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Vatican’s Chief Astronomer Says You Can’t Divide the Universe Into “Kirk and Spock”

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 10/11/15

Br. Guy Consolmagno talked science and religion with William Shatner

Brother Guy Consolmagno is a planetary scientist who directs the Vatican Observatory and curates the Vatican meteorite collection, one of the largest in the world. He holds a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he did post-doctorate work (in addition to the Harvard College Observatory). At the age of 29, he joined the Peace Corps and lived in Kenya. He became a Jesuit Brother in 1992, and was honored in 2000 by the International Astronomical Union for his contributions to the study of meteorites and asteroids.

In this TEDTalk, Consolmagno admits to being “a fanatic about his science and a nerd about his religion” and relates the conversation he had about both fields with William Shatner of Star Trek fame.

Consolmagno says we shouldn’t divide the universe into “the purely rational and the purely emotional” and explains that both science and religion start with observations and often have to move forward with “inadequate data” in order to help us get to the truth.

“At the end of the day, we only do science or we only have a religion as an act of worship, because both science and religion worship the same God, who is the God of truth.”

Zoe Romanowsky is Lifestyle Editor and Video Curator for Aleteia

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