Christians in Science: The Quantum Physicist's Belief
Dr. David Snoke
The University of Pittsburg has one of the finest solid state optics laboratories around. This laboratory is utilized by various scientists to conduct ultra-high precision experiments using high-power pulsed lasers, extremely fast timing (trillionths of seconds), and cryogenics (temperatures down to a couple of degrees above absolute zero). Standing among these researchers is Doctor David Snoke. This writer recently had the opportunity to interview Snoke on his work in quantum mechanics – and in his belief in God.
Snoke’s particular experiments involve the study of the effects of basic quantum mechanics. Recently, his research has focused around the “superfluidity of light”—light waves that act like superconductors.
Snoke has put in a great deal of work and effort in order to be one of the privileged few who advance the human understanding at the cutting edge of experimental quantum physics. Beginning with a bachelor’s degree in Physics earned from Cornell University in 1983, Snoke has gone on to earn his PhD in Physics at the University of Illinois. He has served as a Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany and is currently a Fellow at the American Physical Society. He also serves as a Professor at The University of Pittsburg where he conducts his experiments. Snoke has authored over 120 publications for scientific journals, three scientific books, and two scientific textbooks. Numerous federal funding agencies have awarded Snoke grants because of the results he has produced and the confidence they have in the effectiveness of his work.
Is God in the Details?
Does the incredible complexity and functionality of the universe deserve an explanation?
It is safe to say that Snoke is a brilliant man and a very effective scientist. He is something else, as well. Snoke is a very committed Christian.
For Snoke, there has never been any conflict between his passion for Science and his love for Christ. His interest in science began as a teenager, reading books by Isaac Asimov and taking classes in physics. But Snoke’s teenage reading included more than science fiction. Along with Asimov, David found himself reading books by Ayn Rand and by C.S. Lewis. His interest peaked by these fine authors, Snoke dove in and consumed the New Testament, as well.
Snoke describes his journey from there:
“My family did not attend church when I was a child; then I joined a theologically liberal Episcopal church, but was not really a Christian. When I really came to faith in my senior year of high school, I began attending evangelical churches.”
Reconciling God and Science
Now, while Snoke is busy unlocking the secrets of the universe, he still finds time to reside as president of the Christian Scientific Society. Looking at the intricate workings of smallest gears of reality, Snoke’s belief in God is, if anything, strengthened.
While cranking out academic books and articles, Snoke also busies himself writing articles and books which show how science and Christianity are complimentary. On his webpage, Snoke writes articles engaging in the “intelligent design” debate, of whether the hand of God may be seen in the fine-tuning of nature, and whether standard Darwinism is a sufficient explanation for the history of life. His Christian articles also reflect on his thoughts about the foundations of quantum mechanics, which relate directly to his professional work in physics theory and experimentation.
While Snoke finds that his online presence, such as his Wikipedia page, is sometimes plagued with skeptical criticism, he describes his interactions with fellow scientists as being cordial and engaging when discussing God and science. Interestingly, it is sometimes other Christians which he finds to be building walls of separation between their faith and science. Snoke writes a great deal to encourage believers to engage, rather than to retreat, from science.
God and science are hand and glove for the brilliant Physicist, David Snoke.