Michał Kazimierz Heller, 1936- Poland, a modern pioneer in faith and science

Hi Max,

I am finding we need to turn to historians of science and philosophy of science to find integrating comments on this topic. Here is one. You have to be able to assess whether they know what science really is, just as it is now getting harder to find scientists who are confident to speak what faith really is. We are in a time of intellectual separation, apparently. Cheers

Michał Kazimierz Heller 1936- Poland

is a professor of philosophy at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, Poland, and an adjunct member of the Vatican Observatory staff. He also serves as a lecturer in the philosophy of science and logic at the Theological Institute in Tarnów. A Roman Catholic priest belonging to the diocese of Tarnów, Dr. Heller was ordained in 1959.

Michał Heller attended high school in Mościce, graduated from the Catholic University of Lublin, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 1965 and a Ph.D. in cosmology in 1966.

After beginning his teaching career at Tarnów, he joined the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in 1972 and was appointed to a full professorship in 1985. The recipient of an honorary degree from the Cracow University of Technology, he has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and a visiting scientist at Belgium’s University of Liège, the University of Oxford, the University of Leicester, Ruhr University in Germany, The Catholic University of America, and the University of Arizona among others. Dr. Heller is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

His current research is concerned with the singularity problem in general relativity and the use of noncommutative geometry in seeking the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. He has published nearly 200 scientific papers not only in general relativity and relativistic cosmology, but also in philosophy and the history of science and science and theology and is the author of more than 20 books. In his volume, Is Physics an Art? (Biblos, 1998), he writes about mathematics as the language of science and also explores such humanistic issues as beauty as a criterion of truth, creativity, and transcendence.

In March 2008, Heller was awarded the $1.6 million (£820,000) Templeton Prize for his extensive philosophical and scientific probing of "big questions." His works have sought to reconcile the "known scientific world with the unknowable dimensions of God."[1]

Heller plans on spending the prize money on the establishment of a research institute named after Nicholas Copernicus aimed at reconciling science and theology.

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