Science Mike: The Hope of God in an Age of Science | Mike McHargue | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

February 15, 2017
Talks at Google
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Science Mike: The Hope of God in an Age of Science | Mike McHargue | Talks at Google


Science Mike, author and podcast host, shares his personal journey of reconciling his scientific worldview with his spiritual beliefs, emphasizing the importance of love and empathy.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Science Mike get his name?

A friend jokingly called Mike "Science Mike" at a party, and the nickname stuck. Science Mike's affinity for science and ability to retain information led to his podcast and book.

Q: What are Science Mike's qualifications and background in science?

Science Mike attended Community College for six weeks and has no formal engineering or scientific education. However, he has a strong passion for science and uses his ability to understand and explain complex scientific concepts to engage in meaningful discussions.

Q: How does Science Mike define God?

Science Mike views God as the set of forces that created and sustain the universe, experienced through human consciousness and rooted in evolved features of the human brain. He finds comfort in the idea that God is love and that all aspects of life emerge from that love.

Q: Does Science Mike believe in other faiths or philosophies?

Science Mike believes that if a faith or philosophy leads people towards love and empathy, it ultimately leads them towards God. He values interfaith dialogue and seeks to understand how different traditions shape people's understanding of God.

Q: How does Science Mike reconcile scientific evidence with religious teachings?

Science Mike approaches religious texts, such as the Bible, as storied conversations rather than literal accounts of historical events. He recognizes the cultural and historical context in which these texts were written and seeks to understand the underlying messages and themes.

Q: Can the benefits of prayer and worship be experienced without belief in a higher power?

Science Mike acknowledges that non-religious practices, such as meditation, can provide similar benefits to prayer. However, he believes that embodying the belief in a loving God can have a profound impact on one's worldview and capacity for compassion.

Q: How does Science Mike view collective worship and the role of organized religion?

Science Mike recognizes the social and psychological benefits of collective worship and believes it can be a helpful practice for people of faith. He also acknowledges the growing trend of non-religious groups gathering for similar communal experiences.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Mike McHargue, also known as Science Mike, discusses his background as a self-proclaimed "science enthusiast" who explores the intersections of faith and science.

  • He shares his personal journey of going from a deeply religious upbringing to becoming an atheist, and then experiencing a mystical encounter that led him back to a nuanced understanding of spirituality.

  • Science Mike highlights the benefits of prayer, both neurologically and psychologically, and emphasizes the need for a more inclusive and open-minded approach to faith.

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