Brother Astronomer

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9780071354288: Brother Astronomer

Ever since Galileo was forced to recant his proofs of a sun-centered solar system, the Roman Catholic Church has been considered hostile toward science. Not quite true, argues Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno in his moving and intellectually playful memoir of a life lived in the active interplay of science and religion.

Blending memoir, science, history, and theology, Consolmagno takes us on a grand adventure. We revisit the infamous "Galileo affair" and see that it didn't unfold in quite the way we thought. We get a rare glimpse into the world of working scientists and see how scientific discoveries are proposed and advanced. We learn the inside story of the "Mars meteorite": how can we be sure it's really from Mars, and why can't scientists agree on whether or not it contains evidence of life?

Brother Astronomer memorably sets forth one scientist's conviction that the universe may be worth study only if it is the work of a Creator God.

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Product Description:

Blending memoir, science, history and theology, Guy Consolmagno takes us on this exploration of Vatican science. We tour the Vatican's meteorite collection and learn how astronomy progresses despite its dearth of tactile evidence. It seeks to prove that not all religion is hostile to science.

Review:

Despite its persecution of Galileo, the Catholic Church has supported scientific inquiry more often than not, says American-born Jesuit and Vatican astronomer Consolmagno in this collection of essays on planetary lore, theological mastications, and the pleasures of a well-spent youth. For this planetary research scientist, lecturer, and curator of the Vatican's collection of meteorites, life couldn't be better. In a charming day-in-my-life essay set in the tranquil hills around Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence and home of the Vatican Observatory). Consolmagno portrays himself working among a dozen scientists for whom Church dogms and the scientific method are the means employed "to find God in all things." Refreshingly sensible apologia, supported by relevant quotations from theologians, astronomers, and historical sources, depict the 21st-century Church as a haven for intellectual thought. Charming moments of humor, skepticism and die-hard faith in this best of all possible worlds.

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