Questions from Christian Students

Sarah was recently invited, along with two other scientists, to take part in a panel discussion for a group of mostly Christian students. After the main discussion, students were invited to submit questions via text message; there was very little time to address them, so only a few were answered. The questions were quite good, so over the next few weeks, Surak and Sarah will answer most of them here. They are listed below, in no particular order. (Despite the title of this post, at least two of the questions appear to be from students who are currently struggling with belief.) 

Since becoming a Christian and living in an environment where your faith is tested every day, have you experienced doubt? If so, what has brought you through those doubts? (Part 9)

Was Adam the first man created or was he chosen from an already existing population? (Part 2)

Has an effort by students to share their faith with you ever made an impact on you in any way? (Part 3)

Have you ever had a student challenge an idea during class? (Part 3)

How does evolution relate to belief in a creator? And please address the time frame. / Please address the timing of evolution and the Bible. / How do you reconcile biologists teaching evolution and coming from apes with the creation story in Genesis? (Part 11)

What was it about Christianity that made you feel hostile towards it before you read the Bible? (Part 5)

Do you wish you could talk about your faith in the classroom / office hours? If so, what keeps you from doing it? (Part 3)

How do you account for the Higgs boson particle? (Part 1)

How hard is it to work in the field of academia in an anti-Christian environment from a faith perspective? (Part 9)

How do you recommend Christian students react to professors who are intolerant of their Christian faith? (Part 9)

You mentioned the big bang. In your interpretation, does the big bang coincide with the moment of creation? / How does scientific proof of the big bang line up with the biblical teaching of creationism? (Part 4)

Within your field of study what has been the most remarkable observation that you have made that reinforces your faith? (Part 1)

What was the most difficult specific objection to faith (particularly Christianity) that you had to get past? / What was the biggest stumbling block to faith that you had to overcome? / For new believers, how do you get past the line of ‘the Bible is just a story’ into faith? I’ve accepted that there is a God, but I’m struggling with accepting Jesus. (Part 7)

Outside of the creation story, have you found other parts of the Bible that support what you have observed scientifically? (Part 10)

What’s the most remarkable, undeniable discovery you have used to prove or disprove the faiths of different persons? (Part 1)

What’s the most common scientific argument you encounter against Christianity? How have you responded? (Part 6)

What is the most important piece of knowledge you have come to learn about evolution since becoming a believer? (Part 8)

What is your colleagues’ biggest reason for thinking the Gospel is not worth believing? (Part 5)

Would the discovery of intelligent life on another planet disprove the existence of God? (Part 8)

What would you say to someone who can’t believe in Christianity because of its exclusive claims, that no one enters the gates of Heaven without first meeting Jesus? (Part 12)

Our analysis of the Great Debate

Well, it didn’t quite take us a week — we were just so excited by “The Great Debate: Is There Evidence for God?” that we couldn’t wait to comment on it. The following analysis is co-written by Surak and Sarah.

The two opposing sides of the scientific debate over the God hypothesis were well represented on Wednesday by Dr. William Lane Craig (Christian Philosopher and Theologian from Talbot School of Theology) and Dr. Lawrence Krauss (Theoretical Physicist from Arizona State University). Dr. Craig’s argument was based on the clearly-stated and logical assertion that if God’s existence is more probable given certain information, that information meets the essential criterion for evidence. Dr. Krauss was equally clear in his definition of evidence: it must be falsifiable to be scientific. We find both standards to be very useful.

There was some confusion on the part of the moderator as to whether the topic of the debate was the existence of any evidence for God or the existence of enough evidence to prove God’s existence. We think the moderator erred in his statement of the debate’s purpose, since no one could reasonably argue that there is proof or disproof of God’s existence. As Dr. Krauss correctly stated, science cannot falsify God; so, the question can only be, “Is God likely?”

We will assess the debate in terms of whether or not there is any evidence for the existence of God, although Dr. Krauss tried to set the bar unfairly high with his assertion that a highly extraordinary proposition, such as the God hypothesis, requires extraordinary evidence. However, we think defenders of the God hypothesis can accept and meet this challenge.

Continue reading

Austin lecture event: The Origins of Humankind

For those of you in the Austin, Texas area, the Christian Faculty Network is coordinating a special event in early March:

The Origins of Humankind: From Mud to Man
Comparing Biblical Writings with the Fossil Record

Presented by Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Tuesday, March 8th, 7:00 – 8:00 PM with Q&A to follow
The University of Texas at Austin, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall, Rm. 1.202

Free and open to the public

Gerald Schroeder is an MIT-trained physicist and author of the bestselling book The Science of God. He was on the staff in the physics department at MIT before moving to Israel to join the Weizmann Institute, the Volcani Research Institute, and the Hebrew University. He has consulted for agencies of several national governments and lectured all over the world. He has several scientific publications, and his work has been reported in Time, Newsweek, and Scientific American. His formal training in chemistry, physics, and the Earth and planetary sciences provides the basis for the broad scientific perspective he brings to his books and lectures. For the past twenty five years, Dr. Schroeder has also pursued a study of ancient biblical interpretation. An ability to handle the biblical material in the original languages allows him to tap the subtle depths contained in the original texts.

Continue reading

Welcome to SixDay Science

SixDay Science is motivated by a love for all science, an unwavering devotion to the scientific method, and a deep faith that the disciplined search for truth has the power to lift humankind in ways we can barely imagine. We must promote and defend science because the ultimate fate of our species may well be determined in the 21st century by what science succeeds or fails to accomplish. We are faced with dwindling resources, great conflict within and among societies, and a growing spiritual void that includes but is not limited to a disabling pessimism and loss of direction around the world.

At the very least, science must find new ways to produce and deliver energy in ways that meet the needs of a growing world population while protecting the environment. Biologists must find more effective ways to fight the diseases that ravage much of humankind. And the behavioral and social studies must become true sciences by developing viable theories about individual and collective behavior. The current imbalance between the physical and behavioral sciences is probably the greatest threat we face. In this regard, people of the 21st century are like three year olds with loaded guns.

Continue reading