Faith, Order and Science
by Kim Rivera
A scientist denying the existence of God or transcendent being and theologian denying the existence of evolution and the atom, a scientist-theologian or theologian-scientist integrating God and evolution/atom; an artist/journalist/historian not accepting nor denying any, all of them have one thing in common, a concept of God in their mind.
Whether people accept His existence or not, one clear idea is, GOD is in their consciousness. An individual is not born with such strong conviction of faith or skepticism, the people he meets, his environment, the culture and social reality, books he reads, researches he conducts, form part of his idea.
But I will not dwell on the possible reason why a person holds such belief of God or the Big Bang, what I would like to point out as a science teacher is how to deal with this in science class. For me, it should be a part of science teaching and learning experience and should not be shut off whenever it arises. If the concept of God is persistent, that it reaches this age of learners, then why should we shut it off from being discussed in the classroom?
If my student has an idea of God but do not believe in His existence, all the more that I need to discuss it because history itself revealed that the first scientist are philosophers. Sophist as they seek for truth in the world’s existence opened doors for further exploration and researches.
I believe that in honest and open discourse, students will be exposed to realities of science, it will engage them more. Questions can lead to multitude of answers, and answers can only be conquered through investigations and careful study. If I will shut this conversation I am like killing their curiosity to be a scientist in the future, however it is not proper to impose my personal belief on them. What is essential is to give them room for reasoning and discovering,and the teacher’s responsibility is limited to guiding them.
Let me quote HelgeKragh in 2010, “It is important not to fall into the trap of scientism, to believe that it is within the power of science to refute the notion of a divine being.” This is one idea that many scientists and writers have disregarded in their writings and essays, and one concept which I would like to share with my students.
Hoyle 1982 in On Modern Cosmology and its Place in Science Education has a very good depiction on how scientists are attesting their attachment to God, “I have always thought it curious that, while most scientists claim to eschew religion, it actually dominates their thoughts more than it does the clergy. The passionate frenzy with which the big-bang cosmology is clutched to the corporate scientific bosom evidently arises from a deep-rooted attachment to the first page of Genesis.”
The space is limited, but years of studying Chemistry has brought enlightenment on my faith in Him. Not that I can show you empirical data to prove this, but in person I can share it with you. God bless us all.