The center third of "Education", a stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany at Yale
We celebrate creation! Our passion for the wonders of nature and our deep love of God come together in this publication as we express ourselves in various forms of worship. Often scientific methodology is considered to be a highly disciplined, rigorous—even boring—ritual of objective analysis of diverse observations. It is that, to be sure. But there’s another side of science, the experiential one. We aren’t scientists merely as a way to make a living; we pursue science because we have experienced the thrill of seeing the intricacies of God’s handiwork, and we seek a continued deeper understanding.
It is a joy to watch children discover the world of nature. Their innocent delight is infectious to those who have grown jaded and dulled. At every opportunity, we as Christians in science should seek to channel that enthusiasm into a lifelong quest for studying God’s creation. It is our hope that the pages of this magazine will stimulate more Christians to become scientists and will rekindle the flame of excitement about the world around us.
For some, unfortunately, the scientific enterprise continues to be a source of concern. As long as it brings good health and technological advances, it is acceptable, but as soon as science impinges on cherished, long-held beliefs, science becomes a threat. At times, the perceived threat is repelled by attributing anti-Christian motivations to the scientific community. Recently, Congressman Paul Braun did just that as he opined that the motivation for ideas such as evolution, the big bang theory, and embryology was a desire to avoid the Christian claims of our need for a Savior. Usually, this sentiment is expressed in a less colorful way that nevertheless reflects a concern that many scientists harbor a deep desire to use science against Christian thought.
Those of us who have worked in the secular scientific community know that these fears are unfounded. To be sure, the majority of scientists are not Christians, a trend partially caused by the fact that Christian youth are generally urged to pursue vocations other than science. But while scientists may not all affirm the Christian creeds, it is rare to find one that feels the need or desire to use science to discredit Christianity. The most common attitude is apathy, a general feeling that science should not be influenced by religious beliefs nor should science affect religion.
Yet, there can be interactions between science and faith. Some interpretations of the Scriptures or of divine providence that describe nature or its history are subject to potential conflict. It is in the protection of these interpretations that opposition to science is found. In such communities, open discussion of science can be problematic. At ASA, we offer a non-judgmental, neutral environment within the scope of the Christian creeds and mainstream science. We welcome diverse views that celebrate creation and wrestle with any areas of potential conflict.
In these pages, we trust that you will find a very positive inspiration for doing science, from the nitty-gritty detailed analysis to the joyous exuberance of having our senses flooded with stimuli. That science is part of our worship of our God and Savior, bringing glory and honor to him.
ASA Executive Director