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Can a Modern Scientist Believe in God and Miracles?

Can a Modern Scientist Believe in God and Miracles?

By Roger E. Olson
March 29, 2019

One of the most popular, mistaken beliefs is that one cannot believe in a personal, creator God and miracles and be a credibly credentialed scientist. I have heard "talks" and read articles and books that more or less state this falsehood as a given, a presupposition. It is certainly a popular opinion.

However, just as there has been an upsurge of belief in God, even the God of the Bible, among philosophers, so there has been an upsurge of open belief in God and even miracles among notable scientists.

For the most part in the media we only hear about two allegedly strongly opposed groups: serious scientists (Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking) who don't believe in God and fundamentalists whose science credentials are dubious at best.

However, this is a false dichotomy. The evidence of a third group--credibly credentialed scientists who believe in the Christian God, practice orthodox Christianity, and believe in miracles as scientists as well as as Christians. In other words, they believe modern/contemporary science does not rule out miracles.

Now, obviously, readers are going to want names. Here are some. Look them up. Ian Hutchinson of MIT, Ard Louis of Oxford University, Denis Alexander of Cambridge University, Francis Collins of the Genome Project and National Institutes of Health, John Polkinghorne of Cambridge University (retired).

There are several professional organizations of orthodox Christians who are credibly credentialed, scholarly scientists. (That means scientists who have earned doctoral degrees from accredited universities and who have published science articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.) The Faraday Institute at Cambridge University is one. The organization BioLogos (which includes biblical scholars and theologians) is another one. The American Scientific Affiliation is yet another one.

It may be that modern, credibly credentialed scientists who are orthodox Christian believers are a minority within the larger academy, but the names I have given here are just a few of the many credibly credentialed scientists who are orthodox Christian believers and who do reasonably defend belief in the creator God of the Bible and miracles as compatible with the best of modern/contemporary science.

None of those I have mentioned or that I would refer to as in this category are "young earth creationists" or anti-evolutionists. Most are theistic evolutionists. They are physicists, chemists, and biologists who either teach or have taught at major research universities. They give the lie to the common notion--held among both conservative Christians and secularists--that Christianity and science must necessarily be at war with each other.


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