In order to introduce themselves to readers, new authors will introduce themselves by answering some the following questions:
- What does science mean to you?
- How do you interact with science?
- Are you atheist, agnostic, Christian or something else?
- Have you ever been anything else?
- How do you see faith and science interacting?
There is no requirement to answer them all, and more specifics will come out in future posts. The objective is to help us understand where each person is coming from. If there are other questions new authors wish to answer, they are free to answer them as well!
What does science mean to me?
Science is the way to best understand the natural world. Its foundation is observation and hypothesis, and its power is prediction. Science drives technological innovation and a offers more complete comprehension of the universe. The strongest statements in science are theories (evolution, gravitation, etc.); these drive the way we conduct experiments and understand their outcomes. Very little in science is static – our understanding of how the world works must change when new evidence surfaces.
How do I interact with science?
I recently earned a PhD in bioengineering where ‘doing science’ was my job. My thesis project showed new ways of treating human embryonic stem cell derived cardiomyocytes so that they could survive better when transplanted into rodents with heart attacks. My work used techniques of basic and applied science. I am now finishing my final year in medical school. Western medicine is based heavily on science, but science is not the only aspect of medicine. Finally, I am interested in the philosophy of science, the ethical dilemmas of scientific practice and the (mis)use of science in politics.
Am I an atheist, agnostic, Christian or something else?
I am a Christian and attend a Presbyterian church in Seattle, where I live. My perspecives may vary slightly from that denomination on small issues, but I believe in the basics of Christianity. My personal belief set includes: belief in God, belief that Jesus died for mankind’s sins and that humans are meant to interact with God. I do not believe in a young earth or intelligent design, and have difficulty with (but do not rule out) the concepts of eternal life and miracles. I try to live a life inspired by the Sermon on the Mount.
Have I ever been anything else?
Not really. I was raised in a church-going family, but my parents never forced religion on me. I have gone through periods of very strong doubt in God and religion, but have more or less always identified myself as Christian.
How do I see faith and science interacting?
I see science and faith as answering different questions about human existence. Faith is one means to understand difficult ideas like purpose, love, suffering and inner peace. Science is the best way to understand natural processes that are as different as earthquakes and behavior. Faith and science don’t explicitly interact, except that I think it possible for individuals to both practice science and believe in God. When it comes to interpreting the Bible, I see scientific understanding as trumping metaphorical stories – particularly in the Old Testament.
That’s where I’m coming from.