Believing Is Seeing

Dr. Michael Guillen was the ABC News Science Editor (1988-2002). He earned a rare 3D Ph.D. from Cornel in physics, mathematics and astronomy. What he learned as a scientist led him to believe in God and become a Christian. He writes about it in his book, Believing Is Seeing.

Guillen’s first belief was in science. While at Cornel, he began to seek answers for universal, ultimate questions. He and fellow student Lauren, also an atheist, looked for answers in the Bible. “It reminded me immediately,” he writes, “of what I’d been learning in quantum physics.” He explains that quantum physics defies logic but it’s not nonsense. “I recognized the possibility that the New Testament was translogical (a truth that’s not logical) – like quantum physics it was signaling profundity.”

He began to ask specific questions of science and worldview. Does absolute truth exist? Are there truths that cannot be proven? Is the universe designed for life? He found that the atheistic worldview is opposed to science. But despite the popular notion that science contradicts faith, he found that the Christian worldview and science agree on the answers.

After 20 years of exploring science and world religions, Guillen came to a personal decision, which remained private until a stunning moment on live TV. A panel was discussing Sir Ian Wilmut’s cloning of a sheep named Dolly, and the implications for humans. The show host Charlie Gibson called for final thoughts. “Well, Charlie, I’m concerned that Wilmut’s cloning technique might one day be used to clone a human being,” Guillen said. “It worries me not just as a scientist, but as a scientist who happens to believe in God.” He couldn’t believe he just “outed” himself on national television, but the response of his viewers was encouraging.

A near-tragic incident affirmed Guillen’s faith. He joined an expedition to visit the Titanic wreck resting miles below the surface – even though he suffered from hydrophobia (fear of water). As they circled the wreck, a current thrust their vessel into the Titanic’s propeller. They were stuck and his phobia began to emerge. Then “something happened that’s difficult to describe,” he writes. “It was as if an invisible presence had entered the sub. At the same time, an uncanny and unheralded sensation of peace washed over me.” After what seemed like an eternity, the pilot freed the sub and they returned safely.

Later Guillen and Lauren (now his wife), read these words: “Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me” (Psa. 139). “I experienced that psalm,” Guillen remembers, “God’s presence and peace, right when I was resigned to kissing my life good-bye.”