Tuesday, January 17

My Faith as a Scientist

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. --Genesis 1:1

Over the last week or so, I have been busy working on a presentation that I will be giving to a group of 4th grade students on the topic of global warming. I have been forced to translate the scientific truths I know from a university-level perspective into language that make sense to a 10 year old. This is not easy.

The more I have attempted to strip down the complex chemical interactions, mathematical principles and biological processes that are part of the greenhouse effect and global warming, the more I realize that I cannot explain it easily and concisely. However, I do know that at the core of all science is order, and the fact that order came out of chaos. Everything that seems so complex about science is actually quite simple in light of one simple statement. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Because of my belief in God as a supreme being, a creator God, I am able to be at peace with the aspects of science that I don't readily or easily understand. I may not ever be able to calculate how many square feet per second a comet loses on its journey across the sky, but I know that each of the stars of the heavens were placed there by the hand of God himself.

Not all scientists have faith or a religious background that shapes the way they view the physical world. Some scientists choose to reject Christianity altogether. Christians also have difficulty reconciling their convictions with what science presents to them. Many do not believe that science and faith could or should coexist. There are times when I have found myself under fire from both sides of the argument. The Christian community sneers at the scientific truths I believe. The scientific community sometimes mocks my "simple minded" religion. Despite these infrequent attacks from the extreme sides of the argument, it has more often been my experience that my point of view is well respected.

God gives me tremendous insight into the world that He created. My work as an environmental scientist gives me a way to further understand all of the complex and wonderful systems that God set into motion at the very moment that He created the heavens and the earth. My faith grows steadily as I study science. Furthermore, my scientific understanding is enhanced when I seek God out through his creation.

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