Virtual Idea Lab


1. You start God of the Big Bang by telling readers that you felt like God had been preparing you your whole life to write this book. How so?

That’s because my interest in science started at a young age, and I saw a disconnect between what I was learning at church, and what I was learning in my science classes. I knew that if God was the creator of the very universe I was studying, the truth about God couldn’t logically contradict the truth about his creation! So my quest to figure out how science & faith fit together started very early on.

2. In March 2014 you wrote an opinion editorial for CNN provocatively titled “Does the Big Bang breakthrough offer proof of God?” and it soon went viral, receiving over half a million views in less than a week. In the editorial you wrote that “science and faith are not in an either/or competition.” Will you expand on that?

Sure; what I mean is that people don’t have to choose either science or faith; a person can be both a good scientist and a faithful Christian.

3. You often say, “A person can choose to be both a good scientist as well as a faithful Christian.” Have you ever felt this is to be difficult during your work as a research scientist?  

Only in the sense that there is a widespread perception that science and faith don’t really go together, so I find myself doing a lot of explaining about how the two actually do fit together… And when that’s not an option, you kind of have to live with people’s misunderstanding or confusion about it.

4. Do you feel conflict between science and faith stem from incomplete knowledge, flawed interpretation, or something else?

I think the ILLUSION or appearance of a conflict can come from incomplete knowledge, flawed interpretation of Scripture or the facts of nature, or just a general lack of understanding of how the two areas fit together.

5. The book covers many complex scientific discoveries. What was your approach to make them easy to understand for readers without any science background or foreknowledge? 

I teach science to non-science majors at a university, so I’m used to explaining complex science in terms that lay people can understand!

6. How do you feel about life on other planets? Is there a possibility we aren’t alone?

I kind of hope there is life on other planets! I think God is bigger than we can imagine, and I’d be a little surprised if it turned out that we Earthlings were the only intelligent beings he ever created—apart from heaven. In any case, I think if would be arrogant for us to THINK we are the only ones… The universe is REALLY big, and a possible Multiverse is immeasurably bigger still!

7. Many Christians cringe when they hear any mention of the Big Bang but you claim it is more “God-friendly” than other scientific models. How so?

The Big Bang model of the universe is more God-friendly because it states that there was a beginning to the universe, and a beginning necessitates a cause, or a Beginner. Other models—such as the Steady State Model, which was popular before strong evidence for the Big Bang was discovered—say that the universe always existed, so there was no need to explain a beginning.

8. In the book you introduce “The Goldilocks Principle.” What does that mean?

Just like everything Goldilocks found in the story, both the earth and the universe have a long list of characteristics that are “just right” for life! The earth is “not too hot, not too cold”, “not too big, not too small”, our gravity is “not too strong, not too weak”, our atmosphere is “not too thick, not too thin”, etc.… If any of these characteristics were off by just a little, life would be impossible.

9. What do you hope readers will learn from reading your book?

My hope is that readers will experience an “Aha!” moment in reading my book, when they realize for themselves—either for the first time, or in a deeper way—that  there is no real conflict between science and faith. Furthermore, I hope they’ll be able to share this experience with others.

10. What kind of conversations do you hope this book spurs?

I hope this book ignites conversations about life’s big questions, because these are the most important things we can ponder and help each other work through.

11. To say your bio is impressive is an understatement – it includes everything from working on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to playing women’s professional football with the California Quake, and we should mention you’re also an ordained minister! How do you balance your time? 

Balance is an illusion! The key is being present in whatever you’re doing whenever you’re doing it! As long as you have the passion to motivate you to do something, do it to the best of your ability. Otherwise, don’t do it at all!