Scientists, like people in other professions, hold a wide range of positions about religion and the role of supernatural forces or entities in the universe. Some adhere to a position known as scientism, which holds that the methods of science alone are sufficient for discovering everything there is to know about the universe. Others ascribe to an idea known as deism, which posits that God created all things and set the universe in motion but no longer actively directs physical phenomena. Others are theists, who believe that God actively intervenes in the world. Many scientists who believe in God, either as a prime mover or as an active force in the universe, have written eloquently about their beliefs.
"Creationists inevitably look for God in what science has not yet explained or in what they claim science cannot explain. Most scientists who are religious look for God in what science does understand and has explained."
— Kenneth Miller, professor of biology at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Religion. Quote is excerpted from an interview available here.
"In my view, there is no conflict in being a rigorous scientist and a person who believes in a God who takes a personal interest in each one of us. Science’s domain is to explore nature. God’s domain is in the spiritual world, a realm not possible to explore with the tools and language of science. It must be examined with the heart, the mind, and the soul."
— Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project and of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Excerpted from his book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (p. 6).
"Our scientific understanding of the universe … provides for those who believe in God a marvelous opportunity to reflect upon their beliefs."
— Father George Coyne, Catholic priest and former director of the Vatican Observatory. Quote is from a talk, "Science Does Not Need God, or Does It? A Catholic Scientist Looks at Evolution," at Palm Beach Atlantic University, January 31, 2006.
From Science, Evolution, and Creationism, National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. © 2008 National Academy of Sciences