Dec. 21, 2012 Countdown - Day 19: Joseph E. Murray: There Is No Conflict between Science & Religion

Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Murray: There Is No Conflict between Science & Religion (compiled by Tihomir Dimitrov)


1. In an interview for the National Catholic Register (December 1-7, 1996), Prof. Joseph Murray asserts that there is no conflict between religion and science:

“Is the Church inimical to science? Growing up as a Catholic and a scientist – I don’t see it. One truth is revealed truth, the other is scientific truth. If you really believe that creation is good, there can be no harm in studying science. The more we learn about creation – the way it emerged – it just adds to the glory of God. Personally, I’ve never seen a conflict.” (Murray, as cited in Meyer 1996).

2. “We’re just working with the tools God gave us. There’s no reason that science and religion have to operate in an adversarial relationship. Both come from the same source, the only source of truth – the Creator.” (Murray, as cited in Meyer 1996).

3. In his article “Murray: Surgeon with soul” (Harvard University Gazette, 4 October 2001), John Lenger wrote:

“To Murray, a doctor’s responsibility is to treat each patient as not just a set of symptoms, but as someone with a spirit that can be helped through medical procedures. The title of his autobiography, Surgery of the Soul (Boston Medical Library, 2001), stems from Murray’s spiritually based approach to medicine. Though he has in the past hesitated to talk publicly about his faith, for fear of being lumped in with the televangelist crowd, Murray is deeply religious. ‘Work is a prayer,’ he said, ‘and I start off every morning dedicating it to our Creator. Every day is a prayer – I feel that, and I feel that very strongly.’ ” (Murray, as cited in Lenger 2001).

4. “I think the important thing to realize is how little we know about anything – how flowers unfold, how butterflies migrate. We have to avoid the arrogance of persons on either side of the science-religion divide who feel that they have all the answers. We have to try to use our intellect with humility.” (Murray, as cited in Meyer 1996).

5. “There are a lot of moral problems that my Jesuit training has helped me with. In my own conscience, I’ve never had a conflict between my religious upbringing and my science.” (Murray, as cited in Meyer 1996).