The claim that science and faith are antithetical to each other or that they are mutually incompatible is being questioned by some eminent scholars who insist that it requires faith to do science. Professor John Lennox, Oxford mathematician, claims that “All scientists presuppose and therefore have faith in the rational intelligibility of the universe.” This means that any scientist working with a theory or hypothesis must have a measure of faith that his or her project will ultimately succeed. Assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cullen Buie, points to the quest for the Higgs Boson by Peter Higgs and his associates that spanned 50 years as evidence of faith in the discipline of science. For half a century these individuals hunted for the Higgs boson of the standard model and in March 2013 it was officially confirmed that it exists. Their faith in something hoped for kept them going until it became a reality at a staggering cost of $10 billion.
Professor Lennox insists that he is very much comfortable in his faith in God because it is not opposed to science. In fact, he says that one of the reasons he believes in God is precisely because we can do science. “The mathematical intelligibility of the universe is evidence for a rational spirit behind the universe,” he says.
The age-old argument by renowned atheists such as Professor Richard Dawkins and others of his ilk, which claims that human beings are merely animated matter or products of mindless, unguided processes has cast a dark shadow of doubt over the reliability of human cognitive faculties, and indeed on the rationality of their assertions including their claim that faith and science cannot co-exist. All methodologies applied by researchers in their efforts to try and understand our universe more start with some hidden assumptions that they believe in but need to be proved. As such, they require faith to sustain them in their endeavors. Some of the most luminous minds such as Max Planck, founder of quantum theory, and Francis Collins who led the human Genome project and many others have relied on “faith to advance the frontiers of science.”
In conclusion, apparently every person in the world engages a measure of faith. Probably the question we should be asking is “in what or whom is this faith anchored?”