State of the art
In writing this, he is not only wrong theologically (to the point of apostasy), but naïve epistemologically and even scientifically.
Science is a wonderful manifestation of human reason and critical for prudent decision-making, but good science, based on the scientific method, knows its limits: the limits of empirical observation and the limits of how far solid deduction may proceed on the basis of available data.
The retired minister (and many others lacking in scientific discipline) make a classic error lampooned by a movie in which two scientists in the future where talking about deep fat, steak, cream pies, and hot fudge: “Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.”
All the more reason for us to heed well the words of Saint Paul in today’s first reading (Romans 12:1-2)...
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.
...and our Lord’s warning in today’s Gospel (Matthew 16:21-27):
You are thinking not as God does,
but as human beings do.
May you and I use our minds and intellect well and also heed carefully the truth that comes from God.