In these times of advanced technology, AI and scientific discovery, many people feel their faith is not compatible with science.
A recent Pew survey even found that six in 10 adults believe science and faith have nothing to say to each other.
But a new exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., directly challenges that idea.
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NASA astronaut Col. Jeff Williams, who has spent more time in space than almost any other U.S. astronaut, is one of the voices endorsing the “Scripture and Science” exhibit.
Said Commander Williams, “There’s no conflict between science and the Bible.“
History proves that a belief in a God of order and law was the compelling reason behind so much scientific discovery. (iStock)
History proves that a belief in a God of order and law was the compelling reason behind so much scientific discovery, particularly in the last 2,000 years.
Williams said, “You look at scientists like Kepler and Newton and Boyle and Pasteur and Maxwell and many others — they were actually theologians first. And their understanding of scripture is what drove what they saw as their calling in life to scientific endeavor.”
Huge strides often taken for granted
Williams is talking about scientists who made huge strides in scientific discovery that we often take for granted today.
Johannes Kepler was a 17th century German astronomer and mathematician best known for his laws of planetary motion, which helped lay the groundwork for space exploration.
New exhibit focuses on answering the big questions about existence.
Sir Isaac Newton’s work produced the basic principles of modern physics and our understanding of gravity. In mathematics, he’s the discoverer of calculus.
Robert Boyle was the first modern chemist and a founding fellow of the Royal Society.
Louis Pasteur, the 19th century French chemist and microbiologist, was renowned for the principles of vaccination and pasteurization of common milk products.
And James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th century Scottish mathematician and scientist, is credited with the theory of electromagnetic radiation.
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The new exhibit focuses on answering the big questions about existence.
Curator Anthony Schmidt said, “One of these questions [is], ‘How did it all begin and what makes me human and how is it all going to end?’”
He said it’s all about “looking at the ways that faith and science have been entangled in some sense with these questions that people have pursued them over the centuries.”
A new exhibit at the Museum of the Bible is saying: The natural sciences are simply pages of one of God’s two books. The other book is scripture. (iStock)
Featured artifacts include a book by Copernicus, the Renaissance-era polymath and astronomer who first formulated a model of a sun-centered orbit.
The book was owned by astronomer Galileo, whose handwritten notes appear in the margins.
Also on display are the Bible and the NASA ID badge of Dorothy Vaughn, one of the human computers, or mathematicians, whose work on the space program was featured in the movie “Hidden Figures.”
There’s also the chalice that astronaut Buzz Aldrin used to take communion on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
Far more integral
But there’s more in the exhibit than the idea that people of faith also do science. It’s far more integral.
It’s saying: If there is a God who created the universe, who is outside of time and space of that universe, then that same God is responsible for all the things we discover in science.
“How did it all begin and what makes me human and how is it all going to end?”
Things like gravity, the strong and the weak forces, the periodic table in chemistry, atoms, bacteria — every miniscule element to radical biological reaction are within the precepts of the created order.
Therefore, the natural sciences are simply pages of one of God’s two books. The other book is scripture.
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Former astronaut Williams said, “Either there’s a God or there’s no God. And if there is a God, then he has revealed himself in his creative work — which is amazing the more you get into it.”
He went on, “And he has uniquely revealed himself in the written word — and we would say written in and incarnate with the combination in Jesus Christ, in his first Advent and in the New Testament.”
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Science answers the plethora of questions about what’s in the natural world.
But faith answers the question of why there is a world in the first place and what is its purpose for being.
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Williams and other scientists of faith say we only get a complete picture of our existence when we allow faith and science to join hands.