Marco Bersanelli: Problems arise when science and religion becomes ideology

In mid-September, guests Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University was a famous European physicist and astronomer Marco Bersanelli. Correspondents “Pravmira” talked with the famous scientist on the experience of faith, and evidence of religious experience the beauty of the world.

- Professor, in our time is very common to hear such a proposition: If one believes in the Bible, it is not too educated. Have you ever heard such a thing?

- I think this view is very superficial. For example, in my area a lot of scientists who have created physics. Jews, Christians, some were not believers, but a reasonable person could not have said: “If you know the Bible well, you - an uneducated man.”

- But sometimes it is believed that a person who believes in the Bible must believe in it literally: God created the earth in seven days. And in your work, for example, referred to the Big Bang theory, and at the same time you are a believer. How it goes?

- If we do not treat the Bible, our approach is inadequate; This approach leads us to the wrong conclusions. In fact, sometimes people treat the Bible as a book about natural science, but then they do not realize that the basic meaning of the biblical message - at a different level. When there is such confusion, a religious man myself risks add a lot of complexity.

- What in your life came first, the Bible or physics?

- These are the two dimensions that already existed in my life since childhood. And each of these dates it to my parents. They gave me a Christian upbringing, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, he cultivated a keen interest in nature, which over the years only grew in me.

I remember when I was a kid, my father brought me to the mountains. He did not explain to me the physics, but invited to look at things - insects, flowers on the rocks - and for me it was something great.

This has left its mark, and then, when I was thirteen years old, I fell in love with the universe, deliberately fell in love with its greatness and vast space. So later I began to study natural sciences. But then my faith has remained in place, it has lagged behind, not moving. It existed at some children’s level.

Only later, when I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I met people who showed me the charm of the faith, and that a real, beautiful, deep, humane view of the world, which included my interest in the universe.

14 October 2015

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