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Steve Lunetta: For the true scientist faith is inevitable

Posted: April 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.

A co-worker the other day made an interesting comment. She said "I think its amazing that you are a scientist but still be a Christian. That must be very difficult to do."

My response, which came out of my mouth before I had thought about it, was "frankly, I don’t know how one can be a scientist and not be."

Every once in a while, something profound slips from my lips and I’m pretty sure it isn’t me speaking. God occasionally uses foolish and simple vessels like me to share wisdom and insight. Sort-of like my Uncle Earl.

I’ve had a chance to think about those words and contemplate why I said them.

Most scientists spend their lives trying to ascertain why things work a certain way. For example, a biochemist will study how a certain enzyme interacts with the human immune system. A physicist may study quarks and bozons to gain insight on the nature of matter.

A microbiologist will study organisms that contaminate food to help us preserve it for longer periods.

Often, a scientist will study these things because it is an attempt to explain the world around him. Rational thought is more important than a belief in the irrational. There must be an explanation for everything the scientist can see/touch/smell/detect/sense.

That is why we often see that scientists have turned their collective backs on faith and repudiate religious beliefs based on the concept that these beliefs are irrational.

I tend to think just the opposite. In the areas of science that I have explored in my career, I tend to think of new discoveries and insights as not a means of explaining away God but as a way that God reveals himself.

Think about it. We can postulate that our knowledge is superior since we know how to decode DNA and even manipulate it to have new sequences. This can make us arrogant that we have done something to make us like God.

Really? Did man create all of the building blocks of DNA? Did man create the "rules" that bond molecules together? Did man dictate what those sequences would do once placed in a living organism?

Nope. All man did was reveal a small portion of the miracle that is how God operates. Instead of being prideful about what he has discovered, the scientist should rejoice that he has revealed a little bit of the nature of how God works.

For a Christian, seeking to understand God is a primary pursuit. For the scientist, the pursuit is similar. By understanding the world around us, we understand more of the nature of the Creator.

Think of it a different way. For the scientist, suppose there is no God and we are a mere cosmic accident in the universe. This odd little ball called Earth floating through the vast cold and limitlessness of space contains the only life that we know.

We are alone and isolated. Science to this point has not revealed life on any other world. Our monitoring of radio waves from space is fruitless- no one is talking out there.

Several respected scientists have declared that the likelihood of finding intelligent life on other planets is very remote.

Professor Andrew Watson from the University of East Anglia estimates that the chance of life emerging is about 0.01 percent over 4 billion years.

Wouldn’t bet the farm on that one.

If we believe as the "rational" scientist, there is nothing else. We are it. What a terrifying thought. Alone and isolated, there is no hope for the future. Only the despairing reality of our stark lack of meaning or value.

Yuck. I’ll pass on that.

For the Christian scientist, the knowledge that there is hope and a structure to the world around, make him better at the job he does.

This discovery of God’s immutable fingerprint on creation is the passion that drives the few Christian scientists that do exist.

For the true scientist, this revelation of God through His creation is the best witness for the fact that He does exist. If he is honest with himself, faith in God is inevitable.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and did not mean to write so heavy a column. But, hey, its Monday! He can be reached at


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