RUN THE RACE: Columbus Astronomer Gives Take on James Webb Telescope Images, Science vs. God

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Days after seeing the first incredible images from the James Webb space telescope, giving us views of the Universe like we’ve never seen it, a well-known local astronomer joined us for a discussion on that and the age old debate between science and faith.

Dr. Shawn Cruzen - who’s been the Executive Director of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus GA the last 18 years - first gives us his take on God vs. Science, if they are at odds or if they can coexist.

He reminds us, the Bible says to test things, just like scientists do. His message for people on both sides: check your interpretations. On the podcast, he also dives into the Big Bang Theory and the moment of creation, from the view of skeptical scientists and scripture in the Bible.

On and off the Job, Dr. Cruzen says he defends both science and faith, depending on where he is, as people sometimes ask how he can be a scientist while also a Christian.

Dr. Cruzen, while in school at UNLV, had the chance to work on projects/data connected to the Hubble telescope, but says the new James Webb space telescope is 10-100 times better, giving us the deepest images ever of the stars and universe. He explains, in laymans terms, why and how we’re getting these images of how things looked billions of years ago.

During this pod chat, the head of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center also gives us expert perspective of 3 main images that have come from that telescope so far, showing the scientific beauty God created. In simple terms, there’s a galaxy cluster and a star being born and the death of a star.

Passionate also about God, Dr. Cruzen’s faith journey started at a young age too, with a pivotal moment he had in a science class while a pastor’s wife as the substitute teacher.

Church mission trips overseas also changed his life, including in Haiti, where he told students that there will be a 1st Haitian astronaut, showing them science can be a bridge out of extreme poverty.

Dr. Cruzen closes out the podcast talking about his love for teaching others at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, with former students there now working in the space industry. The biggest questions he gets are about black holes and Pluto being a dwarf planet.

To listen to any of the 119 episodes of the #RunTheRace podcast, focused on faith and/or fitness, go to You can also subscribe and listen on Spotify, Apple, and more.

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