Krista Tippett hits the mark in explaining the relationship between faith and science in the introduction to her new book, “Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit.”
Tippett, who lives in St. Paul and hosts the public radio program “Speaking of Faith,” argues that much of the current religion vs. science debate is based on the false premise that one of these approaches to truth must be right and the other wrong.
In short, she states (rightly) that science is not the enemy of faith, or vice-versa. While they may speak different languages, faith and science together give us valuable insights into the universe and our place in it. Despite the claims of some, one can accept scientific explanations about the “big bang” and evolution and still believe in God as creator of the universe and of us human beings in his image.
In “Einstein’s God,” Tippett explores the science-faith intersection in interviews with a variety of scientists — including physicists, surgeons and psychologists — who are interested in the spiritual aspects of topics ranging from quantum theory and mathematics to health and evolution.
The term “spiritual” is used rather loosely in the context of the people interviewed, since almost none of them is religious in the traditional sense of the word. The one notable exception — which happened to be my favorite interview — is John Polkinghorne, an Anglican priest and former Cambridge physicist. His ruminations on God, creation, love and the nature of suffering, although somewhat controversial, offer all Christians, including Catholics, good opportunities for deeper reflection.
“Einstein’s God” is worth the time to read. It would be especially good for book groups, whose members could discuss the bigger issues it raises.