August 17, 2016

A very strange situation prevails in scientific circles today. Any mention of God, or any reference to a Creator in relation to the natural world, is strictly taboo, and anyone who dares to break this rule is likely to face censure.  In March 2016 online scientific journal Plos One, published an article entitled  ’Biomechanical characteristics of hand coordination in grasping activities of daily living.” It was written by a team of four researchers, three from China and one from the US.


The opening sentences of the study claimed that the link between muscles and hand movements is the product of "proper design by the Creator," and that human hand coordination "should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention." The journal was deluged with angry protests. The Independent (3rd March 2016) reported, “The paper’s perceived references to intelligent design have provoked anger and calls for a boycott of the journal…. The journal’s staff apologised that the language referring to a ’Creator’ was not addressed during the paper’s evaluation,” suggesting it may have been due to “translation errors.” The article has now been retracted.

  On 12th March 2016 The Times printed a short article by Rupert Smartt, Religion Editor of the Times Educational Supplement, and author of the book Christianophobia; a Faith under Attack. The article was headed, “Nothing comes from nothing. Creationism is reasonable.” It related to his new book God is No Thing, emphasising that nothing can come from nothing, and that “believing the Universe was created is a valid inference of metaphysical reasoning.” It provoked a very hostile reaction, the use of the word “creationism” in the title that causing the most anger. The Times later apologised and amended the title of the online version to “Faith is reasonable.”


Such reactions are totally irrational, and the pioneers of our major scientific disciplines would be puzzled at the taboo against any mention of God in the world of science, since science in the western world sprang from Christian roots. Louis Pasteur, popularly known as the "father of microbiology" and who disproved the popular notion of  spontaneous generation testified “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.” William Herschel (1738-1832), who discovered the planet Uranus, and was made Royal Astronomer by King George III, was not afraid to speak about “the Author and Creator of the heavens.”


The apostle Paul described the modern attitude well. “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them… they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God.” (Romans 1: 19 & 28). Scientist Thomas Nagel wrote: “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God… I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”1

Are people like Dr. Nagel afraid of the possibility that there is a God to whom they must give account?  How sad! We believe that God created us for a relationship with Him — a relationship broken by sin. But He sent His Son, Jesus Christ ,to redeem us. The God who is taboo to many scientists today, longs to be their Father and Friend. They are missing what Sir James Simpson, who discovered the use of chloroform as an anesthetic, described as “My greatest discovery — Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.”

  1. The Last Word, Oxford University Press: 1997

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