Justice, faith and science seem different and somewhat opposed; but not according to Dr. Jennifer Wiseman. Jennifer studies star-forming regions of galaxies, and as a graduate of MIT, Harvard, and as a Hubble Fellow of the Johns Hopkins University, she has interesting insights to offer into the conversation of faith and science. From her view, there is no real dichotomy between faith and science. Rather, faith and science, in her view, can assist in opening up the possibility of viewing the nature and character of God through a more vivid lens.
Her recent “Faith and Science” lecture series that recently took place at Fuller Theological Seminary, facilitated such a discussion. Jennifer believes that we all have a part to play in exploring and understanding science through creation and it’s Creator. We do not have to compartmentalize science into a section for those with graduate degrees. As she notes, “the rapidly expanding universe does not bewilder, but rather stimulates scientists to want to explore more”. Interestingly, she also sees a link between this and our natural inclination to seek God.
“Everyone has a moral law within them, a sense of justice, of right and wrong – an evidence of the nature of God within us, and that there is an objective truth between this that points us to God”, she says. It is this that causes us to seek out the use of science in the pursuit of human development, which leads to the exploration of the cosmos.
In astronomy, this has led to many advances, although they have come only recently. Jennifer notes, “It has only been a few decades that we have known that there are other galaxies beyond our own Milky Way galaxy, and it’s only been a few years that we have discovered stars outside our own solar system; and I wonder if this exploration is revealing more and more of God’s character to us”. This is a question that has been on the minds and hearts of many, both Christians and non-Christians alike, and one that Jennifer believes the Church should also be seeking.
Jennifer continues to explore and discover the wonder, awe and beauty of nature and the cosmos that she attributed to God, having discovered a comet, which was named after herself (114P/Wiseman-Skiff). Discovering such beauty that God has created connects the convergence of worship, preaching and justice. “I believe there is a link between worship, preaching and justice, as well as how faith and science interacts with that. The way we use science and technology to inform and transform the world and how people can be assisted in this is one way to facilitate the conversation and stimulate others to get involved”.