This morning Pope John Paul II received participants of the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, whose theme is “science and creativity,” and spoke to them of the the spiritual questions raised by scientific discovery, and the need for a scientific creativity which responds to “authentic human development,” rather than “financial or ideological conditioniong.”
"This year's plenary session, devoted to science and creativity, raises important questions deeply connected with the spiritual dimension of man,” said the Pope. “Revelation teaches that men and women are created in the 'image and likeness of God' and thus possessed of a special dignity which enables them, by the work of their hands, to reflect God's own creative activity."
He noted that "the creativity which inspires scientific progress is seen especially in the capacity to confront and solve ever new issues and problems, many of which have planetary repercussions.”
“Men and women of science are challenged to put this creativity more and more at the service of the human family, by working to improve the quality of life on our planet and by promoting an integral development of the human person, both materially and spiritually,” he affirmed.
The Pope then explained that “if scientific creativity is to benefit authentic human progress, it must remain detached from every form of financial or ideological conditioning, so that it can be devoted solely to the dispassionate search for truth and the disinterested service of humanity."
“The 'wonder' which sparked the earliest philosophical reflection on nature and which gave rise to science itself, has in no way been diminished by new discoveries,” said the Pope. “Indeed, it constantly increases and often inspires awe at the distance which separates our knowledge of creation from the fullness of its mystery and grandeur."
"Despite the uncertainties and the labor which every attempt to interpret reality entails - not only in the sciences, but also in philosophy and theology - the paths of discovery are always paths towards truth,” affirmed the Holy Father.
“And every seeker after truth, whether aware of it or not, is following a path which ultimately leads to God, Who is Truth itself," he said in conclusion.