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President, Spectacular Science Productions, Inc., a multimedia production/consulting business
Author of several books including his latest, Can a Smart Person Believe in God?
Founder/President, The Guillen Foundation, a philanthropic organization helping Hispanic-American children realize their dreams through education
Former science correspondent, ABC News 1988-2002
Has appeared on CBS, PBS, BBC, etc.; Has published hundreds of science articles published in NY Times, Washington Post, USAToday, etc.
B.A., Physics & Mathematics, UCLA; M.S., Experimental Physics, Cornell; Ph.D., Theoretical Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy, Cornell
CBN.com ON A SCIENTIFIC JOURNEY
Michael grew up in East Los Angeles in a Christian home in the heart of the Mexican barrio. His father and grandfather were Pentecostal ministers.
When he was nine years old, Michael’s dad came home with a paperback book called Nuclear Forces. Not realizing it was a college textbook, Michael read it and fell in love with science. He says the Lord mysteriously put the overwhelming desire on his heart to become a scientist.
“I’d never met a scientist and never been inside a laboratory,” says Michael.
Everyone assumed he would follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps in ministry. His vision took him from East L.A. to UCLA, Cornell, and Harvard and eventually his IQ (Intelligence Quotient) overcame his SQ (Spiritual Quotient).
“I became a practical atheist,” says Michael. “Someone who believes in God but lives as if he doesn’t.” He stopped reading his Bible and stopped putting God first in his life.
In 1984, he hosted a half-hour TV special on science on Boston’s ABC affiliate and was soon offered a position with ABC-TV as their national science correspondent.
In 1997 during a discussion on cloning on Good Morning America, Charlie Gibson asked Michael for his personal opinion. Michael told him the cloning of mammals troubled him “not only as a scientist, but a scientist who happens to believe in God.” Worried that his on-air religious confession would bring about criticism, Michael was surprised to receive an outpouring of support.
Emboldened by this unexpected public response, Michael prepared a speech designed to encourage others to come out of the closet. That speech evolved into his book.
RECONCILING TWO WORLDS
Although Michael never totally lost his faith in God, he was completely engrossed in his scientific studies.
“I had to reconcile two different worlds,” he says.
After he met his wife, Laurel, who was a student at Cornell, they began reading the Bible from cover to cover. But reading the Bible was not what brought Michael to his knees. It was his scientific studies. The more he studied how the universe operates, how the world was put together, Michael understood more than ever that the creation of the universe was not an accident.
He says there are three things that the Lord used to change his heart:
1. That the universe has a beauty that is more than skin deep. For example, the one-celled organism or the choreography of the cosmos. “This whole thing was created by a Supreme Being,” says Michael.
2. That if a person can believe in black holes and multiple universes, then it would be no big deal to believe in God.
3. That in science there is one truth and one set of laws. This showed Michael the uncompromising truth that there is one truth, one standard of right and wrong. It was easy for him to believe.
Michael believes that there is the impression that Christians are scientifically illiterate or hostile.
“This is an impediment for Christians who are reaching out to the non-believing world. There is the impression that Christianity is not credible,” he says. Christians need to be prepared for intellectual arguments to show non-believers that it is possible to be a scientifically literate person in the 21st century and still believe in God.
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