In his eloquent article, “Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion Are Incompatible,” William Provine raised points that have troubled many thoughtful scientists who find themselves unable to reconcile their views about science and religion in an intellectually honest way. He could have raised other compelling arguments against the meaningfulness of our lives, such as the prevalence of horrible human ills and suffering, shared even by innocent infants.

In spite of these observations, however, I believe that scientists can rationally justify a belief in God and in the meaningfulness of human life.

The use of the word “rational” in this context is exceedingly important. I have had long and generally unsatisfactory discussions with many religious persons; on occasion these led to painful or embarrassing incidents when my questions were perceived as threats or insults. When asked to explain why they believe in God, many such persons exhibit a profound lack of...

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