You may be aware that the Vatican has an observatory to study the heavens, but few people know that the Vatican Observatory has a research operation, the Vatican Observatory Research Group, in Tucson, Arizona. The BBC's Matt Danzico discovered the scientific outpost and, when none of his science journalist friends had ever heard of the Vatican Observatory's U.S. branch, he took a camera crew to find out what it's all about.
It's all about a group of about 10 priest-scientists who work at facilities owned by the University of Arizona. "We are not doing anything strange — we're really doing science," explains Rev. Paul Gabor, a Jesuit and astrophysicist. "We are not trying to find aliens that we could evangelize." Danzico also interviews Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, to provide the counterpoint. Both sides muse on the intersection of religion and science (or lack of intersection). See which side you think comes across as more dogmatic. —Peter Weber