Christians, helped establish the idea that faith isn't reasonable.
I've written about that sort of thing before: and linked to those posts toward the end of this one.
Me? I can't assume that faith is opposed to reason, because I've studied Catholic teachings: and converted to Catholicism.
I don't expect to convince anyone who earnestly believes that Science (capital "S") is all about reality and that those religious people over there are a lot of superstitious atavisms.
And I wouldn't expect to change the mind of someone who was passionately convinced that Faith (capital "F") is utterly unrelated to reason. That doesn't mean that I agree with either, or that I've bought into the idea that (A) can equal (not-A). I'm not that "sophisticated."
The Patron Saint of Scientists?!Albert had the reputation of being a wizard and magician during his lifetime. He wasn't, but I can see how that happened.
He was the son of a military lord in Emperor Frederick II's army, back in the 13th century, but took a more scholarly career track than his father's. After joining the Dominicans, he was given several teaching assignments, and then ordered to to set up a Dominican house in Cologne. Which is how he ran into Thomas Aquinas, but that's another story.
Albert was allowed to settle in Cologne in his later years, which seems to have given him time to pursue some of his own interests. He built a laboratory of sorts where he conducted experiments in chemistry and physics.
I suppose the plants, insects, and odd chemicals he collected and used helped build his reputation as a wizard.
"...He died a very old man in Cologne on November 15,1280, and is buried in St. Andrea's Church in that city. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. His writings are remarkable for their exact scientific knowledge, and for that reason he has been made the patron saint of scientists.Related posts:
Thought for the Day: St. Albert the Great was convinced that all creation spoke of God and that the tiniest piece of scientific knowledge told us something about Him. Besides the Bible, God has given us the book of creation revealing something of His wisdom and power. In creation, Albert saw the hand of God...."
("The One Year Book of Saints")
- "Dinosaurs, Mutant Chickens, Evolution, and Faith in God"
(June 29, 2009)
- "Faith and Reason, Religion and Science"
(March 20, 2009)
- "Catholic Church, Creationism, Evolution, Facts and Faith"
(March 5, 2009)
- Pontifical Academy of Sciences
(Pontificia Acaemia Scientarvm)
The Holy See
- "Predictability in Science: Accuracy and Limitations"
The Proceedings of the Plenary Session 3-6 November 2006
Pontificia Acaemia Scientarvm, Vatican City (2008)
- "ST. ALBERT the GREAT (Died 1280 A.D.)"
"The One Year Book of Saints," via EWTN