Yesterday was the Feast of St. Albert the Great (1206-1280). He was one of the greatest philosophers of the middle ages. The West had just rediscovered the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.
He had a great interest in science and astronomy. He had an inquiring mind, a great intellect, and a thirst for learning. One of his most famous students was St. Thomas Aquinas.
As I move around doing Q & A with young people in schools, I come across some very interesting questions. Often a statement comes up which says something like “I am for science therefore cannot accept religion”!!
People like St. Albert the Great remind us that many deeply religious people have an inquiring mind, and are also great scientists, while also being Christian.
One of the questions that often comes up is “how can you accept evolution while also being a believer in the Bible”?
The Bible is not a book of science. It is a book of Theology. It has two authors, there is the human author, but there is also God the Divine author inspiring the human author.
The human author wrote in the style and world view of their day. They were part of a culture and way of life.
Of course, the Bible often challenges the norms and values that were held by people at the time of writing.
The deep insights on what is behind things that we see, come from God.
Good science observes and reports on what is observable.
The theory of evolution has a lot of evidence to show that some form of evolution of species has happened. Of course, there is not just one unified constant opinion. There are various interpretations and opinions. That is for science to settle.
Whatever happens, it would not and could not have happened without God. God is ultimately responsible for all of creation.
People like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ, and so many others were both great believers, even mystics and scientists. No-one knows all the answers to great mysteries.
Oversimplifying complex things can lead us away from the deep truths. There is no clash between good science and good religion. Science and Theology are complimentary into a deeper understanding.