Thursday, September 12, 2019

Science Is the Study of God's Creation

Image result for john piippo weather
(The River Raisin, in my back yard.)
My high school counselor told me I should go to college, and major in science. I tested well in math and science, and decided on engineering.

I loved science! And still do.

When I became a follower of Jesus, I changed my major to philosophy. But science was still in my bones. I loved studying meta-scientific theories, and enjoyed learning from Dr. Harold Brown in his philosophy of science class. (See Dr Brown's Perception, Theory, and Commitment: The New Philosophy of Science. Thomas Kuhn [!] applauds this book!]

We had many scientists in our church when Linda and I were at Michigan State University. There were professors from every area of science, and PhD students doing degrees in some area of science. It seemed half our congregation was made of scientists! And, they were all passionate Jesus-followers. 

One of the great joys of my life was to meet with these scholars, discussing issues of faith and science, and at times reading books together on the integration of science and faith. I learned so much in these dialogues! They only served to deepen our core belief that science is the study of God's creation. Viewed this way, awe and wonder and worship to the Maker of all things increased.

In history, many scientists viewed science this way. This was true for Galileo, Kepler, and Copernicus.

Kepler wrote:

"There is nothing I can find out and long to know with greater urgency than this. Can I find God, whom I can almost grasp with my own hands in looking at the universe, also in myself?"

Copernicus wrote:

"To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge."

After making his false confession Galileo said: 

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

And others...

Physicist Max Planck:

"I consider it a favor of heaven that since childhood a faith is planted deep in my innermost being, a faith in the Almighty and All-good not to be shattered by anything."

Physicist Arno Penzias:

"I invite you to examine the snapshot provided by half a century’s worth of astrophysical data and see what the pieces of the universe actually look like… The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole."

Louis Pasteur:

"Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory."

Mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell:

"I have looked into most philosophical systems and I have seen that none will work without a God."

Geneticist and former head of the Genome Project Francis Collins:

"I found it difficult to imagine there could be real conflict between scientific truth and spiritual truth. Truth is truth."

Albert Einstein:

"In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views." [Yes, I have studied Spinoza's God, and Einstein's views on this.]


"I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what that is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the most intelligent human toward God."

Physicist Werner Heisenberg:

"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you."

Theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne:

"Science is possible because the universe is a divine creation."

Astronomer Alan Sandage:

"It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence."

Harvard astronomer Owen Gingerich:

"I am personally persuaded that a super-intelligent Creator exists beyond and within the cosmos, and that the rich context of congeniality shown by our universe, permitting and encouraging the existence of self-conscious life, is part of the Creator’s design and purpose."

Oxford mathematician John Lennox:

"The laws of physics could never have actually built the universe. Some agency must have been involved."

Physicist Sir James Jeans:

"From the intrinsic evidence of His creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as pure mathematician."

British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle:

"A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question…. Rather than accept the fantastically small probability of life having arisen through the blind forces of nature, it seemed better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act."

Mathematician George Ellis:

"What is clear is that life, as we know it, would not be possible if there were very small changes to either physics or the expanding universe that we see around us. There are many aspects of physics, which, if they were different, would prevent any life at all existing….We are now realizing that the universe is a very extraordinary place, in the sense that it is fine-tuned so that life will exist."

Physicist Gerald Schroeder:

"Since the possibility of there being other universes is highly speculative, the most conservative and firm conclusion is that our universe is the only universe and it was designed for life. Which to my mind implies a Designer."

When the sky is dark and cloudless I often go outside and look up. And I think, how great is our God. I begin to think like the David the songwriter.

Lord, our Lord,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory

    in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels

    and crowned them with glory and honor.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8