What if science can best be described in relational terms? It would certainly open up more opportunities for a dialogue with faith. At a gathering of scientists who are Christians in Cambridge last year, Harvey McMahon gave some reasons why this approach might work. In this final guest post in the God in the Lab series, he explains his thinking.
The most fun part of life in the lab is doing experiments, because only then do you get to find out new things. In today’s videos, neurobiologist Harvey McMahon explains what he enjoys most about scientific research, and how his faith and work affect each other.
For more, read God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith (Monarch, 2015).
For mathematician Jennifer Siggers, imagination is vital to both her work and faith. In today’s podcast Jennifer explains why she expects to find a solution to the biological problems that she is studying, and why a Christian should be enthusiastic about doing science.
To find out more about Jennifer’s work and faith, and the importance of imagination, beauty and awe in both science and Christianity, see God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith (Monarch, 2015).
Einstein wondered why is it that we can make sense of the universe. This is a question that today’s guest author, Jennifer Siggers, has also asked. Jennifer is a mathematician based at Imperial College London who applies her skills to Continue reading
For Rhoda Hawkins, her belief in God was one of the factors that led her to study science. In this series of videos, Rhoda explains why she is a scientist and a Christian, how the two fit together, and the role of wonder in her work and faith.
To find out more about Rhoda’s work and faith, and the importance of wonder and awe in science, see God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith (Monarch, 2015).
This absurd cathedral which struts about
on flopping slabs of meat,
This crazy lug-eared moon,
Big Ben whose driven face
its incidental time and place,
This masked intruder
on the African plain,
Peerer through twin key-holes,
Bearer of a vastly hidden space,
is the entirely given vehicle
and the lovely means of grace.
This poem, titled ‘Grace Notes’, was written by the Oxford Physics Professor Andrew Steane. He used it to open his seminar on The Role of Science in Religion at the Faraday Institute earlier this year. Blending references to different branches of science with other types of knowing, it communicates that everything we are and have is a gift, enabling us to give something back. In this way, religion adds nothing to science, but it also adds everything.
Science, said Steane, also adds something to religion. For a start, it highlights the difference between genuine faith and ignorant superstition. A Christian can also celebrate science and do it well, not as an add-on to his or her spiritual activities, but alongside everything else that is part of ‘God’s kingdom’.
Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, James Clark Maxwell, J.J. Thompson, Lord Kelvin, and Arthur Eddington, were all famous for their contributions to physics. They also made known their deeply owned and reflective faith in God, worshipping him with all of their heart, soul and mind. Steane’s own contribution – his seminar, book, poetry and blog – demonstrate this point more than adequately, so I will simply finish with another of his poems.
Held by an image of our outer space:
Spots, dots, and whirls of white and red,
Time-tunneling in silent grace,
Parsecs where only thought can tread.
Blue blazes of the younger fire,
Red smudges of the ancient mist,
Vast mergers of the flowing gyre
Down ages of the world persist.
These distant forms of space and truth
Work back upon the thoughts we frame;
Prayer wrestles with a shaping sieve:
Dead words or else a larger name.
Come, heart, and ask in mindful voice,
Draws over there that which can love?
Lights there a dance which can rejoice?
Rests there a hold of things above?
Andrew Steane’s recent book, Faithful to Science: The Role of Science in Religion, is available from Oxford University Press for £19.99. He blogs at grievingturtle.com, and an explanation of his poem Red Shift can be found here. Poetry reproduced by permission of the author.
Belief in God can lead to a greater appreciation for science. This is the experience of Jeff Hardin, author of this week’s guest post. In today’s podcast he shares how for him, scientific discovery leads to worship. He also speaks about the work of Abraham Kuyper, and C.S. Lewis’s idea of ‘patches of Godlight’.
To find out more about Jeff’s work and faith, and the importance of beauty in both science and Christianity, see God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith (Monarch, 2015).