WASHINGTON - On Jan. 20, Museum of the Bible will open a new exhibition, “Scripture and Science: Our Universe, Ourselves, Our Place,” highlighting the dynamic relationship between science and religion over two thousand years of history. The exhibit will explore ways in which the Bible helped nurture scientific thought — despite the supposed “war” between science and faith — and shaped some of history’s greatest scientific figures as they made groundbreaking discoveries.
For more than a century, many people have believed that faith and science were at war. In fact, some today still claim that the Bible is an obstacle to scientific progress. Museum of the Bible’s “Scripture and Science” exhibit will explore how, far from being an obstacle, the Bible played an important role in the rise of modern science. Indeed, for centuries, biblical ideas helped shape why people believed science was a valuable pursuit.
“The ‘Scripture and Science’ exhibition will challenge the myth that the natural sciences and religious faith are fundamentally at odds,” said Anthony Schmidt, Director of Collections and Curation at Museum of the Bible. “From cosmology to biology, this exhibit invites people to discover how the Bible and biblical theology have been entangled with scientific inquiry, sometimes in surprising ways. This relationship has certainly included conflict, but it has also included much cooperation. We believe this exhibition will help people better appreciate the Bible’s impact on the scientific world and ultimately leave them wanting to learn more.”
The exhibition will explore six "big questions" that emerge out of our curiosity with the world, such as "How did it all begin?," What makes me human?," and "How will it all end?" It will explore several topics and themes within these questions, including creation, life's origins, human uniqueness and technology. Along the way, it will highlight an extensive list of figures at the nexus of faith and scientific discovery, including Isaac Newton, Nicolaus Copernicus, Georges Lemaître, Moses Maimonides, Henrietta Leavitt, Gregor Johann Mendel, Jonas Salk, Michael Faraday and many others.
With an impressive collection of artifacts and objects related to science and faith, museum guests are promised a thought-provoking, insightful experience. In addition to its own collections, Museum of the Bible has partnered with institutions from around the globe to bring together world-class artifacts that uniquely speak to the history of faith and science. Highlights include the Lunar Bible, a microfilm Bible that traveled to the moon on Apollo 14’s lunar module in 1971 (Pictured right); Galileo Galilei’s handwritten observational notes; the lunar communion chalice used by “Buzz” Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission; Bibles and other objects owned by trailblazing “hidden figures” such as Dorothy Vaughan, and rare manuscripts ranging from ancient astronomical works, to perhaps the oldest medical text written by a woman, to personal letters by Nobel laureates.
“We are honored to partner with nearly 20 generous domestic and international institutions, along with private individuals, to bring together a remarkable collection of objects and interactives related to Scripture and science that most people will never have the opportunity to see in person, much less in one place,” said Schmidt. “We are thrilled to finally open this unique and eye-opening exhibit to anyone who has pondered life’s biggest questions.”
To celebrate the opening of the new exhibition, astronaut Jeffrey Williams and Laura Shepard Churchley, chair of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees and daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard, will give a presentation on the intersection of Scripture and science based on firsthand experience. Guests are invited to join the “Scripture and Science” opening event on Jan. 19.
Jan. 19 Event Schedule:
- 5:30 p.m.: Doors Open
- 6:00 p.m.: Event Begins
- 6:30 p.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks
- 6:45 p.m.: Exhibit Open for Exploration
- 7:30 p.m.: Presentation by Astronaut Jeffrey Williams
- 8:15 p.m.: Presentation by Laura Shepard Churchley
- 8:35 p.m.: Exhibit Open for Exploration
- 9:00 p.m.: Event Concludes
Information about the opening event for virtual and in-person attendance is available online. More details about the exhibition can be found at https://www.museumofthebible.org/exhibits/scripture-and-science.