Professor discusses relationship between faith, science

Daniel Pack, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University, explained the relationship between his faith and his scientific work in a lecture series on Tuesday at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Campus Center.

During the lecture series called the “Faith & Science Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum,” Pack said that his research, which focuses on the design and development of drug and gene delivery systems, does not interfere with his faith.

Pack belongs to Windsor Road Christian Church but was raised attending a Southern Baptist church in a small town. He said because of this, his perspective and experience with faith as a child was extremely conservative.

“Skipping many years later, I think it is important to say my faith has gone through its ups and downs many times,” Pack said. “I started to re-evaluate my faith, and I started to really think about what I believed and why I believed it; I’ve arrived back as a Christian, and I’m back as a Christian, being able to say I thought about why I believe in the things that I do.”

Although Pack has a strong sense of faith and believes in authority of the Bible, he said when modern day problems are mixed into the interpretation of the Bible, problems can occur.

“Conflict arises when we force ourselves to read the Bible a certain way,” he said. “We need to be careful that we’re not bringing an agenda to the Bible.”

Pack ended the lecture by inviting members of the audience to ask questions and to join him in a discussion.

“I came with a forum that discusses reason for belief and disbelief and we were expecting a little bit more (out of the lecture), but it was still interesting in the perspective that he gave,” said Kevin Becker, junior in LAS. “I am (religious), but I also believe in science and I share all of the same things he does and it was good to hear it from a credentialed professional.”

Along with Becker, several other students from the forum Logos were in attendance at the lecture. Students in the group regularly meet and discuss a variety of topics. This week, Pack’s lecture was related to the topic the group chose to have a dialogue on.

“He gave some great insight,” said Ian McNamara, a junior in Engineering. “I don’t agree with everything and I believe in a six-day creation, but I really liked how he was able to believe in an evolutionist view of Christianity, but by doing so strengthened his faith and it’s a new perspective for me.”