Yesterday, I finished a memoir by an astronomer and astrobiologist. It’s interesting and engaging but as sometimes happens in science memoir eventually the subject of religion comes up, and this is where I get frustrated.

It’s not that I have a problem with scientists who believe in God. It’s that I get stuck on how some people, be they scientists or not, talk about God.

All of this is raised near the end of the book, and what struck me here in particular was the juxtaposition of two statements made in proximity to each other.

On science:

I carry the coat of science I wear lightly, with an inner lining of humility, as I can see that there is a limit to what even the greatest scientific minds of human history will ever know or understand.

On religion:

I myself have had too many stars align throughout my life to continue to chalk them up to coincidence. I know a divine power beyond my understanding is at work in my life.

Especially given my post about Curt Schilling the other day, you might spot where I’m going with this.

Science the author says they carry with humility, but the very nature of their statement about God is anything but carried with humility. It says unequivocally that God took a direct, personal interest in aligning the metaphorical stars of the author’s success in life.

On the reader:

What do I want for you? I want you to look up and be amazed. I want you to feel supported, less lonely and afraid, a part of rather than apart from.

Given that the author feels that God arranged their life, it can only also be true that if the reader’s life is not one of being supported, is one of being lonely and afraid, is one of being apart from—that, too, must be because God took a direct, personal interest in their life and arranged it that way.

Religious people can’t have both. If God chose to raise you, He also chose to keep others down. They can’t claim to move through the world with humility if God personally took care of their lives while clearly not taking care of the lives of others.

You can’t say you’re chosen and also say you’re humble.