"WHERE were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" God challenges Job, (Old Testament Days Testament Book of Job 31:2).

This was an unanswerable question!

Today scientists are endeavouring to explain what happened at the beginning of the universe when the foundations were laid. We have all heard of the Big Bang, but what was there before the Big Bang? A recent TV programme set out the way that scientists are tackling these questions. It was all very complicated as you may imagine! Science has made many advances in recent years, and by understanding how the elements were created they can calculate the age of the universe as being at about 13½ billion years. Where can we find reliable answers to these questions?

One answer is to be found by going to the internet and downloading, Christians in Science. This organisation came into existence towards the end of the Second World War when a group of Christian scientific researchers got together to examine these issues. While this is a national organisation it has regional branches. The southern region holds lectures, given by distinguished scientists, at Southampton University in the physics department. There is also an annual conference held in Oxford at The King's Centre. The next meeting will be on Saturday 21 October, with the intriguing title, ‘The Penultimate Curiosity — how science swims in the slipstream of ultimate questions’. Anyone who is interested in the relationship between science and Christianity can attend these meetings and lectures. Obviously, it will make more sense if you have some knowledge of science and of the Bible. Those who have worked in medicine and engineering will also find the talks understandable.

One of the main aims of this organisation is to dispel the idea that science is in conflict with religion. It is often thought that scientists don't believe in God. Well many of them do, and that includes those at the highest level in our universities. There are professors of physics at Oxford and Durham who have recently published books on the subject that show clear Christian convictions.

John Loxton, retired priest.