Fr. Georges Lemaitre, like all Catholics, hated and feared SCIENCE[TM]

…when he wasn’t formulating the Big Bang Hypothesis.

He was just like those pitchfork-waving yahoos Pasteur, Mendel, and Albert the Great.

I remember Fr. Benedict Groeschel remarking that Einstein was fascinated by the idea of transubstantiation. Apparently he hadn’t learned from combox atheists and other dimestore members of the Internet Tribunals of Real Science[TM] that there were not more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in an antique materialist’s philosophy. Einstein got the bulletin that the simple certainties of the Deist’s Newtonian universe are old hat. But an amazing number of Highly Advanced Internet Atheists still live in the 18th century and have never heard of Einstein, Lemaitre, Heisenberg–or Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao.

They are also amazingly ignorant of Richard Rorty. But like Buzz Lightyear, they are always sure.

Since somebody mentioned it: Some of my atheist readers will be delighted to know that the Catholic Church let Copernicus out of hell!

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  • quasimodo

    Did quantum physics come before or after hearing confession?

    I also seem to remember that there are many astronomers who were also priests.

    • ds

      It is impossible to determine if quantum physics comes before or after confession until the actual confession is made. Thus quantum physics has to be considered as done before AND after confession until that confession is made.

  • Bo

    Half of all the craters on the moon are named after Jebbies

  • Hahaha! I loved reading this and can definitely relate. Unfortunately, there is a big misunderstanding when it comes to religion and science. On one side, you have militant atheists saying they’re mutually exclusive. On the other side you have certain religious groups saying the same thing. This leaves people like me raising a few eyebrows whenever I talk religion and/or science with these folk. Still, there’s nothing like walking into a biochemistry class on Ash Wednesday. Contrary to what those internet atheists claim…I am not the only one with ashes on my forehead.

  • Crfields

    Hey Mark,
    Thought provoking read. I am familiar with all the names you mentioned, except the last one. From the context clues, I would guess that Rorty wrote about certainty and the base of knowledge, but from what I can find about him, it appears he wrote about a lot of things. Would you mind expanding on what in particular an atheist could/should learn from him? Thank you good sir.

  • Arnold

    Yes, there were many priest astronomers, principally Jesuits. Over 25 places on the Moon are named after Jesuit astronomers. The Vatican installed its own telescope centuries ago. I would add to Mark’s list of clergy scientists Copernicus, who had received minor orders, I think. Galileo was also a very religious Catholic despite his troubles with Rome and had his high placed defenders in the hierarchy. I understand that the Protestant reformers were actually more negative about his claims than Rome.

    • Ted Seeber

      I’ve had atheists who were suprised to learn Galileo died of old age in a luxury apartment *paid for by the Pope*.

      • ds

        This is how I hope to go.

    • Ink

      There *are* many priest astronomers. The Vatican has its own Observatory out in Arizona. Also, Galileo was kind of a grumpy personality and had a personal relationship with the Pope–they were friends–but then ruined it. (My source for this Galileo information: Atheist Delusions by David Bentley Hart; worth a read.)

    • Probably about the same.

  • Dave Pawlak

    Johannes Kepler, a Protestant, was given refuge by the Jesuits.

  • MattyD

    Love it, Mark. Hitchens-Harris & Co have managed to genetically modify atheism into something far more ugly and dumb.

  • Religion Free Realist

    Einstein did not believe in a personal god.

  • Sadie

    Jérôme Lejeune was another brilliant Catholic scientist. He discovered the cause of Down Syndrome, among other things, and revolutionized genetics. He was a fierce defender of disabled people, and his pro-life quotes are so beautiful they nearly bring me to tears.

  • Elaine S.

    The central character in “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke, a classic science fiction short story, is a Jesuit priest.

  • ivan_the_mad

    I always chuckle when I hear about how much religious people hate science, since it makes me think of one of our parish priests, who has his PhD in physics.

    • Hezekiah Garret

      Its just so awesome that they’re so common that I have no reason to even suspect your physicist priest is the same one I once knew.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Does his last name rhyme with pork?

        • Hezekiah Garret

          Nope, like I said, different one!!!

  • Tom R

    Why would atheists think that a scientist can’t believe in transubstantiation? There is no empirical experiment that can prove whether or not transubstantiation occurred. It’s not in the same realm as what scientists do. In a world where AQ Khan believes Allah wants him to build nukes for the coming Caliphate, where Sir Isaac Newton investigated alchemy, and where Mormons with PhDs (who believe God spoke to Joseph Smith) get to fly on the space shuttle, Fr Lemaitre is (or should be) no surprise at all.