A former NASA astronaut believes that the study of science and nature is in accordance to with what’s written in the Bible. “Science does not contradict Christianity,” Jeff Williams said at the opening of the new science exhibit at the Museum of the Bible.
Williams is a devout Christian and has travelled to space for 534 days on four separate occasions from 2000 to 2016. He visited the exhibit titled “Scripture and Science: Our Universe, Ourselves, Our Place” which opened on January 19, 2023. Here, the retired astronaut shared his thoughts on Christianity and science, reports Canada-based Christian music radio station, CHVN Radio.
I want to talk about how the Bible supports and informs science with the elements of the mathematical order of God’s Creation. —Jeff Williams, retired NASA astronaut
According to Williams, there is no contradiction between science and Christianity as many of us believe. “The contradiction comes into your philosophy going into your science,” he explained. “And your philosophy acknowledges a God that has either revealed Himself specifically in the scriptures of the Bible or your philosophy discounts or doesn’t allow a God. Then, you have to explain the existence of everything by chance over time.”
Williams, in an interview with Salt&Light, demonstrated his idea with these two categories: either there is a God who created all things around us, or there is no God so our existence and the world we live in must be explained without an external first cause.
He pointed out that, “The first category is rational and reasonable. The second is not.” He added, “The universe is ordered in a very rational way, as illustrated in mathematical ordering, physics, chemistry, optics, electromagnetics. Life takes that ordering to an even higher level. Creation is full of information communicated in that order. Information implies intelligence. Intelligence must have a source or a cause. That cause is the Creator God.”
During his presentation at the exhibit, he argued, “Many of the scientists in the age of science — who we all read about in our textbooks about the laws of physics and chemistry — were believers first. They were theologians first. People like Kepler and Newton and Faraday and Maxwell, and many others. They were driven by their faith and their understanding of their calling before God to fulfill that calling.”
Williams has been in the military before being chosen as an astronaut in 1996. He has also been involved in scientific research related to astronomical studies for 26 years. His presentation on the exhibit hopefully sheds light on how the public will link faith and science.
“Because of the public perception that science and the Bible were in conflict, I dedicated a lot of studying in those early years so that I could be equipped to answer these kinds of questions going into my career as an astronaut. Because I know this topic comes up all the time.”
During his time in space and his current engagement with scientific research, he concluded that it is possible for a Christian to pursue the mysteries of the world without jeopardizing his faith.
“I want to talk about how the Bible supports and informs science with the elements of the mathematical order of God’s Creation, our calling as humans, bearing the image of God, and how God has equipped us to explore and extract that order and utilize it for the glory of God and the good of mankind.”
The Museum of the Bible opened the “Scripture and Science” exhibition to explore the Bible’s role in the relationship between science and religion. It will show how faith and natural sciences are interdependent in answering questions about humans and the universe.