(This post is part of the Sinai and Synapses Discussion Forum, a collection of perspectives on specific topics. It is part of our Spring 2015 series Are We More Than Our Genes? For more on our series of videos exploring this question, please look at the post Our Genes, Our Selves.)

by Lisa M. Ortuno, Ph.D.

How can a scientist profess faith in God? What kind of a framework allows faith to be compatible with modern science?

A large part of what it is to be human is to seek knowledge, ascertain truth and find meaning in our day-to-day lives.  As such, science and religion are common sources of knowledge that provide us with information about the world, ourselves and the human condition overall.   Yet a predominant belief in popular culture is that one cannot be a person of faith and a person of science at the same time. In these two interviews, I talk with a man who would adamantly disagree with that premise.

Randy DimondDr. Randy Dimond has been the Chief Technical Officer of Promega Corporation, a Madison, Wisconsin-based biotechnology company for 30 years.  Randy is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

In the first interview Randy discusses some of the new technologies he is seeing in the area of genetics and research into the whole human being as combination genes and environmental influences. He poses the question, however, “Does the physical body explain everything about who you are?”

In the second interview Randy and I discuss how, from his faith tradition, the human spirit comprises the essence of who we are and how this interacts with our genes and our bodies.  How we “see ourselves” matters he explains as he tells the story of his mother as she progressed through the devastating stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Who are we, really?  Where does “self” reside?

All of these are questions that religion and now science in some ways, attempt to answer. For many, including those who love and have dedicated their lives to scientific pursuits, religion provides an additional response that doesn’t contradict, but instead goes beyond, empirically-based science.