Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director,Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
“If you don’t understand how something works, never mind: just give up and say God did it.” – Richard Dawkins, former Professor for Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford, ‘The God Delusion’
“‘The God Delusion’ [by Richard Dawkins] makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths [co-authors of ‘The Dawkins Delusion’] show why.” – Michael Ruse, Atheistic Philosopher
“Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator.” – C. S. Lewis
Last week, I commented on the recent death of Stephen Hawking, the eminent astrophysicist, and the impact of his life on both those who do not believe in God and those who do.
In contrast to Hawking’s atheism, there have been many scientists over the centuries who were passionate about both science and faith in God. For example, Sir Isaac Newton, a scientist and Christian theologian, is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time. From Wikipedia, “Newton’s Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.”
According to a recent review of Nobel prizes awarded between 1901 and 2000, 65.4% of Nobel Prize Laureates have identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference (423 prizes). Overall, Christians have won a total of 72.5% of all the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, 65.3% in Physics and 62% in Medicine (source: ‘100 Years of Nobel Prize (2005),’ Baruch Aba Shalev).
However, according to Dawkins in his book ‘The God Delusion,’ “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.” Are we to believe all these eminent scientists are deluded?
From a personal perspective, the incredible advances in science have served only to deepen my faith in God. Thus, rather than diminishing my experience of His presence in my life, scientific discoveries have had the opposite effect.
As I have become more aware, for example, of the large number of physical constants that, if modified only slightly, would make the universe unconducive to life, I marvel at God’s eternal power and divine nature! I am well aware there are many competing theories concerning this apparent “fine-tuning.” For me, however, the God of the Bible, who is all loving and all powerful, is the most coherent, plausible and satisfying explanation.
Almost seven years ago, Dr. Michael Ko performed video assisted thoracic surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from my right lung. I was very thankful to Michael and his team! At the same time, it made me appreciate even more God’s creative genius in making our world intelligible. Anticipating order, scientists discovered regularities in nature from which they formulated testable theories.
As one result, we have skilled doctors today who use advanced technology to perform delicate, life-saving surgeries. For me, there is absolutely no need to choose between science and faith in God!
Questions? Doubts? Please test drive one of our professional peer groups!
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.