“If there was proof of the existence of God, all scientists would be believers”
Former Dominican, historian of science and Catholic theologian, Jacques Arnould has been confronting his faith for thirty years ” on the ground “in particular with astronomers, physicists and other engineers from the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), where he works as an ethics officer.
He just published God doesn’t need “evidence” (Albin Michel, 200 pages, 19.90 euros), a ” manifest “ praising doubt and mystery, both in science and religion. In an interview at Worldhe warns against the claims of science, like religions, to confuse proof with an act of faith.
Your book is the latest in a long recent series on the subject of the relationship between science and faith, which began in October 2021, with the release of the controversial, but bestselling, God. Science. The evidence. The dawn of a revolution (Guy Trédaniel), by Michel-Yves Bolloré and Olivier Bonnassies. What more do you intend to bring?
My book is not a direct response to these works. But their success demonstrates that the file interests our contemporaries and that it is anything but closed. I wanted to participate in this reflection as an actor who has been interested in these questions for thirty years, in contact with scientists.
Since I have been involved in the field of relations between science and religion, I have received all kinds of criticism. On the one hand, some believers reproach me for being too ” glue “ to scientists, say that I am “sold to their cause”that I no longer support the liturgy or God.
And, on the other hand, there are scientists who see me as a Vatican mole and ask me why I keep going to mass on Sundays, etc. Beyond my personal case, these are positions that we often hear when it comes to the relationship between faith and reason. I wanted to hear a different story.
Your book sends religious fundamentalists back to back, such as creationists who go so far as to deny any theory of evolution, and certain scientists who are closed to any idea of religion or faith. Can we really put them on the same plane?
There are, in fact, among many creationists, very dishonest postures, people who deny indisputable scientific advances. But there are also scientists who have militant and dogmatic positions, and who add fuel to the fire. I mention, for example, Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion [2006, paru en français sous le titre Pour en finir avec Dieu, Perrin, 2018].
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