In the award winning movie, Nacho Libro, when asked by Nacho whether he wants a little taste of glory, Esqueleto replies, “ I don’t believe in God. I believe in science.” Are God and science opposite to one another? This rather strange and perverted thought is pervading young minds as they believe the statements of some of the famous scientists like the astrophysics Stephen Hawkings who said God did not create the universe; the zoologist Richard Dawkins who wrote God is a delusion or the chemist Atkins who said that science has eliminated the justification for a cosmic purpose.
Few months back, Richard Dawkins said that it must be possible to construct life chemically, or in a computer. He also posed the question in one of his tweeter,”How dare you force your dopey unsubstantiated religious superstitions on innocent children too young to resist?.” And he goes on, “Faith can be dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong,” When Dawkins said that God is a delusion or evil, is he not implanting lies on innocent minds? In this context I remember Paul’s words in 1 Peter 3:15, be ready always to give answer to every man that asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you. Hence defending the faith we hold on to or the subject of Apologetics becomes vital. Our children should be taught that Biblical faith is evidence based and our faith has a reason. The Greek word for faith, is pistis which means “to convince by argument.” I would say to prove by evidence.
Just because some famous scientists say so, can it become the truth? The facts of the claim should be examined properly. Do all great scientists believe in the same way as these scientists believe? How can Science which is a systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world, contradict with God who is the agency who created the laws of science? Can science and physical laws eliminate God? These are matters worthy to be explored.
Though I hated Electromagnetics with its Maxwell’s equations during my college days, I finally ended up as a scientist, solving Maxwell’s equations day in and day out to obtain solutions to my problems during the last 28 years. James Clerk Maxwell revolutionized the way we view the world, changing our perspective from Newton’s purely mechanical model to a physical reality represented by continuous fields. Maxwell’s theory, one of the greatest in the history of science revealed electricity, magnetism and light to be different manifestations of the same phenomenon and it was the direct, logical consequence of Faraday’s experimental work. Maxwell’s greatness lies in showing that nature ought not to be taken at face value, and that she can be cajoled into revealing her hidden charms so long as the entreaties are whispered in mathematical verse. In doing so he paved the way for the pursuit of physicists’ holy grail: the grand unified theory, a set of equations, the four golden laws which would explain all there is to know about physical reality. Maxwell remains the great unsung hero of human progress and Albert Einstein said that the works of James Clerk Maxwell changed the world forever and his special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell’s equations of the electromagnetic field.
What about the beliefs of these founding fathers of theoretical physics: Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein? They are all strong believers in God. Newton believed that scientific investigation leads to a greater knowledge of God, the Creator of the universe as he wrote, ‘I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.’ Faraday said that God has been pleased to work in his material creation by laws and the Creator governs his material works by definite laws resulting from the forces impressed on matter. Faraday’s metaphysical principles, functioned as truths, and guiding principles for his discoveries. As Faraday, Maxwell’s insights into physics was made possible by his religious commitments as he wrote, Christianity is the only scheme or form of belief which disavows any possession on such tenure and one may fly to the ends of the world and find no God but the Author of Salvation. Though Einstein did not believe in a personal God, he was forced to believe in a God as he realized that all his equations led to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning. Though initially he tried to introduce a cosmological constant to get rid of the beginning, when the Hubble telescope revealed that universe was expanding from some point in the past, he admitted that his constant was the worst mistake of his life and became a deist, a believer of an impersonal creator.
As Christians, we should teach our children to reason out and to know the truth as Jesus said truth sets you free. Biblical Christianity insists that faith and evidence are inseparable and encourages everyone to examine the claims of the Bible with an open heart. There is no need to set limits to reason in order to make room for faith as Kant said. God acts in the physical world governed by physical laws, and God is not constrained by that law but He acts in time from outside of time.