I wish I had a nickel for every time one of my atheist friends posted something implying you cannot be a scientist and a Christian. This ridiculous claim is repeated so often that some just assume it to be true. This came to mind when I found out this morning that 2017 Nobel Prize winner in Physics Kip Thorne will lecture at my alma mater, Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He will speak on ideas and research from his book, “The Science of Interstellar.”
Thorne is an atheist and a scientist, and he apparently does not share the belief that one has to abandon faith to be successful in science. He told The Guardian, “There is no fundamental incompatibility between science and religion. I happen to not believe in God.”
Again, he’s no shrub. Thorne is a co-founder of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Thorne and his team at LIGO made history by making the first direct detection and measurement of gravitational waves, something only theorized by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
I should address related false belief that is spread through social media posts. It’s not true that while scientists tolerate religion, the top guys are atheists. Francis S. Collins, whose team mapped the human genome, and who was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to head up the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is a Christian. He has also written books about his beliefs. One of my favorite is The Language of God.
For those in Texas who would like to hear Thorne’s lecture, it is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Lamar University Theater.