TEMPLETON AWARD: A POLISH PRIEST-COSMOLOGIST IS THE WINNER OF THE 2008 AWARD

Michael Heller, a 72-year-old Polish priest and expert in cosmology, is the winner of the 2008 Templeton Awards. This was announced today, at a press conference in New York, by the John Templeton Foundation that created the award (820 thousand pounds) in 1973. Born in 1936 in Tarnow (Poland), ordained priest in 1959, teacher at the Academy of Theology in Cracow and an astrophysicist at the Catholic University of Louvain, Heller, reads a note from the Foundation, "has developed, for over 40 years, despite the repression of the Communist regime, some brilliant and original theories about the origin and the cause of the universe" and "is rightly considered the pioneer of the ‘theology of science’". "The processes of the universe – explains Heller, who began his research at the Vatican Observatory – can be explained as a sequence of conditions, in which the previous one is the cause of the next one". "The dynamic laws that rule this process are expressed as mathematic equations", which however do not account for "the ultimate causality" which gets back to "the great project of God, the root of all causes". The prize will be given to Heller, who will use it to build the "Copernicus research centre" in Cracow, by Prince Philip tomorrow.

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