“First thesis. Science, and in particular cosmology, physics and biology, are the only objective and serious ways of knowing reality.”
There’s a couple different ways to take this. I’d probably argue that science is the only way to obtain empirical knowledge about the world. An atheist would probably argue that it’s the only way to obtain ‘reliable’ information.
The problem is that science never says that empirical knowledge is the only valuable information. There are many things which cannot at present be measured in a scientific fashion, that have considerable import. That science advances and tries to define these things is evidence that empirical knowledge isn’t the only valuable information out there.
“Second thesis. This way of knowing is incompatible with faith that is based on assumptions which are neither demonstrable or falsifiable.”
This is a bad argument. If it were true that if a person held knowledge in addition to empirical knowledge, and this information was contrary to science, then science itself never would have advanced. Science provides insights that are valuable to everyone, irrespective of their faith.
To argue that faith contradicts science, makes science too weak, because you are arguing that science cannot be of use to these people. Gravity doesn’t stop working just because you are a protestant instead of being Catholic.
“Third thesis. Science has demonstrated the falsehood, or at least the lack of necessity of the theory of God.”
One, we don’t know what happens earlier than Planck time. Hawking can argue his theory, but until things change substantially, it is just a theory.
Two, this is like arguing that science has demonstrated that pigs do not fly. How do you measure God? Science concerns itself with things that can be measured, and God is not one of them.
“Fourth thesis. Almost the totality, or at least the great majority of scientists are atheists.”
If this were in fact the case, then something is wrong with science. Faith should be irrelevant to your ability to perform the scientific method. That scientists themselves would bar those who practice faith, is evidence that they are being poor scientists.
Good comments. I’m looking forward to more of Fr. Cantalamessa’s remarks next week. I have several of his books. I find his comparison of Orthodox and Western thought to be very informative.
One point he did not bring up, but might have, is how often “science” gives information that is just plain wrong. For a person of faith, there’s not much percentage in twisting one’s beliefs to accommodate “science” due to the chance that what you’re being told is either honestly erroneous or flat-out falsified.