Do we have to choose between science and God?

The Newcastle Christian Union hosted a recent talk on whether science is compatible with faith.

Leo David Prajogo
8th March 2022
William Blake's painting of Isaac Newton, ignoring an angel above. Image: Look and Learn, Flickr
I spent my Wednesday evening attending a talk with the title above by Newcastle Christian Union. I’m a Muslim science student who knows nothing about Christianity, and personally, I think it was an excellent way to spend my evening.

The Christian Union got together four Christian scientists: part-time chemistry researcher Bill Cleggs, SNES lecturer Helen Adamson, interventional cardiologist Vijay Kunadian (recently promoted to professor of cardiology!), and radiologist JJ Wyatt.

Our four speakers tackled this divisive question with grace, drawing on their own faith and experience as scientists to answer the audience’s queries about whether faith and science can co-exist.

Faith in science and faith in God are not all that different.

In his opening speech Bill made a point that I think will stick with me for a very long time: faith is trust, and, like how the religious have faith in their beliefs, scientists must have faith in their imperfect models and theories. Faith in science and faith in God are not all that different. For him, faith is not an explanation that goes against science, and science is not an argument against religion.

JJ and Vijay discussed how their faith in God guided their work as medical professionals. Helen spoke about the compatibility of the Bible and evolution.

The audience brought so many other questions to our speakers, from whether the Bible supports the existence of extraterrestrial life to why God allows us to suffer. I found it fascinating how Christian beliefs about science aligned with my own faith.

“Do we have to choose between science and God?” is a question with so much room for debate, and I look forward to see what other intriguing events the Christian Union has in store.

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