Americans have little doubt about the scientific evidence that smoking can cause cancer. However, a bigger portion of Americans still question some of the basic concepts of modern science, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
In the survey, with a representative sample of 1,012 U.S. adults age 18 or older, respondents were asked to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine.
What the survey revealed was surprising. Overall, Americans show more skepticism than confidence in the scientific concept that a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.
There was also considerable doubt about the science behind global warming and the age of the Earth.
The most broadly accepted scientific statement was that smoking causes cancer, with a whopping 82 percent of respondents saying they were extremely or very confident that it did.
Unlike some Catholics (and religious people, for that matter), I have no problem accepting Evolution and the Big Bang as part of God’s plan. I think the evidence is there and it is presented by people who Have been blessed by God with extraordinary intelligence. As Catholics we don’t have to be scared of what science can teach us… I know from my studies so far in college (Biology especially), it has only served to reinforce my faith by seeing how perfect and divinely inspired each of these processes had to be in order to lead to human life!
And either way, the father of the Big Bang and the father of modern genetics were both Catholic priests (Lemaitre and Mendel).
I am fairly confident that evolution (in some form, intended by God) occured, I am less confident about the Big Bang (mainly because I do not comprehend the physics involved :shrug:)
I think a great deal of the doubt in general though can be blamed on the reporting of science over the years. A study comes out, the news reports it as fact (no matter how tenuous the results), then a few years later, new studies come out reporting the opposite, and again the news reports it as fact.
Having been told by “science” that I need to make sure my infants slept a) only on their stomach, then b) only on their side, then c) only on their back, then d) only on their back but must keep them on their tummy when awake…and each time being told horrible, disastrous consequences including death would occur if I didn’t position them correctly - well, makes you a bit skeptical. I remember when diet sodas were “proven” to be the best way to lose weight. When watermelon could not possibly be counted as a fruit serving because it was mostly water and contained no nutrients. When circumcision was first absolutely needed, then a complete waste, only to recently read there is worry that parents aren’t having their sons circumcised when clearly it’s the best medical practice.
And don’t get me started on weather predictions, and forecasts.
I realize none of the above is actually in the same category as the facts being asked about in the poll - but I believe for many people, all “science” - and all “facts” are lumped together - and if “they” have been wrong so many times before, it can effect the confidence level in “science” overall.
Not to be too picky but science (i.e. Medical Science) has done some spectacular work extending mankind longevity, but the biggest jump came with improved sanitation and hygiene (i.e. sewers and water supply). Thank civil engineers. And you can thank churchmen, like Roger Bacon and others who developed the scientific method although secularists always get twisted into pretzels taking about Galileo.
As far as the survey goes, it makes sense. Democrats don’t believe in the big bang, and republicans don’t believe in evolution.
The Church funded education and science. The Church has as its members people devoted to scientific research. Among the most notable:
Roger Bacon (c. 1214–1294) – **Franciscan friar **and early advocate of the scientific method
Daniello Bartoli (1608–1685) – **Jesuit priest** and one of the first to see the equatorial belts of Jupiter
Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848) – **Priest********** and mathematician who contributed to differentiation, the concept of infinity, and the binomial theorem
Roger Joseph Boscovich (1711–1787) – **Jesuit priest** and polymath known for his atomic theory and many other scientific contributions
Thomas Bradwardine (c.1290–1349) – **Archbishop **and one of the discoverers of the mean speed theorem
Martin Stanislaus Brennan (1845–1927) – **Priest**, astronomer and writer
James Britten (1846–1924) – Botanist, member of the Catholic Truth Society and **Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.**13]
Jean Buridan (c.1300–after 1358) –** French priest **who developed the theory of impetus
Alexis Carrel (1873–1944) – Awarded the **Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering vascular suturing techniques**
Christopher Clavius (1538–1612) – **Jesuit** who was the main architect of the Gregorian calendar
Mateo Realdo Colombo (1516–1559) – **Discovered the pulmonary circuit,** which paved the way for Harvey's discovery of circulation
Carl Ferdinand Cori (1896–1984) – Shared the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with his wife for their discovery of the Cori cycle
Gerty Cori (1896–1957) – Biochemist who was the first American woman win a Nobel Prize in science (1947)
Johann Baptist Cysat (c.1587–1657) – **Jesuit priest** known for his study of comets
Christian de Duve (1917–2013) – Nobel Prize winning cytologist and biochemist
John Eccles (1903–1997) – Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the synapse
Bartolomeo Eustachi (c.1500–1574) – One of the founders of human anatomy
Hieronymus Fabricius (1537–1619) – Father of embryology
Gabriele Falloppio (1523–1562) – Pioneering Italian anatomist who studied the human ear and reproductive organs
Mary Celine Fasenmyer (1906–1996) – **Roman Catholic sister** and mathematician, founder of Sister Celine's polynomials
Camillo Golgi (1843–1926) – Nobel Prize-winning pathologist and physician
Paula González (1932–present) –** Roman Catholic sister **and professor of biology
Francesco Maria Grimaldi (1618–1663) – **Jesu**it who discovered the diffraction of light
Robert Grosseteste (c.1175–1253) – Called "the first man to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment."
Peter Grünberg (1939– ) – German physicist, and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate.
Johannes Gutenberg (c.1398–1468) – Inventor of the printing press
René Just Haüy (1743–1822) – **Priest**, and father of crystallography
Athanasius Kircher (c.1601–1680) – **Jesuit **scholar who has been called "the last Renaissance man"
** FATHER Georges Lemaître (1894–1966)** – Father of the Big Bang theory
Anthony James Leggett (1938– ) – His pioneering work on superfluidity was recognized by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Edme Mariotte (c.1620–1684) – Priest who independently discovered Boyle’s Law
Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) – Father of genetics MONK
Marin Mersenne (1588–1648) – Father of acoustics and mathematician for whom Mersenne primes are named.
Who do you think paid the salaries of these priests, and religious? Who funded the university systems where they taught and experimented.
In the early Middle Ages, Cathedral schools developed as centers of advanced education, often evolving into the medieval universities which were the springboard of many of Western Europe’s later achievements. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School. Among the great early Catholic universities were Bologna University (1088); Paris University (c 1150); Oxford University (1167); Salerno University (1173); Vicenza University (1204); Cambridge University (1209); Salamanca University (1218-1219); Padua University (1222); Naples University (1224) and Vercelli University (1228).
Using church Latin as a lingua franca, the medieval universities of Western Christendom were organised across Western Europe produced a great variety of scholars and natural philosophers, including Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation; and Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. By the mid-15th century, prior to the Reformation, Catholic Europe had some 50 universities.
Development of Modern Science
“The Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo da Vinci.
Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), is considered the founder of geology and “Father of Mineralogy”. He made important contributions which paved the way for systematic study of the earth. A German Catholic who retained his faith through the Reformation, he also wrote on patristics (early church history).
Nicolas Steno (1638-1686) is a notable Catholic convert who served as a bishop after making a series of important anatomical and geological innovations. His studies of the formation of rock layers and fossils was of vital significance to the development of modern geology and continue to be used today. He established the theoretical basis for stratigraphy. Originally a Lutheran, he did important anatomical work in the Netherlands but moved to Catholic Italy and, in 1667, converted. Denied office in the Protestant north, he continued his medical and geological studies, but in 1675 became a priest and soon after was appointed a bishop, writing 16 major theological works.
Detail of the tomb of Pope Gregory XIII celebrating the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar.
Historically, the Catholic Church has been a major a sponsor of astronomy, not least due to the astronomical basis of the calendar by which holy days and Easter are determined. The Church’s interest in astronomy began with purely practical concerns, when in the 16th century Pope Gregory XIII required astronomers to correct for the fact that the Julian calendar had fallen out of sync with the sky. Since the Spring equinox was tied to the celebration of Easter, the Church considered that this steady movement in the date of the equinox was undesirable. The resulting Gregorian calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar used throughout the world today and is an important contribution of the Catholic Church to Western Civilisation. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582. In 1789, the Vatican Observatory opened. It was moved to Castel Gandolfo in the 1930s and the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope began making observation in Arizona, USA, in 1995.