Vatican – science, faith and the big bang

A conference themed around the big bang is being held at the Vatican Observatory this week in honour of Monsignor George Lemaitre SJ who came up with the theory in 1927.

Pope Francis called for the conference.

The agenda the world leading scientists, astrophysicists, cosmologists and other experts are discussing includes “black holes, gravitational waves and space-time singularities”.

Research papers include titles such as “Strong evidence for an accelerating universe”; “Black hole perturbations: a review of recent analytical results”; and “Observing the Signature of Dynamical Space-Time through Gravitational Waves”.

Observatory  director, Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ said the conference offers an opportunity to show the world the  Catholic Church “supports good science.”

It’s not a matter of science versus faith either, he suggests. “If you have no faith in your faith, that is when you will fear science,”

He also noted the “creative act of God is not something that happened 13.8 billion years ago. It’s something that happens continually.

“Those of us that are religious, will recognize the presence of God, but you don’t have to make a theological leap to search for the truth,” Consolmagno said.

“There are many things we know we do not understand. We cannot be good religious people or scientists if we think that our work is done.”

Consolmagno said the Vatican hopes the conference “will also be an encounter of people with very different opinions but very close friendships that come from having the same common desire to understand the truth of the universe and how we can understand that truth”.



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