Discipled Science by Thomas S. Buchanan

Conference Talk

Discipled Science

The True Scientist Should Have No Conflict with the Christian Faith by Thomas S. Buchanan

Our culture often portrays science and Christianity as being in conflict. This, I believe, is because too few people really understand what science is. If we, as Christians, had a better understanding of science, we would be able to defend ourselves against accusations of ignorance and would do a better job preparing young people to reclaim the sciences for the faithful.

I have a somewhat unusual background in that I am both a scientist and an engineer. I have a doctoral degree in engineering, and I did post-doctoral work in medical sciences. I publish more often in the sciences—about two-thirds of my time is spent doing scientific research while one-third is spent on engineering. Because I have this odd background, I often feel the tension between what science is and what it is not. Scientists approach problems differently than engineers or other scholars do. They follow principles that govern the way they approach problems—principles that must be followed if they wish to have their works published in scientific journals or receive grants to fund their research.

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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.


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