Yes I have a strong religious commitment. I am a Christian.
Science does not trump anything in my faith. I let the Bible do theology, and I let science do science. I take the view of historic interpreters such as Adelard of Bath.
“In response to his nephew’s query about why plants rise from the earth, and the nephew’s conviction that this should be attributed to “the wonderful operation of the wonderful divine will,” Adelard replies that it is certainly “the will of the Creator that plants should rise from the earth. But this thing is not without a reason,” which prompts Adelard to offer a naturalistic explanation based on the four elements.", Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 71.
“Adelard’s emphasis on the use of reason is rather remarkable. His message is clear. He firmly believed that God was the creator of the world, and that God provided the world with a rational structure and a capacity to operate by its own laws. In this well-ordered world, natural philosophers must always seek a rational explanation for phenomena. They must search for a natural cause and not resort to God, the ultimate cause of all things, unless the secondary cause seems unattainable.”, Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 72.
Also Bernard of Tours, who strongly encouraged the investigation of nature, believing that although its laws were hidden, it was possible for them to be sought out and discovered.
“[Humanity] shall behold clearly principles shrouded in darkness, so that Nature may keep nothing undisclosed. He will survey the aerial realms, the shadowy stillness of Dis [the underworld], the vault of heaven, the breadth of the earth, [and] the depths of the sea. He will perceive whence things change, why the summer swelters, autumn blights the land, spring is balmy, winter cold. He will see why the sun in [sic] radiant, and the moon, why the earth trembles, and the ocean swells. Why the summer day draws out its long hours, and night is reduced to a brief interval… (Cosmographia, Mircosmos [sic] 10)”, Christopher B. Kaiser, Toward A Theology of Scientific Endeavour the Descent of Science (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007), 175.
Also William of Conches.
“William thought it improper to invoke God’s omnipotence as an explanation for natural phenomena. Like all natural philosophers in the Middle Ages, William of Conches believed that God was the ultimate cause of everything, but, like Adelard of Bath, he believed that God had empowered nature to produce effects and that one should therefore seek the cause of those effects in nature.", Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 73.
“He also rejected the idea that Scripture was of use in natural philosophy.”, Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 73.
Of course these days you get some anti-evolutionists saying this is Deism. To them I reply with William’s words.
“But modern priests do not want us to inquire into anything that isn’t in the Scriptures, only to believe simply, like peasants.", Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 74.
Those words are just as applicable today as they were then.
No. But it is inexcusable to claim that the reason we must do so is because there is insufficient evidence for firm scientific conclusions. That’s the problem with Humani Generis, since it makes that claim when it isn’t true.
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Clearly you are unaware that I have always strongly believed in, and continue to defend, a historical Adam and Eve.
But your opinion is irrelevant when contrasted with the overwhelming scientific evidence. This post is relevant here.
I agree. But when you say “Theologians should not dictate to scientists”, and then go and teach theology to kids and that theology contradicts established scientific facts, then you’re not adhering to your own principle. You’re letting theology dictate to science.
This is sleight of hand. When theology is taught in schools, and that theology contradicts established scientific facts, that’s theology dictating to science. You don’t need actual theologians for that, just teachers who are teaching theology instead of real science. I’ll finish with William of Conches again.
“when modern priests hear this, they ridicule it immediately because they do not find it in the Bible. They don’t realise that the authors of truth are silent on matters of natural philosophy, not because these matters are against the faith, but because they have little to do with the strengthening of such faith, which is what those authors are concerned with.”