Science cannot define human identity

Science cannot define human identity, Pope says

Benedict XVI urged a group of scientists and ethicists “to ensure that science does not become the criterion of good, that man is still respected as the center of creation, and that he does not become the object of ideological manipulation, arbitrary decisions, or abuses.”

The Pope cautioned that success in scientific research brings with it a “strong temptation to circumscribe human identity and enclose it with the limits of what is known.” That approach, he said, fails to take into account the “mystery of human beings, because no science can say who they are, where they come from and where they go.”

Human identity and human dignity rest on a foundation that science cannot properly explore.

Science cannot measure or explain the “otherness” that is an intrinsic element of the identity of a being created in the image of God, “a being who is loved and is made to love.”

The essence of human identity involves a radical personal freedom that “transcends his nature and is a sign of the mystery of ‘otherness’ that dwells within him.” Scientific research cannot probe that truth, the Pope said, and yet it is the key to man’s identity.

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