THERE are moments when I see something on the Internet that pulls me up so short that I’m left wondering whether I’ll ever get the skid-marks off the marble floor.
Here’s one quote I stumbled across late last night in an article about superintelligent robots.
We need supreme guidance, just like children need teachers. St Thomas said that ‘without faith in God the human race would remain in the blackest shadows of ignorance’.
Much of the human race, as we point out here on a daily basis, remains “in the blackest shadows of ignorance” precisely because of faith in God.
But what stopped me in my tracks was that quote did not come from someone really, really stoopid like, say, the Stephen “Birdshit” Green, Baroness Warsi, or the Governor of Texas, but:
A former scientist turned homemaker, and joyful convert to Catholicism.
Stacy Trasancos has a PhD in Chemistry, has just completed a MA in Dogmatic Theology, and has written a book Science Was Born of Christianity: The Teaching of Fr Stanley L Jaki.
According to this article, Jaki – an Hungarian Benedictine monk and physicist who died in Madrid in 2009 at the age of 83 – was the best Catholicism could offer as an antidote to:
The rise of the ‘new atheism’ and such figures as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, etc.
The author, Thomas D. Watts, Ph.D, wrote that:
Jaki argued persuasively and profoundly that Enlightenment philosophes, thinkers and writers (on down to the present) have been mistaken about Christianity and science. For them, Christianity supposedly inhibited, and even oppressed, science.
But Jaki, along with his great mentor Pierre Duhem, knew that the opposite had occurred. In The Savior of Science (2000), Jaki revealed the Christian foundations of modern science.He examined the failed attempts at a sustained science on the part of the ancient cultures of Greece, China, India, and the early Muslim empire.
Christian monotheism alone provided epistemological underpinnings for scientific endeavour.
In her paean to Jaki, Texas-raised Stacy Trasancos, a mother of seven and a convert to Catholicism in 2006, says of her book in an article entitled “Without Dogma Science is Lost”:
[It’s] not just a book you can read, but a book you can use to explain the startling claim that science needs to be guided by faith, and that the Catholic Church has a legitimate right and authority to veto scientific conclusions that directly contradict her dogma.
This is not about the Church being against science, but about the Church being a guardian of truth. There is no purpose to science if it is not about the truth.