Our monthly book review is here, and this month I read a new book just added to the Salzmann Library collection. Many Catholics, myself included, get confused about what the Church believes or teaches about certain scientific topics, such as evolution, the Big Bang, even extraterrestrial life. There is also a lot of misinformation on the topic of the Catholic Church and science. “The Catholic Church & Science: Answering the Questions, Exposing the Myths,” by Benjamin Wiker. Wiker goes a long way to give Catholics the understanding that it is not the Church vs. science, as commonly portrayed, but that it is the Church and science.
“In The Catholic Church & Science: Answering the Questions, Exposing the Myths, author Ben Wiker (The Darwin Myth, A Meaningful World) takes on the most common errors that modern materialistic thinkers, convinced that faith and science must be mortal enemies, have foisted into popular culture. With great learning, clarity, and wit he tackles stubborn confusions many people have about the relationship between Christianity especially Catholicism and the empirical sciences, and separates truth from lies, the factual from the fanciful.”-taken from Amazon.com book description.
Wiker breaks his book into seven chapters, or as he titles them, “Confusions.” After describing the perception that is out there, he goes into detail, going not only to the beginning of the confusion, but he’s usually able to take it back to Democritus and Epicurus, Greek philosophers that, more than 2,000 years ago, postulated about the eternal atom and a universe untouched by a creator. These were some of the first “materialists,” and many of the conflicts with scientists have been over the materialistic nature of their works. Wiker makes clear, many of the disagreements have not been about what is commonly portrayed, i.e. the Church believes in evolution but not Darwinism (a key distinction when properly described, as he does).
For anybody who’s curious about getting an understanding of the relationship between the Church and science, this is a very good introductory book. Wiker himself has several more books that flesh out some of his topics, especially Darwinism and biological science.
As always, if you have any ideas and comments for things I could change, please let me know. If you have any books that you have read or have read the books I mention, please leave a comment. We here at Salzmann also want to know what people are reading. Comments are always appreciated – anything I can do to make this better I will strive my best to accomplish.
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