The Intersection

A couple months ago, we learned that the Vatican named pollution a new sin and now it seems they like astronomy too…

Funes [Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory] said science, especially astronomy, does not contradict religion… The Bible “is not a science book,” Funes said, adding that he believes the Big Bang theory is the most “reasonable” explanation for the creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter.


  1. #1 Dano
    May 14, 2008

    I saw this quote in an old Sky & Telescope, but haven’t found it elsewhere:

    “The Bible tells you how to go to Heaven, it doesn’t tell you how the heavens go.” — Cardinal Baronius

    This is how I’ve approached it for many years now.



  2. #2 Algerine
    May 14, 2008

    They’re fond of genetics too. The Augustinians that ran my old school were rightfully proud Gregor Mendel was one of their own. Much more so than they were for Martin Luther. Go figure.

  3. #3 floy
    May 14, 2008

    It’s been my experience, raised as a Catholic as I have been, that the RC church is generally pretty inclusive when it comes to science. I went to a Catholic high school and they taught evolution in biology classes without having to hear the dreaded ‘it’s only a theory’ qualifier once.

  4. #4 James F
    May 14, 2008

    Dr. Funes has a tough act to follow in Dr. George Coyne, who absolutely tore apart ID, but this is promising.

  5. #5 Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
    May 15, 2008

    “A couple months ago, we learned that the Vatican named pollution a new sin”

    The Ancient Egyptians beat them by about 3,200 years. One of the 42 sins a soul was judged on was “Have you polluted clean water”. If you were guilty, your heart (which was weighed on a scale against the feather of truth, would fall into the clutches of a monster called Apep, who’d then eat your heart. For eternity.

    Kinda makes the EPA’s enforcement powers look a bit feeble, eh?

  6. #6 TomJoe
    May 15, 2008

    Funes said, adding that he believes the Big Bang theory is the most “reasonable” explanation for the creation of the universe.

    He very well should, since Georges Henri Joseph Éduard Lemaître, a fellow priest was the first individual to propose the theory.

  7. #7 Russell Blackford
    May 24, 2008

    You neglected to mention that the Cult of Misery is opposed to condoms and all other technologies of birth control, campaigns against abortion rights, and considers homosexual conduct and masturbation to be sins – along with all other sexual acts other than potentially procreative ones between heterosexual married couples (to be fair, if you’re a woman you can still have sex with your husband after the menopause). Traditionally, it has even opposed too much emphasis on sexual pleasure within marriage. Though it has changed its tune a bit lately, the Cult of Misery has traditionally considered sex to be shameful, partly justified only by its procreative potential. Go and see what Augustine and Aquinas say. The Cult of Misery, moreover, opposes IVF, embryo research, and therapeutic cloning, will not even countenance more advanced genetic and reproductive technologies no matter how beneficial by secular standard, and argues its positions on moral issues by using absurd concepts such as “human dignity” and “proper natural functions”. It teaches guilt, and rejects moral thinking based on the pursuit of happiness and avoidance of suffering – it sees this as shallow, and ends up valorising misery and suffering in the most repugnant ways.

    I do get sick of this, the most populous, powerful and sinister of the all the religious cults, so often getting a free ride just because it doesn’t actually deny the reality of biological evolution – though even here it has doctrinal reservations.

    There is nothing remotely moderate or liberal-minded about the Roman Catholic Church. Don’t pat it on the head as if it were some cute, fluffy animal.

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