Over the centuries, thousands of priest-scientists have searched for the truth in nature using scientific principles and contributing significantly to human knowledge. The Augustinian abbot, Gregor Mendel, determined the basic laws that govern the passage of traits within a species. It was his discovery of dominant or recessive genes that became the key to modern genetics. For this reason, he is called the Father of Modern Genetics.
A Belgian priest, Georges Lamaître, a professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven, first proposed the Big Bang theory as the origin of the universe. He called his work a “hypothesis of the primeval atom” or the “Cosmic Egg.” Lamaître was also the first scientist to conclude that through this “creation-like” event, the universe was not only expanding, but that the expansion was actually accelerating. The latter contention was confirmed in 1990 with the Hubble Space Telescope.
From its very origins, the Church has supported and encouraged scientific discovery for the knowledge gained helps us to better understand the nature of God. We learn who he is by studying his creations. We believe that the Holy Scriptures, the prophets, and Jesus Christ told us about God and what it is that he wants from us. The apostles and their successors, our bishops, carry this message forward. They are supported in their efforts though supernatural events, miracles generated by Jesus Christ. Christians contend that miracles are divine interferences with the physical laws of nature. They are preternatural, which means beyond nature, and visible. Is this God’s way of saying, “Pay attention”? Certainly our priest-scientists are interested in anything that challenges the laws of nature. If it were possible to prove the miracles of Christ were natural events, they would like to be the ones to do so.