This I Believe

Harland - Bound Brook, New Jersey
Entered on May 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: science
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I believe in science. I’ve been hooked since I was little. I used to secretly run chemistry experiments in my room– hiding the evidence from my family for fear I would be grounded in some familial inquisition – despite the fact I used the very chemistry set my parents gave me. But from then on I was a scientist. In telescopes, textbooks and test tubes I searched for an explanation of the world around me. The methods, theories and laws I’ve found have taught me much.

But along the way I came to believe in much more about life. I believe in God. I believe we are all children of God. Holding on to these beliefs often leaves me feeling alone in a sea of scientists. And many tell me it must be difficult to balance the two. But I believe they are not exclusive or conflicting. Nor are the relegated to the realm of heated political discussions.

My adorable twin daughters were born a month early. My wife and I took our daughter Abigail home that week, and then began a frantic schedule of caring for her and visiting her sister Grace in the hospital. Diagnosed in the womb with a congenital heart defect she awaited surgery. My family waded through the daily struggles of bad reports, hopeful procedures, bad stats and limited growth. Never before had I put both my beliefs to the test. I believed in science, that hypothesis and laws, trial and error – yes, errors on other people’s children – had led to the proper tools, techniques and chances.

But as I held my daughter in those last moments before surgery, I saw the heavenly gift she was, and trusted that God would work through science –and miracle – to offer me at least hope and comfort. And in the end it brought me a healthy, intelligent little girl – my little scientist.

Science offers me tools to understand the world around me. It shows me form, method and beauty. God offers me context. Science lets me know reality, and God offers hope. Knowing that everyone I meet is a child of God, with a bit of that divine DNA, teaches me to be kinder, love more and hope for the best. Regardless of what science shows me.

Perhaps I can not answer all the difficult questions that arise when these beliefs meet. But if science has taught me anything, it is that there are always better ways to understand – if you ask the questions and are ready to learn. Science has shown me a beautiful world. And God has made it all that more wonderful. God has made me a beautiful world, and science has made it all that more enjoyable. And I know they both have given me two beautiful daughters.