I was reared Catholic, which was probably inevitable since my mother was French and my father was Irish-American. I still attend church services regularly. This sometimes surprises folks who know me principally for my salty language (especially while I'm debugging a program!) or my deep interest in science, especially astronomy.

I have never felt there was any conflict between science and religion. Each addresses different types of questions. I see them as complementary. Perhaps I adopted this viewpoint because I knew so many scholarly clergymen as a youngster, or perhaps I was influenced by meeting top-flight scientists who were devout Catholics, such as nobel laureate Sir John Eccles. Besides, contrary to what many folks seem to believe, we Irish Catholics in the States are quite liberal-minded about Catholicism. We're good at poking fun at the Church, at the clergy, and at ourselves.

I believe Christians should consider very seriously Saint Augustine on Science and Scripture. His warning from 1,600 years ago speaks directly to modern pseudo-conflicts between science and religion such as that of Creationism.

I considered entering the priesthood when I was a teenager. A priest who knew me well convinced me that my real calling lay elsewhere. I took his advice, to wait a few years and see if I still felt I had a calling to become a priest. My pull towards the priesthood faded precipitously when I discovered girls. That priest obviously knew me better than I knew myself!

My interest in religion intertwines with my interest in mythology. Most if not all religions use stories, whose "historical" content may or may not be "true", to teach and inform about matters of spirituality, the relationship of humans to the rest of the cosmos and each other, and the best way to live. Such stories -- myths -- permeate all the great belief systems of the world.

Some religions, including Christianity, incorporate strong apocalyptic traditions. I believe such traditions may stem in part from periods of genuine historical catastrophism, primarily astronomical in origin.

Baha'i Faith

Biblical studies







Paganism and Wicca



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Last modified by pib on August 28, 2001.