The Atheist Scientist
and the Catholic Priest

Over the past few weeks I have been writing about different perspectives on Catholic and Atheist beliefs. The point has not been to try to prove that the fundamental conclusions of one group or another are correct. Rather the goal has been to encourage both groups to think carefully about the shaky or unexplored assumptions of their own world view.

In this post I want to show how Atheists and Catholics can collaborate effectively, even if it takes a couple of years to do so after first speaking about something they disagree on.

Father Georges Lemaitre was both a Jesuit priest and a trained scientist. He lived in Belgium. While there were others who developed the rudiments of the “Big Bang” theory, he independently developed rigorous mathematical expressions that supported his hypothesis. That hypothesis was that the universe is expanding and started a very long time ago while compressed into a space smaller than a volley ball. For this he is called the father of the “Big Bang.”

He brought his work to the attention of Albert Einstein in 1927. Einstein admired the math but felt the conclusions were preposterous. But over a period of 2 years Einstein came around and admitted in a very public way that Father Lemaitre’s work was brilliant and that he (Einstein) was wrong. Einstein had believed the universe was static and neither expanding or contracting. Father Lemaitre’s work, as confirmed by Edwin Hubble in 1929, showed that Einstein and others were wrong. The universe is not static. It definitely appears to be expanding and doing so at a fantastically rapid speed.

If one reads some of Einstein’s quotes, it sounds like he does believe in God. But when asked directly he said that he did not believe in a conception of God that takes personal interest in human life. Essentially he was a scientist and an atheist.

Father Lemaitre was a scientist and a Catholic Priest who believed God does exist.

Father Lemaitre’s work does not prove that God exists. But it proves that someone who believes in God can develop valid science and interact with Atheist scientists on a scientific basis.

Albert Einstein demonstrated that he could admit that one of his most important core assumptions was mistaken even though it took him 2 years to do so.

If only more Catholic Priests, lay people and Popes could do the same. Sadly most Christians are obstinately stuck on core beliefs such as Original Sin even though this particular belief has been proven by evolutionary biologists to be a mistaken idea. Sadly, Original Sin is not the only doctrine that Catholics will need to disavow.

At any rate this story shows that much fruitful collaboration can exist between those who believe and those who do not.

For people in either camp, the way forward is the same. A rigorous review of the core assumption and doctrines of their world view with the goal being to really see which assumptions are valid and which really are not.

My sense is that as people of both groups do this work there will be a synthesis that emerges. In the new synthesis, much of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu doctrines will be seen to be wrong.

But the core assumption of Atheists that there is no such thing as God will also be proven wrong. It will be proven wrong because it will be confirmed by scientists and believers that there is a life that unifies all life and that the nature of that universal life or energy is sublime and fully accessible to each person.

In fact when you think about it couldn’t God be what Einstein was looking for in his search for a Unified Field Theory??  And when Scientists talk about String Theory why do they never seem to ask, “Who made the strings?”

Will Raymond  Author of “The Simple Path of Holiness” Host of     774-232-0884

One thought on “The Atheist Scientist
and the Catholic Priest

  1. Will, I especially like this part–
    “It will be proven wrong because it will be confirmed by scientists and believers that there is a life that unifies all life and that the nature of that universal life or energy is sublime and fully accessible to each person.”
    That has been my belief and it is this belief that it is my hope to get back to. I do believe that all of us are connected to each other and to a Divine Presence, and that that Divine Presence is Love. Maybe it is enough to know this and not get caught up in the things that I do not understand. Maybe the Love that connects us to Spirit has to be felt in the heart instead of the mind. I do believe that we all have access to that energy, and that it does not only come to a few (priests, etc.). I have felt it while doing many different forms of healing work. As you have said, I need to find it again, just for myself so that I can heal, before I can offer it to others again.
    I like what you said today about my wanting to be home instead of going out, as a positive thing. Instead of thinking that I want to get back to the things I used to enjoy and be able to do, I think it would be helpful to me to understand that maybe there are different things for me to enjoy now. And that being peaceful at home is one of them.
    I am really rambling here. Our talk this morning gave me much to think about.
    I also read today’s blog. And ordered Autobiography of a Soul from the library. In this particular moment, I am feeling the start of new beliefs about myself that are more loving than I have thought in a very long time.
    Thank you, Will

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