Why this scientist is a Christian

Why this scientist is a Christian September 10, 2019


NASA Chicxulub painting
This painting, by Donald E. Davis, depicts the Chicxulub asteroid slamming into the tropical, shallow seas of the sulfur-rich Yucatan Peninsula in what is today southeast Mexico. The aftermath of this immense asteroid collision, which occurred approximately 65-66 million years ago, is believed by some (though, I’m told, not by young-earth creationist me) to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and many other species on Earth. The impact spewed hundreds of billions of tons of sulfur into the atmosphere, producing a worldwide blackout as well as freezing temperatures that persisted for at least a decade. Shown in this painting are pterodactyls, flying reptiles with wingspans of up to 50 feet, gliding above low tropical clouds.  They don’t know it, but they’re about to die.
(A public domain image from NASA)


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At the time that he wrote this in response to the question “Why are you a Christian,” Jeff Hardin (Ph.D.,University of California at Berkeley), a specialist in cell biology, genetics/genomics, and developmental biology, was serving as the chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison:


I’m a Christian because the Christian story of the world—and of myself—makes sense of reality. The Gospel—an old English word for “Good News”—is a Big Story that involves each one of us, but it’s also one of cosmic proportions.  When I began to grasp the personal and cosmic dimensions of this Big Story, I began to catch a tiny glimmer of how it makes sense of everything else. First, it made sense of my own life. When I was first presented with the Good News about Jesus of Nazareth, I saw that the Gospel story ran right through my own life. It explained why I, if I was really honest, could be capable of acts of love, goodness, and kindness, but why I could be simultaneously petty, mean, and disingenuous. It was why, when this truth about myself came crashing down on me as a middle schooler, I gratefully accepted, by God’s grace through Christ, something I could not do for myself. Second, the Big Story of the Scriptures is consilient with all that we know. It makes sense of the moral nature of reality that we all perceive, the “unreasonable reasonableness” (to borrow from physicist Eugene Wigner) of the universe, and of our own ability to perceive the moral and rational fabric of reality.


From “Believing Scientists Respond: Why Are You a Christian?”



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