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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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As a religion writer with a growing interest in science, I've wondered how science/religion tensions play out in other cultures. On a recent fellowship at the University of Cambridge, scientists I met did not fit the stereotypes common to American popular culture.
While impossible to quantify, a surprising number of prominent British researchers at the pinnacle of their fields, with worldwide reputations in the physical and biological sciences, proclaim their evangelical Christian faith. And they are not perfunctory adherents, merely showing up for Sunday worship; they believe in acting on their beliefs. Some have taken up weekend pulpits.
Their roster includes Sir John Houghton, former head of the United Kingdom's Meteorological Office; Sir John Polkinghorne, a particle physicist, Anglican priest and author of numerous books on science and religion; Sir Brian Heap, a biologist; geologist Robert W. White and paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris. I asked these scientists the sources of their belief, and the answers they gave me were intriguing to someone who for years has been more immersed in the world of American evangelicals, where I frequently found that hostility toward science seemed to be the norm in public controversies. These Brits cited a disparate mixture of empirical scientific evidence and the veracity of Scripture for their Christianity, based equally on science and faith.
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