Religion and Science in Dialogue

Byers, David M.
February 2005
America;2/7/2005, Vol. 192 Issue 4, p13
The article focuses on the importance of fostering dialogue between science and religion. During the nearly 20 years I served as staff director of the Catholic bishops' Committee on Science and Human Values, I frequently made the case that the annual dialogues the bishops conducted with scientists were a form of evangelization. According to Go and Make Disciples, issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1992, evangelization has three goals: to inspire Catholics to share their faith with others; to invite all Americans to hear the message of salvation and join the church; and to foster Gospel values in society. Dialogue helps prepare the church to invite all Americans, including Catholics, to "hear the message" in ways compatible with their understanding of reality, conditioned as it is by science. Over the years these discussions dealt with a variety of issues: evolution, cloning, stem cell research and the relationship among brain, mind and spirit. Even though the official church sees little danger in evolution, our educational leadership has been very slow to correct the anti-evolution biases that Catholics pick up from prominent elements in contemporary culture.


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