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Cardinal George Pell: Science and religion can coexist

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 Contents - Jun 2012AD2000 June 2012 - Buy a copy now
Society: Cardinal George Pell: Science and religion can coexist - Cardinal George Pell
Secularism: Same-sex 'marriage' is an attack on parents' rights and religious freedom - Patrick Byrne
News: The Church Around the World
NET Ministries: Another Catholic youth ministry success story - Br Barry Coldrey
Women Religious: Vatican takes action against dissenting US nuns - Babette Francis
Christendom: Hungary's new constitution a rebuke to secular Europe - Edward Pentin
Faith and Reason: Cardinal Pell debates Richard Dawkins on Q&A: a commentary - Frank Mobbs
Australian student campaigns for US college's Catholic identity - David Walsh
American priest's work for the protection of life in Russia - Eva-Maria Kolman
Latin: Pope John XXIII's document on Latin: 50th anniversary - Salvatore Cernuzio
Remembering the Catholic priests on board the 'Titanic' - AD2000 Report
Books: ABOUT BIOETHICS: Philosophical and Theological Approaches - Angela Schumann (reviewer)
Books: DEFEND THE FAITH, by Robert M. Haddad - Jennifer Nowell (reviewer)
Books: OUR GLORIOUS POPES, by Catherine Goddard Clarke - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE, by Peter Kreeft - Arthur Ballingall (reviewer)
Poetry: Simon of Cyrene - Bruce Dawe
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Benedict XVI: Pentecost and the Church's universality - Pope Benedict XVI

Religion's opponents like to claim that science and religion must be hostile to each other and that religion is old-fashioned and dying out. Neither misunderstanding is true.

The number of people in the world belonging to the four biggest religious traditions is increasing in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the world's growing population. In 1900 about 69 per cent of the world's population belonged to the four largest religious traditions. In 2005 this had risen to 73 per cent and might be 80 per cent in 2050.

The fantastic advances in science have actually strengthened the rational case for believers. Anthony Flew used to be billed as the world's best known atheist. He now claims that "of all the great discoveries of modern science, the greatest was God."

He was particularly impressed by the coding and information processing in all life forms and the determining genetic message in DNA. The unbelievable complexity and subtlety of the huge number of elements which combine together require Intelligence.

The universe was either created or evolved by chance. The odds against the random production of a human brain or eye are impossibly high like producing a card house in a gale and by chance!

Most scientists believe the universe began with the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. Some scientists, e.g., Einstein, were reluctant to accept this because it was compatible with the idea of Godly creation. If the explosion was one millionth of one per cent faster the universe would have exploded into a spray - no stars or planets. If it diminished by a similar tiny amount the universe would have collapsed. A 2 per cent change in our distance from the sun would destroy human life. Life is only possible through a succession of unbelievably fine balances.

Every animal in the world has the same body plan, except the jelly fish! The speed of light, the gravitational constant, the mass of a proton or electron are the same throughout the universe. These patterns, this order are not an illusion. The fantastic spiritual Intelligence outside space and time responsible for this fine, minute calibration is what we call God. (Editor: See pages 10-11).

From Cardinal George Pell's Sydney Sunday Telegraph column.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 25 No 5 (June 2012), p. 2

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