December 11, 2006

just because we don't see and it hasn't happened before...

(i read about a scientist's "God Problem" here. Below is my reply.)

Hi. I'm a PhD student in Physics and a Bible-believing Christian. There are many people out there like myself who do not see any conflict between science and God. Science is knowledge by measurement, by experiment, using our senses, but admitting from the start that said senses are limited. God, as He speaks in the Bible, gives knowledge by revelation: things we cannot figure out on our own.

Sure, walking on water cannot be us. It can be done by some insects :) Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a God and that He created the universe. Would it not be so much easier for Him to walk on the water He made?

We have to remember that the Big Bang Theory is just a *theory* and that no one of us was actually here when it happened; we have to allow for the possibility of other theories like Intelligent Design (for those who cannot say G-o-d). In the same way, evolution is a theory as well; if we are the objective scientists we say we are we have to look at *all* possible explanations.

Maybe the aspect that disturbs some scientists so much is that God -- and Jesus, when He walked the earth -- violates many if not all physical laws and principles we know. But does He really? I really like this illustration: if an apple is supposed to fall to the ground and I catch it in midair, did I violate the laws of physics? Not really. I just intervened, in a manner that is ordered and scientifically sound as well.

Born to a virgin? It hasn't happened before..again, to humans. (Parthenogenesis occurs in some animals.) But just before it never happened to anyone else before or after Jesus *does not* mean it cannot happen. For one, He's God and we're not. (Okay, so this might seem like circular reasoning, but please stay with me. :) ) Secondly, as scientists we know that just one counterexample disproves the entire theory or law, just like that. Our moms definitely weren't virgins when we were born, so let's look at another instance.

Jesus claimed that our bodies will be resurrected to eternal life if we follow Him and let Him save us. Suppose now that He did rise from the dead. Then by golly, it's possible for us as well. Sure, nobody else we personally know rose from the dead before. But regardless of the billions of people who have died and decomposed on this planet, ONE counterexample (remember our scientific training) is enough. Yes, it is possible.

Obviously another thing that irks many scientists is when people say that "science can never prove or disprove the existence of a god". This looks like a convenient way to stop all arguments eh? :) But again being a scientist I respectfully disagree. I have seen and heard many stories of people being encountered by God on their *own personal* level: whether one's needs are emotional, psychological, physical, and so on. He meets you where you are. The fact that all-powerful God let Himself be born to mere mortals, work, sweat, defecate and die would show us that He adjusts to us so we could grasp Him.

For scientists, especially astronomists and cosmologers: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4) He meets you where you are, including scientists like us :)

Okay, so we cannot see God. I cannot see energy and electrons either. Jesus obviously meant the same thing when He says "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)

Wouldn't it be scary to entrust your entire life to someone I cannot even see? But how different is it from a marriage vow, where I believe and hope that my spouse really will love me till death? How different is it from a child or a friend, who I hope will always be there for me? The relationship is still based on trust (which is another word for faith).

Just because it did not happen before, and just because we cannot perceive it, does not mean it's not true.

In anything else, science holds that statement without question, but when it comes to the issue of God suddenly the barriers are up. Shouldn't we be more objective? Maybe, just maybe, God is true.

We can even make our own experiments if we want...just to test the God hypothesis. Besides, if there really is no God, what have we got to lose? Blaise Pascal himself said this: "Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists."

"Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8)

I do hope that you do :) I'll be praying for you guys. :)

With all the love from a fellow scientist (who you cannot see and whose words you have to decide to believe),



by the way, i hope you can get a copy of Lee Strobel's "The Case for a Creator". Strobel is a former atheist who has a background in law and investigative journalism. Though not a scientist, he was planted firmly on the road to atheism when his science teacher taught evolution. The book would help trace the road "back" to faith :) It's very objective and scientific, critically acclaimed and highly recommended :)

once again, i pray that you will realize that He exists; that you will let Him save you because we cannot do it ourselves; that you will follow Him for His plans are the best. :)

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