When faith and science can coexist - by Corey Hodges
The movie "Angels and Demons," the sequel to Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," is another box-office hit. The story is again set in Vatican City and centers on the Roman Catholic Church, but this adaptation of Brown's novel is not as theologically confrontational as its predecessor. Tom Hanks returns as the fictional Harvard University symbologist, Professor Robert Langdon, who this time sets out to uncover clues of a secret society called the Illuminati, which has a centuries-long conflict with the Roman Catholic Church and seeks to avenge some of its members. Galileo's theory of a moving earth was believed, at the time, to contradict biblical passages and thus his science was considered heresy and he was put on trial. Critics use this as proof that the Catholic Church in particular and Christians in general, have a history of opposing science, but this of course is not the case. As in all matters, there are extremists who are completely opposed to science and see it as the antithesis of faith, but by and large people of faith are not opposed to scientific research. Most theists believe that God gave human beings the ability to make life-changing discoveries and thus science is itself a gift from God.
Many scientists have found that their research deepens their faith. Isaac Newton's study of gravity and its impact on how we view the universe led him to conclude: "This most beautiful system [the Universe] could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." Francis Collins, the former director of the human genome project and an atheist turned Christian is quoted as saying, "When you make a breakthrough it is a moment of scientific exhilaration ... but it is also a moment where I at least feel closeness to the creator in the sense of having now perceived something that no human knew before but God knew all along."