Decade of Research Leads ORU Professor to Write A New Book on Science and Faith
by Deborah Laker
From the start of his teaching career in 1992, ORU Professor of Engineering Dr. Dominic
Halsmer has always been interested in helping young people understand that there is
no conflict between science and the Christian faith. This interest has led to the
recent publication of his philosophy of science textbook titled Hacking the Cosmos: How Reverse Engineering Uncovers Organization, Ingenuity and the
Care of a Maker.
Halsmer was inspired to write the book by questions he and his students had about how science and faith correlate.
He recognized that engineers play an essential role in the debate over the design of the universe, for they are adept in the concept of “reverse engineering.” Halsmer explained that reverse engineering is taking something apart to figure out how it works and determine what was in the mind of the original engineer. When applied to the universe, reverse engineering shows that its natural systems were purposefully engineered in the first place.
With excitement in his voice, Halsmer said, “The universe has been thought out and created intentionally. My book Hacking the Cosmos encourages students and others to explore nature from this perspective; from the perspective of an engineer or as Johannes Kepler said, ‘think God’s thoughts after Him.’”
In the 2006/7 academic year, the professor organized a research team of students from eight disciplines to assess the topic “science and faith.” Over the course of ten years, engineering, theology, philosophy, physics, math, and humanities students correlated to publish research papers. In 2014, Halsmer began writing Hacking the Cosmos after he realized that their studies could be compiled in a book.
“The book is a way to organize our thoughts and research findings for the last ten years and put it in a form that we and universities around the world could use as well,” Halsmer said.
Hacking the Cosmos was written to “orient engineering students to science and faith.” Halsmer explains that the book’s non-technical language allows professors to use it in introductory-level classes. Throughout the text, Halsmer not only educates but also engages with the reader by including the discoveries he has made over the span of his 27-year teaching career at ORU.
“I’d like the readers to develop a greater knowledge of God and as a result deeper relationship with their Maker.” He hopes readers discover awe over God’s wisdom, allowing Him to “bolster” their faith.
Halsmer is excited to be speaking at various conferences throughout the summer to promote his book. These speaking engagements include the Oklahoma Engineering Conference at the state capitol, the Christian Engineering Conference at Dordt University in Iowa, and the Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation at Wheaton College in Illinois. He has also been invited by Thomas Costabile, the Executive Director of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, to present his book at the organization’s headquarters in New York.
The electronic and hard copies of Hacking the Cosmos: How Reverse Engineering Uncovers Organization, Ingenuity and the Care of a Maker can be purchased on the Kendall Hunt Publishing website.
“If the universe is an intricately engineered system engineered by our Maker,” Halsmer said, “then we can see by the fabulous ingenuity and efficiency of natural systems that this Maker knows what He is doing.”