S2E1: Praveen Sethupathy on Science & Scripture
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Debates around science and scripture have persisted for years, and Christians often find themselves on different “sides” of various arguments. But does science and scripture naturally conflict? What if we saw science as a way to discover more about God, not disprove his existence or question the Bible’s teaching? In this episode of The Faith & Work Podcast, Dr. Praveen Sethupathy talks about his work studying genetics as an expression of worship and his Christian faith. The Denver Institute team discusses applications and takeaways from Praveen’s talk that apply to those working in scientific fields as well as Christians at large.
Johannas Kepler quote:
“I commence a most sacred discourse, a most true hymn to God the founder, and I judge it to be piety not to sacrifice many bulls to Him or to burn incense or innumerable perfumes, but first to learn myself and afterwards to teach others too how great He is in wisdom, how great in power, and of what sort in goodness.”
On the cultural disconnect between science and faith:
“There is a richer, though somewhat ignored history of partnership between science and faith that most appreciate today. The modern notion that deep faith in what cannot be seen is somehow in direct opposition to one’s ability to do rigorous study of what can be seen is a fallacy.”
Psalms that celebrate joy in creation:
“Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.” Psalms 104: 25–26
“While part of God’s wisdom in creation is order and purpose, another part is simply for the fun and the pleasure of it. He takes delight in His Leviathan and it is evident not only from that psalm but in other parts of scripture which he formed apparently just so it could take delight in the oceans itself.”
“The scientific lens, whatever it might have happened to reveal, it didn’t push God out of Kepler’s worldview. Instead, it gave him a window into just how amazing God is.”
On Christians entering scientific fields:
“Find pleasure in what you do as a scientist. Let pleasure and the love for the work motivate your desire to enter this field. Experiencing in community the pleasure of shared work helps build trust.”
“It doesn’t matter what the task is, how small it is, how large it is. Pursue excellence. Perform at your best. Show that you are dedicated to the work at the highest level. This will honor God for sure, but also that credibility that you end up gaining in science, it will go a long way in building trust with your colleagues on matters of science and faith.”
We want to hear from you! Email us your questions, thoughts, and ideas, and we’ll put them on a Q&A podcast later this season!
Applications for the next class of the 5280 Fellowship open March 1st. Learn more about this nine-month spiritual and professional development program.
Brian mentioned the Radio Lab story on CRISPR/Cas9.
Learn more about Biologos and their work in the Christian scientific community.
Join us at an upcoming event, including God, Energy, and the Environment, to learn more about the role of faith and science in creation care.
Praveen’s FREE course is now available at Scatter.org. Dive into his talk now!
Download the episode transcript.
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