Falcke, Faith and Fascination

Faith and Fascination

Heino Falcke

Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, USA (hfalcke@astro.umd.edu)

in: The Vatican Observatory Summer Schools in Observational Astronomy and Astrophysics - The First Ten Years, Maggio E. (ed.), Vatican Observatory Publications, May 1997, p. 56-59


The interaction between science and religion has a long history in which every scientist will have a part on one side or the other. I consider myself fortunate that, as a protestant/evangelical Christian and astronomer, I find myself on both sides of the aisle. In this paper, I describe, why I believe that religion has a lot to give to science and especially to astronomy. There are two points I want to elaborate. First, I want to suggest that the driving forces for both, astronomy and religion, are the same: fascination for the infinite and the incomprehensible and the quest to know where we belong to. Secondly, I want to warn that science without religion, although celebrated as a liberation by some, has its dangers, especially when science claims to have the monopoly on truth.

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Questions: Heino Falcke, hfalcke@astro.umd.edu