8-November-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Urgent Need For Dialogue And Cooperation Between Science And Faith

Vatican City, 8 November 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which is meeting to examine the topic of: "Complexity and Analogy in Science: Theoretical, Methodological and Epistemological Aspects".

"In your discussions", said the Pope speaking English, "you have sought to examine, on the one hand, the ongoing dialectic of the constant expansion of scientific research, methods and specialisations and, on the other, the quest for a comprehensive vision of this universe in which human beings, endowed with intelligence and freedom, are called to understand, love, live and work".

"Such an interdisciplinary approach to complexity also shows too that the sciences are not intellectual worlds disconnected from one another and from reality but rather that they are interconnected and directed to the study of nature as a unified, intelligible and harmonious reality in its undoubted complexity. Such a vision has fruitful points of contact with the view of the universe taken by Christian philosophy and theology, with its notion of participated being, in which each individual creature, possessed of its proper perfection, also shares in a specific nature and this within an ordered cosmos originating in God's creative Word. It is precisely this inbuilt "logical" and "analogical" organisation of nature that encourages scientific research and draws the human mind to discover the horizontal co-participation between beings and the transcendental participation by the First Being.

"The universe", the Holy Father added, "is not chaos or the result of chaos, rather, it appears ever more clearly as an ordered complexity which allows us to rise, through comparative analysis and analogy, from specialisation towards a more universalising viewpoint and vice versa. While the very first moments of the cosmos and life still elude scientific observation, science nonetheless finds itself pondering a vast set of processes which reveals an order of evident constants and correspondences and serves as essential components of permanent creation".

"In the great human enterprise of striving to unlock the mysteries of man and the universe, I am convinced of the urgent need for continued dialogue and cooperation between the worlds of science and of faith in the building of a culture of respect for man, for human dignity and freedom, for the future of our human family and for the long-term sustainable development of our planet. Without this necessary interplay, the great questions of humanity leave the domain of reason and truth, and are abandoned to the irrational, to myth, or to indifference, with great damage to humanity itself, to world peace and to our ultimate destiny", Pope Benedict concluded.



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