The Catholic Church has been accused of being unintellectual and only faith-based. The debate on evolution versus the Bible is an example. I know there are catholic readers who think this is silly because they know Church history and how Church teaching does not contradict science as truth cannot contradict itself. But today’s article is for those who may think the Church contradicts science. Please note, this is a short list as there are many more examples of the Catholic Church loving truth in science.
1. Foundations for Genetics
Gregor Mendel was Austrian monk from the 19th century. He laid down the beginnings for genetics. The “laws of Mendelian inheritance” were named after him. It’s a fancy phrase for hereditary rules. People know the name, but few know he was a devout man of faith.
2. The Scientific Method
In short, this process of making observations, hypothesizing, and experimenting to verify the hypothesis. IT was started by Bishop Grosseteste (funny that test is in his last name) in the 13th century and later refined by Roger Bacon, a Franciscan monk. Against science?—I think not.
Nicolas Steno, a Danish bishop from the 17th century, founded this field of study on crystals. The first principle, “Steno’s Law”, was named after him.
4. The fibonacci numerical system
That four syllable word just means numbers, such as, “1, 2, 3, 4 . . .” The numerical system was introduced to European science by the 13th century Catholic, Fibonacci.
5. Numbers galore
Remember negative numbers from Algebra class? The Catholic mathematician, Gerolamo Cardano, started the use of it in the 16th century.
Plus Signs (+) and Minus Signs (-)
Johannes Widmann, Catholic mathematician, invented these symbols in the 15th century.
6. Hexagonal Honeycombs
Fr. Jan Brozek, a Polish priest from the 17th century, discovered that hexagonal honeycombs are the most efficient way of using wax and storing honey. It’s more than honey: he discovered how efficiencies can be found all over creation.
These are lunar maps. The first selenographs were made by Jesuit priests, Fr. Riccoli and Fr. Grimaldi. You can see these Jesuit’s works at the Smithsonian’s Moon exhibit.
Most importantly, the truth of our Faith and of Jesus Christ is higher than the truth of science. Truth cannot contradict truth. We can contemplate scientific truths, but we do not want to risk losing sight of the truth of our eternal prize, our heavenly home. As well as the truth of the means of arriving there through the Catholic Church.