Finding God In


Given new discoveries at both the macro and micro levels, scientists at schools like Harvard, MIT, Cal Poly, Texas A&M, Cambridge and Oxford, Cal Berkeley and Stanford are now exploring the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures and faith. Many scientists at these schools are passionate and compassionate Christians.

With thanks to NASA for permission to post.According to M.I.T. Professor in Affective Computing, Rosalind Picard, “The great founders of science were men of faith who recognized God’s hand in creation. Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, Michael Faraday, Samuel Morse, Gregor Mendel, George Washington Carver, and many others attributed their successes to divine guidance. It should be surprising, in fact, when men and women of science do not acknowledge their dependence on providence.”

Finding God At will, over time, explore the insights of 21st century scientists such as Ard Louis, Michael Strauss, Jennifer Wiseman, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Francis Collins.

A Story: Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, 2007:

You’d have thought it was a football game. It took twenty minutes to find a parking spot. Once in the Stanford building, I finally found a seat in the aisle of one of several video overflow rooms. 2,300 students, scholars and neighbors came out to hear Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the U.S. Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Collins is a genetic engineer and an M.D. dedicated to expanding our knowledge of nature and deciphering the remarkable code language of human biology.

Describing Collins’ life while still Director of the U.S. Genome Project, USA Today observed:
“During his 90-hour work week,” says the reporter, “Collins juggles time among family, church work, four teams of researchers … faculty duties and patients in his genetic diseases clinic. On Sundays, … [in] their small Baptist church …. He plays guitar and keyboards; his wife writes original music.” And then the writer adds, “It is Collins’ religious beliefs that make him keenly aware of the ramifications of his work and of the fact that what he and other gene hunters do in their laboratories directly affects millions of people.” (USA Today, July 24, 1990, 1D).

Dr. Collins began his Stanford lecture by juxtaposing two images: a DNA strand and an exquisite stained-glass Rose window from a Gothic cathedral. Of the two, he saw no contradiction. Only beauty. Artistry. Intentionality. Complexity. Order. Symmetry. Harmony … God.

He spent much of his time discussing the genome and his own journey of wonder and faith as he has in Veritas forums and A Faith & Culture Devotional. Many of the 2,300 were there for the science; however, most questions were about faith – Where is God in the midst of suffering? What of prayer? Evolution? Other faiths? Evil? Justice? Hope? Eternity?

Collins admitted that he doesn’t have thorough answers, and is glad to be learning from friends in other fields, but he does know that God is good, that prayer changes us, that God speaks life into being, that Jesus is the hope of the world.

He said that his mother had died just the previous week. Though grieving, he crossed the country because she wanted him to share his faith with students. He told us that he fully expects to see her again, forever. That God loves us. That heaven is real and the hope of those who love and follow Jesus Christ.

From Ptolemy in the 2nd century A.D. to Collins in the 21st, scientists are finding that God, through the agency of His Son, Jesus Christ, is the author of all life. The apostle John tells us, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:3–4). The complex sequencing of DNA molecules tells us that life has an Author who has given detailed instructions that science is only beginning to understand.

    ~ Kelly M. Kullberg



The Strange Small World of Quantum Mechanics

By Dr. Michael G. Strauss, Ph.D., an experimental high energy and particle physicist currently teaching at the University of Oklahoma. He was also an academic guide at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Used with permission from, A Faith and Culture Devotional.

During the first few decades of the 20th century, physicists began to probe into the structure of the atom and unlock the secrets of the subatomic world. Their discoveries revealed that our everyday perception of how things “should be” didn’t really operate at very small distances. The theory that emerged, quantum mechanics, perfectly describes the universe at distances about the size of an atom and smaller, yet defies our common logic.

I first encountered this strange quantum mechanical world while studying physics as an undergraduate student and found the predictions of quantum mechanics hard to understand and harder to believe. Yet every one of these predictions have been verified in the laboratory and been shown to be true. If you or I were able to shrink to the size of an atom, we would encounter a very unfamiliar world. For one thing, we could be two places at one time. I could be at home mowing the lawn at the same time I was lying on the beach in the Bahamas. Doesn't that sound great! Unfortunately, I can only be two places at one time as long as no one sees me. As soon as a neighbor sees me mowing, then I cease to exist in the Bahamas and only exist in my yard. How disappointing!

In our subatomic world, objects often pop into existence out of nowhere, then quickly disappear. It’s as if two pieces of cherry pie appear on your table, but before you can eat them, they disappear. Then two golf balls appear and disappear, and so forth. These things always appear and disappear in pairs because one of the objects is made of matter and the other object is made of anti-matter. So really you would get one piece of pie and one piece of anti-pie.

In the quantum mechanical world, it is impossible to simultaneously know the exact position and momentum of an object. This makes it very difficult to throw a baseball back and forth with someone. If I know where the baseball is, I don’t know how fast it is moving, so I can’t tell when it will get to my baseball glove. If I know how fast it is moving, then I can’t know exactly where the ball will be or where I should place my glove. There are many more examples of how strange and mystifying our universe is when we shrink to the size of an atom, but I’m sure you get the picture.

Maybe the most remarkable aspect of quantum mechanics is that all of these bizarre properties are mandatory if we are to exist. Quantum mechanical features make the chemistry of life possible and fine-tune the fundamental constants of nature. Without quantum mechanics there would be no life. I am truly amazed at this. The Creator of the universe is so imaginative that he designed a subatomic world totally different than anything that we normally experience, yet if it were any different, we couldn’t even exist.

The prophet Isaiah writes, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). When I can’t figure out what God is doing in my life, or when the world around me just doesn’t seem to make sense, I remember the lessons from quantum mechanics: The God of the universe often does things quite differently than I would ever imagine, but his ways are always perfect and masterfully designed to accomplish his divine plan.

For reflection and discussion:

This seems odd, humorous, and mind-boggling, almost as if God could never be reduced to a predictable formula (even though QM has some good formulas). Perhaps it’s because he, the Creator, is in real time holding the universe together, and that without his present love and control it would all fall apart. “Mystery,” wrote Flannery O’Connor, “is a great embarrassment to the modern mind.” Things aren’t always figurable.

• How do you read and make sense of quantum mechanics from this entry?

• Does it connect in some way to your own life?

• How might this give you peace in what at times seems to be a chaotic world?

• Let’s thank God for holding the universe, and us, all together.

(And for humor, the Bahamas, golf balls, and cherry pie.)