Next time we will probably discuss genetic engineering for stress tolerance, but this morning, Ray Bressan, shown here, gave a charismatic chalk-talk explaining why we should all aspire to get our Ph.D. "tickets." According to Dr. B, a Ph.D. is not an accomplishment, it is not something that is necessarily earned, it is essentially a piece of paper which gives a person the ticket or the license to discover things - and sometimes get paid for it.
Ph.D. stands for Doctorate of Philosophy coming from "philo" from the Greek meaning loving and "sophia" meaning wisdom, so one who earns a Ph.D. is one who is recognized as "loving wisdom."
So what is wisdom? Wisdom is more than knowledge. Knowledge is what people "know." Wisdom is a respect for God and his creation, which includes many things we do not know. The Bible says that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." The Koran has a similar definition.
Therefore by definition, someone who has earned a Ph.D. is a lover of wisdom, who respects God's creation and realizes there are many things that are not known. Do I have to go to school for more than twenty years of my life to recognize that?
But the Ph.D. is also about seeking to understand what is unknown - that is where science comes in, and there are a whole history of persons from the West and from the Middle East who have influenced scientific thought and the scientific method to become what it is today.
So is a Ph.D. right for me? I am not sure what the future holds yet; I need to focus on finishing the masters first and see what doors that will open. Right now, only God knows what the future holds for me.
I can say that in my experience, religion and science, faith and reason are complimentary rather than contradictory. Science can measure and explain creation, but it can never quantify or explain God - that is why we have faith. Faith alone, on the other hand, is not a satisfactory system for building an oil refinery, or planning a city's highway system, or writing a system of laws and government. God gave us a mind so that we could understand some things, but we will never fully understand everything. The deeper one delves into the realm of physics, or of genetics, or of human thought, the closer reality comes to exceeding the human limits of thought and imagination. Faith and reason are inseparably entwined.