Physicist Urges Harmony Between Faith, Ethics and Science

Cites Demands of Environmental Problems

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ROME, AUG. 22, 2003 ( The planet’s emergencies, such as climactic changes, the risk of new epidemics, and the shortage of drinking water, call for a new relation between science, ethics and faith, says a scientist.

In order to address these issues, Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists and member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, organized an International Seminar on Planetary Emergencies, in Erice, Sicily.

The meeting, being held through Saturday and attended by 130 scientists, is in celebration of the fourth centenary of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, as well as the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s pontificate.

Zichichi, who is also professor of physics at the University of Bologna, said that the message that the group of scientists’ wishes to give is the need to «introduce the scientific dimension» in the present crisis, which is «a cultural crisis.»

«Terrorism is a very clear example of how modern culture, in reality, is pre-Aristotelian,» the scientist explained on Vatican Radio. «This is why there have been disasters, as no distinction is made between science and technology.»

This problem is the consequence of not understanding «how science was born,» he said, «and of not making the world understand that scientific culture has values that are in communion with faith, as this great Pope says, not in opposition.»

«No great scientist has said that faith and science are enemies,» Zichichi said. «To introduce the scientific dimension to resolve planetary emergencies is a concrete hope for possible solutions.»

By way of example, Zichichi mentioned in the first place the question of global warming, which he said man influences only by 3% to 7%.

The physicist also mentioned the lack of clean drinking water and its distribution. «Water could be more dangerous than oil to unleash future wars between interested areas and those who control the sources,» he said.

Responsibility and rigor to control epidemics is another challenge, he concluded, as shown in cases such as AIDS and SARS.

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