The Task of a Christian Scientist

In a way familiar to philosophers and mathematicians, the suspicion is that the world is considerably more interesting and complex than meets the mundane eye. i find it decidedly odd that many scientists declare that the only route to understanding anything is via their method alone. How on earth can they be so sure? ~ Simon Conway Morris, Real Scientists, Real Faith

Let me tell you my father’s advice to me in my youth: ‘Do what you love to do. Then you will do it very well; and eventually someone will even pay you for it!’ ~ Calvin deWitt, Real Scientists, Real Faith

There is an inspiring reciprocity between discovery and teaching: discovery leads to telling and effective teaching; telling and effective teaching generate excitement in other individuals and the wider community; and this excitement spurs me and others with similar passion to further discovery. I find that there is something absolutely wonderful about finding out new things; about the creatures around us; about their relationships with each other and the physical world. It is not only that there are people to tell and people who respond; there are the creatures themselves with which and with whom we interact. Communion is not too strong a word to use here – applied to the human community, applied to the creatures being studied, maintained, and nurtured. Discovery, awe, and wonder derive from communion with the community of living beings that join us in orbit of our knowledge and life. ~ Calvin deWitt, Real Scientists, Real Faith

Go beyond training and instructing in the things you discover to professing who you are, why you are doing your work, and why you are so deeply committed to it. And profess with empathy and compassion; envision your students as being your own precious sons and daughters, parents, or brothers and sisters. ~ Calvin deWitt, Real Scientists, Real Faith

The observation that there is so little that encourages anyone to keep faith and science together or to keep all of knowledge together, imposes an obligation on every Christian in science. While we may not have much of an idea how to help, every scientist has a duty and mission to contribute to the larger academic community. In particular we can support and join any efforts being made that seek to address the fragmentation of disciplines and the inroads of secularization. Not only is this important for living our lives whole, it also is important because over-specialization can pose serious problems for engaging responsibly with our world, with its high degree of interconnectedness. ~ Calvin deWitt, Real Scientists, Real Faith


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