What I Wish My Pastor Knew About the Life of a Scientist

(system) #1

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/what-i-wish-my-pastor-knew-about-the-life-of-a-scientist-part-1

(Phil) #2

Wonderful article. The author has succeeded in humanizing what many see as a cold and indifferent profession. Different walks of life have similar but unique challenges, and I am sure pastors could write similar articles as to what they wish laymen knew about the life of pastors, but he expresses well the nature of the process and study of science.
I appreciate the comments made as to the humility science brings forth, as there is no place to hide when presenting your findings to your peers who are both colleagues and competitors.

(A.M. Wolfe) #3

I thought I had read this before…

This post has been republished with permission from The Ministry Theorem. It was first published at BioLogos on April 29, 2013.

Oldie but goodie.

(Albert Leo) #4

I had some first hand opportunities to deal with the problems of cooperation and competition in science the year I served as chairman of the QSAR Gordon Conference (Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships). I realized that it would not be fair for me to invite too many qualified researchers from any one group (including the Hansch/Fujita group from Pomona College who founded this field of research & whom I represented) because the conference results would be published, and the saying “publish or perish” conveys considerable truth. The Gordon Conferences formats were, however, designed to encourage collaberation, and IMHO they do so remarkably well.

I missed Andy’s original post, and I am so pleased it has been reissued, since I judge it to be one of this Forum’s most thought-provoking. In terms of the “two books approach” to searching for God’s Truth, I have just one observation and one question to add:

Observation: While I, too, find the curiosity encouraged by science to be a true form of worship, it was Geology, not my chosen field, Organic Chemistry, that brought me closer to my Creator–closer than my early education in parochial school would have allowed. I have been lucky to go on field trips with my brother-in-law to the real ‘boonies’ of Nevada and Arizona to hunt for fossils and native artifacts. (He founded and ran a state museum in Overton, NV). Those trips, seeing first hand, the progressive series of fossils embedded in thousands of feet of uninterrupted sedimentary rocks brought home God’s power and patience in preparing this marvelous planet on which he invites us to cooperate with Him in our journey to Omega.

Question: Since Andy’s wife, Catherine, is a physicist, perhaps she could tell me if certain areas of her field have ever puzzled her as to how God’s methods work–to be specific Quantum Physics. It is fairly well accepted that the most famous physicist, Albert Einstein, was not religious per se, but he could be considered a Deist, and he has been quoted as stating that his work was motivated in wanting to 'know the Mind of God’. (Stephen Hawking later repeated this desire.). Furthermore, Einstein never could accept the reality of Quantum Physics as evidenced by the first experimental device: the double split experiment. One of his most famous quotations is: “God doesn’t play dice.”

There is a new book that deals with this, which Catherine might like to comment on: “Through Two Doors at Once” by Anil Ananthaswamy (Dutton; reviewed in Science, Aug. 8/31/18, p.855). The author explains that there have been a number of upgrades of the original D.S. experiment and several new mathematical descriptions of the results, but no universally accepted explanation. This seems quite remarkable to me, since there is no denying how modern technology now depends on quantum mechanics for gadgets we use daily.

So, does God actually play dice? Can a particle here on earth instantaneously affect its entangled twin even if a hundred million miles separate them? I don’t imagine that the answers will have any effect upon my salvation. But I cannot help being curious.
Al Leo