Explore the big questions of science and religion with the Director of the Vatican Observatory.

While science and religion have often been seen as contradictory forces, in reality they complement each other. Indeed, Catholics have often been at the forefront of scientific discovery; the Augustinian friar Gregor Mendel innovated the study of genetics, and the Jesuit Georges Lemaître first proposed the big bang theory. More recently, Pope Francis issued Laudato Si, an encyclical that addresses global warming.

Now you can join a leading Catholic scientist in examining the most vital questions about the universe. Your guide, Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., deals with big things—stars, galaxies, and unfathomable distances—but that's not the kind of ""bigness"" that you will explore here. Instead you will tackle the hows and whys of the universe.

In this brilliant course, you will ask yourself: Does science need God? Can physics prove the existence of God? How do we understand miracles? What is life, and how will we recognize it on other planets? What is the soul?

As you will see, such questions don't have simple answers. Instead you will discover new ways of thinking about them: not finding concrete answers to these questions but rather asking them anew with wit and wisdom. In doing so you will gain a richer and fresher understanding of the world.

Begin this awe-inspiring journey today.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Meaning: Exploring the Big Questions of the Cosmos with a Vatican Scientist

    • Meaning: Exploring the Big Questions Guide

    • 01 Does Science Need God?

    • 02 Scripture or Science?

    • 03 Is the Big Bang Compatible with a Creator God?

    • 04 Does Modern Physics Prove God?

    • 05 Does the Anthropic Principle Prove God Exists?

    • 06 Are Miracles Contrary to Science?

    • 07 What Is Life?

    • 08 Would Extraterrestrials Need to Be Baptized?

    • 09 Why is there Natural Evil?

    • 10 How Do We Understand the End of the Universe?

    • 11 Is the Resurrection Contrary to Science?

    • 12 Can Science Explain Consciousness, Free Will, and the Soul?