What would you say to someone who insisted Americans never landed on the Moon?

Probably the same thing as you would to someone who insisted that World War II never happened.

Someone who makes outrageous claims that go against logic and historical reality are inevitably spouted by people who think themselves too "knowledgeable" to read books or too "smart" to bother thinking rationally.

There is more truthiness than truth to them.

Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion but no one is allowed to have their own facts. I have no pity for someone who hopes to bully someone and then finds himself in over his head with nothing intelligent to say.

When atheists insist, without the benefit of sanity, sobriety and erudition, that Catholics are somehow "anti-science," I'm quick to force them to listen to a desperately needed lecture as to why they are irretrievably and patently wrong.

My lecture usually does them very little good unless "good" means "infuriating the bigoted atheist in question." But, either way, I've created a chink in their armor through which the Holy Spirit might be able to penetrate. After all, as Martin Luther King, Jr. often reminded us, "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." The Faithful are that thin Catholic line in the sand that the sincerely ignorant and conscientiously stupid, and other enemies of the Church, won't be able to cross.

When fundamentalist atheists insist the Church is anti-science, I lay some knowledge on them. For those unfamiliar with the Church's support and defense of modern science including the incredible accomplishments or lay Catholics, I recommend perusing the following list and its links, which are taken from Wikipedia.

(This is a list of famous lay Catholic scientists and is the second article in the series. For those interested in the first article about famous Catholic cleric-scientists, please follow this link.)

  1. Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718–1799) – mathematician who wrote on differential and integral calculus
  2. Georgius Agricola (1494–1555) – father of mineralogy
  3. André-Marie Ampère (1775–1836) – one of the main discoverers of electromagnetism
  4. Mariano Artigas (1938–2006) – Spanish physicist, philosopher and theologian who received the Templeton Foundation Prize in 1995
  5. Leopold Auenbrugger (1722–1809) – first to use percussion as a diagnostic technique in medicine
  6. Adrien Auzout (1622–1691) – astronomer who contributed to the development of the telescopic micrometer
  7. Amedeo Avogadro (1776–1856) – noted for contributions to molecular theory and Avogadro's Law
  8. Francisco J. Ayala (1934–present) – Spanish-American biologist and philosopher at the University of California, Irvine]
  9. Stephen M. Barr (1953–present) – professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware and a member of its Bartol Research Institute
  10. Laura Bassi (1711–1778) – physicist at the University of Bologna and Chair in experimental physics at the Bologna Institute of Sciences, the first woman to be offered a professorship at a European university
  11. Antoine César Becquerel (1788–1878) – pioneer in the study of electric and luminescent phenomena
  12. Henri Becquerel (1852–1908) – awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his co-discovery of radioactivity
  13. John Desmond Bernal (1901–1971) – British pioneer in X-ray crystallography in molecular biology
  14. Claude Bernard (1813–1878) – physiologist who helped to apply scientific methodology to medicine
  15. Jacques Philippe Marie Binet (1786–1856) – mathematician known for Binet's formula and his contributions to number theory
  16. Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774–1862) – physicist who established the reality of meteorites and studied polarization of light
  17. Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608–1679) – often referred to as the father of modern biomechanics
  18. Raoul Bott (1923–2005) – mathematician known for numerous basic contributions to geometry in its broad sense]
  19. Louis Braille (1809–1852) – inventor of the Braille reading and writing system
  20. Edouard Branly (1844–1940) – inventor and physicist known for his involvement in wireless telegraphy and his invention of the Branly coherer
  21. James Britten (1846–1924) – botanist, member of the Catholic Truth Society and Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great
  22. Hermann Brück (1905–2000) – Astronomer Royal for Scotland from 1957–1975; honored by Pope John Paul II
  23. Albert Brudzewski (c. 1445–c.1497) – first to state that the Moon moves in an ellipse
  24. Nicola Cabibbo (1935-2010): Italian physicist, discoverer of the universality of weak interactions (Cabibbo angle), President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from 1993 until his death
  25. Alexis Carrel (1873–1944) – awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering vascular suturing techniques
  26. John Casey (mathematician) (1820–1891) – Irish geometer known for Casey's theorem
  27. Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625–1712) – first to observe four of Saturn's moons and the co-discoverer of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter
  28. Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789–1857) – mathematician who was an early pioneer in analysis
  29. Bonaventura Cavalieri (1598–1647) – mathematician known for his work in optics and motion, calculus, and for introducing logarithms to Italy
  30. Andrea Cesalpino (c.1525–1603) – botanist who also theorized on the circulation of blood
  31. Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832) – published the first translation of the Rosetta Stone
  32. Guy de Chauliac (c.1300–1368) – the most eminent surgeon of the Middle Ages
  33. Albert Claude (1899–1983) – awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his contributions to cytology
  34. Christopher Clavius (1538–1612) – Jesuit who was the main architect of the Gregorian calendar
  35. Mateo Realdo Colombo (1516–1559) – discovered the pulmonary circuit, ]which paved the way for Harvey's discovery of circulation
  36. Carl Ferdinand Cori (1896–1984) – shared the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with his wife for their discovery of the Cori cycle
  37. Gerty Cori (1896–1957) – biochemist who was the first American woman win a Nobel Prize in science (1947)
  38. Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis (1792–1843) – formulated laws regarding rotating systems, which later became known as the Corialis effect
  39. Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1736–1806) – physicist known for developing Coulomb's law
  40. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) – first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology
  41. René Descartes (1596–1650) – father of modern philosophy and analytic geometry
  42. Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet (1805–1859) – mathematicians who contributed to number theory and was one of the first to give the modern formal definition of a function
  43. Pierre Duhem (1861–1916) – historian of science who made important contributions to hydrodynamics, elasticity, and thermodynamics
  44. Jean-Baptiste Dumas (1800–1884) – chemist who established new values for the atomic mass of thirty elements
  45. John Eccles (1903–1997) – Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the synapse[16]
  46. Stephan Endlicher (1804–1849) – botanist who formulated a major system of plant classification
  47. Gerhard Ertl (1936– ) – German physicist who won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces
  48. Bartolomeo Eustachi (c.1500–1574) – one of the founders of human anatomy
  49. Hieronymus Fabricius (1537–1619) – father of embryology
  50. Gabriele Falloppio (1523–1562) – pioneering Italian anatomist who studied the human ear and reproductive organs
  51. Mary Celine Fasenmyer (1906–1996) – Roman Catholic sister and mathematician, founder of Sister Celine's polynomials
  52. Hervé Faye (1814–1902) – astronomer whose discovery of the periodic comet 4P/Faye won him the 1844 Lalande Prize and membership in the French Academy of Sciences
  53. Pierre de Fermat (1601–1665) – number theorist who contributed to the early development of calculus
  54. Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) – awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his work in induced radioactivity
  55. Jean Fernel (1497–1558) – physician who introduced the term physiology
  56. Hippolyte Fizeau (1819–1896) – first person to determine experimentally the velocity of light[18]
  57. Léon Foucault (1819–1868) – invented the Foucault pendulum to measure the effect of the earth's rotation
  58. Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826) – discovered Fraunhofer lines in the sun's spectrum
  59. Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788–1827) – made significant contributions to the theory of wave optics
  60. Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) – father of modern science
  61. Luigi Galvani (1737–1798) – formulated the theory of animal electricity
  62. William Gascoigne (1610–1644) – developed the first micrometer
  63. Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655) – French astronomer and mathematician who studied the transit of Mercury and named the aurora borealis
  64. Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778–1850) – chemist known for two laws related to gases
  65. Riccardo Giacconi (1931– ) – Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who laid the foundations of X-ray astronomy
  66. Paula González (1932–present) – Roman Catholic sister and professor of biology
  67. Francesco Maria Grimaldi (1618–1663) – Jesuit who discovered the diffraction of light
  68. Robert Grosseteste (c.1175–1253) – called "the first man to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment"
  69. Peter Grünberg (1939– ) – German physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate
  70. Johannes Gutenberg (c.1398–1468) – inventor of the printing press
  71. Jean Baptiste Julien d'Omalius d'Halloy (1783–1875) – one of the pioneers of modern geology
  72. John Harsanyi (1929–2000) – Hungarian-American economist and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner
  73. Eduard Heis (1806–1877) – astronomer who contributed the first true delineation of the Milky Way
  74. Jan Baptist van Helmont (1579–1644) – founder of pneumatic chemistry
  75. George de Hevesy (1885–1966) – Hungarian radiochemist and Nobel laureate
  76. Charles Hermite (1822–1901) – mathematician who did research on number theory, quadratic forms, elliptic functions, and algebra
  77. John Philip Holland (1840–1914) – developed the first submarine to be formally commissioned by the US Navy
  78. Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748–1836) – first to propose a natural classification of flowering plants
  79. Mary Kenneth Keller (c.1914–1985) – Sister of Charity and first American woman to earn a PhD in computer science, helped develop BASIC
  80. Eusebio Kino (1645–1711) – Jesuit missionary and cartographer who drew maps based on his explorations, first showing that California was not an island as was then believed
  81. Athanasius Kircher (c.1601–1680) – Jesuit scholar, has been called "the last Renaissance man"
  82. Brian Kobilka (1955– ) – American Nobel Prize winning professor who teaches at Stanford University School of Medicine
  83. Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1713–1762) – French astronomer noted for cataloguing stars, nebulous objects, and constellations
  84. René Laennec (1781–1826) – physician who invented the stethoscope
  85. Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736–1813) – mathematician and astronomer known for Lagrangian points and Lagrangian mechanics
  86. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) – French naturalist, biologist and academic whose theories on evolution preceded those of Darwin
  87. Johann von Lamont (1805–1879) – astronomer and physicist who studied the magnetism of the Earth and was the first to calculate the mass of Uranus
  88. Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943) – Nobel Prize winner who identified and classified the human blood types
  89. Pierre André Latreille (1762–1833) – pioneer in entomology
  90. Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794) – father of modern chemistry
  91. Jérôme Lejeune (1926–1994) – pediatrician and geneticist, best known for his discovery of the link of diseases to chromosome abnormalities
  92. Marcello Malpighi (1628–1694) – father of comparative physiology
  93. Étienne-Louis Malus (1775–1812) – discovered the polarization of light
  94. Anna Morandi Manzolini (1714–1774) – anatomist and anatomical wax artist who lectured at the University of Bologna
  95. Giovanni Manzolini (1700–1755) – anatomical wax artist and Professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna
  96. Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937) – father of wireless technology and radio transmission
  97. Pierre Louis Maupertuis (1698–1759) – known for the Maupertuis principle and for being the first president of the Berlin Academy of Science
  98. Michele Mercati (1541–1593) – one of the first to recognize prehistoric stone tools as man-made
  99. Marin Mersenne (1588–1648) – father of acoustics and mathematician for whom Mersenne primes are named
  100. Charles W. Misner (1932–present) – American cosmologist dedicated to the study of general relativity
  101. Kenneth R. Miller (1948–present) – American cell biologist and molecular biologist who teaches at Brown University
  102. Mario J. Molina (1943–present) – Mexican chemist, one of the precursors to the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole (1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
  103. Peter Joseph Moloney (1891–1989) – Canadian immunologist and pioneering vaccine researcher, who worked out the first large-scale purification of insulin in 1922; International Gairdner Award, 1967)
  104. Gaspard Monge (1746–1818) – father of descriptive geometry
  105. John J. Montgomery (1858–1911) – American physicist and inventor of gliders and aerodynamics
  106. Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1682–1771) – father of modern anatomical pathology
  107. Johannes Peter Müller (1801–1858) – founder of modern physiology
  108. Joseph Murray (1919–2012) – Nobel Prize in Medicine laureate
  109. John von Neumann (1903–1957) – Hungarian-born American mathematician and polymath who converted to Catholicism
  110. Jean-Antoine Nollet (1700–1770) – discovered the phenomenon of osmosis in natural membranes
  111. Martin Nowak (1965-present) – evolutionary theorist and Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University.
  112. William of Ockham (c.1288–c.1348) – Franciscan friar known for Ockham's Razor
  113. Nicole Oresme (c.1320–1382) – 14th-century bishop who theorized the daily rotation of the earth on its axis
  114. Barnaba Oriani (1752–1832) – known for Oriani's theorem and for his research on Uranus
  115. Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598) – created the first modern atlas and theorized on continental drift
  116. Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) – French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and philosopher
  117. Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) – father of bacteriology
  118. Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637) – discovered the Orion Nebula
  119. Max Perutz (1914–2002) – Austrian-born British molecular biologist, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
  120. Georg von Peuerbach (1423–1461) – called the father of mathematical and observational astronomy in the West[41]
  121. John Polanyi (1929– ) – Canadian chemist, won the 1986 Nobel Prize for his research in chemical kinetics[43]
  122. Michael Polanyi (1891–1976) – Hungarian polymath, made contributions to physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy
  123. Vladimir Prelog (1906–1998) – Croatian-Swiss organic chemist, winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize for chemistry
  124. Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) – awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions to neuroscience
  125. René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1683–1757) – scientific polymath known especially for his study of insects
  126. Francesco Redi (1626–1697) – his experiments with maggots were a major step in overturning the idea of spontaneous generation
  127. Henri Victor Regnault (1810–1878) – chemist with two laws governing the specific heat of gases named after him[44]
  128. Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro (1853–1925) – one of the founders of tensor calculus
  129. Gilles de Roberval (1602–1675) – mathematician who studied the geometry of infinitesimals and was one of the founders of kinematic geometry
  130. Frederick Rossini (1899–1990) – Priestley Medal and Laetare Medal-winning chemist
  131. Theodor Schwann (1810–1882) – founder of the theory of the cellular structure of animal organisms
  132. Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–1865) – early pioneer of antiseptic procedures, discoverer of the cause of puerperal fever
  133. Louis Jacques Thénard (1777–1857) – discovered hydrogen peroxide
  134. Theodoric of Freiberg (c.1250–c.1310) – gave the first geometrical analysis of the rainbow
  135. Evangelista Torricelli (1608–1647) – inventor of the barometer
  136. Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli (1397–1482) – Italian mathematician, astronomer and cosmographer
  137. Richard Towneley (1629–1707) – mathematician and astronomer whose work contributed to the formulation of Boyle's Law
  138. Louis René Tulasne (1815–1885) – biologist with several genera and species of fungi named after him
  139. Louis Nicolas Vauquelin (1763–1829) – discovered the chemical element beryllium
  140. Pierre Vernier (1580–1637) – mathematician who invented the Vernier scale
  141. Urbain Le Verrier (1811–1877) – mathematician who predicted the discovery of Neptune
  142. Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564) – father of modern human anatomy
  143. François Viète (1540–1603) – father of modern algebra
  144. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) – Renaissance anatomist, scientist, mathematician and painter
  145. Vincenzo Viviani (1622–1703) – mathematician known for Viviani's theorem, Viviani's curve and his work in determining the speed of sound
  146. Alessandro Volta (1f745–1827) – physicist known for the invention of the battery
  147. Wilhelm Heinrich Waagen (1841–1900) – geologist and paleontologist
  148. Karl Weierstrass (1815–1897) – often called the father of modern analysis
  149. E. T. Whittaker (1873–1956) – English mathematician who made contributions to applied mathematics and mathematical physics
  150. Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) – one of the founders of scientific archaeology
  151. Bertram Windle (1858–1929) – anthropologist, physician, and former president of University College Cork
  152. Antonino Zichichi (1929– ) – Italian nuclear physicist, former President of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare