Over the past 40 years, I was given the opportunity to be trained as agricultural research scientist and then enjoyed a “dream job” where I was paid to conduct applied research while employed by one of the great universities of the 20th century. I love science and identify myself as a research scientist.
But life for me has always been about more than science. As a Christian, I subscribe to the beliefs expressed in the Apostle’s Creed. I believe that God reveals himself to us both through his creation (which we explore using the scientific method), through the Bible (God’s written revelation of himself to man), and through the Holy Spirit (whose existence can be neither verified nor disproved by science). Science is useful for exploring the physical world, but science is not equipped to address spiritual aspects of human existence.
Although science cannot effectively investigate the spiritual aspects of human existence, I firmly believe that modern science is providing valid insights into the origins of the cosmos as well as the origins of life on earth, and I do not believe that these insights conflict with what God reveals to us through the Bible. For a better understanding of how scientists who are also Christians integrate faith and science, check out the following website: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Evolution/index.html.
If you are inclined to believe that science alone is sufficient for explaining everything we might want to know, please consider the following:
The consensus understanding of cosmologists and particle physicists today is that the total matter and energy of the detectable cosmos account for less than 5% of the total matter/energy that must have been present at the Big Bang when our cosmos came into being. That means that roughly 95% of all matter/energy is poorly understood by science because it cannot be directly detected or studied. The missing 95% is commonly called dark matter and dark energy.
Two general characterizations of God as revealed in the Bible are that he is both the God of Light and the God of Love. I would suggest that the God of Light is evidenced in and can be known by studying the physical universe. This part of reality is what scientists study, but scientists themselves admit that it represents only about 5% of total reality (i.e., of the total matter/energy present at the start of the big bang).
The God of Love reveals himself to us if we accept the concept of a spiritual world that exists beyond the realm of the physical. Isn’t it possible that the spiritual world accounts for the other 95% of total reality?
I love being a scientist, but I’m even more fascinated by what it means to be a Christian because my faith provides insights into the portions of reality not accessible via science alone. Perhaps some scientists will announce tomorrow that they have discovered and can explain dark matter and dark energy as purely physical phenomena. If that happens, it will not shake my faith in a God who wants to relate to every human on a personal, spiritual level because I have personally experienced the joy and fulfillment that can come through faith-based interactions with a living, loving God. In the meantime, however, I’ll continue to revel in the discoveries of science (even if that is only 5% of reality) while also reveling in the spiritual discoveries that provide insights into what might be the other 95% of total reality.
If you’re looking for a bigger reality, try talking to God about it. He’s always listening!
Last updated 27 December 2018