Natural sciences and Church

  1. Lemma
  2. Φυσικές Επιστήμες και Εκκλησία
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Delli, Eudoxie
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology:evolution - Complementarity - Scientific theories and disciplines > Classical physics - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies - Natural and the supernatural > Miracles
  6. 2-11-2017
  7. Δεληδήμος, Ειρηναίος [Speaker]. Natural sciences and Church
  8. Φυσικές Επιστήμες και Εκκλησία
  9. Big Bang - Evolution - Saint Basil the Great - St. Gregory Palamas - Maximus the Confessor - Dobzhansky, Theodosius - Gray, Asa - Le Maître, George - Friedmann, Alexander - Collins, Francis Sellers
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Delidimos, (Father) E. (2014, December 9). Natural sciences and Church [Video file]. Retrieved from</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p> </p>

      Contrary to both atheists and radical Orthodox believers, Father Ireneaus Delidimos regards science and Christianity to be closely related and states that only fanatics from both sides reject one another.

      Religion should not be afraid of science but embrace it, as Saint Basil the Great did, who cites all known knowledge of his time. Fr Delidimos quotes Saint Basil the Great who says that the deep admiration for the beauty and the complexity of the created world is not diminished by the exploration of nature’s laws. Because God allowed many aspects of the creative process in silence, the research of natural causes could be a kind of spiritual exercise for human intelligence. He also refers to Gregory of Nyssa’s conception on the seminal power through which God created everything (reasons, causes and powers) and all at once related to the idea of a gradual transformation/evolution of beings grounded in God’s creative action.

      Fr Delidimos argues that in the patristic texts (Cappadocian Fathers, Maximus the Confessor, John of Damascus) we can find interesting analogies with modern scientific theories.

      He considers the Big Bang to be the First Divine act by God, with which he created the cosmos. That is where and when he set the laws of science and existence, which means that nature proceeds based on the rules that God gradually created. Everything natural sciences discover is a part of God’s truth, so a person who wants to obtain true wisdom should not only study the Holy Scriptures but also the science of nature.

      It is at this point where Fr Delidimos mentions Maximus Confessor’s theological view according to which natural contemplation (physiki theoria), focused on the hidden reasons of the Creatures (including their principles and finality), could lead to the comprehension of the Divine revelation manifest in the natural world. He also states that miracle must not be conceived as a violation of natural laws, while the whole nature is an ongoing miracle speaking of God.

      Regarding the evolution, he considers it to be the way that God selected for the creation of living beings, which makes it entirely compatible with Christianity. In fact, he claims that any Christians who do not accept evolution are fundamentalists, fanatics, and lack of reason. He then cites a number of Christian scientists (Asa Grey, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Francis Sellers Collins, Alexander Alexandrovich Friedmann, Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître) as examples of the absolute compatibility of science and Christianity.

      Of course science and biology cannot explain the beginning of life and living beings, as this is a subject of God. Science can explain the “survival of the fittest” but not the “arrival of the fittest”. The reason behind all Creation is beyond the bounds of science.

      For Father Delidimos, among all living beings, only humans have a soul. Biology tells us that we are close relatives with apes, and our DNA is very similar to one another we are equally different, and that is because humans are not only biological beings, but an excellent creation of God.

      In his epilogue, he underlines that the Bible was written at a different time and addressed the common people so it’s only natural that it neglects science, but this should not be a reason for Christians to reject science, for it is God’s Creation.