The August 16, 2021 issue of The New Yorker has a fascinating article about the new James Webb Space Telescope that will be launched soon. It will be much more powerful than the Hubble space telescope.
I liked the end of "The Youthful Universe." You can read it below.
Science truly is our best way of learning about "God" -- if by that word is meant everything that exists. That's how I've come to view God.
Sometimes during my day I'll say, "Thank you God." I'm not thanking a divine being. I don't believe in supernatural entities.
Rather, I use "God" as shorthand for the marvelous reality that is evident everywhere from the mysterious quantum realm of the very small to the unfathomable vastness of the universe that will be explored by the James Webb Space Telescope.
So for me thanking God is simply an appreciation of the causes and effects inherent in the laws of nature that produced the thing I feel thankful for.
Once you get a taste of science, the offerings of religion seem horribly bland. Science, as the story excerpt below says, is about knowing. Religions are about believing, a much less appealing alternative.
The seventeenth-century astronomer Johannes Kepler studied the physical world for the messages he felt that God had written into the Book of Nature. Galileo, in fact, had supporters inside and outside the Church.
Sometimes people in power have been reluctant to acknowledge the truths that science uncovers. Each time we look farther, our universe gets larger. Or, depending on your perspective, we get smaller.
Astonomers take the position -- an incidentally ethical one -- of being radically in favor of knowing.
Bob Williams, the former head of the Space Telescope Science Institute, grew up in a Baptist family in Southern California, one of five children.
He'd wanted to be an astronomer since the seventh grade, when he received a pamphlet on astronomy in science class; he then saved his paper-route money to buy a telescope.
He earned a scholarship to U.C. Berkeley and studied astronomy there.
"My father didn't want me to go to college," he said. "He told me that if I went to get an education I would lose my faith. And he was right about that. We were raised to take every word in the Bible as literally true. But then I was learning about continental drift. About evolution."
Williams said that he is often asked about faith.
Many traditions use the term "God" to mean, basically, everything that is. In that view, the universe itself is the Book, and astronomers are reading it as it is.