By Carlos Cornejo
Do you scientists believe in a God? There seems to be a problem reconciling science and faith. Many modern scientists abandon their belief in God thinking everything can be explained by science and that belief in a God or spiritual things is just superstition. Superstition is wrong because it is an irrational or illogical belief on supernatural things. But faith in a God is a rational belief.
Faith is rational or logical because it can be proven by reason that God exists. There are more than twenty ways that God’s existence can be proven using reason alone without the help of Holy Scripture. The most popular ones are the order in the universe and the existence of conscience. The beauty and order in the universe are too much of a coincidence to claim that the universe just happens to exist on its own. Conscience on the other hand commands us to do good and avoid evil. It is always wrong to kill a human being or to steal. And how come we cannot change these built-in laws in us? We can change traffic laws or rules in basketball but we can never declare that from now on murder is fine. We can’t change it because we don’t own it. God placed those laws inside us through our conscience. “The law of their God is in their hearts.” (Psalm 37:31) Traffic laws and rules in sports are man-made rules therefore man can arbitrarily change them but not so with moral laws.
There is no conflict between science and faith because both have one goal: truth. The goal of science is truth in the natural world or scientific truths such as gravity and the goal of faith is religious truths or supernatural truths such as angels. One is derived from observance of reality and the other is from Holy Scripture or God’s revelation. There is no conflict because both come from the same Author. God wrote two books for us to read as Dr. Peter Kreeft would say, one is nature and the other is Scripture.
The problem comes into picture if we use faith to explain the natural world such as the case of Galileo who was denounced as a heretic for his discovery of heliocentrism, or that the earth revolves around the sun. On the other hand, we can make a mistake too in trying to solve moral problems using science. Science is a tool to know the natural world and solve some of its problems such as coming up with a vaccine to cure pandemics, but it cannot be used to solve societal problems such as racism. Racism, criminality and vices are moral problems that can only be resolved by moral methods through religion and character formation. Religion or belief in a Being more powerful than us is the best tool to correct character defects because religion studies morality more clearly and gives better motivation to be good persons. And most importantly there is an invisible help given to us by the Supreme Being in the form of grace that inspires us and makes it easier for us to do good and avoid evil. Steps two and three in the Alcoholics Anonymous guidelines in overcoming alcoholism for example illustrates this power of grace. Step two: “We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” and Step three: “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Lastly, to answer our question, “Are there scientists who believe in God?” the answer is yes and there is a long list of them. The famous ones are Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Michael Faraday, James Maxwell, Louis Pasteur, etc.