Religion & Science News

     Welcome to my Religion and Science News page. My hope is to, at the beginning of every month, publish a digest of the most significant religion related science (Or is it science related religious?) news in my main blog. The page you are reading now is where I intend to keep an  archive of all these posts.    
   You might be wandering why am I going through all this trouble. My motivation is to provide a place for news which show the harmonious overlap between religion and science, a topic which is constantly mis-represented by secularists, atheists and the main stream media. Feel free to link to this page and use it to show the world that religion and science  in fact benefit and support each other greatly. (This page will be updated monthly)

January 2015

More evidence for the Anthropic Nature of creation.
The Anthropic Principle is an idea belonging to Astrophysics and Cosmology. Simply stated, it makes the claim that because some physical properties and constants which make intelligent life possible seem to be "fine tuned", it appears that the physical universe is "compatible" with the necessary constants to accommodate conscious life. The article reports a new study from the University of Bonn which provides new evidence in favor of this principle of Nature. Can someone say "Designer's Universe"?

New study Shows strong correlation exists between religiosity and personal happiness.
New study from Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture has shown that higher levels of church attendance “predict higher life satisfaction,” even after accounting for how important religious faith is in people’s lives. There is one more reason to attend Mass every Sunday!

Scientists Seek Religious Experience -- in the Brain.
Neuroscientists at the University of Utah are seeking to examine how the human brain behaves during a religious experience. Personally I feel this sort of research is well overdue. I would love to see in an MRI which parts in the cerebral cortex light up when some one is experiencing a vision of the St. Bernadette at Lourdes type.

Papal astronomers promote harmony of science, faith. 
To commemorate this year's International Year of Light, which celebrates the importance of light and its role in new technologies, Jesuit astronomers at the Vatican Observatory have launched a number of new initiatives aimed at increasing dialogue with Muslims, nonbelievers and Catholics, who may not know that their faith and science are not at odds. In Jan 13-15 the Holy See  sponsored a workshop studying "The Role of Astronomy in Christianity and Islam." The workshop, which brought Muslim, Catholic and other scholars together, looked at some of the ways Christianity and Islam studied the heavens in the fields of science and faith.

Earliest copy of Gospel of Mark found in a first century Egyptian mask. 
One of the main arguments deniers of the Historical Jesus love to throw around is that the gospels were written "hundreds of years after the fact". This argument will no longer be valid as scientists have announced the finding of a papyrus containing a fragment of the Gospel of Mark from the the first century. We are talking a mere 70 years after the fact! A time period in which some of the eyewitnesses to the events recorded in the gospel were still alive!!. Here is a video with some more information.

To be fair this is not exactly what I would call a  "science news". However since it touches on a topic which I suspect will be used to underline the "animosity  between science and religion", I decided to include it in this month's digest. Read the article and tell me what you think. (COMING SOON  more extensive blog-analysis)

Using stem cells to grow new hair.
Last year scientists in the University of Pennsylvania reported the making of hair follicles from Adult Stem Cells, a very promising therapy for those experiencing hair loss. This year, sadly, this technology has taken a more sinister turn as scientists are reporting in PLOS ONE site the morally objectionable use of embryonic stem cell for their own version of this research. This is one more example of scientists ignoring the humanity of embryos for the sake of their research. In this case the use of human embryos is more troubling as they are been used to research non-life-saving technologies.

Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics
One of the favorite comments secularists and atheists use when underlining the animosity between science and religion is the fact that in religion one can never appeal to empirical evidence, unlike science which, unlike religion is not based solely on faith. Apparently some scientists are starting to realize that some of their theories although capable of explaining the way the universe came to be, can not be tested so they are advocating for taking these theories on faith only without any empirical data to prove them. This is a big argument currently among physicists which is threatening the old canard that lack of evidence is a defect belonging exclusively to religion.

Does time pass? New book says it does—but not in the way you may think. 
We finish this month with a new book presenting a new way to consider the passage of time. I have not read the book (and at $47.00 on the Kindle store I might wait for the movie) how ever this article gives enough information to tempt me into investing this kind of money. The book presents what philosophers call the "block universe" theory of time. I don't want to go into details here (after all this just a digest) but reading the article and after doing some research this theory of time sounds very similar at what believers think when they explain that God lives in the eternal present. Quite and intriguing proposition.

"Viva Cristo Rey!!"