My son, The Great Questioner, and I often chat about current states of affairs: public policy, agriculture (he buys hops), cars, fishing and babies (my latest grandson). Random in timing and occasionally eyebrow raising, but always interesting. Frankly, I’m thrilled just knowing that my kids even speak to me.

I was recently challenged about the origins of life, and how billions of years of evolution must have created our universe. It dawned on me that the answer always goes back to God: no matter what you believe or the examples you have, life, Earth, galaxies, the universe, matter and anti-matter had to come from somewhere. There’s an origin for everything. I don’t think we’re capable of wrapping our heads around it, but I’m certain that God is behind it all and put in place a mechanism for the expansion of creation. Perhaps instead of asking “how,” we should be asking “Why is there something from nothing, and why are we even here to ask the question?”

We tend to fall into the camps of Faith vs. Science, that one — not both — must be right. But there are examples throughout history of how God has given us an ability to be critical thinkers. Great Catholic priest scientists — St. Albert the Great, Father Nicolaus Copernicus, Father Angelo Secchi and others — have demonstrated that science adds to the richness of our relationship with God through a better understanding of our place in divine design. Holy Cross Father John Zahm, a physicist and pioneer thinker on evolution, helped Archbishop Alexander Christie found the University of Portland.

Last week, the Catholic Sentinel published Faith and Science, a 24-page compilation of past articles that cover the heady topics of Genesis and evolution, the Big Bang, life beyond Earth, natural selection, artificial intelligence, how discoveries lead people to God, and more. “Rethinking the Galileo Case” is fascinating for putting truth in place of common misconceptions about the church’s trial of a great scientist. The booklet asks — and answers — many of the basic questions that we’ve all pondered at one time or another, with contributions from Vatican-based scientists and scholars, Oregon priest scientists, University of Portland professors, biomedical researchers and educators.

Faith and Science is free to read, download and print at Let us know what you think by emailing