The Challenge of a Christian Scientist

All children are born scientists. Any parent knows the perpetual refrain of ‘Why does this happen, why that, why the other; why, why, why?’ Though many distractions, and what is laughingly called ‘growing up’, tend to submerge those childish enquiries, some of us are fortunate enough to have spent our lives indulging our natural curiosity and have been able to make a living out of it to boot. A life as a scientist is in some ways to live out a protracted childhood – fifteen minutes listening to a group discussing the latest controversial ideas at a conference might well reinforce that impression. ~ Robert White, Real Scientists, Real Faith

For academics there are perhaps rather different but equally insidious temptations. One of them is the pursuit of a ‘reputation’: the wish to be recognized above others as a preeminent authority. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do your work as well as possible, and publish cutting-edge papers in the best international journals if that is within your reach. But if it segues into doing others down in an attempt to enhance yourself, then it has undoubtably crossed a line. If it turns from healthy competition about better understanding how the world works to unseemly rivalry with others, then how can that be worthy of God’s calling? Another temptation faced by academic scientists is that the pursuit of new ideas, of new experiments can be so exciting, so heady that it unbalances one’s priorities. For academics the temptations are perhaps more easily indulged: there are few constraints on how you spend your time, no specified working hours (and usually no specified holidays). ~ Robert White, Real Scientists, Real Faith

As I sat pondering these disturbing trends, and feeling the sadness of the ongoing loss of beautiful ecosystems and species, I felt God say to me that I should write a lament on the status of his creation. ~ Simon Stuart, Real Scientists, Real Faith

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