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Former Vatican Astronomer Reconciles His Beliefs in Science & God

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Credit lemoyne.edu

When Lake Effect first spoke with Father George Coyne eight years ago, one of the areas we covered was his life’s devotion to both faith – and science.

It’s a topic many have been thinking about, in the wake of Pope Francis’s announcement last month that he saw no conflict between his belief in scripture and his acceptance of the theories of evolution and the Big Bang. 

Father George Coyne has no problem with it either. He’s an astronomer,  former head of the Vatican Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, who specializes in subjects such as the lunar surface and the birth of stars.  In 2006, Marquette University named its annual astronomy lecture in his honor.

Eight years later, Coyne now holds the McDevitt Distinguished Chair in Religious Philosophy at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.  He returned to Milwaukee to give this year’s Coyne Lecture on the subject of science and religion.  He spoke with Bonnie North about his ability to reconcile faith and science, and whether others should be doing the same thing:

"It's more coherent to have a loving God. It's more coherent with all of my human experience. It gives more meaning to everything, not just my science, but my whole living experience, it makes it richer," Coyne says.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey Nowakowski is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.