InterVarsity press recently sent me a copy of a new book A Little Book for New Scientists: Why and How to Study Science by Josh Reeves and Steve Donaldson. The book is designed for Christian college, or possibly high school, students contemplating a career in science. It also contains insights in a short readable format that pastors, including youth pastors, may find useful.
Despite the fact that I am no longer a new scientist, I immediately dove in and began to read. Josh Reeves is an assistant professor of Science and Religion at Samford University in Alabama with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, an MDiv, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Science and Religion track) from Boston University. Steve Donaldson is a professor of Computer Science at Samford (BS in Physics, BS in Engineering, MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science). Both Reeves and Donaldson have long-standing interest in the questions at the forefront of science and religion, particularly science and Christianity.
I have to admit that curiosity with a touch of skepticism drove some of my interest in the book. As a scientist with now 20+ years as a professor and 30+ years as a researcher I was curious to see where I would agree or disagree with the views expressed by Reeves and Donaldson. Outside perspectives can be enlightening, but also infuriating on occasion. (Well, Reeves brings an outside perspective – Donaldson has more direct science experience.) Samford, however, has an active program in Science and Religion – and Reeves and Donaldson bring a wealth of experience to this book.
Why study science? Part one of the book addresses this basic question in three chapters. In the first, Reeves and Donaldson point to the two books metaphor “For over 1500 years, Christians have used the metaphor of God’s two books to suggest the complementarity of natural and supernatural knowledge.” (p. 22) God speaks both in the general revelation of his creation and in the special revelation to his people.