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Author to Speak Monday at Sacred Hearts on Science, Religion

George Sim Johnston delivers lecture in Southampton Village on faith, evolution and "The Galileo Affair."

Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary in Southampton Village will take on a controversial debate Monday when guest lecturer George Sim Johnston presents "Why Catholics Like Einstein and Need Not Be Afraid of Darwin."

According to Johnston, a contributing editor to Crisis magazine and the National Catholic Register, there does not have to be a conflict between faith and science.

Johnston will discuss the Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and the question of human origin, as well as Galileo Galilei's conflict with the Catholic Church.

In his essay "The Galileo Affair," Johnston writes, "Since the Galileo case is one of the historical bludgeons that are used to beat on the Church — the other two being the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition — it is important that Catholics understand exactly what happened between the Church and that very great scientist. A close look at the facts puts to rout almost every aspect of the reigning Galileo legend."

Johnson also plans to suggest interpreting the Book of Genesis's account of creation, which is the subject of his book, "Did Darwin Get it Right?: Catholics and the Theory of Evolution." Johnson argues that Catholic belief and scientific evidence about the origin of the universe are compatible, according to the publisher, Our Sunday Visitor.

Johnston's lecture "Why Catholics Like Einstein and Need Not Be Afraid of Darwin" is Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary on Hill Street in Southampton Village. The event is free and open to the public.

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