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Galatina: Comparing faith and science at Fallon Science and Linguistics High School

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Scientific and Linguistic Secondary School “A. Vallone” in Galatina promotes dialogue and discussion between students and authoritative scholars. Another opportunity for the human and cultural growth of young people, offered by the symposium “Comparing Science and Faith”, organized by the Department of History and Philosophy, on January 15, thanks to the requests of the Director, Professor Angela Veneri. The topic, which It is characterized by a special complexity, involving the emotional interventions of the speakers and the dialogue between them and with the students.

The perspective of faith was represented by the Archbishop of Otranto, Monsignor Francesco Neri, while the professor was charged with reflecting on the possibilities of science between past, present and future. Diego Palara, Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Salento.

The fifth graders present at the meeting did not appear to be passive listeners, but rather attentive and willing interlocutors, bringing the conversation to life with detailed questions on multiple topics: the importance of young people's relationship with faith; The role of science and the relationship with technology in current society; Historical retrospective to compare the institution of the Catholic Church and the progress of science; Links between quantum physics and philosophy.

The reflections that arose in response to the interventions created a dialogue between the representative of the Church and the man of science, based on respect and the sharing of many principles, even if starting from different points of view.

One point of convergence that emerged from the comparison was the belief that there is no division between the two cultures, but rather that humanistic and scientific viewpoints blend perfectly in great scientists of the past or today.

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On the one hand, Monsignor Neri addressed the principles and values ​​of faith in scientific research without exclusions or contradictions in the conclusions: from the Big Bang theory to creation as an act of faith, and from revealed truth to the human need to cultivate wonder and wonder. Respect for nature. the professor. For his part, Ballara suggested his conclusion through the testimonies of excellent mathematicians or quotes from poets and storytellers, who illustrate the intersection of humanity and science: among all the example is Galileo who – as Italo Calvino pointed out – devoted himself to observing the stars with “scientific precision and lyrical rarity”.

Another element of rapprochement between the speakers is the central reference to the figure of the mathematician Ennio De Giorgi, as an example of the humility of a brilliant researcher in the face of the limits of our knowledge, a scientist who combines a love of science and commitment. To social and defend the fundamental rights of the person, and thus a model of knowledge aimed at searching for the good of humanity.

In conclusion, it is a moment of high educational and training value for our students, whose impact will certainly remain in the minds and hearts of everyone: scientific research and faith, despite their independence, meet and complement each other in the inexhaustible human need to question ourselves. About our being and the reality that surrounds us. However, the awareness remains firm that knowledge advances over time, but it will not be able to reveal the mystery surrounding the existence of man and the world.

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Roberta Romanello

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