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NASA/Bill Ingalls

There can be harmony between faith and science, says former astronaut

The topic of faith and science is trending across the country. It is particularly relevant for Christian students heading off to, or currently enrolled in college. It will be addressed in a mini-seminar for students on March 4.

Col. Jeff Williams is a retired NASA astronaut who traveled to space four times. He says there is no conflict between the two. He would know. He’s a Christian with several science degrees, and masters’ degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and national security. He’s also won numerous Naval and NASA awards.

Navigating Faith & Science in College is Saturday, March 4 at the Midwest Christian College Expo. 

“Science does not contradict Christianity,” he says. “There is no contradiction. The contradiction comes into your philosophy going into your science. And your philosophy acknowledges a God that has either revealed himself specifically in the scriptures of the Bible, or your philosophy discounts or doesn’t allow a God. Then you have to explain the existence of everything by chance over time.”

Williams, who is a board member with the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), believes there is a God who has revealed himself in creation as well as in his word.

He recently visited a new exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., that explores the relationship between the Bible and science. He served on the committee that brought in the exhibit.

“The exhibit reaffirms all of the elements that I believe in, in terms of my faith and also applying the faith to the question of science and scripture,” he says. “Many of the scientists in the age of science — whom we all read about in our textbooks about the laws of physics and chemistry — were believers first. They were theologians first. People like Kepler and Newton and Faraday and Maxwell and many others. They were driven by their faith and their understanding of their calling before God to fulfill that calling.”

That’s a view that many high school students and young adults are unfamiliar with. In fact, polling of college students reveal they struggle with connecting their faith in scientific academic studies at the college level.

ICR, in addition to its vast research resources, works to remedy that disconnect. The organization will feature a mini-seminar at the Midwest Christian College Expo in Kansas City on March 4. It begins at 9 a.m. just prior to the doors opening to the Expo where up to 60 colleges will have booths to connect with students and parents.

Mr. Dave Napier, a speaker with ICR who teaches audiences about worldviews, will lead the seminar “Navigating Faith and Science in College.” He’ll address a popular misconception that faith and science are incompatible. The presentation, which is sponsored by Bott Radio Network and Metrovoicenews.com, will present students with the information they need while giving them the confidence to be successful participants in scientific academics and careers.

It’s a topic that Lawrence Principe, a member of an advisory board that helped bring the exhibit to the museum, thinks is vital to students.

Principe says we need to bring together two pillars of human culture and proclaim they’re not in opposition. “That is scripture, religious belief and scientific investigation, and to look at the interactions between the two over time. I’m hoping people will see that science and faith have a complicated history of relationship with one another. Sometimes working in the same direction and sometimes in debate with one another. But many of the questions both are trying to address are similar about life, human beings’ place in the universe, the structure of the cosmos and so forth.”

The mini-seminar “Navigating Faith and Science in College” begins at 9 am on March 4 and runs until 10 with time for questions afterwards. Doors open to the Midwest Christian College Expo at 10 a.m. and it runs until noon. Both events are taking place at Colonial Presbyterian Church, 9500 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

To learn more about the College Expo, check out this LINK.

–By Dwight Widaman



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