Neil Shenvi; I am currently a research scientist with Prof. Weitao Yang at Duke University in the Department of Chemistry. I was born in Santa Cruz, California, but grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. I attended Princeton University as an undergraduate where I worked on high-dimensional function approximation with Professor Herschel Rabitz. I became a Christian in Berkeley, CA where I did my PhD in Theoretical Chemistry at UC – Berkeley with Professor Birgitta Whaley. The subject of my PhD dissertation was quantum computation, including topics in quantum random walks, cavity quantum electrodynamics, spin physics, and the N-representability problem. From 2005-2010, I worked as a postdoctoral associate with Prof. John Tully at Yale where I did research into nonadiabatic dynamics, electron transfer, and surface science.
Science is often considered to be in opposition to religion, because it answers all the questions that religion asks
Thesis: 1) Science and religion are compatible, 2) Science provides us with good reasons to believe that God exists
Definition: what is science?
Definition: what is the scientific method?
Definition: what is religion?
Where is the conflict between science and religion, according to atheists?
Conflict 1: Definitional – faith is belief without evidence
But the Bible doesn’t define faith as “belief without evidence”
Conflict 2: Metaphysical – science presuppose naturalism (nature is all that exists)
First, naturalism is a philosophical assumption, not something that is scientifically tested or proved
Second, methodological naturalism in science doesn’t require us to believe in metaphysical naturalism
Conflict 3: Epistemological – science is the only way to know truth (scientism)
But scientism cannot itself be discovered by science – the statement is self-refuting
Conflict 4: Evolutionary – evolution explains the origin of life, so no need for God
Theists accept that organisms change over time, and that there is limited common descent
But the conflict is really over the mechanism that supposedly drives evolutionary change
There are philosophical and evidential reasons to doubt the effectiveness of mutation and selection
Evidence for God 1: the applicability of mathematics to the natural world, and our ability to study the natural world
Evidence for God 2: the origin of the universe
Evidence for God 3: the fine-tuning of the initial constants and quantities
Evidence for God 4: the implications of quantum mechanics
Evidence for God 5: the grounding of the philosophical foundations of the scientific enterprise
Hiddenness of God: why isn’t the evidence of God from science more abundant and more clear?
Science is not the only means for getting at truth
Science is not the best way to reach all the different kinds of people
There is an even deeper problem that causes people to not accept Christianity than lack of evidence
The deeper problem is the emotional problem: we want to reject God’s claim on our lives