• Question: Would you say being a scientist changes the way you view things for an example religion?

    Asked by Xhara to Miriam, Laura, David on 16 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 16 Nov 2018:


      It can do. In terms of religion not much has changed for me because I was never religious. I know some people that were religious before becoming a scientist and have since stopped, and I also know a few people who have remained religious! For those who have remained religious they often believe that God created the universe and the laws of physics, so studying them is like studying God or Gods work.

      In other ways science has changed that way I viewed the Earth. I used to think that the Earth is so big that humans could never damage it enough to ruin it and it would just adjust to whatever pressure we put on it. Since starting my work on space and planets I now think of Earths environment as very fragile. The environment is good for us at the moment but the Earth has been through ice ages and all sorts that have destroyed habitats for animals and damaged the land. The Earth always survives these things and eventually fixes anything out of balance. But we might have tipped the scales too fast which might make the Earth uninhabitable for ourselves, and the Earth wont be able to undo that for thousands of years. (So climate change is really just bad for life, not for the Earth itself.)

      I think that learning about science gives you a different perspective for some things but its also a matter of how you think about the information.

    • Photo: David Ho

      David Ho answered on 16 Nov 2018:


      This is a great question, and I needed to think quite a bit before I answered. After some thought, I’ve decided that I don’t think that being a scientist itself has changed the way I view religion, but my view of religion probably stems from the same ideas that made me want to be a scientist. I like to think of things in a way that seems logical to me, and personally, applying my own logic leads me to not believe in a religion.

      I don’t mean to say that religion is illogical. It’s perfectly possible that another person could apply their own logic and come to the conclusion that they do believe in a religion. For things like this where there’s no right or wrong answer, I think it’s down to how someone’s personal decision-making choices work as to what they believe.

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