Are Science and Religion compatible?

The Durham Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (DASH) hosted an event this evening with guest speaker Prof Chris Done entitled “Are Science and Religion compatible?”, and I came back with so many thoughts I had to write them down.

First, let me give you a bit of context. Prof Chris Done is both a professor of Astrophysics at Durham University and one of the leaders of Emmanuel Church Durham, which describes itself as a “charismatic, family church”. The focus of her talk was to explain how, as a “gabby, seventeen year-old atheist”, she became a Christian only when presented with “evidence” of Jesus Christ’s divine identity. For her, Jesus —specifically, Jesus accepted as the son and embodiment of God— is the only way us humans can know that God exists. God is above anything we can understand, so He reveals Himself to us through Jesus, who shares our human nature while retaining the identity of God.

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9)

She therefore presents herself as living proof that science and religion are, indeed, compatible.

As an atheist scientist, I don’t actually have a problem with her position. That is, I do believe that science and religion can be compatible — just not in the way she proposes. Hear me out. Continue reading “Are Science and Religion compatible?”