You don’t have to reject science to believe in God. But to prove a spiritual theory, you need spiritual evidence.
I recently heard of a chemist who strongly opposed the existence of God. He claimed that his belief in science was so intense, it could never coexist with religious faith. I was shocked by his misconception that a person must choose between believing in science or believing in God.
In her BYU devotional, “Faith and Science: Symbiotic Pathways to Truth,” Dr. Jamie L. Jensen addresses this “false dichotomy” between science and religion. She argues that even though science and religion are different studies, they involve similar processes of discovering truth. Both require us to ask a question, state a hypothesis (prediction), and perform tests to gather evidence. The main difference is that spiritual questions bring about spiritual evidence.
In the case of the “God hypothesis,” the question is simple: is there a God? We hypothesize that there is a God. We can make specific predictions: If I pray and ask God if he is really there, I will receive an answer. If I read the scriptures, I will know they are the word of God. The list goes on.
Once we make these predictions, we do what any good scientist would do: we test them and gather evidence. That evidence comes from our personal experiences when we feel the Spirit testify of God, of his love, and of other sacred truths. The spiritual evidence we receive will strengthen our faith and broaden our understanding. Dr. Jensen asserts that “this test is absolutely, 100 percent repeatable”; anyone who faithfully seeks spiritual evidence will receive it.
Science and religion may gather different types of evidence, but there is little else that divides them. Both are ways of seeking an increased understanding of the world around us. Rather than choosing between them, we should use both science and religion to strengthen us on our journey toward truth.
Read more on how to embrace both science and religion in Dr. Jamie L. Jensen’s devotional, “Faith and Science: Symbiotic Pathways to Truth.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Kennadie Halliday, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY MICHAEL LONGMIRE
Find more insights
For more on the relationship between science and the gospel of Jesus Christ, read or watch Daniel J. Fairbanks’s devotional, “The Arts, the Sciences, and the Light of the Gospel.”
Check out Robbyn Merrell’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “Hypothesis: Faith and Science Are Symbiotic” for more on how to combine faith and science.