I haven’t been brought up with any religion – so that probably makes me either an aethist or an agnostic.
It’s not something I really think about – both sides of that really: is there a god or the start of the universe.
They’re both really huge ideas!
From what I understand though, ever religion has a creation story, in fact, some religions have more than one creation story – and looking at their history and when they became popular tells us that actually, the creation stories themselves are to help people in their times of difficulties – so they’re certainly adaptable. I think this means that it doesn’t have to lead to a comflicted view of having a religion and also being interetsed in a believing the different views that science is putting forwards.
I am not a christian, but I believe fully that when we communicate science we should all show understanding to everyone’s respective faiths. I know a lot of scientists and engineers who are also very religious, I don’t think in science it is an either/or situation. Many people quote the big bang, or theory of evolution as reasons people cannot be scientific and religious, but I don’t believe that. I believe science can tell us what makes the world work, how it was created in a physical way, but that religion can address the questions of why was it created. There will always be the question of what came before the big bang ? For some people the answer to that is God. For me personally, although I am not religious, I think the universe is magnificent, and there are so many wondrous things about it, and how it all began is a mystery, there are lots and lots of theories, but what came before the big bang? Was there just nothing? What even is ‘nothing’? And how did something come from nothing? We know matter can not be made or destroyed, only transformed. I think a God creating this universe is just as a credible belief as those who believe the universe came from nothing – as both would be incredibly remarkable and far beyond the reaches of our intelligence and imagination!
Wow, this is a big question to be thinking about, good for you! I’m not Christian, although I was brought up a Catholic so I learned all about Christianity and went to Church when I was younger. As I got older I started to question religion more and turned more to science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do both. I think Rhys explains it really well – I love the mystery of the universe and am happy not knowing all the answers. There are some Christians who take the creation of the universe as described in the bible literally – so they believe it was created in 7 days. As a scientist I know this isn’t true but as Rhys says, religion is more about why than how. Science can be very cold – it tells us the facts and they can be scary – religions is a way for some people to try to understand how they fit into the universe.