Bishop Robert Barron has spent a lot of time over the years discussing the relationship between science and religion – especially refuting New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens – to show that the war between science and religion is a myth. In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Bishop Barron explains why science and religion are not enemies, but allies that lead us on the path to truth. He writes:
The modern physical sciences were, in fact, made possible by the religious milieu out of which they emerged. It is no accident that modern science first appeared in Christian Europe, where a doctrine of creation held sway. To hold that the world is created is to accept, simultaneously, the two assumptions required for science: namely, that the universe is not divine and that it is intelligible.
If the world or nature were considered divine (as it is in many philosophies and mysticisms), then one would never allow oneself to analyze it, dissect it or perform experiments on it. But a created world, by definition, is other than God and, in that very otherness, open to inquiry.
Similarly, if the world were considered unintelligible, no science would get off the ground, because all science is based on the presumption that nature can be known. But the world, Christians agree, is thoroughly intelligible, and hence scientists have the confidence to seek, explore and experiment.
This is why thoughtful people — Christians and atheists alike — must battle the myth of the eternal warfare of science and religion. We must continually preach, as St. John Paul II did, that faith and reason are complementary and compatible paths toward the knowledge of truth.
Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.