science and religion

Social Conservatism and the New Nationalism

Jack Fowler, a longtime publishing executive at National Review, sat alone and lonely in the way back of the conference. A National Review writer sat among the press and wrote a first-day story. She reported it as straight news, no comment. To be sure, National Review editor Rich Lowry spoke to the crowd and did [...]

Has Science Run Its Course?

One year after scientists flipped the switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), physicist Lawrence Krauss fretted, "I worry whether we've come to the limits of empirical science.” His worry was not unfounded—in the last eleven years and at a cost of over $13B, the sole accomplishment of the LHC has been the confirmation of [...]

Science and the Ascension of Christ

A legion of publishers will attest that Father Stanley Jaki (1924-2009) did not suffer fools gladly, and under that category he filed virtually all editors. He wrote in perfect English but with a discernible Hungarian syntax so that his footnotes could be longer than the main text, and verbs often were fugitive. His patience with [...]

The Day Stephen Hawking Unsettled His Atheist Peers

Just over a century ago, Albert Einstein rolled out his theory of General Relativity, a paradigm-shifting take on the nature of gravity and its relation to space and matter. Of the implications of his theory, one that has captivated the imagination of filmmakers and the scientistic hopes of researchers and laypersons alike, is the black [...]

Science Is Never Settled

In his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore promotes the view that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) is fact and has caused nearly every malady in recent history from hurricane Katrina to the spread of malaria. What’s more, things are going to get worse; it’s not a question of if but when and how [...]

The Wonders of Things Unseen

In 1977, George Lucas struck box-office gold with the epic adventure Star Wars. Mystic luminaries, anthropomorphic androids, light sabers, and computerized special effects captured the imaginations of audiences young and old alike. But perhaps the most lasting impression on viewers was Obi-wan Kenobi’s Delphic disclosure: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power… It surrounds [...]

Science and Christian Theology Mutually Inform One Another

Popular consciousness in the West has affirmed over and over again, like the beating of a drum, that natural science and theology are in bitter conflict. Recently, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne made this claim in a predictable piece, claiming that the two are incompatible and are at war with one another. In recent years, scientific [...]

An Education to Restore Wonder

On a recent fall afternoon, bright and chilly as it can be in the Midwest, a group of parents in St. Louis had the opportunity for an informal visit from the president of Wyoming Catholic College and his wife, who is an associate professor at the school. The Doctors Arbery—Glenn and Virginia—each brought to the [...]

A Woman of Science: Maria Gaetana Agnesi

A cavalcade of women whose scientific achievements have had an important impact on the way we live and do things, challenges any attempt to stereotype these geniuses as colorless drones or “nerds,” which is merely a neologism of Dr. Seuss from 1950. For instance, the mathematician Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil was an elegant [...]

Is Religion a Science-Stopper?

According to evolutionary scientist Jerry Coyne, religion is so hopelessly inimical to science that any attempt to reconcile them is futile. As Coyne explains, “accepting both science and conventional faith leaves you with a double standard [between rationality and irrationality].” And just so you’re clear on which conventional faith he has in mind, he adds, [...]

Is the Universe a Hologram? Well…

In a criticism of creation and intelligent design, Carl Sagan famously quipped, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” What bypassed the critical filters of the late science popularizer is that the extraordinary theories concocted by materialistic scientists not only lack extraordinary evidence, they lack any evidence, and in some cases, any possibility for evidence. Panspermia, parallel [...]

Is Religious Skepticism a Sign of Intelligence?

I have yet to meet an atheist (and I’ve met and had lengthy conversations with quite a few) who didn’t believe that really smart people (like him) don’t believe in God. It’s a sentiment seemingly supported by various polling data. According to a 2017 Pew survey, belief in God is lower among college-educated individuals than [...]

On the Relationship Between Catholicism and Science

At the end of a class in early March, one of my students raised his hand and asked if there was any homework in ethics class. I was somewhat confused by the inquiry, since the student was currently not taking ethics. When he saw the expression of confusion on my face, he responded, “You know, [...]

The Price of Relevance

Last month we examined the current state of the humanities in universities as an example of what happens when an institution attempts to “evolve” in order to maintain its place of prestige in the world. Too often, the disciplines of the humane letters have abandoned their own characteristic modes and methods of examining reality and [...]

On the Overweening Pride of the Professorial Class

In a recent essay in Partisan Magazine, Daniel Brown argues that the decline of the humane disciplines has come about through an envy of the physical sciences and, in particular, the impossible desire to replicate the kind of revolutionary insights that have given those sciences their prestige in the modern age. Brown accounts for this [...]

Making Dogma Out of Unsettled Science

In the Broadway redaction of Pygmalion, Professor Higgins regretted how proper English is considered freakish, and “in America, they haven’t used it for years.” The problem glares in the speech of television commentators, for whom coiffures are more important than diction: while grammar is banished from the social media, our urban landscape has become a jungle [...]

Bill Nye the Science Guy Kills His Brain to Promote a Lie

There really is something charming about Bill Nye the Science Guy. I’ve never been a fan by any measure: for one thing, I’m too old. But Nye’s screen persona has genuine appeal, and he really did help a generation of American kids develop an interest in science. So I was a bit upset when he [...]

Mixing Up the Sciences of Heaven and Earth

A museum curator here in New York recently showed me some extraordinary documents and I touched them with awe, albeit with cotton gloves.  There was Benjamin Franklin’s annotated copy of the Constitution, and a long letter by Washington refusing to run for a second presidential term, because all he had to commend himself was his character, which was [...]

Reason is Not the Sole Property of Skeptics

A few weeks ago Politico published an article by professional skeptic Michael Shermer—I think when you are the publisher of a magazine called Skeptic, you can be classified as a "professional skeptic," right?—called "Why Politicians Need Science," with the subtitle, "Remember: before the triumph of science, we burned witches at the stake and thought that kings [...]

How We Think Helps Explain the Culture Wars

Some say the world has gone mad, others that it is only now becoming sane. The disagreement shows that people disagree on what it is to be rational. It also reflects a widespread and very basic change in how people think. Joe Bissonnette notes that the change is visible in IQ test results. For decades [...]

Why Atheists Don’t Really Exist

Confirmation bias is the tendency to ascribe greater significance to information that supports our pre-existing theories and lesser significance to information that contradicts those theories. We often do this subconsciously. For example you get a new car, and now you notice that same type of car on the road with a much greater frequency than [...]

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