At a meeting with scientists in Sarov, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias said:
Science and religion don’t contradict each other; they respond to different questions. Therefore, don’t look for answers to spiritual questions in physics or biology. You could say that science, on the one hand, and religion and art, on the other, are different ways of understanding the world and mankind, distinct ways of comprehending our humanity. Each has its own perception, its own methods of cognition. Each answers our questions. However, throughout human history, the relationship between religion and science evolved in very different ways, but the religious and scientific worldviews have no opposition to each other, just as there’s no conflict between art and science, and no discord between religion and art. Science probes the questions “how is it” and “why is it”. Religion explores “what is it all for”. The centre-point of religious speculation is the issue of the meaning of life. This also brings in our perspective on death. It’d be naïve to read the book of Genesis as a textbook on anthropogenesis (human origin). In like manner, it’s counterproductive to search biology or physics for answers about the meaning of life.
2 August 2016
I should mention that Sarov was a “closed-city” during the Sov era as it was a centre of nuclear physics research and nuclear weapons development. Therefore, to have a scientific gathering there isn’t a stretch. If I’m not mistaken, there’s also a nuclear weapons museum in the city. Patriarch Kirill is deeply interested in science; as a young man, he wanted to be a fighter pilot (sources tell me that he couldn’t because he was a priest’s son and refused to abjure his religion… it was the time of the Khrushchyov persecution). Some years ago, he visited the cosmonautics centre at Star City… he even “suited up”. In short, the Church doesn’t believe in “Young Earth Creationism”… one could even say that such a view is heretical and Unchurchly. The rightwingers amongst us who trumpet ignorant opinions on science and morals are what the Apostle called “loud clanging gongs”. Follow HH, as always. Remember what he said on morals, “The Church respects all human decisions, including those of sexual orientation. However, we reserve the right to label sin ‘sin’”.
The above is more of the same from HH. You may follow him or you may follow the loudmouth “conservatives”… choose wisely…