Science is the elephant in our churches, synagogues, and mosques we don’t acknowledge. We need to change fast. We need to talk about science.
A recent paper documents damage caused by the anti-religious bias of our mass media, combined with the reluctance or inability of many religious leaders to speak up about science. Fifty-five percent of adults believe “science and religion [are] often in conflict”. Close to 30% of young adults brought up with a religious background think “churches are out of step with the scientific world” and that “Christianity is anti-science.” Studies show that 59-70% of young adults who used to regularly attend church will drop out of organized religion during their early adult years. Some will return, but not all. The paper tells of one devout young man who killed himself after reading a popular pseudoscience book bashing religion.
It will take time, but the good news is that modern science strongly supports belief in God in many ways. We need to talk about science.
When we deny our children the true facts of science, our children are vulnerable to claims that the universe is pointless and that life is but a chemical accident.We watch in horror as they abuse themselves with drugs and alcohol, and abuse each other.We watch them walk into public places with automatic weapons and start shooting.We ask “where is God” when it happens.I think God asks why we withhold and deny evidence of design. [Counting To God, p. 213]
Thanks for reading.
A friend recently sent me a link to a newspaper article where a scientist says that, because Earth does not have a “privileged place” in the universe, we should not believe in God. It’s a false statement based on bad science. I wrote my book and I’m writing this blog to set the record straight.
First, modern cosmology has revealed that there is no center, no privileged place, anywhere in the universe. The universe is expanding everywhere, and, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, there is no center to this expansion. So it makes no sense to say that Earth is or is not at the center.
Second, there are MANY special features of Earth. Earth is in the right galaxy, with the right amount of “metals” in the cosmological sense (elements forged in stars or created by a supernova); 98% of galaxies have less. Earth is in the “galactic habitable zone,” the right distance from the galactic center. Earth travels a safe path through the galaxy, nearly circular, on the inner edge of the Orion arm, which is critical because a star passing too close would disturb billions of objects in our Solar System bigger than whatever wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We have a wonderful solar system where planets have stable orbits and the larger planets help to protect Earth from collisions; computer simulations show that without Jupiter – the “vacuum cleaner” of the Solar System — collisions of large objects with the Earth would be thousands of times more frequent. We have an amazing moon that keeps the tilt of the Earth’s axis stable, and creates tides. I have written a whole chapter on these and many more special qualities of Earth; two scientists who are experts in this area estimate that the odds of finding another planet as suitable as Earth for sustaining life over billions of years are less than one in 100 in our entire galaxy of hundreds of billions of stars.
Third, our special Earth is, by my account, only one of seven areas of modern science that support belief in God and, frankly, the recent discoveries in other areas are even more amazing.
Don’t let false science turn you away from God. Thanks for reading.
Some people go to Africa, others to Asia. I went to MIT, and I was nervous. I was there to nail seven scientific challenges on the door of the church of atheism. But just days before, at the request of student atheists, MIT agreed to ban mention of God and prayer from its commencement ceremonies.
Forty-three short years ago I received my Bachelor’s degree from MIT. During that time, I took seven semesters of16 math courses along the way and also majored in physics. I was back to talk about my book – “Counting to God: A Personal Journey Through Science to Belief”. MIT set me up in one of their modern lecture rooms, and my friend who is head of the Physics Department agreed to introduce me. But would anybody show up? Would people try to disrupt the talk? I was nervous.
I’m told the count was 118 people; not bad considering commencement was the week before and the campus was quiet. It was a mix of students, faculty, and the general Cambridge community including some folks from Harvard. The talk went well; I saw nods of understanding and light bulbs coming on with smiles as I “counted” through seven wonders of modern science: the creation of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the technology of life, the puzzles of macroevolution, the special qualities of Earth, and the non-material nature of the universe as revealed by quantum physics. A video of my talk and my slides should be available soon on countingtogod.com. I hope you get to see them and let me know how you think it went. My friend the Physics professor, who hosts dozens of events each year, told me he received at least five emails later thanking him for sponsoring the talk, and that he couldn’t remember the last time he got that kind of email.
Why did I go to MIT? I went to spread the word that science and religion are not opposites. I went to show the objective basis for belief, that math and science facts support belief in God. I went to expose Scientism, the belief that science can or will explain everything without God, as just a system of belief. I went to spread the word that modern science strongly supports belief in God. That’s why I wrote my book, and that’s why I’m writing this blog.
More next week. Thanks for reading.