scienceorgod

Often it is said that if someone believes in God, they park their brains outside the door of science and reason. But, is that true? The fathers of modern science stand in direct contradiction to this fallacy.

Now that it is widely known that the great minds who revolutionized science were devout believers in God, the narrative has changed. It is now said that though they were great men of faith, they left their theism at the laboratory door, so they could do good science. A closer look at these scientists reveals the absurdity of this claim.

“history professor Peter Harrison attributes Christianity to having contributed to the rise of the scientific revolution”

[DLitt from the University of Oxford, a PhD from the University of Queensland, and master’s degrees from Yale and Oxford/ wiki]

The Apostle Paul tells us that you cannot separate nature from God and that through investigation of the natural world (science), God’s fingerprints can be found.

Romans 1:20

“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.”

This verse inspires reason and investigation, it doesn’t stifle it. God says if we look carefully at what has been made, we can better understand him. The fathers of modern science believed this also. They reasoned that an intelligent and logical creator would produce an ordered and logical universe. They believed that because they could know and understand God, they could also know and understand how he made the universe.

 

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo

When Sir Isaac Newton pondered why the apple fell from the tree, he didn’t say, God did it and left it at that. There was at one time gods that filled the gaps of understanding. Science has filled most of those gaps with knowledge and the knowledge is suggesting an intelligent agency was involved in the building of the universe and life itself. What was once reasoned out of ignorance is now being reasoned by knowledge.

As much as materialistic naturalists would like to divorce science from God, they not only have to ignore those responsible for the scientific revolution, but also ignore any evidence that point somewhere other than their dogmatic view of the reality.

They say that religion is an evolutionary construct of the mind that cannot be trusted. If that is so, and the mind is just an evolutionary development without purpose or truth, how can any reasoning be relied upon and trusted? Those who began the scientific revolution believed in truth and it inspired their work.

In fact, it was Christian scientists the likes of Galileo, Newton, Copernicus and Kepler who are credited with being the fathers of modern science, and instrumental in the development of the scientific method. Faith in God, is not incompatible with good science.

 

Johannes Kepler [German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer]

Kepler believed the universe was ordered, not the result of randomness, chance and chaos. He reasoned that since God is logical, the universe should operate according to logical principals, and that is exactly what he found.

He is known for the “Kepler’s planetary laws of motion” and was instrumental in the scientific revolution. Kepler’s work was a foundation for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation.

Kepler’s quote below illustrates how faith in a creator stimulates thought and reason, not shuts it down.

“We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”[1]

“Kepler’s success rests in the fact that he invested so much in the concepts of divine purpose, design, archetypes, final causation… Those laws are within the grasp of the human mind… God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts.”[2]

 

Sir Isaac Newton [physics and mathematics, Father of physics]

Newton, a devout Christian is credited for laying the framework for Einstein’s theory of relativity and as one of the fathers of the scientific method. Stephen Hawking himself an eminent atheist scientist, who held the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge, called the most prestigious academic posting in the world, also held by Newton, said Newton’s work “Principia” is the most important physics book ever written.

“Newton’s theory will never be outmoded. Designed to predict the motions of the heavenly bodies, it does its job with unbelievable accuracy… Newton is a colossus without parallel in the history of science.” [3]

The “Principia” ”surely the most influential book ever written in physics”[4]

 

Louis Pasteur [professor of chemistry]

was the developer of a new branch of science called microbiology. The ancient Greeks thought life arose from non living matter but Pasteur’s famous experiments showed that this was false and life could only come from life.

“… Science brings men nearer to God.” ” The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.” [5]

 

Nicolaus Copernicus [mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar and a major contributor to the scientific revlolution] [6]

Copernicus was another devout and well schooled Christian with a doctorate in canon law though will never hear about that from secular historians.

“To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.”[7]

 

Galileo Galilei [astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician]

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” [8]

“Measure what can be measured and make measurable what cannot be measured.”

“Copernicus never discusses matters of religion or faith, nor does he use argument that depend in any way upon the authority of sacred writings which he might have interpreted erroneously. … He did not ignore the Bible, but he knew very well that if his doctrine were proved, then it could not contradict the Scriptures when they were rightly understood.”[8]

“I have succeeded in proving; and what I consider more important, there have been opened up to this vast and most excellent science, of which my work is merely the beginning, ways and means by which other minds more acute than mine will explore its remote corners.”[9]

 

Though atheists and agnostics like to distance science from the faith of great scientists like Newton, Kepler, Galileo and Copernicus, it is clear that they neither saw a dichotomy between science and their faith, nor did their faith stifle their intellect.

The choice is not God or science, it is God and science, mechanism and agency. One can only get the full picture of the automobile when its mechanisms are understood in addition to its purpose. Some scientists insist that the mechanism alone is sufficient and all there is. This is like saying the automobile is sufficiently elucidated without any knowledge of Henry Ford. The full answers lie in both the mechanism and the agency. The universe is the mechanism and God is the agent. The model A is the mechanism and Henry Ford is the agent. I dare say, that there is evidence from both mechanisms that point to and agent.

Mathematician John Lennox once asked a physicist why the water was boiling in his kettle. The physicist began an exquisite description as to how this occurs and the mechanisms involved, to which Lennox said, no, it is boiling because I want a cup of tea. You see, it doesn’t have to be an either or scenario, that is a fallacy defended by bias.

From this bias comes absurdities like this scientist, Prof Mir Faizal, at the Dept of Physics and Astronomy, at the University of Waterloo, Canada. This is taken from a news article with the headline;

HISTORIC DISCOVERY: Physicists ‘PROVE’ God DIDN’T create the Universe [March 2015]

“Scientists have long known that miniscule particles, called virtual particles, come into existence from nothing all the time.”

“Dr Mir says we have been looking at the question ‘how did the universe come from nothing?’ all wrong.According to the extraordinary findings, the question is irrelevant because the universe STILL is nothing. Dr Mir said: “Something did not come from nothing. The universe still is nothing, it’s just more elegantly ordered nothing.”

Stephen Hawking, one of the worlds if not the worlds leading scientists when it comes to the universe said this in his book, “The Grand Design”;

“I believe, the final key to removing the need for a Grand Designer, and revealing how the universe created itself. … Time itself must come to a stop [at the singularity].  You can’t get to a time before the big bang, because there was no time before the big bang.  We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in.  For me this means there is no possibility of a creator because there is no time for a creator to have existed.  Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything…”

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

Hawking and others seem to be comfortable with the universe not needing a cause. I find this interesting because a common argument from atheist scientists is if God created the universe, who created God? Something else Hawking doesn’t accept is the concept of God existing outside of time.

We are seeing a new revolution is science today, that is the revolution of absurdity.

There is another scientific revolution happening in biology and cosmology today as the evidence is pointing more and more to design. Natural processes and chance as explanatory mechanisms are becoming less plausible and less supportable. Discoveries of staggeringly complex layers of interactive, interdependent networks of information systems have been found governing biology and the extreme fine tuning of the universe for life is suggesting purpose and design.

Instead of modern science eliminating the possibility of God, the evidence is growing pointing to an intelligent agency. Has God been proved, of course not, science has done a good job dispelling gods like Zeus and Thor, but it is having greater difficulty trying to disprove the God of the bible, not less.

Over the centuries scientist and theologians both have made some serious mistakes in interpretation.

God is the first great scientist so those of faith need not be intimidated by science, after all, God invented it, scientists only discovers it.

But, like the 17th and 18th centuries, many are dogmatic in their beliefs. Only this time, it is the atheists not the church who are stifling progress. Science has no clue how the universe began, how the first star formed or how the life arose anywhere. They are pleased and content to say they don’t know how, or what but what they do know is that intelligence had nothing to do with any of it, despite any evidence to the contrary, and it is growing.

 

References;

  1. Mysterium Cosmographicum. Quote as translated in Cosmos, Carl Sagan, (1980, 1985: p 32
  2. Science And Religion Primer, A Paperback – Mar 12 2009; by Heidi Campbell (Editor, PhD, University of Edinburgh), Heather Looy (Editor, PhD, McMaster University)
  3. Hidden Mutualities: Faustian Themes from K=Gnostic Origins to the Postcolonial, Michael Mitchell; Rodopi Bv Editions, 2006: p 129

  4. ” Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Toronto: Bantam. 1988: p 199
  5. J.H. Tiner, Louis Pasteur-Founder of Modern Medicine, Mott Media, Milford Michigan, USA 1990: p 90

  6. Edward Rosen, “Copernicus, Nicolaus”, Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, volume 7, Danbury, Connecticut, Grolier Incorporated, 1986, ISBN 0-7172-0117-1, pp. 755–56.
  7. As quoted in Poland : The Knight Among Nations (1907) by Louis E. Van Norman
  8. Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina [1615]
  9. From Atoms to Galaxies: A Conceptual Physics Approach to Scientific Awareness, By Sadri Hassani: CRC Press, 2010 p 66

 

Robert J.

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