Science and Western Civilization’s
Debt to Catholic Church


Foundation  For  Science

Catholic Scientists
The Catholic Church and Western Civilization - T. Woods
Stacy Trasancos Explains Fr. Stanley Jaki

Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. Ph.D

Many in our culture today claim, or worse just assume, that the Catholic Church stood in the way of scientific development.  The book Da Vinci Code is just one example of this.  In an interview on ABC Dan Brown, the author, states that Leonardo lived in a time when science was synonymous with heresy.  This is a false characterization that is a common misconception among many.  An objective examination shows that it was God’s Divine Revelation through His Church that made possible the scientific revolution and its subsequent discoveries which we enjoy today.

Good Bible exegesis is not only compatible with science it also has helped lay the foundation from which science was able to grow. 

Of course, any good thing can be misused and this is true of the Bible just as it is true about science.  Some have misused science to promote bad and harmful ideas.  This even happens sometimes today.  And there have been examples of the Bible being misinterpreted that placed valid scientific discoveries in a bad light. 

Also, see sidebar articles on the Galileo case, which was an aberration to the norm.

Also see the Flat Earth Myth at this web site which explains how modern academia created their own fictionalized history in an attempt to discredit the previous generations and those of religious faith.

Catholic Order -  the Foundation for Science


1 Kings 8:27 “… Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee”

Dr. Anthony Rizzi states that science grew out of Catholic Europe.  It was the Judaic-Christian belief that God created an ordered world that was the foundation that enabled the scientific revolution to take hold and be manifest in Catholic Europe.

Although Aristotle, for example, made significant discoveries, his classical Greek culture was unable to maintain and nurture further development. The perspectives of the pagan culture in which he lived had certain draw backs.  If the world was controlled by the whim of combative, immature, and impulsive pagan gods then there would be no real laws of nature to discover.  

When the Jesuits went to China they were amazed at the Asians lack of progress in their understanding of the world.  Some Muslims did make some progress in their discoveries, however it must be remembered that these people had been Christian centuries earlier before Mohammed came along in 6th century.  And so, they had been influenced by the Christian perception of the world. 

It was the Christian understanding that the world was both good and intelligible to us that laid the foundation for science to both take root and for this society to pass onto successive generations the discoveries that were made.

Another unique aspect of the a Judaic-Christian culture was the concept that time had a beginning.  While the pagans viewed time as strictly cyclical, Western Europe informed by Divine Revelation viewed time as having a beginning and an end. The understanding that space-time-matter had been created by a Divine Law Giver has extremely positive ramifications.

Pagan cultures, on the other hand, created a view of the world that inhibited scientific advancement.  The Pagans did not view the world as rational.  They viewed things as being controlled by many gods and magical powers.  They did not view the world as something that was governed by natural laws that could be discovered.

Hinduism, for example, which views every part of creation as being part of the one god does not lend itself to scientific experimentation.  For example, if that chair or table is god it may not want me to experiment on it.

Whereas, the Divine Revelation of the Judaic-Christian culture, specifically that which was made manifest through the Catholic Church, did give rise to scientific thinking and progress.  The world and all the physical things in it are created by a Father God.  Physical objects are created outside of God Himself and are bound the Natural Law he made to govern them. 

There were some great scientific minds that sprang up in other cultures, such as the ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian cultures to name a few, and there were some great minds in Islam as well who worked individually or in small groups.  However, these societies did not have the culture to absorb and pass on those advancements to their successive generations the same way that Christian Europe could - whose culture had been greatly influenced by God’s Divine Revelation.   

In the first few centuries it was illegal to be a Christian.  Once it was legalized, and the Church was able to fight off the invasions of the Visigoths, Vandals, and other Barbarians and was able to establish peace they were able to establish a Catholic culture. 

Catholic Scientists

And so, this culture was able to start the university system around 1200 AD and was able to effectively pass on what was learned to successive generations. 

Some of the most important universities were founded by the Popes.  They are located in Rome, Pisa, Ferrara, Toulouse, Valladolid, Heidelberg, Cologne, and Erfurt.  Many of the other universities which are likewise quite old were begun by the combined efforts of both Popes and princes.  They are the Universities of Coimbra, Florence, Prague, Vienna, Cracow, Alcalá, Upsala, Louvain, Leipzig, Rostock, and Tübingen, not to mention many others.

St. Albert the Great, (circa 1200-80) was even called by that title, “Great,” in his own lifetime and was later given the title of Universal Doctor.  Albert was one of the greatest intellectuals of the Medieval times. He had encyclopedic type knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geography. One of his treatises proved that the earth was spherical in shape. He is also noted for his important contributions in botany and zoology.  He also wrote extensively about logic, metaphysics, and mathematics, as well as, of course, about the Bible, and theology.

One of his most prestigious students was an Italian Dominican named Thomas Aquinas, who became the most famous theologian in the high Middle Ages. In addition to his religious accomplishments he also made significant scientific contributions as well. He is noted for contributions to the study of scientific methodology. Influenced by Albert, he saw physics as a discipline prior to metaphysics, and even necessary for the latter’s foundation.

Roger Bacon, (c. 1214–1294)  a mediaeval Franciscan friar postulated the scientific method as we know it today, a cycle of "observation, hypothesis, and experimentation", and the need for "independent verification". Bacon later became a close friend and scientific correspondent of Pope Clement IV.  And, his insights were not isolated, as had once been supposed.  On the contrary ...

Encyclopedia Wikipedia states:

As a result, the picture of Bacon has changed. Bacon is now seen as part of his age ..."

Bacon was not a modern, out of step with his age, or a harbinger of things to come, but a brilliant, combative, and somewhat eccentric schoolman of the thirteenth century, endeavoring to take advantage of the new learning just becoming available while remaining true to traditional notions... of the importance to be attached to philosophical knowledge".

A recent review of the many visions of Bacon across the ages says contemporary scholarship still neglects one of the most important aspects of his life and thought: his commitment to the Franciscan order.

His Opus maius was a plea for reform addressed to the supreme spiritual head of the Christian faith, written against a background of apocalyptic expectation and informed by the driving concerns of the friars. It was designed to improve training for missionaries and to provide new skills to be employed in the defence of the Christian world against the enmity of non-Christians and of the Antichrist.

For instance, Bacon's idea that inductively derived conclusions  should be submitted for further experimental testing is very much like
Robert Grosseteste's
'Method of Verification',
[24] and Bacon's work on optics and the calendar also followed the lines of inquiry of Grosseteste  (a scholastic philosopher, theologian, scientist and the Catholic Bishop of Lincoln and who preceded Bacon.)  …

Bacon is thus seen as a leading, but not isolated, figure in the beginnings of medieval universities at Paris and Oxford, among other contemporary exponents of this shift in the philosophy of science (as we call it today), including Grosseteste,
William of Auvergne (Catholic Bishop),  
Henry of Ghent (Priest and Archdeacon),
(Saint)  Albert Magnus ((AD. 1193-1280) also known as Albert the Great, and a Catholic Bishop),  
(Saint) Thomas Aquinas (Dominican friar and priest and Doctor of the Church),
(Blessed) John Duns Scotus (Catholic Priest and theologian), and
William of Ockham (Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher and theologian)

In another article we read :

·  Bishop Robert Grosseteste   (c. 1175 – 1253) –
Bishop Grosseteste was one of the most knowledgeable men of the Middle Ages; has been called "the first man ever to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment."[8]
Woods, Thomas E. (2005). How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. p. 95,  Washington, DC: Regnery.

·  Bishop Albertus Magnus   (c. 1206–1280) –
Dominican friar and Bishop of Regensberg who has been described as "one of the most famous precursors of modern science in the High Middle Ages."
[7] Patron saint of natural sciences; Works in physics, logic, metaphysics, biology, and psychology.

·  Fr. Jean Buridan   (c. 1300 – after 1358) –
Priest who formulated the first and most fundamental of Newton's three laws
three hundred years before Isaac Newton.  He also sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe.

Making Science Possible

“Science owes to Christian faith the very spark that made Newtonian science possible. That science is based on the three laws of motion. Once those laws were formulated, a science was at hand which from that point on developed on its own terms, with no end to its progress, with no end to its ever new findings …

“But that irresistible progress needed a spark, the idea of inertial motion, which is the first and most fundamental of Newton's three laws.

“The formulation of the first law preceded Newton by more than three hundred years. It first appears in the commentaries … (by Rev.) John Buridan.”
Rev.Stanley Jaki

·  Bishop Theodoric Borgognoni (1205–1298) – Dominican friar, Bishop of Cervia, and medieval Surgeon who made important contributions to antiseptic practice and anaesthetics

·  Fr. Theodoric of Freiberg (c. 1250 – c. 1310) was a Dominican friar … and a theologian and physicist.
He gave the first geometrical analysis of the rainbow

·  Archbishop Thomas Bradwardine (c. 1290 –1349) was Archbishop of Canterbury. he is often called Doctor Profundus, (medieval epithet, meaning "the Profound Doctor"). …
He was one of the scholars at Merton College

The mathematical physicist and historian of science Clifford Truesdell, wrote: [3]

The now published sources prove to us, beyond contention, that the main kinematical properties of uniformly accelerated motions, still attributed to Galileo by the physics texts, were discovered and proved by scholars of Merton college....


·  Bishop Nicholas Oresme (c.1320–1382) – Bishop of Lisieux.  He was the first person to graph a mathematical function. He showed how the motion of the Sun could be satisfactorily explained by the rotation of the Earth on its axis. … and probably one of the most original thinkers of 14th-century Europe.[5]…

·  Georgius Agricola (1494 –1555) was a German Catholic, scholar and scientist. Known as "the father of mineralogy"… He was also elected burgomaster of Chemnitz.

(But do to the Protestant anti-Catholic violence of that time he was forced to resign his office. …

·  Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608 –1679) was a Renaissance Italian physiologist, physicist, and mathematician. … eventually earning him the title of the Father of Biomechanics.

Queen Christina of Sweden who had also been exiled to Rome for converting to Catholicism.
Borelli lived the rest of his years in poverty, teaching basic mathematics at the school of the convent where he had been allowed to live. The publication of his work was financed by Christina and his benefactors at the convent.

·  Anselmus de Boodt (1550–1632) – Canon who was one of the founders of mineralogy

·  Fr. Marin Mersenne,   (1588–1648) –
was a French theologian, philosopher, mathematician and music theorist, often referred to as the "father of acoustics" (Bohn 1988:225). Mersenne was "the center of the world of science and mathematics during the first half of the 1600s."[1]

Fr. Domingo de Soto (1494–1560) – Spanish Dominican priest and professor at the University of Salamanca; in his commentaries to Aristotle he proposed that free falling bodies undergo constant acceleration

Fr. Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri (1598 –1647) He is known for his work on the problems of optics and motion, work on indivisibles, the precursors of infinitesimal calculus, and the introduction of logarithms to Italy.
Cavalieri’s Principle in geometry partially anticipated and led the way to integral calculus.

Fr. Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598–1671) – Jesuit priest and the first person to measure the acceleration due to gravity of falling bodies.  He discovered the first “binary” or double star.

·  Louis Pasteur
could rightly be described as the first stereochemist, having observed in 1849 that salts of tartaric acid collected from wine production vessels could rotate plane polarized light, but that salts from other sources did not. This property, the only physical property in which the two types of tartrate salts differed, is due to optical isomerism.

·  Fr. Pierre Gassendi   (1592–1655) –
French priest, astronomer, and mathematician who published the first data on the transit of Mercury; best known intellectual project attempted to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity

·  Fr. Jean Picard   (1620–1682) –
Priest and first person to measure the size of the Earth to a reasonable degree of accuracy; also developed what became the standard method for measuring the right ascension of a celestial object; The PICARD mission, an orbiting solar observatory, is named in his honor. 


·  Bishop Nicolas Steno, Blessed   (1638–1686) –
Bishop beatified by Pope John Paul II who is often called the father of geology[9] and stratigraphy[7], and is known for Steno's principles.  He was a convert from Lutheranism. He also brought advances in the areas of anatomy and paleontology.

·  Jean Mabillon   (1632–1707) –
Benedictine monk and scholar, considered the founder of palaeography and diplomatics

·  Fr. Valentin Stansel   (1621–1705) –
Jesuit astronomer who made important observations of comets

Fr. Roger Joseph Boscovich   (1711–1787) –
Jesuit polymath known for his contributions to modern atomic theory and astronomy

·  Fr. Joseph Bayma   (1816–1892) –
Jesuit known for work in stereochemistry and mathematics

·  Fr. Alphonse Antonio de Sarasa   (1618–1667) –
Jesuit mathematician who contributed to the understanding of logarithms, particularly as areas under a hyperbola.

·  Fr. René Just Haüy (1743 –1822) was a French mineralogist.   He is often referred to as the
“Father of Modern Crystallography.” [1]   
When the French Revolution broke out, Haüy was thrown into prison.  He was about to be killed,  but Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire interceded on his behalf.  His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.  The mineral Hauyne was named for Haüy.  His brother was Valentin Haüy, the founder of the first school for the blind.

·  Fr. Giuseppe Piazzi (1746 –1826)
was an Italian Catholic priest of the Theatine order, mathematician, and astronomer. He established an observatory at Palermo.  Perhaps his most famous discovery was the first dwarf planet called Ceres, the first known asteroid and the largest member of the asteroid belt on 1 January 1801

He supervised the compilation of the Palermo Catalogue of stars, containing 7,646 star entries with unprecedented precision,[2] including the star names “Garnet Star” which is also called Mu Cephei which is 100,000 times brighter than the Sun, making it one of the most luminous red supergiants in the Milky Way. This work enabling Piazzi and collaborators to observe the sky methodically.

·  Augustin-Louis Cauchy, (1789-1857)
France's finest mathematician, was an ardent Catholic.

·  Fr. Landell de Moura   (1861–1928) –
Priest and inventor who was the first to accomplish the transmission of the human voice by a wireless machine

·  Father Eugenio Barsanti   (1821 –1864),
also named Nicolò, was an Italian engineer, who together with Felice Matteucci of Florence invented the first version of the internal combustion engine in 1853.

·  Fr. Athanasius Kircher   (1602–1680) –
Jesuit who has been called the father of Egyptology and "Master of a hundred arts"; wrote an encyclopedia of China; one of the first people to observe microbes through a microscope

Fr. Pietro Angelo Secchi,  SJ (1818 –1878) was an Italian astronomer and one of the founders of modern astrophysics, the man who developed the spectral classification of stars that is still used today. He was Director of the Observatory at the Pontifical Gregorian University (then called the Roman College) for 28 years. He was a pioneer in astronomical spectroscopy, and was one of the first scientists to state authoritatively that the Sun is a star. 
He discovered three comets, including Comet Secchi.  He invented the heliospectrograph, star spectrograph, and telespectroscope. 
Starting in 1863, he began collecting the spectra of stars, accumulating some 4,000 stellar spectrograms. Through analysis of this data, he discovered that the stars come in a limited number of distinct types and subtypes, which could be distinguished by their different spectral patterns. From this concept, he developed the first system of stellar classification: the five Secchi classes. While his system was superseded by the Harvard system, he still stands as discoverer of the principle of stellar classification, which is a fundamental element of astrophysics. 
The lunar crater Secchi and the Martian crater Secchi are both named after him, as is a main belt asteroid, 4705 Secchi. 
The two STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) spacecraft each carry an instrument package called SECCHI (Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation).

·  Ányos Jedlik   (1800–1895) –
Benedictine engineer, physicist, and inventor; considered by Hungarians and Slovaks to be the unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor

See Wiki List  

The Priest Who Invented the Automobile

Catholic Priest Scientists
This Rock September 2008 - More details.

Robert Jastrow (1925 – 2008) was an American astronomer and planetary physicist. He was a leading NASA scientist. He struggled with concepts of God and described himself as “agnostic, and not a believer.” He came to realize that the beginning of the universe, and the Big Bang pointed to a Creator. He is quoted as saying

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

25 Famous Scientists on God
by Javier Ordovas

Who says science and religion don't mix?
Not these Nobel laureates and pioneers in science. ...

A business card and a big surprise:

“A young college student was traveling in the same railway compartment as an elderly man who was praying his Rosary. The young man dared to confront him: "Instead of praying the Rosary, why don’t you take the time to learn and educate yourself a little more? I can send you an instructive book." The old man replied: "Please send me the book at this address, and he handed the young man his card. The card read: Luis Pasteur, Paris Institute of Science. The college student felt quite ashamed. He had planned to give advice to the most famous scholar of his time, the inventor of vaccines, esteemed worldwide and a devotee of the Rosary.”

Read more:
25 Famous Scientists on God


Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God


Catholic  Posters  on:

Father George Lemaître
the Belgian priest who proposed the Big Bang theory

Father Gregor Mendel
the Augustinian friar who was the founder of the new science of genetics     

Monk Guido d’Arezzo
the Medieval music theorist who invented musical notation as we know it today

Maria Agnesi, became Nun
She was an Italian noble lady of great learning.  Pope Benedict XIV appointed her the first woman to hold the position of Math professor at a university



For further reading see:

The Savior of Science or
The Origin of Science and the Science of its Origins,

by Stanley L. Jaki.

Also, as an overview of religion in

Western Civilization, Progress and Religion,
by Christopher Dawson.

As to the intelligibility of the world, see
City of God
by Augustine and
Introduction t
o St. Thomas Aquinas, Anton C. Pegis, Ed.

“Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale?”
St. Augustine, The City of God, Book IV, Chap. 5



Print a one page pamphlet on this subject - separate article by
Father Thomas D. Williams, LC -
 with a URL that links back to this webpage

Church Supports Science
by Fr.Williams









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Church Supports Science
by Fr.Williams





More on Debunking the Da Vinci Code:



Mistakes – Serious

Church + Science

Flat Earth

Alt. Version



NEW   Cool  Catholic  Graphics

See  Articles  at






Church Promoted  Science



Fr. Georges Lemaitre and Albert Einstein

Fr. Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest, was the first scientist to propose what we now call the Big Bang Theory. 
At first, Albert Einstein told him,

“Your calculations are correct, but your grasp of physics is abominable.” 

Later, after Fr. Georges Lemaitre gave a seminar on his new theory Einstein stood up applauded, and said,

“This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”


'A Day Without Yesterday': Georges Lemaitre & the Big Bang


Fr. Georges Lemaitre, 'Father' of the Big Bang Theory


Evidence for the Big Bang


Science, God, & Creation


What Can Science Tell us About Creation and Design?—A 12-Part Series


From Nothing to Cosmos Free Video #1:

Free  Study Guide

Free   The Workbook  +


Scientific Evidence for God    (Insights and Explanations)

Einstein and Lemaître:


Catholic Scientist Receives Recognition 90 Years Later


Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. Ph.D

Fr. Spitzer explains the overwhelming physical evidence for a Creator, God.
See FREE  Videos
How Contemporary Physics Points to God
Video: Scientific Evidence for God's Existence - Robert J. Spitzer, PhD   Free MP3's.  
Including :  Big Bang,  A low-entropy universe (MP3 #5).  Why Believe in God?   EWTN  
The Case for a Divine Law Giver :
The high improbability that chance alone could explain our universe having anthropic conditions, that is, natural physical laws being just right such that life is possible (based on cosmological constants) is a sure sign that there must be Divine Law Giver.
Article: Anthropic Coincidences
Video: The Anthropic Principle (1 of 4): by Dr. Robert Spitzer  
Big Bang -
Proof that there had to be a beginning. 
New Proofs for the Existence of God. 
Father Spitzer: You-Tube : Response to Stephen Hawkin's argument that Gravity brought world into existence, the antidote to Stephen Hawking's faulty logic .  
How Contemporary Physics Points to God
by Fr. Robert Spitzer
 Proofs for God's Existence Part I - Part II
Recommendations for Non-Christians.    
Old Traditional proofs for God
's existence. 
20 Arguments For God’s Existence
by Dr. Peter Kreeft


  Dr. Anthony Rizzi   is a physicist with degrees from MIT (B.S., phys.) and Princeton (PhD, phys.) and he solved an 80 year old problem in Einstein’s theory of General Relativity called Angular Momentum.  He is the author of 
“The Science Before Science.” 

Read review by John F. McCarthy


Catholicism and Science

by Rodney Stark, professor of sociology at
the University of Washington.

So, why does the fable of the Catholic Church’s ignorance and opposition to the truth persist? Because the claim of an inevitable and bitter warfare between religion and science has, for more than three centuries, been the primary polemical device used in the atheist attack on faith. …

Science consists of an organized effort to explain natural phenomena. Why did this effort take root in Europe and nowhere else? Because Christianity depicted God as a rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being, and the universe as his personal creation. The natural world was thus understood to have a rational, lawful, stable structure, awaiting (indeed, inviting) human comprehension. …

Tertullian, one of the earliest Christian theologians (c. 160-225), instructed that God has willed that the world he has provided “should be handled and understood by reason.” ... Saint Augustine (354-430) held that reason was indispensable to faith: “Heaven forbid that God should hate in us that by which he made us superior to the animals!…”

Saint Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) attempted in his monumental Summa Theologiae to fulfill Augustine’s optimism that some of these “matters of great importance” could be grasped by reason …he argued they may reason their way to knowledge step-by-step, using principles of logic. This is the methodology of science...

To sum up: The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: Nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Moreover, because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation it ought to be possible to discover these principles. These crucial religious ideas were why the rise of science occurred in Christian Europe, not somewhere else.”

This piece is excerpted from a longer piece,
“False Conflict: Christianity Is Not Only Compatible with Science—It Created It,”


Jerusalem’s Rational God
by Rodney Stark

“The truth is that science arose only because the doctrine of the rational creator of a rational universe made scientific inquiry plausible.” R. Stark

Also see

Clement of Rome,  
“Do not think that we say that these things are only to be received by faith, but also that they are to be asserted by reason. For indeed it is not safe to commit these things to bare faith without reason, since assuredly truth cannot be without reason. … will he be the firmer in preserving his faith.”  Recognitions (spurious??), Book 2, Chapter 69



Thomas E. Woods, Jr

The Catholic Church and Western Civilization

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr


A Scientific Mind

We have all heard about the Church’s alleged hostility toward science. What most people fail to realize is that historians of science have spent the past half-century drastically revising this conventional wisdom, arguing that the Church’s role in the development of Western science was far more salutary than previously thought. ...

•  How many people realize that the father of geology was a Catholic priest, Fr. Nicholas Steno?

•  Or that the father of Egyptology was Fr. Athanasius Kircher?

•  Or that Fr. Giambattista Riccioli was the first person to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body?

•  Or that to this day 35 craters on the moon are named after Jesuit astronomers and mathematicians?

•  Or that beginning in the seventeenth century the Jesuits took Western science all over the world, even to such far-off places as India and China?

•  Or that the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, which was constructed to be one of the most precise solar observatories in the world, was used by Catholic astronomer Giovanni Cassini to confirm Johannes Kepler’s suggestion that planetary orbits were elliptical rather than circular?

Hundreds of little-known facts like these are just waiting to be rediscovered.

End Quote

Articles by Thomas E. Woods, Jr

The Catholic Church and the
Creation of the University

Columbus and Conquest
Father Francisco de Vitoria: (1483 - 1546)
Father of International Law

None So Blind: How Secularists Ignore the Value of Religion

“We Were the Ones Who Created Europe”:

What We Owe the Monks     2

How the Monks Saved Civilization

Videos :

Video  Dr. Thomas Woods was called to deliver the convocation adress at Benedictine College (Kansas)


Introduction Ep 1:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church - Builder of Civilization

The Church & Science Ep 2:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church - Builder of Civilization

Priests as Scientific Pioneers Ep 3:
Dr Thomas Woods:The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

The Galileo Case Ep 4:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

The University System Ep 5:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

Does God Exist? Ep 6:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

The Monks Ep 7:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

Catholic Charity Ep 8:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization,

Western Morality Ep 9:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization,

Concept of Rights & Laws Ep 10:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

Origins of International Law Ep 11:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization

Anti-Catholic Atrocities Ep 12:
Dr Thomas Woods:The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization 

Wrap-Up Ep 13:
Dr Thomas Woods: The Catholic Church- Builder of Civilization


Get his book
The Catholic Church and Western Civilization

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr


William of Ockham


Portrait of Blessed
Nicolas Steno as bishop


Illustration from Steno's  1667 paper comparing the teeth of a shark head with a fossil tooth


Father Verbiest:
The Priest Who Invented the Automobile
How Catholic Missionaries Brought Science to China

God as Architect / Geometer,
from the French Codex Vindobonensis 2554,  
God as Architect Builder Geometer Craftsman
The Frontispiece of
Bible Mo
ralisee about AD 1220.

Job 28:23-25
“God … sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight,
and meted out the waters by measure”

Hebrews 11:10
“ …  whose architect and maker is God.”

The compass in this 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God’s act of creation. God has created the universe using geometric and harmonic principles; to seek these principles was therefore to seek and know God better and therefore to worship God better.

Wisdom of Solomon 11:20
“But thou [God] hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight.”

“The truth is that science arose only because the doctrine of the rational creator of a rational universe made scientific inquiry plausible.” R. Stark


Read :

Why Did Science Develop in West ?

How Catholic Teaching Led to Scientific Advancement


CCC 299
“Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered ...”

CCC 354
“Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.”

Pagans viewed their gods as being part of the world. They assumed time had always been, that it never had a beginning. Events were controlled by the whims of these gods who were within time and space. The Catholic Church was able to overcome these false pagan prejudices by divine revelation. She rejected the pantheistic doctrine of eternal cycles. She knew that God was not constrained by time and space because He created both time and space. And He created the world out of nothing. God is outside of time and space.

1 Kings 8:27 “… Behold, heaven and the highest heaven (the sky above) cannot contain thee.”

Because they knew that time was created by God, they knew it had a beginning, And they knew that all of creation was made by His ordered laws.

John 1:3
“All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be. What came to be
through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
5 the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.”

2 Maccabees 7:28
“I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed.”



Personification of Geometry teaching the monks.

Bishop of Wells, John de Villula, was likely the one who inspired Adelard of Bath (died AD 1152) to leave England and begin his extensive travels.  Adelard translated into Latin Euclid’s Elements, one of the most widely popular and published books.  For centuries, when the quadrivium was included in the curriculum of all university students, knowledge of at least part of Euclid’s Elements was required of all students. Not until the 20th century, by which time its content was universally taught through other school textbooks, did it cease to be considered something all educated people had to read. The above is the frontispiece of the oldest surviving copy of his work from about AD 1316. That is, this picture laid to the left side when the book was opened so that the Title page was on the right.

Stacy Trasancos Explains
Fr. Stanley Jaki on
Science and Catholic Church

Why “Pagan Cultures” Stifles Science (and Christianity Does Not)  by Stacy Trasancos

Stacy Trasancos writes a 6 part series explaining expounding on Fr. Stanley Jaki’s explanation of how Christianity laid the foundation for science.   

Fr. Jaki and the Stillbirths of Science
Read an article about “master Jaki’s claim that ‘science was born of Christianity’  but ‘stillborn’  in other cultures. … [T]he birth of science can be credited as a successful reconciliation of the Christian religion and science. … [And]  modern science … born of a religion that vitally affirms, ‘Truth cannot contradict truth.’”
by Stacy Trasancos

The Biblical Basis of Western Science
by Father Stanley L. Jaki  
This article explains the limitations of science, how to understand Genesis, how the Bible and Catholic scientists laid the ground work for Newton, and how to make palatable the Good News to our culture especially those in the field of science and evolution.

Why did science make little real progress in Europe in the Middle Ages?
by Tim O'Neill
: This question is based on the common but erroneous belief that there was no scientific progress in the Middle Ages.  In fact, modern historians of science have long since shown this to be a myth and have gone on to show that far from being a scientific dark age, the Medieval period lay the foundations of modern science.

Were the Middle Ages Dark? -- Prager University
There is no period in history more misunderstood than the Middle Ages. Providence College Professor of English, Anthony Esolen, vividly demonstrates
why the “Dark Ages” would be better described as the “Brilliant Ages.” 

Retelling the Story of Science
This is an excellent and insightful article by Professor Stephen M. Barr who did his graduate work at Princeton University. He examines the prejudices by many in the world of science against the faith and how modern science actually vindicates the reasonableness of faith.

Modern Physics & Ancient Faith I:
The Design of the Universe

By Stephen Barr

Modern Physics, the Beginning, and Creation:
An Interview with Physicist Dr. Stephen Barr


The Church in History

The Christian roots of modern science

An Absentee God?
By Dinesh D'Souza

Myth 2: Religion Does More Harm Than Good
By Father Thomas D. Williams, LC

Science and the Church
Catholic Encyclopedia: In-depth Article

Catholic Priest Scientists
This Rock September 2008

Faith and Reason by IOANNES PAULUS PP. II   (JP2) 

See    Catholic Bibles in Middle Ages




Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish Catholic monk, published his theory in AD 1543 that the earth revolves around the sun which is in the center of our solar system.  70 years later, Galileo tried to advance that same theory. Although he was at first supported by Church officials his ideas were later rejected. 

Best Science of the Day

In Galileo's time the best science of the day, the Stellar Parallax, seemed to prove that Galileo was wrong.


It was known that if he was right, and if the earth revolved around the Sun, then from the vantage point of the earth the stars in the near background would shift in position against the stars in the far background.  However, there was NO measurable movement of the near stars in relation to the distant stars.   See chart below for the evidence for which the scientists were looking.

Why Did Stellar Parallax Seem to Prove Galileo Was Wrong ?


In Galileo's time the scientists could find no such shift in position.  And so, the science of that time period seemed to prove that Galileo was wrong. He was dumbfounded and he could offer no explanation why there was no apparent shift in position.

Second illustration of Stellar Parallax


However, we now know that the distance of the near stars is so great that this measurement of movement is so small that it could not be measured by the instruments of that time period.

Wkipedia reports :

The angles involved in these calculations are very small and thus difficult to measure. The nearest star to the Sun (and thus the star with the largest parallax), Proxima Centauri, has a parallax equal to the angle that is approximately that of an object 2 centimeters in diameter located 5.3 kilometers away.

The Galileo case is a complicated one.  See articles below.  Why do those who wish to attack the Catholic Church always raise the case of Galileo ?  Because in 2000 years, this is about their only case.  It was like the counsel of Cardinal Baronius later quoted by Galileo: the Scriptures teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.


The Galileo Affair :  What is the most misunderstood historical event?
By Atheist Tim O’Neil

How Galileo Brought His Troubles With The Church On Himself
This Rock Magazine

by Anne W Carroll

Errors of Galileo
by Abu


***********FREE  Pamphlet  ***********
Church Supports Science
by Fr.Williams