Humans of TU Delft: Henk Jongbloed

Who are the people who study and work at TU Delft? We meet them in Humans of TU Delft where they talk about their work or other activities. Applied mathematics master’s student Henk Jongbloed thinks the debate between religion and science is not black and white.

“I was raised in a Christian family and when I came to Delft I experienced a year of really asking myself ‘Is this the way I want to live?’. The place where I come from has a lot of Christians, but Delft is not like that. I really needed to sort it out for myself. Then I decided to continue with my beliefs, but also to be a scientist. That posed some difficulties but I’m still continuing down that path.

I don’t think it’s all black and white, that science is all about evidence and that religion is all about faith. I think there are many ways to look at it. You can see it as a conflict, but you can also see it as a dialogue, and of course there are some subjects that overlap. In the Bible there are some claims about physical nature that don’t make sense at all when taken literally. In the natural world, science is the most reliable option to follow.

‘You cannot find God in science’

But there’s also a whole field of the philosophy of science which really thinks about the foundations and assumptions of science itself. The other thing is that faith has many rational components like historical research on Jesus, for instance, that researches both Biblical and other sources with archaeological evidence.

I think Christianity is ultimately based on evidence and faith. You cannot find God in science. You can’t find a molecule or particle that says God exists. That tension is a mystery, to be honest.”

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Heather Montague / Freelance writer

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