• Strange Notions Strange Notions Strange Notions
Dr. Stacy Trasancos


Stacy Trasancos is a wife, mother, and joyful convert to Catholicism. She has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University and a M.A. in Dogmatic Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She worked as research chemist for DuPont before becoming a full-time homemaker in 2003, and has advanced knowledge in the fields of nanometer-scale composite materials, photoreactive polymers, and elastomeric fibers. She designed and served as Editor-in-Chief (2011-2014) of Ignitum Today, a website for young adult Catholics, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Stand. She is a contributor at Integrated Catholic Life, and has published in refereed science journals and Catholic magazines. She teaches chemistry classes for Kolbe Academy, and serves as Alumni Association President and Adjunct Professor at Holy Apostles. She is the author of Science Was Born of Christianity: The Teaching of Fr. Stanley L. Jaki. Most of her time is devoted to raising her youngest five children, and worrying about her two oldest, with her husband in a 100-year-old lodge in the Adirondack mountains. Follow Stacy's blog at StacyTrasancos.com.


The Stillbirth of Science in Ancient Egypt


NOTE: For the next six Fridays, Strange Notions will present a series of essays by Dr. Stacy Trasancos on the "stillbirths" of science. They're based on Fr. Stanley L. Jaki's research into the theological history of science in the ancient cultures of Egypt, China, India, Babylon, Greece, and Arabia.   The first stillbirth Fr. Stanley L. Jaki discussed in the Savior of Science is the stillbirth of science in Egypt, “an Egypt to be buried in the sand.” In ancient Egypt (from about 3000... Read More

From Faith Came Science: The Condemnations of 1277


In 1277, Étienne Tempier, the Bishop of Paris, issued a list of 219 condemned propositions relating to details of Aristotelian texts that were irreconcilable with the Christian worldview. These propositions were not binding on Christians, but served as a guide for the scholars at the University of Paris. The decree largely dealt with the eternity of the world and creation. The Condemned Propositions   The propositions are often referenced by historians of science, and their intent and effects... Read More

Bill Nye, Ken Ham, and the Catholic Third Way


Did you watch the big debate last night between Ken Ham and Bill Nye? It was an excellent exchange with good points made on both sides, but decidedly missing from the debate was the fuller and traditional Catholic view. Thus for the purpose of our dialogue here at Strange Notions, I'd like to explore the "third way" absent from last night's event. How are Catholics taught to view the world? To quote the apologist Frank Sheed, in the very beginning of his book Theology and Sanity: “There is the... Read More

The Opening of the Scientific Mind


David Gelernter wrote an evocative essay for Commentary Magazine (cleverly) titled "The Closing of the Scientific Mind." His essay was a summary of conflicts in modern "philosophy of mind." He criticized the "bullying" against atheist Thomas Nagel who concluded that Darwinian evolution is insufficient to explain consciousness and who was "unwilling" in Gelernter's opinion "to express sufficient hatred of religion to satisfy other atheists." Then Gelernter discussed the "roboticism" of Ray Kurzweil,... Read More

Skeptic Benjamin Radford on the Fátima Miracle


Paranormal investigator Benjamin Radford has written a piece for Live Science on the The Lady of Fátima & the Miracle of the Sun. Mr. Radford is the deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Mr. Radford answers the question: What really happened at Fátima?   On October 13, 1917, between 30,000 to 100,000 people gathered near Fátima,... Read More

Free-Thinking: Doctrine or Illusion?

Free Thinker copy

Recently there was an excellent question in the Strange Notions comment boxes from Rob Tish. He wanted to know what the Bible means when it says God created man in His own image: "If God is so fundamentally and essentially different from us, then in what sense are we made in His image?" In a word: We are free-thinkers. Since invoking that word requires some explanation, the response is three-fold. First is the answer to Rob's question, with explanation and reference to the Catechism of the Catholic... Read More

Did Pope Benedict Really Dismiss Evolution as ‘Science Fiction’?

Pope Benedict XVI

In a recent letter to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Italian atheist and mathematician, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI used the term "science fiction." Odifreddi is the author of the 2011 book Dear Pope, I'm Writing to You, a critique of Benedict's theological writings. Benedict's letter is a response to that book, extracts of which were recently published in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. In Odifreddi's book he referred repeatedly to theology as "science fiction." Benedict pointed out that "science... Read More

Come, Let Us Do Science Together


An atheist invites a Catholic over for dinner. The atheist host graciously plans to serve pan fried sea bass with a sauce made of black pepper, vermouth, fresh thyme, saffron, and a delicate touch of cream for good measure. She selects some greens and tomatoes for the side. On the way over, the Catholic picks a H.R.M. Rex Goliath Free Range Red, the bomb of all wines even with bass, 2 bottles also for good measure, and grabs a bag of Lindt dark chocolate bars for dessert. The two women prepare their... Read More

Unmoved Mover for Unmoved Doubters


Already at Strange Notions, there have been long and intense discussions among Catholics, agnostics, and atheists that either point to, or directly involve, the logical proofs of God’s existence. Here is a scaled-down version of the Unmoved Mover proof that St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa Contra Gentiles. I am not suggesting that any words should be altered, but rather attempting to pull out the key points so someone new to reading his writing has a map through the argument. The argument... Read More

How Does Theology Protect Science?

Theology protects science

The other day I made the statement, “Science is a sphere unto itself with its own methods, but it falls under the umbrella of theology.” One commenter asked how theology pertains to the sphere of science: “I don’t see how the two relate nor how science, most notably modern science including the laws of nature, physics and chemistry, could fall under the umbrella of knowledge of things divine?” Good question, and I promised her an answer. I would not have been able to answer that question... Read More