From Big Questions Online by Jennifer Wiseman. Dr. Wiseman is an astronomer. Her research uses optical, radio, and infrared telescopes to explore the ongoing formation of new stars in interstellar clouds. She studied physics at MIT where, in 1987, she discovered Comet Wiseman-Skiff. She continued her studies at Harvard University, where she received a Ph.D. in astronomy. I’ve had the opportunity to hear her speak on a few different occasions and it is always fascinating.
Jesus told his followers that the two greatest commandments are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”, and to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40). What does this have to do with science? Should a follower of Jesus—since ancient times called a “Christian”— even give much thought to science?
It helps if we consider what science is, as understood today. My online dictionary calls it “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” That’s a pretty good place to start, along with technology being likewise described as “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.”
Next we must recognize that nearly everything in modern life is affected in some way by advances in science and technology. Agriculture, entertainment, energy production, communications, and health care are just a few of the ways science and technology shape life for people around the globe, and affect all other life on the planet as well. We are all interconnected, with science and technology as the portal for many of those connections. So if we return to those “great commandments,” practically speaking, “loving your neighbor” involves technology and science. The better we understand the fundamental workings of nature, be it for medicine, food production, or environmental stewardship, the better we can use it to serve others, including people and all creatures, and uplift their lives.
And this is only the beginning. I encourage you to read the whole article. Big Questions Online also provides for interaction with the author, Dr. Wiseman in this case, for 7 days after posting. Take advantage if you have questions or comment in agreement or disagreement.