Science and God

Steuart Campbell’s opinion that “science and religion remain incompatible” (Letters, 14 May) is not supported by the evidence. A brief glance through the history of science reveals a great many Christians who were scientists, and did not abandon either their faith or their science.

Perhaps Mr Campbell might find the following litany of Catholic scientists helpful: Fr Gregor Mendel, who discovered the laws of hereditary and is known as the “father of genetics”; and Fr Georges LeMaitre, who proposed the “hypothesis of the primeval atom” that was later named the Big Bang theory.

Then there is Fr Roger Bacon, who is considered a father of the scientific method; Fr Henri Beuil, whose studies on cave art earned him the affectionate nickname “the pope of pre-history”.

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Add to that Fr Rene Just Hauy, who is known as a “father of crystallography”; Fr Julius Newland, whose research into acetylene led to the development of neoprene; Sr Hildegard of Bingen, who wrote on botany and medicine and is now a Doctor of the Church; and Sr Miriam Stimson who by chemical analysis confirmed the double helix structure of DNA. Rather than perpetuating the conflict hypothesis between faith and science, Mr Campbell should ask himself why a great many fully paid-up members of the Church, so to speak, are scientists and famous ones at that.

Ian Maxfield

Lodge Park