Book Two: Scientists of Faith 1/2
No matter how obstinate materialists and atheists may be, a single truth remains evident: God created all forms of life and systems that make up the topics of science. Therefore, it is certain that science and religion are reconcilable, so long as they are practiced honestly and sensibly. A mark of this apparent agreement is the "scientists of faith", of past and present, who have all made significant contributions to humanity.
A scientist, who practices science, makes new discoveries, and works to unravel the mysteries of the universe, is actually an individual investigating the artistry of God in-depth, trying to detect the details therein. That is why religion and science are an inseparable unit. A scientist is one who makes evident God's infinite power and the artistry and uniqueness in His creation. For this reason, scientists, contrary to popular belief, can perceive the existence and unity of God most immediately, as they are the ones immersed in the study of the objects of God's creation.
Not surprisingly, there are a great number of scientists who have made important contributions to science by using the free-thought and broad-mindedness provided them through religion. These individuals not only demonstrated that science and religion are fully compatible, but also served science and humanity in the greatest way. Noted scientists such as Newton, Kepler, Leonardo da Vinci, and Einstein, who were the pioneers of science, believed, as a result of their observations and research, that the universe was created and ordered by God and is governed under His control. Moreover, it was men of faith who founded the principles upon which science is based, and thus, religion played a critical role in its advent.
The outlook on the cosmos of Isaac Newton, considered the greatest scientist of all times, is implicit in these following words:
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things... as Lord over all, and on account of His dominion. He is wont to be called Lord God, Universal Ruler.78
It is a known fact that Kepler's scientific achievements sprang from his religious faith. Arno Penzias, 1978 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, and co-discoverer of cosmic background radiation, had this to say about Kepler:
That really goes back to the triumph, not of Copernicus, but really the triumph of Kepler. That's because, after all, the notion of epicycles and so forth goes back to days when scientists were swapping opinions. All this went along until we had a true believer and this was Kepler. …He really believed in God the Lawgiver. …And he said there's got to be something simpler and more powerful. Now he was lucky or maybe there was something deeper, but Kepler's faith was rewarded with his laws of nature. And so from that day on, it's been an awful struggle, but over long centuries, we find that very simple laws of nature actually do apply. And so that expectation is still with scientists. And it comes essentially from Kepler, and Kepler got it out of his belief…79
In this part of the book, we will cover the scientists of faith, from the past to the present, who founded and developed modern science, as well as their contributions to science. All the scientists included in this part believed that the cosmos and all forms of life were created by God. Francis Bacon's words portray the regard of a scientist of faith for all created beings:
For as all works do shew forth the power and skill of the workman,… so it is of the works of God; which do shew the omnipotency and wisdom of the maker.80
In His verses, God states that one of the ways to acquire the ability to think about creation, to fear God, to recognize creation as due to Him, and to grasp His omnipotence and omniscience is "having knowledge":
The metaphor of those who take protectors besides God is that of a spider which builds itself a house; but no house is flimsier than a spider's house, if they only knew. God knows what you call upon besides Himself. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. Such metaphors – We devise them for mankind; but only those with knowledge understand them. God created the heavens and the earth with truth. There is certainly a Sign in that for the believers. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 41-44)
Among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and the variety of your languages and colors. There are certainly Signs in that for those who know. (Surat ar-Rum: 22)
God bears witness that there is no deity but Him, as do the angels and the people of knowledge, upholding justice. There is no deity but Him, the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat Al 'Imran: 18)
But those of them who are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you: those who keep up prayer (salat) and pay the welfare tax (zakat), and believe in God and the Last Day – We will pay such people an immense wage. (Surat an-Nisa': 162)
Scientists of Faith Who Lived in the Past
Roger Bacon (1220-1292)
"The grace of faith illuminates greatly."81
Called Doctor Mirabiles (Wonderful Doctor) by his contemporaries, Roger Bacon was a British scientist and theologian who laid great emphasis on the experimental method, and put an end to many archaic customs practiced in the science of his time. Bacon foresaw a number of technological breakthroughs that were to come hundreds of years later, which were hard to even fathom at the time. Steamboats, trains, cars, planes, cranes, and suspension bridges are only some of the innovations he anticipated in the 13th century.
In a letter to a friend, Bacon wrote:
First, by the figurations of art there be made instruments of navigation without men to row them, as great ships to brooke the sea, only with one man to steer them, and they shall sail far more swiftly than if they were full of men; also chariots that shall move with unspeakable force without any living creature to stir them.82
Believing that light was created by God to enable man to see, Bacon conducted observations in this field. He defined the magnifying characteristic of optic lenses and their places of usage. He was the first to note that the light emitted by stars does not reach the Earth simultaneously. Finally, Bacon maintained that the Earth was not flat but round, some 200 years prior to Christopher Columbus, and that India could be reached by sailing west from Europe.
Believing that the conclusions he arrived at in his observations were useful to men of faith, Bacon said:
Then this science as regards the commonwealth of believers is useful, as we saw in its special knowledge of the future, present, and past.83
Bacon, as a scientist, argued that science did not conflict with religion, but rather could serve as an important tool to help convince unbelievers. He stated that "this science is of the greatest advantage in persuading men to accept the faith."84
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Bacon, reputed scientist, and one of the founders of the scientific method, is known to have been a devout believer in God. He stated in Novum Organum that natural philosophy (science) is "after the word of God, the surest remedy against superstition, and the most approved support of faith."85
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Galileo Galilei is the first person to have used the telescope to observe the sky. Galileo maintained that the Earth is round, and was the first to detect the dark regions, craters, and hills of the Moon. Galileo, famous for his immense contribution to science, believed that the senses, the ability to talk and intelligence, were granted to people by God, and that they ought to be exercised in the best way possible. He maintained that it was all too obvious that Nature was designed by God. He said that nature was simply another book written by God, and contended that the truths of science and the truths of faith cannot impugn one another since God is the author of all truth.86
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.87
Kepler, the founder of modern astronomy, discovered the elliptical movement of the planets, established a formula for relating a planet's orbital period to its mean distance from the sun, and completed astronomical tables that allow calculations of planetary positions for any time in the past or future.
As a scientist, Kepler also believed that the universe was created by a Creator. When he was asked why he practiced science, he said "I had the intention of becoming a theologian... but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for 'heavens declare the glory of God'".88
The life of Kepler, who believed that God's glory was manifested in everything He created, is an example to how successful and broad-thinking a scientist who admits that there is a divine purpose in nature can be. "Who gave white bears and white wolves to the snowy regions of the North, and a food for the bears the whale, and for the wolves, birds' eggs?" asked Kepler and then replied: "Great is our Lord and great His virtue and of his wisdom there is no number: praise Him, ye heavens, praise Him, ye sun, moon, and planets, use every sense for perceiving, every tongue for declaring your Creator. Praise Him, ye celestial Harmonies, praise Him, ye judges of the Harmonies uncovered: and thou my soul, praise the Lord thy Creator, as long as I shall be: for out of Him and through Him and in Him are all things, both the sensible and the intelligible; for both whose whereof we are utterly ignorant and those which we know are the least part of them; because there is still more beyond. To him be praise, honor, and glory, world without end."89
Johannes Baptista von Helmont (1579-1644)
Founder of pneumatic chemistry and chemical physiology, Helmont invented the thermometer and barometer. Walter Pagels, who wrote a book on the religious aspects of van Helmont's science, stated that he drew inspiration from his religious beliefs in his researches.90
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Contributing to the greatest innovation in geometry since the time of the Ancient Greeks, Pascal was a distinguished scientist, who made significant discoveries from early on in his life. Besides his contribution to mathematics, Pascal was also responsible for monumental discoveries in physics. He made a number of studies in atmospheric and fluid mechanics, and proved that atmospheric pressure varies according to altitude.
An eminent figure in the history of science, Pascal was also a deeply spiritual man. He referred to the eternal power of God when he said that God is the Creator of everything from mathematics to the order of the elements.91
Many scientists noted for their discoveries were also known for their faith in God. Helmont, who invented the thermometer and barometer, and Pascal, right, were two such scientists.
John Ray (1627-1705)
Reputed British botanist, John Ray, was a man of faith. He felt that if man were placed on earth to mirror back to God the glory of all His works, then he ought to take notice of every created thing. In his early years, spurred on by this outlook, Ray engaged himself in scientific research. He was the great authority of his day in both botany and zoology. He wrote a well-received book, The Wisdom of God in Creation. In this book, in which Ray introduced thousands of plants, insect, bird, fish species, and the like, he reported that nature reveals the existence of a Creator. God's works of creation, he said, were "the works created by God at first, and by Him conserved to this day in the same state and condition in which they were first made."92
Ray, who made a considerable contribution to botany, always stressed that science and religion intersect in many ways. His attitude is best understood by his words: "There is for a free man no occupation more worth and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honor the infinite wisdom and goodness of God."93
Robert Boyle (1627-1691)
Regarded as the father of modern chemistry, Boyle made a number of revolutionary scientific discoveries. He established the relationship between changes in the pressure applied to air and the volume air occupies, which became known today as "Boyle's law of gasses". His other inventions included a kind of litmus paper and a primitive refrigerator. He demonstrated that water expanded when it froze. The modern definition of "element" was given by him, and he contributed to the theory of atomism, arguing that if air is compressible there must be void between its particles.
While responsible for such great scientific discoveries, Boyle was a devout believer in God. He believed there to be an intelligent design in nature, which was created by an all-powerful Creator. Boyle taught in his lectures and writings that science and belief in God should stand side by side. In a lecture, he was to have said: "Remember to give glory to the one who authored nature… Use knowledge to bring good to mankind."94
Elsewhere, he commented that the perfection in living things explicitly reveals God's existence:
The excellent contrivance of that great system of the world, and especially the curious fabric of the bodies of animals and the uses of their sensories and other parts, have been made the great motives that in all ages and nations induced philosophers to acknowledge a Deity as the author of these admirable structures.95
Antonie von Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)
It was Leeuwenhoek who discovered bacteria. Leeuwenhoek learned to grind his own magnifying lenses to examine cloth. Intrigued by what he saw, he began producing other magnifiers – and became the first man to see and describe bacteria through a microscope.
>His goal to refute the idea of spontaneous generation without a Creator led him to conduct important scientific studies. To this purpose, he studied the nutrient systems of plants and animals, he examined spermatozoa, the transportation of nutrients in plants, and the structure and function of various parts of plants. Blood cells also became subjects of his investigations. He was the first to study capillaries and actually see blood cells passing through them. Before Leeuwenhoek, no one understood that muscles were made of fibers.96
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Considered the greatest scientist who ever lived, Newton was both a mathematician and a physicist. His greatest contribution to science was his discovery of the law of universal gravitation. He added the concept of mass to the relation between force and acceleration; introduced the law of action and reaction, and put forward the thesis that a moving object will continue moving in straight line at a constant speed unless acted on by a force. Newton's laws of motion remained applicable for four centuries, from simplest engineering calculations to the most complex technological projects. Newton's contributions were not limited to gravity, but also extended to the fields of mechanics and optics. Discovering the seven colors of light, Newton thus laid the ground for a new discipline, namely optics.
In addition to his groundbreaking discoveries, Newton wrote critical essays refuting atheism and defending Creation. He supported the idea that "creation is the only scientific explanation". Newton believed that the mechanic universe, a gigantic clock working non-stop, in his analogy, could only be the work of an all-powerful and all-wise Creator.
Behind Newton's discoveries, which changed the course of the world, was his desire to come closer to God. Newton investigated the objects of God's creation to know Him better. To this end, he devoted himself to studies with great energy. Newton communicated the reason underlying his zeal for scientific endeavor with the following words, in his famous work Principia Mathematica:
...He (God) is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is …eternal and infinite; …he endures and is present. He endures forever, and is everywhere present; and, by existing always and everywhere, he constitutes duration and space... We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things... [W]e reverence and adore him as his servants…97
John Flamsteed (1646-1719)
He was the founder of the famous Greenwich observatory and the first astronomer royal of England. Flamsteed, who, after innumerable observations, produced the first great star map of the telescopic age, was also a devout clergyman.
John Woodward (1665-1728)
Woodward was one of the great founding fathers of the science of geology. One of Woodward's valuable contributions was the establishment of an important paleontological museum at Cambridge, and the geology branch there.
Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778)
Linnaeus, a scientist of great piety, conducted very important studies in botany. He proved that plants reproduce sexually, and introduced to science the notion of "biological taxonomy".
Jean Deluc (1727-1817)
Deluc was a Swiss physicist who coined the term "geology". He and his father developed the modern mercury thermometer and the hygrometer. He is known for his belief in creation, and for his challenge to the idea that the universe and life came about by coincidence.
Sir William Herschel (1738-1822)
Herschel was one of the most accomplished astronomers of the 18th century. Herschel, who constructed the most advanced reflecting telescopes of his day, and cataloged and studied the nebulae and galaxies as never before, was a scientist of faith. It was Herschel who said "The undevout astronomer must be mad", remarking that it is astounding that a scientist studying astronomy, and bearing witness to the perfect order in the universe, could not believe in God.98
William Paley (1743-1805)
Paley was a scientist who believed in creation. His work Natural Theology was one of the best-selling books of his time. Paley felt that "if works of art are products of man, then living things must be the product of a being far superior to man". According to Paley, the fact that all living things are equipped with all kinds of features they need to survive in their habitat is a "mark of contrivance, in proof of design, and of a designing Creator."99
George Cuvier (1769-1832)
Cuvier was one of the greatest anatomists and paleontologists. He is considered to be the founder of the science of comparative anatomy, and one of the chief architects of paleontology as a separate scientific discipline. He was a firm creationist, even participating in important creation/evolution debates.100
Humphrey Davy (1778-1829)
Known as a man of faith, Davy was one of the great chemists of his day, and the man under whom Faraday served as apprentice. He was the first to isolate many important chemical elements, to develop the motion theory of heat, to invent the safety lamp, and to demonstrate that diamonds are carbon, along with many other pivotal contributions.
Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873)
One of England's leading 19th century geologists, Sedgwick, is especially famous for identifying and naming the major rock systems known as Cambrian and Devonian. He was also a clergyman, and although he was a friend of Charles Darwin, he always opposed his evolutionary ideas.101
Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
Universally acknowledged as one of the greatest physicists of all time, Faraday was especially gifted with developing the new sciences of electricity and magnetism. He also made key contributions in the field of chemistry.
Faraday was a scientist who believed in the existence of a Creator, and that science and religion are in harmony. Because one God created the world, he believed, all of nature must be interconnected as a single whole. Based on this idea, he concluded that electricity and magnetism must be interlinked.102
Samuel Morse (1791-1872)
Morse was a remarkable scientist known for his invention of the telegraph. He also built the first camera in America.
Morse believed in the existence of a Creator who created everything for a certain cause. He felt that the material world and the spiritual world work in harmony. Just four years before he died, Morse wrote: "The nearer I approach to the end of my pilgrimage, the grandeur and sublimity of God's remedy for fallen man are more appreciated and the future is illumined with hope and joy."103
Joseph Henry (1797-1878)
The great American physicist and devout scientist, Joseph Henry, was a professor at Princeton University. Henry, who invented the electromagnetic motor and the galvanometer, had made it a regular habit to stop to worship God, and then to pray for divine guidance, at every important juncture of an experiment, in all his experimentation.104
Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)
Agassiz, widely recognized as the greatest American biologist, was an inveterate opponent of evolutionism.
Agassiz saw the divine plan of God everywhere in nature, and could not reconcile himself to a theory that did not acknowledge design. As he wrote, in his Essay on Classification:
The combination in time and space of all these thoughtful conceptions exhibits not only thought, it shows also premeditation, power, wisdom, greatness, prescience, omniscience, providence. In one word, all these facts in their natural connection proclaim aloud the One God, whom man may know, adore, and love.105
James Prescott Joule (1818-1889)
Besides his discovery of the first law of thermodynamics, Joule also showed how to calculate the heat produced by an electric current moving through a wire, and was the first to calculate the velocity of a gas molecule. His greatest discovery was the value of the constant known as the "mechanical equivalent of heat". This discovery led to the formulation of the law of conservation of energy, the most basic and universal of all scientific laws.
Joule, as the discoverer of these important scientific laws, was a scientist who believed that he could come closer to God as he came to know the laws of nature. His belief urged him to proceed with further investigations. He was one of the 717 scientists who signed a manifesto against Darwin in 1864. He expressed his beliefs about science in these terms:
After the knowledge of, and obedience to, the will of God, the next aim must be to know something of His attributes of wisdom, power and goodness as evidenced by his handiwork. It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintanceship with the mind of God therein expressed.106
George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903)
George Stokes was a great British physicist and mathematician, who made major contributions in a number of fields. He expanded the knowledge of gravitational discrepancies, astrophysics, chemistry, sonic problems, and heat. He showed that unlike glass, quartz is transparent to ultraviolet radiation. With Lord Kelvin, he was one of the first to appreciate the electro-thermodynamic explorations of James Joule. Stokes showed that X-rays were also part of Maxwell's electromagnetic spectrum. For a time, Stokes was president of the Victoria Institute of London, and an active member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.
>He was a scientist who investigated nature with a belief in the Creator, and he wrote specifically emphasizing his belief in God. In one of his works, he said that "the laws of nature are carried out in accordance with his will, he who willed them may will their suspension"107
Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902)
Virchow's main scientific contributions were in the field of medicine. He is considered the father of modern pathology and of the study of cellular diseases. He was the first to describe leukemia, and was active in anthropological and archeological research. Virchow was one of the most renowned scientists to strongly oppose the evolutionary teachings of Darwin and Haeckel. He also entered actively into politics and fought vigorously against allowing evolutionist teaching in the schools of Germany.108
Gregory Mendel (1822-1884)
With his discovery of the three laws of genetics, Mendel went down in history as the person who founded the principles of inheritance. Mendel's principles of inheritance have turned out to be the most compelling proofs exposing the fallacy of the theory of evolution.
Having refuted the theory of evolution with his discovery of the principles of inheritance, Mendel further believed that God had created the world, and that blind chance could not be responsible for the outcome.109
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
Pasteur is one of the greatest figures in the history of science and medicine, chiefly because of his establishment of the germ theory of disease, and his strong opposition to the theory of evolution. He was the first to explain the organic basis and control of fermentation, and as his research led him further and further into bacteriology, he isolated a number of disease-producing organisms, and developed vaccines to combat them – notably the dreaded diseases of rabies, diphtheria, anthrax, and others – as well as the processes of pasteurization and sterilization.
Pasteur, who was a firm believer in God, was the object of fierce opposition because of his resistance to Darwin's theory of evolution. He was a defender of the compatibility of science and religion, which he would often emphasize in his writings. As he put it:
The more I know, the more does my faith approach that of the Breton peasant (i.e., the faith which is serene, complete, unquestioning)110
Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him.111
William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) (1824-1907)
Lord Kelvin is recognized as the leading physicist of his time, and is also known for his strong faith in God. He is held in high regard in the scientific community for his contributions to physics and mathematics, as well as his practical inventions. He developed a successful method to liquefy hydrogen and helium. He established the scale of absolute temperatures, so that such temperatures are today measured as so many "degrees Kelvin". He established thermodynamics as a formal scientific discipline, and formulated its first and second laws in precise terminology.
He openly espoused his faith in God in his works. He said:
Do not be afraid to be free thinkers. If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to the belief in God.112
With regard to the origin of life, science… positively affirms creative power.113
J. J. Thomson (1856-1940)
In 1897, J. J. Thomson discovered the electron. He was a professor of physics at Cambridge University. Thomson, who was a devoutly religious man, made this statement in Nature, drawing attention to the fact that the conclusions reached by science point to the existence of God:
In the distance tower still higher [scientific] peaks which will yield to those who ascend them still wider prospects and deepen the feeling whose truth is emphasized by every advance in science, that great are the works of the Lord.114
Sir William Huggins (1824-1910)
Huggins was well known both as a scientist of faith and as a brilliant astronomer. He was the first to demonstrate that stars were comprised mostly of hydrogen, along with smaller amounts of the same elements existing on Earth. He was also the first to identify the Doppler effect (that the light of stars shift from red to blue as they move away from each other) in astronomy, which led to the idea of the expanding universe.
Joseph Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)
Maxwell lived a short, but uniquely productive life. Recognized as the father of modern physics, Maxwell demonstrated the unity of light and electricity, bringing light, electricity, and magnetism together under one set of equations. Einstein relied on Maxwell's equations to formulate the theory of relativity.
Albert Einstein called Maxwell's achievement "the most profound and most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton." He was strongly opposed to evolution, and was able to develop a thorough mathematical refutation of the famous "nebular hypothesis" of the French atheist LaPlace. He also wrote an incisive refutation of the evolutionary philosophies of Herbert Spencer, the great advocate of Darwinism. In a letter he mused that the scientist of faith has an obligation to conduct such work as will benefit religion.115
John Strutt (1842-1919)
John Strutt pursued studies on the motions of electromagnetic waves, making noteworthy contributions in optics, sonics, and gas dynamics. He was the co-discoverer of argon and the rare gases. He was also well known as a devout believer. As a prefix to his published papers he wrote: "The works of the Lord are great".116
George Washington Carver (1865-1943)
Agriculture became a very important discipline beginning from the turn of the 19th century. Carver was a noted agricultural researcher who made a number of critical discoveries.
Carver was known for his belief in God, to which he almost always referred to in his speeches and interviews. As he told a reporter for the Atlanta Journal who questioned him about the permanency of the clay paints he had developed: "All I do is prepare what God has made, for uses to which man can put it. It is God's ."117
Sir James Jeans (1877-1946)
Prominent physicist Sir James Jeans believed that the universe was created by a Creator of infinite Wisdom. Some of the statements in which he elaborated his views are:
We discover that the Universe shows evidence of a designing or controlling Power that has something in common with our own minds.118
A scientific study of the universe has suggested a conclusion which may be summed up . . In the statement that the universe appears to have been designed by a pure mathematician.119
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Albert Einstein, who is one of the most important scientists of the last century, was also known for his faith in God. He did not hesitate to defend that science could not exist without religion. As he put it:
I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame.120
Einstein was convinced that the universe was too perfectly designed to have come into being by chance, and that it was created by a Creator with Superior Wisdom.
For Einstein, who often referred to his belief in God in his writings, wonder at the natural order in the universe was very important. In one of his writings he mentioned, "In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence".121
Elsewhere, he wrote:
Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man... In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort...122
Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966)
Georges Lemaître propounded the Big Bang theory that points to the creation of the universe. He thought that the universe has a distinct beginning, will have an end, and that the recognition of this fact plays a critical role in helping many people to believe in God. Lemaître, who was also a priest, believed that science and religion would lead to the same truth.123
Sir Alister Hardy (1896-1985)
Hardy was the founder of modern ocean science. The Templeton Foundation, which each year recognizes a scientist for his or her contribution to progress in religion, honored Sir Alister Hardy in 1985, for empirical studies that for the first time scientifically investigated religious experiences.
Wernher von Braun (1912-1977)
Wernher von Braun was one of the world's top scientists. He was a leading German rocket engineer, and developed the famed V-2 rocket during World War II.
Dr. Braun, a former director of NASA, was also a scientist with a strong faith. In the foreword to an anthology on creation and design in nature, he offered this testimony:
Manned space flight is an amazing achievement, but it has opened for mankind thus far only a tiny door for viewing the awesome reaches of space. An outlook through this peephole at the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.124
In May of 1974, Wernher von Braun, in a published article, stated:
One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all... The better we understand the intricacies of the universe and all it harbors, the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based... To be forced to believe only one conclusion - that everything in the universe happened by chance - would violate the very objectivity of science itself... What random process could produce the brains of a man or the system of the human eye?...125
Max Planck (1858-1947)
Reputed German physicist, Max Planck, discovered a physical constant known by his name. A physics professor at the University of Berlin in the 1900s, Planck maintained that the form of radiation could be likened to the image formed by a raindrop on a windowpane, rather than water constantly flowing in a river. Until Planck, scientists used to think that light followed a wave motion. Planck, who discovered that each light particle is an energy pack, referred to each pack a "photon". The concept of photon marked a turning point in the history of physics. Light not only traveled through the air in the form of waves like sound, but also moved as particles.
Responsible for these groundbreaking discoveries, Planck believed in an "all-powerful intelligence which governs the universe."126
Max Planck said that the Creator of the order in the universe is God and elaborated on his belief in God with these words:
Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.127
Charles Coulson (1910-1974)
Coulson, for many years a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, often mentioned his faith in God, his wish to get closer to God, his pleadings to God, and his belief that the purpose of his life was to get closer to God.128
Other Scientists of Faith from the Past
97. Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Translated by Andrew Motte, Revised by Florian Cajore, Great Books of the Western World 34, Robert Maynard Hutchins, Editor in chief, William Benton, Chicago, 1952:273-74