Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jesuit Astronomer on Science and Religion

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a researcher and spokesman at the Vatican Observatory, recently shared his thoughts on science and religion on The Washington Post’s blog.

With news about the Higgs boson particle, the so-called “God Particle,” that’s helping scientists understand how the universe was built, Br. Consolmagno says he’s explained multiple times that “No, the God Particle has nothing to do with God…”

Although not a particle physicist, Br. Consolmagno is often interviewed because of his role as a Vatican astronomer. He says some are surprised to hear that the Vatican supports an astronomical observatory, but that science and religion complement each other:

But the real reason we do science is in fact related to the reason why so many people ask us about things like the God Particle. The disciplines of science and religion complement each other in practical ways. For example, both are involved in describing things that are beyond human language and so must speak in metaphors. Not only is the ‘God Particle’ not a piece of God, it is also not really a ‘particle’ in the sense that a speck of dust is a particle. In both cases we use familiar images to try to illustrate an entity of great importance but whose reality is beyond our power to describe literally.

Read more of Br. Consolmagno’s commentary on the Higgs boson discovery on Catholic News Service and Catholic News Agency.

Related reading: Higgs Boson Expected End in Particle Physics; The 'God Particle': Six big consequences


Anonymous said...

Hi Alice. I wasn't sure where to leave this comment. But wanted to find out if you'd be available for an interview. I've been an avid reader of your blog for the last couple of years. I'm the editor of a travel and culture mag and we just recently started a series on African culture and history and fashion - fun stuff too. The website link is - and I can be reached at



Alice Linsley said...

I'll talk to you on Thursday, Denise. Best wishes,