When Science Goes Wrong


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When Science Goes Wrong: The Desire and Search for Truth by Guy Consolmagno, SJ, and Christopher M. Graney

Trade Paperback – Paulist Press – Sep 2023 – 168 pages

The science/faith discussion is often hindered by a fundamental misunderstanding of the role and function of science. The ways that science has gone wrong, and the underlying causes of how it goes wrong, will be illustrated here with a series of historical essays describing ideas about the universe, planet Earth, and the evolution of life that were all based on ideas that were reasonable…but ultimately wrong. Some are amusing in retrospect; others are tragic.

Theology, philosophy, or even mathematics may lay claim to eternal truths, but in science our very cosmologies change. Just as the major religions have adapted in the face of changing cultural cosmologies, so too has science adapted in the face of challenging new observations and new ideas. Religions and science are strengthened by experiencing a shift in our assumptions; that’s where we find out what’s essential, and what is cultural baggage.

Ultimately, the point of our science is not to come up with the “right answer.” Both as scientists and as human beings, we know that sometimes we learn the most by encountering ideas that challenge us. When we say, “I know that can’t be right; so, where did it go wrong?” we gain a greater insight into what we do believe, and what it really means.


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