In the last edition of Connect, we explored what it means to be human. If you flick back to my editorial, you’ll see I mused over the very human experience of pondering life’s big, existential questions. For this, the sixth issue of Connect, we continue asking big questions with the topic “Origins”. Where did life come from? How was the earth created? Does the universe have a beginning? As we will read in the fantastic articles lined up, these are questions human beings have been grappling with for centuries.
As Christians, when we approach such questions the Bible provides us with one very clear answer. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John: 1, 3). Yes, the universe has a beginning, and that beginning is in the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, outside of time, breathing form and life into existence and sustaining creation.
Of course, our increasingly scientific world wants us to think differently. Even if it can’t now, surely science will explain the origins of everything at some point? The idea of God is outdated and old-fashioned, created for a society without scientific enlightenment; nothing short of a little bit crazy. And yet, 2.1 billion people choose to live by the Christian faith every day, including many practicing, mainstream scientists.
The truth is, the world wants us to believe in a false dichotomy. Now science can explain everything, we don’t need God. Here at Christians in Science, supported by many other fantastic science and faith organisations across the world, we challenge this view. The words of John’s Gospel can be completely true, and the science with which we study the origins of the universe can point us towards the mechanisms established and sustained by God for creation. Science is a human endeavour, along with art, music, maths, literature, politics and a myriad of other disciplines, and all of them can reveal to us how God created and shaped his world. So, when it comes to Origins, it doesn’t really matter what the science ultimately tells us (although I’m sure it will be very exciting and interesting!), so long as we are confident in our belief that God is the one behind it all.
In this edition of Connect, we consider the mysteries surrounding the origins of life and the universe from a science and faith perspective.
Biochemistry student Ben Norris kicks things off with a broadly scientific overview of the theories surrounding the origins of life, considering the biochemical-geochemical analogy between cellular membrane transport and hydrothermal vents. Lapo Lappin then takes us on a journey into theological and philosophical understanding of origins throughout history. Our final feature article, from Andi Wang, considers the richness to be gained by viewing origins from a faith perspective, with science embedded within that worldview.
Aside from our main theme, Abi Oyeyemi has provided a fantastic account of a CiS event she held at her CU in Cork back in February. Get in touch if you’d be interested in holding a similar event in future! Finally, we hear from Professor Chris Done, an astrophysicist and Christian at Durham University, on everything from black holes, to extra-terrestrial life, to God! I hope you enjoy her truly inspiring testimony of her Christian journey and life as a physicist.
It is with some sadness that I write this editorial as my last contribution to Connect before I leave CiS to pursue biology teaching. I’ve been so blessed to have worked with such talented young thinkers and writers on this publication, and I strongly encourage you to keep contributing to the world of science and faith. In our increasingly secularised society, we need unity in our belief that we can love and worship our glorious God and pursue our love of science. Share this message far and wide, and I look forward to joining you out there!