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Deborah Haarsma, pres­ident of BioLogos, gave a pre­sen­tation at Hillsdale College on Feb. 7 on God and the mul­ti­verse, as well as the rec­on­cil­i­ation of religion and science. Facebook

Chris­tianity can be rec­on­ciled with sci­en­tific the­ories of the Big Bang and an old uni­verse, said Deborah Haarsma, pres­ident of Bio Logos, in a speech at Hillsdale College last week.

Haarsma spoke to stu­dents at the “God and the Mul­ti­verse” talk at the Searle Center on Thursday, Feb. 7 as a part of the Natural Science Series, hosted by the President’s Office. BioLogos is an orga­ni­zation which aims to show the church and the world “the harmony between science and bib­lical faith,” as pre­sented in an “evo­lu­tionary under­standing of God’s cre­ation,” according to the BioLogos website. Before a large crowd of stu­dents, Haarsma addressed a variety of issues facing Chris­tianity and science with a focus on the mul­ti­verse.

Haarsma opened her pre­sen­tation by arguing that sci­en­tific evi­dence pointing toward the uni­verse beginning 13.7 billion years ago does not con­flict with Chris­tianity. Before touching upon the mul­ti­verse, Haarsma first dis­cussed the age of the earth and origin of the uni­verse.

“The Big Bang is often a term used as a com­petitor for God,” she said. “It is unfor­tunate that it has come to be asso­ciated with atheism. The Big Bang does not replace God. It explains how God began and governs the uni­verse.”

Haarsma’s pre­sen­tation on the mul­ti­verse high­lighted the string-theory mul­ti­verse as well as the use of quantum mechanics with gravity. Haarsma empha­sized that it was the dis­covery and progress in quantum mechanics that led to the string-theory mul­ti­verse theory. Haarsma said the infla­tionary uni­verse is “the most accurate model of the early uni­verse.”

“This uni­verse did not just happen. It was shaped by a creator. When I study astronomy and the star clusters, I am studying the hand­iwork of God.”

When taking ques­tions from the audience, Haarsma said it is the­o­ret­i­cally pos­sible, albeit unprovable, that God could have created the world already mature.

“God could have created the uni­verse 10,000 years ago,” she said. “There is nothing science could say to dis­prove that.”

Junior Chloe Sparks said she thought the talk was helpful for Christian stu­dents who wonder about how sci­en­tific the­ories such as the Big Bang aligns with the Bible.

“I strongly believe that her inten­tions by giving these lec­tures are not only good but des­per­ately needed,” Sparks said, “and I’m immensely grateful for people like her who are spreading the idea that these sci­en­tific dis­cov­eries not only are com­patible with Christian beliefs, they can enhance them.”

Sophomore Emily Ju said Haarsma was very knowl­edgeable and full of passion.

“Dr. Haarsma is a model of being a sci­entist who is a Christian — or a Christian who is a sci­entist — in her desire to glorify God, her respect for the rules of the field of science, and her unshakable faith even in the face of con­tro­versial sci­en­tific the­ories,” Ju said in a Facebook message. “She shows us that Chris­tianity and science are not enemies.”