How do you combine science and religion? They're basically the opposite. I wish I could without feeling one is a lie.
Ahhhhhhh, nonny, nonny, nonny.
The answer is because, truly, nothing fuels my love for & faith in my religion more than science. And nothing keeps me motivated & driven to keep learning and working in science more than my religion.
I don’t try to analyse my Gods with the scientific method, the same way I don’t try to analyse my experience of being in love. Even if there is specific phenomenology one could identify, neurotransmitters being released, activity in parts of the brain, that’s not what those things are fundamentally about. Science does not hold all the answers to all the facets of the universe or life or the human condition. And a good scientist must always remember the limits of her theory and her experimentation.
On Sunday night I watched David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II and had tears in my eyes at the infinite diversity and beauty of the natural world. Watching thunder clouds rolling over steppes and feeling filled up with love for Sif and Thor. Every sequence of predators chasing down prey resonating so deeply with the part of me that works with the Wild Hunt. And looking at every incredible living thing shown and knowing - that by the wonder of evolution - we are all cousins - all related - our ancestors are the same.
But everything I learn about molecular biology, the incredible, incomprehensible complexity of every cell in every living organism and how they interact - all hewn out of twenty amino acids, coded by four bases, all evolved from a single cell across billions of years - just increases my sense of awe and wonder and faith in the Gods. This is what they gave us.
As does the stunning beauty and elegance of the laws of physics. The wave equation. Dirac’s equation that knew more than he did. The energy-matter equivalence. Quantum-electro-dynamics, which is accurate to a degree equivalent to measuring the distance between New York and Los Angeles to within the breadth of a single hair. The fact that I can look up at the night sky and see light from millions of years ago.
This is beauty, this is poetry, this is magic, this is where I find my Gods.