Frequently, I have been asked by Atheists, skeptics of the Bible and those who dispute the existence of God, if I have any sources other than Theologians. It is a common error of assumption that intelligent people do not believe in God. It is imagined by the uninformed that only the uneducated and naive believe in a God who is both Creator and the source of all life. For this reason, I present to you a partial list of the thousands of noted prize-winning Scientists, Physicists, Chemists, Mathematicians, Cosmologists, and other academics who believe that God is the source of the universe.
It is important to note that although I do not personally share some of the Theological premises of many of these astute men and women, I do agree with many of the opinions expressed here regarding the essential issues of God’s existence. My intent, by the inclusion of this list, is to demonstrate that intelligent and highly educated people of science do believe in God as the source and purpose for the universe. All of the scientific scholars listed here came to the conclusion that God is the only intelligent answer for the source of the universe, after simply following the evidence.
Dr. Arno Penzias
(Born April 26, 1933) Ph.D. in Astrophysicists, Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978, co-discoverer of the moment of creation by Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. This discovery made in 1964 led to the startling announcement that the universe had a beginning, commonly described today as “The Big Bang.” Prior to this, scientists had stated that the universe is eternal and therefore does not require a Creator.
Dr. Penzias is a Christian, a believer in the Bible as the word of God, and vigorous defender of creation as the method by which the universe exists.
On March 12, 1978, not long after Dr. Penzias and Dr. Wilson discovered Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation that proved the universe had a beginning, Dr. Penzias made the following comments to the New York Times:
“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”
In defining the universe as being made for a purpose, Dr. Penzias had these things to say:
“If there are a bunch of fruit trees, one can say that whoever created these fruit trees wanted some apples. In other words, by looking at the order in the world, we can infer purpose and from purpose we begin to get some knowledge of the Creator, the Planner of all this. This is, then, how I look at God. I look at God through the works of God’s hands and from those works imply intentions. From these intentions, I receive an impression of the Almighty.”
In speaking of the methods by which God reveals Himself to man, Dr. Penzias stated:
“…maybe God always reveals Himself? Again I think as Psalm 19, ‘the heavens proclaim the glory of God,’ that is, God reveals Himself in all there is. All reality, to a greater or lesser extent, reveals the purpose of God. There is some connection to the purpose and order of the world in all aspects of human experience.”
In regards to the validity of the Old Testament and God speaking to Moses at Sinai:
“…Sinai was important for Judaism and important for the future of the world. It was a place where God chose the Jews, but the Jews also chose God. It was a historical moment in which a spiritual connection was made.”
Regarding a question that has great importance to this book, speaking of the genuineness of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah:
“…I think that a Messiah is necessary to help achieve a purposeful world.”
Speaking of the universe based on the evidence that he has observed as a Physicist, Dr. Penzias said that his research into astrophysics has caused him to see “evidence of a plan of divine creation.”
“The Bible talks of purposeful creation. What we have, however, is an amazing amount of order; and when we see order, in our experience it normally reflects purpose.”
In an interview by Scientific Anthology in 1995, Dr. Penzias was asked if he thought that this order is reflected in the Bible?
“Well, if we read the Bible as a whole we would expect order in the world. Purpose would imply order, and what we actually find is order.”
So we can assume there might be purpose?
Dr. Penzias replied:
“Exactly. …This world is most consistent with purposeful creation.”
In an interview from 1997, Dr. Penzias spoke of the reasons that scientists believe in God today.
“If God created the universe, he would have done it elegantly. The absence of any imprint of intervention upon creation is what we would expect from a truly all-powerful Creator. You don’t need somebody diddling around like Frank Morgan in The Wizard of Oz to keep the universe going. Instead, what you have is half a page of mathematics that describes everything. In some sense, the power of the creation lies in its underlying simplicity.”
Dr. Penzias states that despite the massive amount of evidence for the creation of the universe, scientists will not accept this data.
“How could the everyday person take sides in this dispute between giants? One held that the universe was created out of nothing, while the other proclaimed the evident eternity of matter. The ‘dogma’ of creation was thwarted by the ‘fact’ of the eternal nature of matter. Well, today’s dogma holds that matter is eternal. The dogma comes from the intuitive belief of people (including the majority of physicists) who don’t want to accept the observational evidence that the universe was created–despite the fact that the creation of the universe is supported by all the observable data astronomy has produced so far. As a result, the people who reject the data can arguably be described as having a ‘religious’ belief that matter must be eternal. These people regard themselves as objective scientists.”
In a recent update to the former discovery made by Dr. Penzias which confirmed that the universe had a stunning and sudden beginning—on March 21, 2013—a team of European research scientists from the Planck cosmology probe, released a brand new all-sky map of the Cosmic Background Radiation that Dr. Penzias and Dr. Wilson discovered in 1964. An updated study of the age of the universe confirms once again that the universe began suddenly about 13.798 billion years ago. This is absolute confirmation of the first verse of the Bible which states: “in the beginning (of time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter).”
Science has confirmed, by observation, the existence of God as though He had been standing all along at the edge of the universe, shouting back to the earth, “Here I AM!” All this—a confirmation of the first verse of the Bible that declares, “In the beginning, God…”
During an interview with the New York Times on March 12, 1978, Dr. Penzias was asked what there was before the moment of the Big Bang.
“We don’t know, but we can reasonably say that there was nothing.”
During this broadcast, a listener called to accuse Dr. Penzias of being an atheist. He explained his comments further:
“Madame, I believe you are not aware of the consequences of what I just said. Before the Big Bang there was nothing of what now exists. Had there been something, the question could be: where did it come from?”
Dr. Penzias explained that because there was nothing at the beginning, this is a confirmation of Genesis 1:1. In the Hebrew language where Genesis Chapter 1 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” the word created is bara, which means to create from nothing. Science will never be able to successfully explain how there could be nothing and suddenly it began to rapidly expand into the present Cosmos.
It is interesting that in the massive push to get rid of God in the United States during the mid 60’s, these efforts ended up having the opposite effect. In the lawsuit between the American Atheists group led by Madalyn Murray O’Hair (Murray v. Curlett), which led to the landmark Supreme Court ruling that ended Bible reading in American public schools in 1963—the following year, in 1964, Dr. Penzias and Dr. Wilson discovered the moment of creation.
The co-discoverer of the moment of Creation, Dr. Robert Wilson, made this observation regarding the realization that they had discovered the beginning of the universe:
“Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.”
Hugh Norman Ross
(Born July 24, 1945) is a Canadian Astrophysicist, Christian apologist, and old Earth creationist. Ross obtained his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Toronto and his B.Sc. degree in physics from the University of British Columbia.He established his own ministry in 1986, called Reasons to Believe that promotes progressive and day-age forms of old Earth creationism. Ross rejects both evolution and abiogenesis as explanations for the origin and history of life, instead promoting the argument of intelligent design.
Old Earth Creationism
Ross believes in progressive creationism, a view which posits that while the earth is billions of years old, life did not appear by natural forces alone but that a supernatural agent formed different lifeforms in incremental (progressive) stages, and day-age creationism which is an effort to reconcile a literal Genesis account of Creation with modern scientific theories on the age of the Universe, the Earth, life, and humans.He rejects the young Earth creationist (YEC) position that the earth is younger than 10,000 years, or that the creation “days” of Genesis 1 represent literal 24-hour periods. Ross instead asserts that these days (translated from the Hebrew word yom, are historic, distinct, and sequential, but not 24 hours in length nor equal in length. Ross and the RTB team agree with the scientific community that the vast majority of YEC arguments are pseudoscience and that any version of intelligent design is inadequate if it doesn’t provide a testable hypothesis which can make verifiable and falsifiable predictions, and if not, it should not be taught in the classroom as science.
“Not only can we measure many characteristics of the universe throughout its history, but in these measurements we are discovering some of the attributes of the One who fashioned it all. Astronomy has provided us with new tools to probe the Creator’s personality.” ~Ross, Hugh. The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God . RTB Press. Kindle Edition.
William D. Phillips
(Born November 5, 1948) Ph.D. in Physics; 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Steven Chu for his contributions to laser cooling (and especially for his invention of the Zeeman slower), a technique to slow the movement of gaseous atoms in order to better study them, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Phillips is also a professor of Physics at University of Maryland, College Park.
From an article entitled, Does science make belief in God obsolete?, Dr. Phillips speaks on his belief in God and Creation.
“Why do I believe in God? As a physicist, I look at nature from a particular perspective. I see an orderly, beautiful universe in which nearly all physical phenomena can be understood from a few simple mathematical equations. I see a universe that, had it been constructed slightly differently, would never have given birth to stars and planets, let alone bacteria and people. And there is no good scientific reason for why the universe should not have been different. Many good scientists have concluded from these observations that an intelligent God must have chosen to create the universe with such beautiful, simple, and life-giving properties.”
Charles Hard Townes
(Born 1915) Ph.D. in Physics from Cal Tech, Inventor of the Laser, 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Townes is described as one of the founding fathers of radio-astronomy by Donald H. Menzel, Professor of Astrophysics. Dr. Townes won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle.
In describing the universe and the fact that he believes that God created it for a specific purpose, Dr. Townes said this:
“Scientists, especially physicists, recognize that this is a very special world. Things have to be almost exactly as they are in order for us to exist,” Townes said. “It’s a fantastically specialized universe, but how in the world did it happen?.”
“It’s a fantastically specialized universe…”
Dr. Townes believes that by advances in knowledge of the universe, the ultimate conclusion of the scientific community will be that the universe had to be created rather than caused by accident:
“I look at science and religion as quite parallel, much more similar than most people think and that in the long run, they must converge.”
“Science and religion are both efforts to understand the universe. Science seeks to understand how the universe works and how humans work, while religion is an attempt to understand the meaning and purpose of the universe and of humankind, which requires an understanding of their workings. Both deal with large, unproved mysteries, and operate on the best knowledge available today.”
Dr. Townes believes that even scientists must have a certain amount of faith when they arrive at their conclusions for the origin of the universe. Scientists and Theologians must be able to understand that neither knows precisely what took place at the beginning of the universe. It is certain that someday in the near future, both may very well arrive at the same conclusions.
“A certain amount of faith is also shown by scientists, applying theories that they know have shortcomings in an effort to understand the vast amount of the universe that remains unknown.”
“We accept that we just don’t understand at this moment and that we’ll figure it out some day.”
“I think it’s important for us to recognize that we don’t understand everything.”
It is the belief of Dr. Townes that when both science and religion complete their studies, the conclusion will be the same:
“…among the unknowns it is possible that science and religion are describing the same thing… science has proven that in the big bang, there was a creation.”
(Born 1936) Ph.D. in Chemistry, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry. His research laid the foundation of modern surface chemistry, which has helped explain how fuel cells produce energy without pollution and how catalytic converters clean up car exhausts, as well as the process by which iron rusts.
Dr. Ertl won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his study of chemical processes on solid surfaces. The Nobel academy said that Ertl provided a detailed description of how chemical reactions take place on surfaces. His findings applied in both academic studies and industrial development; the academy made the following observations regarding Dr. Ertl’s work: Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer, as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere.
In excerpts from an interview with Von Peter Grünberg on November 21, 2007 called Do you believe in God?, Dr. Ertl made the following comments:
Peter Grünberg: “How do you deal with their (scientists) own internal conflicts. Can you as an enlightened scientists actually believe in God?”
Gerhard Ertl: “Yes, for sure! Especially with every step of my research I wondered more: this minimal probability that it could lead to the creation of life. It was perhaps the greatest conceivable chance that all of the components together so played that our universe could come in the form known to us. The probability that God does not exist, but is not less than the probability that the entire cosmos was created by our scientific explanations. Life is a great miracle, we approach the scientific explanations, but one question still remains there: Why all this? Here, I believe in God!”
Peter Grünberg: (You won) “The Nobel Prize for Chemistry If you were stranded on an island, which one book would you take with you?”
Gerhard Ertl: “Books I write myself, although my latest work has to wait a bit for the Nobel Prize. On the island, I would take the Bible in every case.”
Ph.D., Mathematician, philosopher of science and pastoral adviser. His books include “The Theory of Infinite Soluble Groups” and “God’s Undertaker–Has Science buried God?” He has extensively debated religion with Richard Dawkins, a leading spokesman for Atheism. Dr. Lennox is a distinguished professor at Oxford College in England.
Dr. Lennox is, in my opinion, one of the preeminent Christian Philosophers and Apologist on the earth today. His debate with Professor Richard Dawkins on the book, The God Delusion, is a stunning example of how the facts of Christianity that are supported by science, should be intelligently communicated to overcome every objection of the skeptic or nonbeliever. Of particular pleasure for me is the fact that Dr. Lennox always wears a warm smile when He is speaking to his opponent, or anyone to which he gives answers regarding the evidence to believe in creation and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I would recommend that you view the debate with Professor Dawkins that is available at fixed-point.org.
In regards to the atheistic idea that God must be a created being:
“Many people have trouble with the concept of God being uncreated. They simply cannot understand or accept that God just exists and always has. Yet most Naturalists would tell you that they believe that matter and energy have always existed. It seems that their problem is in believing that a person could have always existed. If the Naturalist believes that matter, energy and the laws of nature have always existed, they already believe in something eternal.”
Why the universe displays intelligent design:
“Our answer to the question of why the universe is rationally intelligible will in fact depend, not on whether we are scientists or not, but on whether we are theists or naturalists. Theists will argue that Wigner is wrong when he says there is no rational explanation for that intelligibility. On the contrary, they will say that the intelligibility of the universe is grounded in the nature of the ultimate rationality of God: both the real world and mathematics are traceable to the Mind of God who created both the universe and the human mind. It is, therefore, not surprising when the mathematical theories spun by human minds created in the image of God’s Mind, find ready application in a universe whose architect was that same creative Mind.”
On the question of why the universe exists:
“Why is there a universe at all, why is there something rather than nothing? Now there are some scientists and philosophers who think that we should not even ask this question. For them there is no point in looking for a reason for the existence of the universe since, according to them, there simply isn’t one. Their view is that, since any chain of reasoning must start somewhere, we might as well start with the existence of the universe. Echoing Bertrand Russell, E. Tryton writes: ‘Our universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.’ However, the kind of answer that says that the universe just sprang into existence sounds about as scientific as answering the question why apples fall to the ground, by saying that they just do. In addition, it would be distinctly odd, as Keith Ward points out, ‘to think that there is a reason for everything, except for that most important item of all – that is, the existence of everything, the universe itself’. The insatiable human desire for explanation will not let that question rest.”
George Francis Rayner Ellis
(Born 1939) Ph.D.; Cosmologist and Mathematician George F.R. Ellis is considered one of the world’s leading Cosmologist. He co-authored the famous Large Scale Structure of Space-Time in 1973 with Stephen Hawking. In Scientific American magazine, Dr. Ellis argued that the case for the Multi-verse hypothesis are still “inconclusive.”
The multi-verse hypothesis, in the words of George Ellis, is “a metaphysical explanation of a scientific nature.” In other words, those who deny that God created the universe based on their lack of faith in the metaphysical are using a metaphysical explanation for the universe in the premise of a multi-verse.
Dr. Ellis states that the multi-verse theory cannot be tested. In fact, the calculations themselves cannot be tested; therefore, we have to rule out the multi-verse at this time as a possible answer to the question of the fine-tuning of the universe. Science is based on the idea of confirmation and verifiability. Therefore, the multi-verse theory will remain metaphysical until it can be tested.
“I am of a theistic intuition, partly because of the fine-tuning of the universe. If you want to take into account the deep meaning of the universe, as well as the astronomical observations, you must take other data into account. The data that must be considered is everyday life. The fact that we exist must be taken into account. What are the kinds of experiences that we have, and those experiences include things like the appreciation of beauty, and appreciation for a moral code. In understanding the universe, we must also understand the metaphysical aspects of the universe as well as the astronomical data.”
Dr. Ellis has emphatically stated that the entire purpose of those who seek to push forward the idea of the multiple universe theory is to explain away why our observable universe is fine-tuned. In his conclusions, Dr. Ellis said that the multi-verse is not a valid alternative at the current time in Cosmology.
The trouble is that no possible astronomical observations can ever see those other universes. The arguments are indirect at best. And even if the multiverse exists, it leaves the deep mysteries of nature unexplained.
All the parallel universes lie outside our horizon and remain beyond our capacity to see, now or ever, no matter how technology evolves. In fact, they are too far away to have had any influence on our universe whatsoever. That is why none of the claims made by multiverse enthusiasts can be directly substantiated.
A remarkable fact about our universe is that physical constants have just the right values needed to allow for complex structures, including living things. Steven Weinberg, Martin Rees, Leonard Susskind and others contend that an exotic multiverse provides a tidy explanation for this apparent coincidence: if all possible values occur in a large enough collection of universes, then viable ones for life will surely be found somewhere. This reasoning has been applied, in particular, to explaining the density of the dark energy that is speeding up the expansion of the universe today. I agree that the multiverse is a possible valid explanation for the value of this density; arguably, it is the only scientifically based option we have right now. But we have no hope of testing it observationally.
“Proponents of the multiverse make one final argument: that there are no good alternatives. As distasteful as scientists might find the proliferation of parallel worlds, if it is the best explanation, we would be driven to accept it; conversely, if we are to give up the multiverse, we need a viable alternative. This exploration of alternatives depends on what kind of explanation we are prepared to accept. Physicists’ hope has always been that the laws of nature are inevitable — that things are the way they are because there is no other way they might have been — but we have been unable to show this is true. Other options exist, too. The universe might be pure happenstance — it just turned out that way. Or things might in some sense be meant to be the way they are — purpose or intent somehow underlies existence. Science cannot determine which is the case, because these are metaphysical issues. ”
“Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.”
(Born in 1944) Ph.D., theoretical physicist who developed HPO formalism. He teaches at Imperial College London. In addition to being a physicist, he is a philosopher and theologian.
“The God of Christianity is not only ‘the ground of being.’ He is also Incarnate.” Essential therein “is the vision of the Resurrection (of Jesus Christ) as ‘the new creation out of the old order’ and . . . the profound notion of the ‘redemption of time’ through the life and death of Jesus Christ. I think it will be rather a long time before theoretical physics has anything useful to add to that.”
(Born in 1923) Ph.D.; physicist; author of Christianity and the Scientists in 1960, as well as When Science Meets Religion; winner of the 1999 Templeton Prize for his exceptional contributions to uniting religion and science.
In the comments nominating Dr. Barbour for the 1999 Templeton Prize, John B. Cobb wrote:
“No contemporary has made a more original, deep and lasting contribution toward the needed integration of scientific and religious knowledge and values than Ian Barbour. With respect to the breadth of topics and fields brought into this integration, Barbour has no equal.”
(Born in 1923) Ph.D.; American Theoretical Physicist and Mathematician; famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy, and nuclear engineering. He has won the Lorentz Medal, the Max Planck Medal, and the Lewis Thomas Prize. Dr. Dyson is ranked 25th among the 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll. He has won the Templeton Prize and delivered one of the Gifford Lectures. Speaking of the universe and the source of its existence, Dr. Dyson said this:
“The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”
In his amazing book, Infinite In all Directions, describing the operation of the universe by an intelligence, Dr. Dyson wrote:
“The universe shows evidence of the operations of mind on three levels. The first level is the level of elementary physical processes in quantum mechanics. Matter in quantum mechanics is […] constantly making choices between alternative possibilities according to probabilistic laws. […] The second level at which we detect the operations of mind is the level of direct human experience. […] It is reasonable to believe in the existence of a third level of mind, a mental component of the universe. If we believe in this mental component and call it God, then we can say that we are small pieces of God’s mental apparatus.”
Brian Kobilka, Ph.D. in Chemistry; Professor; and Physician
(Born in 1955) American Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, October 10, 2012. While a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, along with Robert Lefkowitz, he captured through X-ray crystallography the first image of a living G-protein receptor on a cell membrane precisely when it transferred the signal from the hormone adrenalin from the outside of the cell to its interior. Dr. Kobilka is a Christian who believes that the Bible is the word of God and that He is the author of all Creation.
Richard H. Bube
(Born in 1927) Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University; Dr. Bube is an emeritus professor of the material sciences at Stanford University.
In a personal article written by Dr. Bube, he speaks of the importance of his faith in God and the balance that faith brings to his scientific studies. The following are excerpts from that article:
How does my faith affect my scientific work? There are several ways that I will describe a little further along, but first it is necessary to make the negative of this statement clear: how doesn’t my faith affect my scientific work? The answer can be given simply: my faith does not affect my scientific work by giving me knowledge of mechanisms, interactions in the physical world, or insights into proper and improper scientific theories. The reason for this is again simple. My faith is that God has created and sustains the universe, and my scientific task is to try to describe in the scientific categories available to me how it is that God does this. If I attempt to decide first what God could do because of my concept of who God is, then to decide that God must have done what he could do, and then to use this conclusion as a guiding principle in doing my scientific investigation, I make a critical mistake and fall victim to pseudoscience. The proper approach to finding out what God has done is to look at what God has done and is doing, and to draw relevant descriptions of his work from that.
The positive ways in which my faith affects my scientific work can be summarized under five headings.
1. My faith provides strong motivation for doing scientific research. With the conviction that there is indeed a reality that can be addressed by scientific research, I can enter into the joy of “thinking God’s thoughts after him,” and helping to unravel the complex structure of the world.
Example. A recent Ph.D. student of mine put together 300 pieces of data on the dark conductivity, the defect density, and the temperature in a sample of undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon. It was an exciting realization that these data showed that there was an intricate relationship between these three variables so that if any two were specified, the third was known with striking accuracy, regardless of the past history of the material.
2. My faith provides a worldview and an ethical sensitivity that allow me to decide which areas of scientific work are the most appropriate in terms of knowledge gained and human conditions helped.
Example. I eagerly seized the opportunity to put my experience and knowledge of photoelectronic properties of semiconductors to work in the development and research of materials suitable for photovoltaic solar energy conversion. Although no aspect of scientific research is free of the possibility of human misuse, still this was an area where the opportunities for providing benefit to human beings all over the world seemed to be very high, where the benefit to the poor and suffering of the world could greatly outweigh any other effects.
3. My faith provides a framework of values within which it is possible to evaluate a particular career choice or involvement in scientific work. I deliberately chose a definition of excellence (or success) as referring to a life lived after Christian standards, rather than a definition as calling for a life that is better than any one else’s in scientific career development and position.
Example. I consciously chose to accept or refuse opportunities for career development depending on whether they were consistent with a life lived with personal relationships with family, friends, church, and community, or whether they would make such a set of relationships difficult or even impossible. I did not always seek to be No. 1 regardless of the effect it might have on my relationships, and in fact at various times I did not even consider some possible career options because of this.
4. My faith enabled me to be open to the apparent descriptions of modern science, no matter how difficult or unexpected they might be, while at the same time protecting me from falling into non-Christian extrapolations or generalizations of these results beyond the range of authentic science.
Example. For many people the challenge of resolving the paradoxes of quantum mechanics and relativity, or of determinism vs. chance, or of God’s omnipotence and a creation that obeys physical laws, has proved to be a threat to their faith or leads them into mystical or new-Age-like worldviews that are incompatible with Christian faith. My faith has helped me to be open-minded about the resolution of current problems in metaphysical philosophy, while holding to the basic truth that God is the Author of it all.
5. My faith has reminded me of the importance of personal relationships in daily life with the people with whom I work and relate – colleagues, students, and staff. My work also is expressed by my life in the office and lab, and this is guided by my fait
(Born in 1929) Werner Arber is a Swiss microbiologist and geneticist. Along with American researchers Hamilton Smith and Daniel Nathans, Werner Arber shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction endonucleases. Their work would lead to the development of recombinant DNA technology. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Arber as President of the Pontifical Academy—the first Protestant to hold that position.
Benjamin S. Carson
(Born in 1951) M.D., received degrees from Yale and the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Carson is a world-renowned American neurosurgeon and the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
In 1987, Dr. Carson made medical history by being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins (the Binder twins), who had been joined at the back of the head (craniopagus). The 70-member surgical team, led by Carson, worked for 22 hours. At the conclusion of this massive surgical expedition, the two infants were successfully separated and were able to survive, independent of each other. Dr. Carson recalls:
“I looked at that situation. I said, ‘Why is it that this is such a disaster?’ and it was because they would always exsanguinate. They would bleed to death, and I said, ‘There’s got to be a way around that. These are modern times.’ This was back in 1987. I was talking to a friend of mine, who was a cardiothoracic surgeon, who was the chief of the division, and I said, ‘You guys operate on the heart in babies, how do you keep them from exsanguinating’ and he says, ‘Well, we put them in hypothermic arrest.’ I said, ‘Is there any reason that – if we were doing a set of Siamese twins that were joined at the head – that we couldn’t put them into hypothermic arrest, at the appropriate time, when we’re likely to lose a lot of blood?’ and he said, ‘No way.’ I said, ‘Wow, this is great.’ Then I said, ‘Why am I putting my time into this? I’m not going to see any Siamese twins.’ So I kind of forgot about it, and lo and behold, two months later, along came these doctors from Germany, presenting this case of Siamese twins. And, I was asked for my opinion, and I then began to explain the techniques that should be used, and how we would incorporate hypothermic arrest, and everybody said ‘Wow! That sounds like it might work.’ And, my colleagues and I, a few of us went over to Germany. We looked at the twins. We actually put in scalp expanders, and five months later we brought them over and did the operation, and lo and behold, it worked.”
In describing his view on the Bible and the creation story described in the scriptures, Dr. Carson said:
You know, I’m proud of the fact that I believe what God has said, and I’ve said many times that I’ll defend it before anyone. If they want to criticize the fact that I believe in a literal, six-day creation, let’s have at it because I will poke all kinds of holes in what they believe. In the end it depends on where you want to place your faith – do you want to place your faith in what God’s word says, or do you want to place your faith in an invention of man. You’re perfectly welcome to choose. I’ve chosen the one I want.
(Born in 1929) Italian nuclear physicist and former President of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. He has worked with the Vatican on relations between the Church and Science.
(Born 16 October 1930) Ph.D.; an English theoretical physicist and Christian; Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1979.
Dr. Polkinghorne is the author of five books on physics and 26 on the relationship between science and religion. His publications include:
The Way the World is : The Christian Perspective of a Scientist (1984–revised 1992) ISBN 0-281-04597-6
One World (SPCK/Princeton University Press 1987; Templeton Foundation Press, 2007) ISBN 978-1-59947-111-2
Science and Creation (SPCK/New Science Library, 1989; Templeton Foundation Press, 2006) ISBN 978-1-59947-100-6
Science and Providence (SPCK/New Science Library, 1989; Templeton Foundation Press, 2006) ISBN 978-1-932031-92-8
Reason and Reality: Relationship Between Science and Theology (SPCK/Trinity Press International 1991) ISBN 978-0-281-04487-0
Quarks, Chaos and Christianity (1994; Second edition SPCK/Crossroad 2005) ISBN 0-281-04779-0
The Faith of a Physicist – published in the UK as Science and Christian Belief (1994) ISBN 0-691-03620-9
Serious Talk: Science and Religion in Dialogue (Trinity Press International/SCM Press, 1996) ISBN 978-1-56338-109-6
Scientists as Theologians (1996) ISBN 0-281-04945-9
Beyond Science: The wider human context (CUP 1996) ISBN 978-0-521-57212-5
Searching for Truth (Bible Reading Fellowship/Crossroad, 1996)
Belief in God in an Age of Science (Yale University Press, 1998) ISBN 0-300-08003-4
Science and Theology (SPCK/Fortress 1998) ISBN 0-8006-3153-6
Science and Christian Faith‘ (Conversation on CD with Canon John Young. York Courses)
Living with Hope (SPCK/Westminster John Knox Press, 2003)
Science and the Trinity: The Christian Encounter With Reality (2004) ISBN 0-300-10445-6 (a particularly accessible summary of his thought)
Exploring Reality: The Intertwining of Science & Religion (SPCK 2005) ISBN 0-300-11014-6
Quantum Physics & Theology: An Unexpected Kinship (SPCK 2007) ISBN 978-0-281-05767-2
From Physicist to Priest, an Autobiography (SPCK 2007 ISBN 978-0-281-05915-7)
Theology in the Context of Science (SPCK 2008 ISBN 978-0-281-05916-4)
Questions of Truth: Fifty-one Responses to Questions about God, Science and Belief, with Nicholas Beale; foreword by Antony Hewish (Westminster John Knox 2009) ISBN 978-0-664-23351-8
Reason and Reality: The Relationship Between Science and Theology (2011) SPCK ISBN 978-0-281-06400-7
Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (2011) SPCK ISBN 978-0-281-06412-0
Dr. Polkinghorne believes that science and religion are both aspects of the same reality.
“The question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality.”
Dr. Polkinghorne believes that standard physical causation cannot adequately describe the manifold ways, in which things and people interact and uses the phrase active information to describe the way in which several outcomes are possible; there may be higher levels of causation which ultimately chooses what the outcome will be.
“Does the concept of God make sense? If so, do we have reason for believing in such a thing?”
“The nearest analogy in the physical world [to God] would be … the Quantum Vacuum.”
Dr. Polkinghorne describes God as the ultimate answer to Leibniz’s great question, Why is there something rather than nothing?
“The atheist’s plain assertion of the world’s existence” is a grossly impoverished view of reality, …“theism explains more than a reductionist atheism can ever address.”
He is very doubtful of St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument. Referring to Gödel’s incompleteness theory, he said:
“If we cannot prove the consistency of arithmetic it seems a bit much to hope that God’s existence is easier to deal with.”
“The intelligibility of the universe: One would anticipate that evolutionary selection would produce hominid minds apt for coping with everyday experience, but that these minds should also be able to understand the subatomic world and general relativity goes far beyond anything of relevance to survival fitness. The mystery deepens when one recognizes the proven fruitfulness of mathematical beauty as a guide to successful theory choice.”
Regarding the current push for the multi-verse theory:
“There is just one universe which is the way it is in its anthropic fruitfulness because it is the expression of the purposive design of a Creator, who has endowed it with the finely tuned potentiality for life.”
(Born in 1930) A Ph.D. and a former research professor of Astronomy and the history of Science at Harvard University, as well as a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Dr. Gingrich has written many books on the history of Astronomy and the relationship between Science and Religion.
“There is a certain rationality behind the universe that also functions in our ability to understand it. It is wonderful all these deep and astonishing things that we learn in science, but the fact that we with our human minds can make sense of it, suggests to me that there is a larger underlying reality.”
Although Dr. Gingrich is a Theistic Evolutionist and may not agree with many other Creationists, he is an intelligent doctoral expert on Astronomy and God as the cause of the universe.
John T. Houghton
(Born in 1931) Ph.D. in Physics; recognized as one of the world’s great climatologists, as well as an incredible spokesman for the importance of the integration of faith and science; once the leading professors of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Oxford, and a committed evangelical Christian. The author of “Does God Play Dice?: A Look at the Story of the Universe,” 1988, and “The Search for God: Can Science Help?”
Some of the most incredible answers for the existence of God that I have heard in my Christian life, was given by a scientist, physicist, and Christian, Sir John Houghton, during an interview with Bill Moyers on the existence of God. The entire interview is about 25 minutes in length; but for the sake of space, I will include excerpts from that interview. I would encourage you to listen to the entire interview yourself here at this link. At the web site, click on the text that says “Interview” just to the left and under John Houghton’s picture.
The following is a few of the key points that were made from this incredible interview:
Bill Moyers: Here’s the questions I wrestle with, If God is the creator who created a universe which is, in so many ways, incomprehensible, even as you and I are sitting here, the—the galaxies that we can measure by telescopes have—have—have expanded another couple of million miles, right?
John Houghton: Sure. Sure. Yeah.
Bill Moyers: That’s so incomprehensible to me. Why did God keep so much of it secret? Why did he make it so hard to find out? Why did he not reveal what is to us incomprehensible?
John Houghton: I would just turn that around and say: Why is it that we actually can comprehend so much? Because it was Einstein who said, you know, the most incomprehensible thing about the universe it that it appears to be comprehensible. And when you think of the fact that we can, as human beings, we have the ability to understand, to some degree, the basic equations and mathematical structure and all those things which are the basis of the– of the universe and its cosmology and the Big Bang and all those things, the very little particles and the enormous galaxies and– and all those, we can get to grips with some of it. And that’s very remarkable.
Because why should– we have that propensity and that capability? We’re just very small creatures on a minute ball in the middle of this very vast universe. And yet we have that propensity. Why do we have that? It’s very hard to see that evolving in any way, although we may find scientific reasons for why– why we’ve, you know, the way God makes things make themselves.
Bill Moyers: Made things make themselves?
John Houghton: Well, God has made things that make themselves. And that’s very clever. You know, if you make something– you know, a gadget, I was involved in the early days of space instrumentation, you know, making space devices. And, of course, you had to throw them into space, and then you couldn’t touch them at all afterwards. So you had to make sure that they lived on, whatever happened.
Bill Moyers: Was this the notion that you came about of God, the watchmaker? God makes the watch and then lets it run on its own?
John Houghton: Well, that’s part of that story. But it’s cleverer than that. Because, you see, watches don’t make watches. They don’t make actual watches. But God is actually– God’s creation, you find things that or– the ways in which the whole, you know, basic structure of science operates– and astronomy.
…And you think, well, there is God going through a very long process, taking billions of years– in order to create something like the Earth. He doesn’t do it overnight. But he– he built into the very structure of the universe absolute basic, you know, el– particles and the elements or things that make the particles work. God is a– is a story — is a story of things that are making themselves.
Bill Moyers: So is God the name of what we don’t know?
John Houghton: You say we don’t know– I– but I would say God is the name of a person we can know. It’s this knowledge of God which– I mean, if we don’t– if– if we just call God or put the name of God on– everything we don’t know, that’s a very big mistake.
That’s a mistake the people who talk about intelligent design make, in a way. They say, “We don’t know about things which are going on in the natural world. We don’t understand various things and the process in which life has come into being or of the creatures who have come into being. So we’ll put God as the name called intelligent design as the name on some of those little bits.” And that’s making God far too small. Because God is the great intelligent designer. The whole thing is intelligent design.
Bill Moyers: But when you say “God,” what are you saying?
John Houghton: I am saying the intelligence behind the universe, the person– the one who’s created it all, the one who’s responsible for it all, the one who’s put it all together, and the one who– and you see, I suppose– later on as I began to talk and write about science and faith, I began to think, well, God isn’t just the mathematician behind it all. He’s not just the engineer behind it all.
If God is going to be the greatest being we can ever know, you know, the old definition of Anselm years ago saying God is the greatest conceivable being, well, then God has to be a person, too. Because we have this personality, which we don’t all– altogether understand. We have this consciousness. We have this ability to relate to other people. We have this ability to be aware of ourselves. And if we are like that and God is the greatest possible being, then God must be like that, too.
Bill Moyers: But isn’t that, you know, the old term “anthropomorphic”? Are we not reading into this intelligence you described, which no one has ever seen, our own description of a person?
John Houghton: Of course. And that’s because that’s the only thing we can do. We have– we can’t- we have to come from the bottom up, in a sense, because we can’t come from the top down because that’s impossible. So we have to– if you accept that God is the creator, the great creator, the one who’s made it all, then I can learn about him from the creation. In other words I can also learn about him from the way he’s made me. And if God has made me or God has created the means to make me which involves consciousness, self-awareness, and personality, all those things, then God must have those attributes, too.
Bill Moyers: You’re saying that you believe the story of a figure who was crucified, buried, and resurrected is a literal story?
John Houghton: Yes.
Bill Moyers: It actually happened?
John Houghton: I believe that actually happened. And–
Bill Moyers: But if, in all of recorded history, there’s only one example of someone being born, dying, and resurrected, then that’s a obviously abnormal, out of the normal–
John Houghton: Sure.
Bill Moyers: –out of the natural pattern. And are you saying that, as a scientist, you can accept that kind of abnorm—abnormality as part of the normal creation of God’s intelligent design?
John Houghton: Well, part of God’s creation, I don’t understand the resurrection, of course, because it’s a most unusual event. And– Jesus had a body which– is described in the New Testament which is– which is the same but different. And that’s very interesting, very exciting actually.
Bill Moyers: You mean different after the resurrection–
John Houghton: Different after the resurrection. Sure.
John Houghton: Now can I just go back to the– you know, the way science operates? Because the great discoveries in science have often been made by people who’ve seen something unusual which they couldn’t describe scientifically.
This Henri Becquerel and his discovery of radioactivity. He had some photographic plates lying around in the lab, you see? And these were fogged plates. Well, a normal scientist would just take those fogged plates and dump them in the wastepaper– dump them in the waste basket, saying they just got fogged up. Better get some more. He said, “Why are those plates got fogged?” And so he discovered radioactivity.
Now, if you’ve– if you see something like the resurrection, you say, “Is there some reason why I should take that seriously?” If it’s just an even that happened or not happened and it makes no difference, well, the– you say scientifically I– it doesn’t matter. But does it really impact on your life as a whole and your thought as a whole, your belief and emotions as a whole and the way that that does, then that’s something which you’ve gotta take seriously. And the more you take it seriously, the more you realize that this is part of God’s big story.
Bill Moyers: Well, help me to get to that, because I’m talking to a man whose life has been devoted to– to science, to observation and experimentation of the natural world, the world–
John Houghton: Sure.
Bill Moyers: –that we can see and feel and discover through reality, material reality. Talking about something that has to be ascribed to the supernatural world, right?
John Houghton: The supernatural and the natural are very closely connected.
Bill Moyers: How so?
John Houghton: Well, the illustration I’ve used in my– from my books is you– or the metaphor I’ve used is you know that God is in another dimension. And I found that a very useful analogy.
Bill Moyers: Yes. As you told your students for years that God was the fifth dimension. Help me to understand what you mean by that.
John Houghton: Well, we live in this world, which is– three dimensions of space, one dimension of time. The remarkable thing that Albert Einstein did in his theory of relativity was to say, “Let’s call time the fourth dimension. And let’s make time look like space.” Which you do by multiplying by, you know, the velocity of light and the square root of minus one. And that sounds magic, but it makes the equations fit together in a remarkable way. And calling time the fourth dimension, revolutionized physics.
Bill Moyers: Right.
John Houghton: Made a tremendous difference the way we look at the concept of the whole universe, right from the very little to the very big. And that was a remarkable, you know– jump in ideas and in conception. And there’s a metaphor there, you see? You were using dimensions.
And we often ask the question– I’ve often tried to ask the question Where is God? You see? We live in this word of three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, the four dimensional space/time, as we call it. And somehow we imagine that’s all there is. You know?
We live in a very materialistic world, a very materialistic environment, materialistic ideas. And we imagine and some people actually say that is all there is. But let’s suppose that there is another dimension, a fifth dimension, if you like, I mean, where– where God is. How can we think of God in that way? I find it a very helpful analogy of how to think of God when God’s outside the universe. But he can come within it any time he wishes. He’s actually– make himself present anywhere. And he does that. He keeps it all going.
Bill Moyers: The fifth dimension is the spiritual dimension.
John Houghton: The spiritual dimension. That’s right.
Bill Moyers: It is a– essentially unknowable by scientific criteria, right?
John Houghton: That’s a-to strong a statement. Because– you know, science can address all our thinking and can address what goes on in my brain and what goes on in my thoughts. And there’s another– I’ve been thinking recently about how one– how hard we think of our consciousness and our– that sort of thing. You know, the mental dimension as well, which is out there. Which describes our mental processes, our thoughts, the way we create thoughts, the way we imagine things and so on. Which are not material in the sense of being in space and time. They’re outside the material, and yet they are very real.
Bill Moyers: John Houghton, thank you very much for being with me.
John Houghton: Thank you very much for asking me.
(Born December 24, 1931) Ph.D. in Cosmic Ray Physics in 1956. Today, a retired particle physicist, who previously held the position of Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Open University. Awarded the Templeton Prize for significant contributions to the field of spiritual values.
Creator of a short series in 2010 entitled “Boundaries of the Knowable,” dealing with subjects from both scientific and philosophical perspectives—ranging from the nature of consciousness; the nature of matter, space, and time; the wave-particle duality of matter; the (alleged) existence of extra-terrestrial life; and the question of “What caused the Big Bang?”
During an Interview by Nigel Bovey with Dr. Russell Stannard on “Faith v. Science,” the following are a few of the excerpts from that interview:
Nigel Bovey: To what extent can science prove the existence of God?
Russell Stannard: “Many people are searching for something spiritual but feel they cannot look to traditional religion because it has been caught out by science in the past. They think, for example, that Christianity has been shown to be untenable for any intelligent, well-informed person. And if they are to have a spiritual life, they want one with intellectual integrity. So if ‘becoming religious’ entails accepting the Adam and Eve story literally and turning one’s back on evolution, Big Bang and stuff like that, they feel they cannot make a stand because it would be living a lie.
Science is not an obstacle to religious belief. Much of science is as irrelevant to religious belief as it is irrelevant to the likes of music or poetry. Science cannot, for example, account for the resurrection. Science supports religion but not in the sense that you look to science for proof of God. There are interpretations of the Bible which are completely consistent with modern science.”
Nigel Bovey: How would you describe your style of faith?
Russell Stannard: “I am an orthodox (with a small ‘o’) Christian. I believe in the resurrection of Christ. I believe in life beyond death. I see great value in the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe Jesus was fully man and fully God. Perhaps, as a scientist, it’s easier to believe these two states can coexist. After all, Einstein once showed how, under certain conditions, a particle can be both confined to a point and at the same time a spread-out wave.”
Nigel Bovey: Staying with planet Earth, though, how do you read the Biblical account of Adam and Eve–as true or as truth?
Russell Stannard: “The Adam and Eve story tells us important spiritual truths about ourselves. Perhaps the most important of which is that basically people are selfish. Self-centred. Greedy. We are disobedient to God’s will. We want to do things our way rather than his. Adam and Eve have access to all the fruit trees apart from one. And yet that is the one they want to go for. Why? Because they think they are the only ones who matter. Because of their disobedience, and because we are their sons and daughters, humankind is tainted with the same brush. From the moment of conception, we have this tendency to be sinful. What the Adam and Eve story shows us is that no matter how hard you try to cocoon a baby away from evil influences, that child will be selfish and will rebel against God – will sin.”
Nigel Bovey: What about the creation of the universe? Does believing in the Big Bang mean there isn’t a creator God? Or is there no contest because it was God who caused the Big Bang?
Russell Stannard: “It is more complicated than that, because in scientific terms the Big Bang is a very special kind of explosion. At first we might think it is like the biggest explosion that has ever happened in the world; that it went off at a particular point in space and at a particular point in time. And if you’re lucky you might get into a spacecraft and go off into outer space and eventually come across a blue plaque that says: THE BIG BANG HAPPENED HERE. It’s not like that at all, because the Big Bang marked not only the coming into existence of the contents of the universe, but also the coming into existence of space and the coming into existence of time…”
Nigel Bovey: How does this help our view of a God who created the universe?
Russell Stannard: “Well, it gets rid of a very commonly held view that God, who has existed through all time, at some point decides to create humans and somewhere for them to live by lighting a blue touch paper and boom, we’re on our way. That idea has to be scrubbed. Scientifically, there is no time before the Big Bang so there is no God before the Big Bang. It doesn’t make sense. Linguistically it seems to make sense to think of God existing before the Big Bang but scientifically it doesn’t make sense.
So does that get rid of a creator God? No, because what one has to do is make a very clear distinction between two words, which in normal everyday conversation we muddle up. Those two words are ‘origins’ and ‘creation’. If we’re thinking about origins, then we’re asking how did something originate. If we’re asking how did the universe originate then go to a scientist and he’ll talk about Big Bang.
If on the other hand we’re talking about creation, we have totally different questions in mind: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why are we here now? What is responsible for our existence, what is keeping us in existence? And the religious answer is the Ground of All Being – that which we call God. And, as such, God sustains us through time. This is why when theologians talk about God the creator they normally couple it with the idea of God the sustainer, because God’s creativity is something that is required throughout time. I see the world as past, present and future and that God is upholding it all equally at all instances of time.”
R. J. Berry
(Born 26 October, 1934) Ph.D.; an English geneticist and Christian; a professor of genetics at University College London from 1974-2000. Dr. Berry spoke at the 1997–98 Glasgow Gifford Lectures entitled Gods, Genes, Greens and Everything.
Inheritance and Natural History. New Naturalist series no. 61 (1977)
The Natural History of Shetland. New Naturalist series no. 64 (1980)
The Natural History of Orkney. New Naturalist series no. 70 (1985)
Genes in Ecology (ed. R.J. Berry, T.J. Crawford, G.M. Hewitt, N.R. Webb) (1992) ISBN 0-521-54936-1
Islands. New Naturalist series no. 109 (2009) ISBN 978-0-00-726737-8
God and the Biologist: Personal Exploration of Science and Faith (Apollos 1996) ISBN 0-85111-446-6
Science, Life and Christian Belief: A Survey of Contemporary Issues (IVP 1998) (preface by Berry) ISBN 0-8010-2226-6
The Care of Creation: Focusing Concern and Action (IVP 2000) (edited by Berry) ISBN 0-8308-1556-2
God’s Book of Works: The Nature and Theology of Nature (T & T Clark International 2003) ISBN 0-567-08915-0 (Gifford Lectures 1997-98)
“Did Darwin Kill God?” in God for the 21st Century, Russell Stannard ed., Templeton Foundation Press, 2000, ISBN 1-890151-39-4
God and Evolution: Creation, Evolution, and the Bible (Regent College Publishing 2001) ISBN 1-57383-173-5
Creation and Evolution, Not Creation or Evolution (2007, Faraday Institute Paper no. 12)
Excerpts from an interview by Peter Harper and Dr. Sam Berry, February 2, 2005, at the Galton Laboratory, London, England.
Peter Harper: The topic I wanted just to bring up is one you have written about, otherwise I wouldn’t bring it up. This is the relationship of science and religion. I haven’t been asking people I have seen anything personal, but as it’s something you have written about it is important. Some people have felt that science and orthodox religion are incompatible. Where do you come to rest in this situation?
Dr. Sam Berry: I regard myself as wholly orthodox. From the religious Christian point view I would say I was fairly straight down the line.
Dr. Sam Berry: Well I would begin from the Bible. That sounds frightfully fundamentalist, but if you accept that the Bible is the revelation of God you can then ask, is there any actual distortion between the biblical record and the scientific record? Now you know the stories that the world was created in 4004 and all the rest of it. 4004 BC.
Peter Harper: Yes.
Dr. Sam Berry: The Bible doesn’t actually say that. It says God created it. I wrote years ago a little book called “Adam and the Ape”, which was directed at kids brought up to believe the Bible. They then have a scientific account at school, which is very different. They are told one of two things. Either forget the Bible, or you mustn’t believe what these scientists are saying, they are all atheists.
Peter Harper: Yes, but there must be a lot of people around who would say that you have to interpret the Bible as it is written, rather than as it might have been written today.
Dr. Sam Berry: Well, you’ve got to see what it’s actually saying, rather than what you think it’s saying. It doesn’t actually say that life begins at fertilisation. I have written a paper on virgin birth. Would you like a reprint?
Peter Harper: I would love one. What was your conclusion though?
Dr. Sam Berry: Basically, I would say that the virgin birth was theologically necessary, because the whole point was to bring the divine and the human together. Theologically there is no great problem in having a woman to get pregnant by the spirit in rather crude terms. The virgin birth tends to get rejected out of hand on the grounds that it was biologically impossible. If you have parthenogenesis, the offspring must be the same sex. So I then went into speculation about testicular, whatever it is.
Peter Harper: Feminisation?
Dr. Sam Berry: Well, not feminisation, when you are not resistant to testosterone, so you have the wrong phenotype?
Peter Harper: Yes it is testicular feminisation.
Dr. Sam Berry: Yes, well I suppose it is, yes. So if Mary was really an XY testicular fem, and she got parthenogenecised, the child would be XY. The thing is you can actually dream up a mechanism that could make it work.
Peter Harper: Do you feel the need to dream those mechanisms up?
Dr. Sam Berry: No. The whole point was directed to your non-believer who said this is impossible. I’m saying it is biologically possible. It is beyond normal likelihood, but it is still possible, so don’t rule it out on the grounds of impossibility. Do you remember the Bishop of Durham?
Peter Harper: Yes.
Dr. Sam Berry: David Jenkins. When he was first going to be Bishop he was going around saying, scientists are telling you this that and the other, and miracles are impossible to believe. It was a time when I was President of the Linnean, and a group of us wrote to the Times saying it’s absolute nonsense to rule out miracles on statistical probability. By the very definition of a miracle it’s way out statistically. This letter was in due course published at the end of July, when everyone was on holiday. However John Maddox read it and wrote a leader in Nature saying that the religious beliefs of scientists is entirely a personal matter, but here you have a group of eminent people (two or three Vice Chancellors, that sort of thing), saying that miracles are possible. They will be believing in flying saucers next. He then had a fair amount of flak from various people. In all fairness he published quite a number of letters saying he was wrong, we were right. Then he took me out to lunch and said would I write an article on miracles. So I wrote a 3,000 word essay on miracles, which was duly published in Nature and has been reprinted in all sorts of symposia around the place ever since. So that’s when I got involved in miracles, as it were, and the virgin birth was really a sort of spin off from that.
(Born March 12, 1936) Ph.D.; Mathematical Physicist; Professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Cracow, Poland; serves as a lecturer of science and logic at the Theological Institute in Tarnów.
His current research is concerned with the singularity problem in general relativity and the use of non-commutative geometry in seeking the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. He has published nearly 200 scientific papers, not only in general relativity and relativistic cosmology but also in philosophy and the history of science and theology; as well as the author of more than 20 books.
In March 2008, Dr. Heller was awarded the $1.6 million USD (£820,000) Templeton Prize for his extensive philosophical and scientific probing of the “big questions.” His works have sought to reconcile the “known scientific world with the unknowable dimensions of God.”
“If we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about the cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the great blueprint of God’s thinking about the universe; the question on ultimate causality: why is there something rather than nothing? When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes. Science is but a collective effort of the human mind to read the mind of God from question marks out of which we and the world around us seem to be made.”
An interview with Michael Heller at the John Templeton Foundation 2008 Templeton Prize Laureate. The following are some of the excerpts from that interview:
Question: You believe that science does nothing else but explore God’s creation, and you quote Leibniz, “When God calculates and thinks things through, the world is made.” Could you expand on that?
Dr. Michael Heller: When Einstein published the general theory of relativity in 1915, he created, in fact, a new world. After a great struggle, he wrote his equations on the gravitational field, and in the next decades, physicists and mathematicians discovered a lot of new solutions to his equations. Some of the solutions described such things as gravitational waves, black holes, cosmic strings, dark energy, and dark matter. When he was writing his equations for the first time, Einstein did not have the slightest idea about the existence of these objects, and now almost all of them have been discovered by astronomers. A new world was created by Einstein’s calculations and mathematical analyses, and I think it is a good illustration of Leibniz’s saying.
Question: When considering causality in relation to the universe, you ask if the universe needs to have a cause. Quoting Leibniz again, you ask, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”
Dr. Michael Heller: Yes, in the entirety of physics, we are searching for the causes of the present order of nature. This applies especially in cosmology, which has a tendency toward what I would call ultimate explanation. This tendency is encoded in our very method, which says that we should never give up, never surrender. If there is a new problem to be solved, we must try. If one method is not adequate, we should look for other methods. If we conclude that a certain method is the end of our possibilities, it means the end of science. But there is a problem: if we are ultimately to explain the universe, we must go outside the universe. This makes it look as if we have reached the limits of the scientific method.
Question: You once suggested that the nature of the Big Bang is a purely scientific problem, but that the really important question is, “Where do the laws of physics come from?” Can that question ever be answered?
Dr. Michael Heller: There have been some attempts to answer the question. You probably are aware of recent speculation about the multiverse concept. Adherents of this view say that if we assume that all possible universes somehow exist and are characterized by all possible sets of laws of physics, all possibilities are on an equal footing. Then there is no answer concerning where the laws of physics come from, because everything is possible—it is complete chaos. We live in this orderly universe, they say, because in other universes there was no chance for us to come into being; biological evolution requires certain regular conditions to begin. This is an attempt to answer the question of the origin of the laws of physics, but in my view, it is a hopeless attempt. It is not science but rather complete science fiction.
Question: How should we understand the discipline that has become known as the theology of science? What is its importance?
Dr. Michael Heller: Generally speaking, by the theology of science I would mean contemplating or reflecting upon science with the help of theological method. It has to take account of the fact that not everything in the world can be investigated by science and that theology and philosophy can address other aspects of the world, such as values. Science gives us knowledge, and religion gives us meaning. Both are prerequisites of the decent existence. Science without religion is not meaningless but lame. For instance, scientific method says nothing about whether the world has been created or not, because the concept of creation goes beyond scientific method. But the concept of creation is well within the reach of theological method, so if you investigate the world with the help of theological method, if you contemplate the world as being created, this is a sort of theology of science.
Question: How has your intellectual career affected your faith? What is the difference between how you perceive God now and how you imagined God fifty years ago?
Dr. Michael Heller: Of course, I never had an idea of God as an old man with a beard and things like that. Such notions were excluded from my childhood because my father and mother were too intelligent to admit such images. Nevertheless, my imagination—just an average imagination—led me to think of some super-being. Now I think God is both transcendent and immanent in the world, that God is present in every law of nature, in every motion of an atom, everywhere.
As time passes, I like more and more the so-called apophatic theology, which was characteristic of the Greek church fathers. It is also deeply rooted in Orthodox Christianity. Apophatic theology holds that everything we say about God is by negation. Because I like mathematics, I also like to regard God as infinity—not only as far as numerical infinity is concerned but, let us say, in an apophatic way. Even for a mathematician, the word “infinity” is in-finity, the negation of finity. It is difficult to speak about these matters because to put transcendence into words is to betray it.
Question: You are publishing a new book this year, written with George Coyne, entitled A Comprehensible Universe: The Interplay of Science and Theology, exploring the mystery of rationality. Can you say something about it?
Dr. Michael Heller: The title goes back to Einstein, who always used to say that the most incomprehensible thing is the comprehensibility of the universe. This comprehensibility is a miracle that we will never understand. So George Coyne and I explore this from the historical perspective. It is a small book, based on lectures on the philosophy of physics that I gave at the Jagiellonian University. We explore the comprehensibility of the universe and suggest that, from the philosophical point of view, you can say nothing more than what Einstein said. From the theological point of view, however, we can go further and say that the universe is comprehensible because the act of creation was a rational act.
A question and answer session with Michael Heller on March 12, 2008 by Amanda Gefter, at New Scientist:
Amanda Gefter: Why is it so important to you to combine the two fields of science and religion?
Michael Heller: My father used to say that it is important to combine science and religion because these are the two most important activities for the future of humanity. Science gives us knowledge of the world and religion gives us meaning.
Amanda Gefter: In your statement today you said: “Things thought through by God should be identified with mathematical structures interpreted as structures of the world.” Does that mean that you see mathematics as the language of God?
Michael Heller: In a word, yes. One of my heroes is Leibniz, the great philosopher of the 17th century. In the margin of his work entitled Dialogus there is a short handwritten remark in Latin that says, “When God calculates and thinks things through, the world is made.” My philosophy is encapsulated in that.
Amanda Gefter: The Templeton Foundation has said that you “initiated what can be justly termed the theology of science.” What is the theology of science?
Michael Heller: Science is about investigating the world. The method of physics is selective – some aspects of the world are investigated by physics and some are not. Anything that cannot be put into mathematical structures is transparent to the methods of physics. But theology and philosophy can look at the same universe with different eyes; they can contemplate other aspects of the world, such as values. In my view theology of science should take into account that not everything in the world can be investigated by science.
Amanda Gefter: You have done a lot of research into whether the universe requires a cause. Have you come up with an answer?
Michael Heller: I recently wrote a book on this called The Ultimate Explanations of the Universe. Cause and effect is one of the most important explanations in the sciences. For any physical process you can always discover a sequence of states such that a preceding state is a cause for a following state which is its effect, and there is always a physical law which describes how this process develops. If you ask about the cause of the universe you’re really asking, what is the cause of physical laws? Then you’re back to Leibniz. He asked, why is there something rather than nothing? My answer is that indeed the universe needs a cause but this cause is unlike any other cause investigated by science because it is the cause of existence itself.
(Born in 1937) A Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University; a noted American physicist at Carnegie Mellon University; an evangelical Christian who believes that God created the universe.
(Born in 1937) Noted botanist involved in the Eden Project, which is pictured. He is also the current President of Christians in Science.
(Born on January 10, 1938) A computer scientist and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. He is the author of the seminal multi-volume work, “The Art of Computer Programming.” Knuth has been called the “father” of the analysis of algorithms.
Author of 3:16 Bible Text Illuminated, where Dr. Knuth examines chapter 3:16 from every book of the Bible.
“…I personally believe now that God is alive in many ways, but I do believe, you know, I do believe that God is somehow, mysteriously, involved with our universe, and that underlies a lot of what I do, and I also know I will never be able to prove it, but I’m thankful that I could never prove it, because if it was proved, I think then I would lose interest in the whole subject; there would be no mystery, and no interest in it.”
(Born on May, 1941) A Ph.D. in Physics; he is a British physicist; the former Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science and a current Director of Research at Cambridge University; professor of Experimental Physics at the Royal Institution in London; and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was President of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in 2002 and 2003. His research interests include “all aspects of electron microscopy and analysis, semiconductors (particularly gallium nitride), ultra-high temperature aerospace materials and superconductors.”
Also a Christian Author, Dr. Humphreys has written two books: “The Miracles of Exodus,” and “The Mystery of the Last Supper.”
“I think scientists see the world slightly differently. To me, Christianity is a very logical and reasonable faith. When I read the Bible, I tend to look for natural explanations. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in miracles but that I think God often works in and through nature to achieve his purpose. Often the miracle is in the timing of an event. And there are some things, like the resurrection of Jesus or the virgin birth, for which we can’t give a scientific explanation and which certainly are miracles.”
A Ph.D. from Yale university; Dr. Suppe is a Professor of Geology at National Taiwan University and Princeton University, specializing in structural geology and tectonics, writing two important papers on Geometry and Kinematics of “fault-bending folding.” Dr. Suppe participated in analyzing the images from Venus taken by the Magellan mission. Awards include: Best Publication Award in Structural Geology and Tectonics from the Geological Society of America in 1986, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal from the Yale Graduate School in 2007, and the Career Contribution Award in Structural Geology and Tectonics from the Geological Society of America in 2008. Dr. Suppe is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences since 1995.
In addition to his vast academic achievements in the science of Geology, Dr. Suppe is a Christian who believes in God, Creation, and the Bible.
The following are a few excerpts from Dr. John Suppe, from his article entitled: “Thoughts on the Epistemology of Christianity in Light of Science.”
Science and religion are commonly considered antithetical. The scientific enterprise leads to rational knowledge that is the acme of human knowing, whereas religious knowledge is viewed as dogma and faith without a rational basis. This assessment has of course been quite strong in intellectual circles over the last few centuries, but it seems to be breaking down somewhat as we move into the “post-modern era”. For example it has become widely appreciated that science has some strongly intuitive elements that might be characterized as a kind of faith. Nevertheless, scientific knowledge is still generally held to be the epitome of rationally based knowledge.
In contrast, I believe there are some significant parallels between Christian and scientific knowing that lie at the very core of contingent epistemology. Specifically, observation and interaction are fundamental to both Christian and scientific knowledge.
…Therefore if we want to consider the possibility of God we must seriously consider claims that God interacts and communicates with us. Otherwise we are functionally atheists.
Thus, we are thrown into a realm that makes many intellectuals, including many Christians, uncomfortable–the supernatural. God interacting with us in recognizable ways is always in some sense supernatural. If you are uncomfortable with the supernatural then forget about knowledge of God. If you don’t like electromagnetic radiation, forget about astronomy.
Saying that we must consider the supernatural to address the issue of God, does not mean that we necessarily have to suddenly open a Pandora’s box of unrestrained weirdness. The minimum requirement is simply that information be transmitted between God and man in recognizable ways. For information to be recognizably from God requires that it be in some sense unnatural. Thus if we are seriously interested in the possibility of God we must be open to the possibility of such phenomena as answered prayer, God speaking in language to and through us, God acting specifically through nature, and even incarnation of God. Otherwise our lack of knowledge of God simply follows from our presupposition of excluding the possibility of God’s communication and interaction.
Christianity claims to be observationally, historically based. Its claims include  that God communicates in language to and through people (e.g., Moses, Baalam, Samuel, Jeremiah, Amos, John, Ananias, etc. “Thus says Yahweh…” and “My sheep hear my voice”),  that God acts in history (e.g., Exodus, Song of Deborah, rescue of Jerusalem under Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat), and  that God has come to Earth as a man, Jesus.
Philip claimed that Jesus is the fulfillment of Messianic prophesy. Nathanael is among those that take Messianic prophecy seriously; that is, he is open to the possibility of God’s action in history… Nathanael doubts the observational report of Philip, yet is willing to “come and see”, i.e., it is important enough to him to make the investigation. Jesus tells Nathanael something that is apparently known only to Nathanael. Nathanael concludes that Jesus is the Messiah.
Claim: Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophets.
Specific doubt: He can’t be, he’s from wrong place.
Rejoinder: He can be, he knows something only the Messiah can know.
A number of similar robust observational truth claims are presented in the Bible, for example “the woman at the well” (John 4), “Ananias and Saul in Damascus” (Acts 9), and “Peter, Cornelius, and the believers in Jerusalem” (Acts 10-11). In each case, given the circumstances, the observation could only take place if there is a spiritual causal connection.
Evaluation of Truth Claims by Observational Repeatability
“We have not yet addressed the issue of verifying observational claims and truth claims based on them. It is often considered that verification in science comes from repeatability, that experimental results can be checked by redoing the experiments. In fact, few experiments or observations in science are redone. Repeatability appears to not be as important in science as is sometimes claimed. In many cases major scientific conclusions have been made based on single, unrepeated observations. What appears to be the case is that working scientists accept experimental results by analogy. If we have done similar experiments or have made analogous observations we can make evaluations of the experiments and observations of others. We do not have to do identical experiments or redo our own experiments or observations if we are reasonably experienced scientists. Most scientists have only a very limited body of first-hand experimental or observational knowledge. We accept, or reject, accounts of experience of others based on our own analogous experience as well as on theoretical considerations. The fact that the scientific community is knit together by a mesh of overlapping analogous experience allows us to make use of knowledge that is not based on first-hand observation.
Moving to the Christian community of knowledge, we may be inclined to accept, or reject, certain accounts of answered prayer or other accounts of God’s interaction and communication–whether Biblical or not–based on the extent of our common analogous experience. Commonly it has been held that miracles are untestable because of their unique, unrepeatable character. This is not a strong argument to those who have experienced miracles. If I have had an analogous experience, I am more inclined to accept an account of a similar experience. It does not have to be an identical or repeatable experience.
If the Biblical truth claims are indeed true it seems reasonable to think that God would continue to communicate and interact with humans in post New Testament times.
…There are substantial claims from Christian literature that God continues to interact and communicate in a variety of ways, with the Biblical text as the canonical standard of Christian experience.
Claims of God’s specific interaction and communication appear to be widespread right up to the present. Indeed they are perhaps more widespread now than any time in history; both because of the rapid worldwide growth of Christianity and because of widespread communication. The Gallup poll indicates that a significant percentage of Americans claim to have had a ‘religious experience’. A study of contemporary religious experience in Britain indicates widespread claims of Christian religious experience.”
The entire article of Dr. Suppe is available here.
(Born on November 7, 1943) A Ph.D. in Mathematics; considered one of the world’s leading experts on Solar Magnetohydrodynamics, which is the study of the subtle and often nonlinear interaction between the sun’s magnetic field and its plasma interior or atmosphere, treated as a continuous medium. Priest is an applied mathematician and, along with the other members of his research group at St. Andrews, is currently investigating a large number of solar phenomena.
As an applied mathematician, his research interests involve constructing mathematical models for the subtle and complex ways in which magnetic fields interact with plasmas in the atmosphere of the Sun and in more exotic cosmic objects. In particular, he is trying to understand how the corona of the Sun is heated to several million degrees and how magnetic energy is converted into other forms in solar flares.
Professor Priest has received a number of academic awards for his research, including the:
James Arthur Prize Lecturer at Harvard University (2000)
Hale Prize of the American Astronomical Society (2002)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2002)
Gold Medal for Astrophysics of the Royal Astronomical Society (2009)
Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Dr. Priest is also an accomplished Christian who has written extensively on the questions and relativity of Science and Religion working together.
“The Question ‘Should We Trust Science or God?’ suggests that Science and Religion are at War. But this is to misunderstand the nature of both Science & Religion and also to misread the history of science: For example, it is not true that, when Darwin proposed his theory, all scientists supported it and all Christians opposed it – in fact many scientists did not accept it and many Christians did!
For me, Science and Religion are instead complementary in what they tell us about life. Science has revealed the incredible beauty of Universe. The Way of Scientist is not cold, purely logical, or arrogant but it is a voyage of discovery, which involves openness, creativity, imagination and often leads to a sense of wonder and also humility (as we realism how little we know).
In other words, the Way of Science is very similar in its nature to the Way of Faith. Both Science & Religion can point us to God and so should be consistent.”
The following text is from a lecture given by Dr. Priest on the topic: Trusting in Science or in God?, at St. Andrews University Chapel, Jan 25, 2009. This was in response to an article by Stephen Hawking, where he claimed that the universe was not created by God.
“Stephen Hawking makes the claim that it is not necessary to invoke God as the creator of the universe and the assertion that physics alone made it. He may be correct in his first statement, but to rule out a possibly important role for God is in my view unjustified. It is certainly possible that God sets up and maintains or underpins the laws of physics and allows them to work, so that being able to explain the big bang in terms of physics is not inconsistent with there being a role for God.
As a scientist, you are continually questioning, rarely coming up with a definitive answer. The limitations of your own knowledge and expertise together with the beauty and mystery of life and the universe often fill you with a sense of profound humility. Thus, unequivocal assertions are not part of a genuine scientific quest.
Mathematics as applied to physics may be the queen of sciences according to Carl Friedrich Gauss, but it does not answer every scientific question. Chemistry, biology, psychology and the social sciences have their own ways of analyzing the nature of reality which are complementary to those of physics and mathematics: indeed, they are not reducible to physics but their insights emerge at their own level of complexity.
Furthermore, many of the questions that are most crucial to us as human beings are not addressed adequately at all by science, such as the nature of beauty and love and how to live one’s life – often philosophy or history or theology are better suited to help answer them.
The complementary nature of different questions and in particular of the difference between how and why are important. If the Multi-universe theory does indeed turn out to enable a unified theory, Hawking may be able in future to say how the universe started, but as a physicist he cannot answer the question why the universe started.”
Author’s note: At the present time, the multi-verse theory is not a valid candidate for answering how the universe began. We can observe a clear design from the initial moments of the universe that there was a purposeful intent to cause the expanding structure of the Cosmos to be finely tuned for life. This initial purpose has been maintained all throughout the nearly 14 billion-year history of the universe. The multi-verse theory is so far out of the range of possible candidates for an explanation of the existence of the present universe, that even the calculations themselves cannot be tested. Cosmology does not have the ability to see past a certain point in the observable universe which, by itself, makes the postulation for a multi-verse unreasonable.
Henry F. Schaefer, III
(Born on June 8, 1944) A Ph.D.; computational and theoretical chemist, who was the 6th most quoted chemist from 1981 to 1997. Dr. Schaefer is a defendant and advocate for intelligent design, describing himself primarily as a proponent of Jesus. A Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.
Dr. Schafer wrote “Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?” A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. He was awarded the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry in 1979.
There is an interesting Lecture by Dr. Henry Schafer called “Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?”
Dr. Schaefer wrote the Foreword in Michael Behe’s book, “Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design.”
“For over a century, the scientific establishment has ignored challenges to the theory of evolution. But in the last decade such complacency about its scientific and philosophical foundations has been shaken. As cracks in the Darwinian edifice have begun to appear, many are asking whether a defensible alternative exists. In response to this growing crisis, a movement has emerged among scholars exploring the possibility of intelligent design as an explanatory theory in scientific descriptions of the universe.”
(Born in 1945) Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1970; a professor of Physics and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and is a member of the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics. Dr. Primack specializes in relativistic quantum field theory, cosmology, and particle astrophysics. He is also involved in supercomputer simulations of dark matter models. He directs the University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC). Primack is best known for his co-authorship with George Blumenthal, Sandra Moore Faber, and Martin Rees of the theory of cold dark matter (CDM) in 1984.
The View From the Center of the Universe by Joe Primack and Nancy Abrams.
“[Modern cosmology] tells us that the universe encompasses all size scales, so any serious concept of God must at least do as much. ‘God’ must therefore mean something different on different size-scales yet encompass all of them. ‘All-loving’, ‘all-knowing’, ‘all-everything-we-humans-do-only-partially-well’ may suggest God-possibilities on the human size-scale, but what about all the other scales? What might God mean on the galactic scale, or the atomic? A God disconnected from this amazing universe that science is revealing would be a God entirely of the imagination—in fact, well worked over by many imaginations. But a God that arises from our scientific understanding is not entirely created by us. Such a God runs deeper than humankind’s imagination and is speaking in some way for the universe itself.”
A quote by Joe Primack from National Geographic News:
“In the last few years astronomy has come together so that we’re now able to tell a coherent story” of how the universe began, Primack said. “This story does not contradict God, but instead enlarges [the idea of] God.”
Robert T. Bakker
(Born March 24, 1945) Ph.D. from Harvard, a Paleontologist. Dr. Bakker has been a major proponent of the theory that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, smart, fast, and adaptable. He published his first paper on dinosaur endothermy in 1968. His seminal work, The Dinosaur Heresies, was published in 1986. He revealed the first evidence of parental care at nesting sites for Allosaurus. Bakker was among the advisors for the film Jurassic Park and for the 1992 PBS series, The Dinosaurs. He also observed evidence in support of Eldredge’s and Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium in dinosaur populations.
An Ecumenical Christian minister, Bakker has said that there is no real conflict between religion and science.
(Born March 13, 1946) A Ph.D. from Harvard University in Biology; an evolutionary biologist who has taught at Stanford University since 1972. Dr. Roughgarden wrote the book, Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist.
Dr. Roughgarden details the relationship between Christianity and science in her book, presenting scriptures which emphasize her belief that the Bible does not conflict with evolutionary biology and connects Christianity and evolution by stating that all life is interconnected, as members of a faith community are connected. She asserts her belief in God’s involvement in evolution. She attended and was a speaker at the Beyond Belief symposium in November 2006.
Authors note: Although I do not subscribe to the Theistic Evolution camp, I can find agreement on the basis that God is the source of creation and that Jesus is the only Savior of the world. It is my opinion that should the Lord tarry, those who have God in common will come together over the coming years in solving the evolution-creation disparity.
(Born April 14, 1950) Ph.D. in Biology; an American Physician who helped map the entire Human Genome. Once a staunch Atheist, the experience in dealing with dying patients led him to question his own spiritual life and begin to investigate different religions. Dr. Collins began to study the evidence for and against God in cosmology, and used Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis as a foundation to re-examine his religious view. Realizing that God is real and that Christianity is the truth, he became an Evangelical Christian during a hike on a Fall afternoon. He has described himself as a “serious Christian.”
Dr. Collins is the current director of the National Institutes of Health and former director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute.
Dr. Francis Collins describes the experience of participating in the human Genome Project as “uncovering the most remarkable of all texts…” The digital code of human DNA proves that matter cannot assemble itself without intelligent instructions.
The following are some of the excerpts from Dr. Francis Collins’ book, The Language of God: A Scientists Presents Evidence for Belief; proof that a man can be both highly intelligent, a Scientists, and a Christian .
“The chance that all of these constants would take on the values necessary to result in a stable universe capable of sustaining complex life forms is almost infinitesimal. And yet those are exactly the parameters that we observe. In sum, our universe is wildly improbable.”
“The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation. It forces the conclusion that nature had a defined beginning. I cannot see how nature could have created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that.”
“Dawkins’s third objection is that great harm has been done in the name of religion. There is no denying this truth, though undeniably great acts of compassion have also been fueled by faith. But evil acts committed in the name of religion in no way impugn the truth of the faith; they instead impugn the nature of human beings, those rusty containers into which the pure water of that truth has been placed.”
“I will argue that these perspectives not only can coexist within one person, but can do so in a fashion that enriches and enlightens the human experience. Science is the only reliable way to understand the natural world, and its tools when properly utilized can generate profound insights into material existence. But science is powerless to answer questions such as “Why did the universe come into being?” “What is the meaning of human existence?” “What happens after we die?” One of the strongest motivations of humankind is to seek answers to profound questions, and we need to bring all the power of both the scientific and spiritual perspectives to bear on understanding what is both seen and unseen. The goal of this book is to explore a pathway toward a sober and intellectually honest integration of these views.”
“The human genome consists of all the DNA of our species, the hereditary code of life. This newly revealed text was 3 billion letters long, and written in a strange and cryptographic four-letter code. Such is the amazing complexity of the information carried within each cell of the human body, that a live reading of that code at a rate of one letter per second would take thirty-one years, even if reading continued day and night. Printing these letters out in regular font size on normal bond paper and binding them all together would result in a tower the height of the Washington Monument.”
“This book aims to dispel that notion, by arguing that belief in God can be an entirely rational choice, and that the principles of faith are, in fact, complementary with the principles of science.”
John D. Barrow
(Born in 1952) An English cosmologist who accomplished notable writing on the implications of the Anthropic principle. He is a United Reformed Church member and Christian deist. He won the Templeton Prize in 2006. He once held the position of Gresham Professor of Astronomy, so their crest is pictured.
Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology; Professor of Physics and CIAR Cosmology; a Canadian theoretical physicist at the University of Alberta, Canada. His work focuses on quantum cosmology and black holes, and he is noted for being a doctoral student of the eminent Professor Stephen Hawking, in addition to publishing several journal articles with him. Dr. Page is an Evangelical Christian.
“…I am a Christian and believe that God has created the whole universe. Of course, as a physicist I’m trying to understand a bit more of how He did create it or in what state He’s created it. But I think these laws show the faithfulness of God and the patterns that He’s used. On the other hand, I don’t think the laws are constraints on Him. It’s his own choice to create with these things…”
“Science looks for the simplest hypotheses to explain observations. Starting with the simple assumption that the actual world is the best possible world, I sketch an Optimal Argument for the Existence of God}, that the sufferings in our universe would not be consistent with its being alone the best possible world, but the total world could be the best possible if it includes an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God who experiences great value in creating and knowing a universe with great mathematical elegance, even though such a universe has suffering. God seems loathe to violate elegant laws of physics that He has chosen to use in His creation, such as Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism or Einstein’s equations of general relativity for gravity within their classical domains of applicability, even if their violation could greatly reduce human suffering (e.g., from falls).”
(Born in 1953) A Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 1978. Professor Barr writes and lectures frequently on the relation of science and religion. Since 2000, he has served on the Editorial Advisory Board (now the Advisory Council) of the religious intellectual journal, First Things, in which many of his articles and book reviews have appeared since 1995. His writing has also appeared in National Review, The Weekly Standard, Modern Age, The Public Interest, and Commonwealth.
The following are a few excerpts from The Mythological Conflict Between Christianity and Science—an interview with physicist, Dr. Stephen Barr, conducted by Mark Brumley, September 25, 2006.
IgnatiusInsight.com: The science/religion debate/discussion operates on a number of levels. One is on the cosmic level—the existence of the universe. What can science tell us of the universe’s origins? Are there limits to what science can say? What role do philosophy and theology play in considering the question of the universe’s origin?
Dr. Barr: One has to distinguish the question of the universe’s beginning moments from the question of why there is a universe at all. In my view, science will never provide an answer to the latter question. As Stephen Hawking famously noted, all theoretical physics can do is give one a set of rules and equations that correctly describe the universe, but it cannot tell you why there is any universe for those equations to describe. He asked, “What breathes fire into the equations so that there is a universe for them describe?”
As far as the beginning moments of the universe go, science may eventually be able to describe what happened then. That is, when we know the fundamental laws of physics in their entirety—as I hope someday we will—it may well turn out that the opening events of the universe happened in accordance with those laws. In that sense, “the beginning” could have been “natural”. However, that would not explain the “origin” of the universe in the deeper sense meant by “Creation”.
Let me use an analogy. The first words of a play—say Hamlet—may obey the laws of English grammar. They may also fit into the rest of the plot in a natural way. In that sense, one might be able to give an “internal explanation” of those beginning words. However, that would not explain why there is a play. There is a play because there is a playwright. When we ask about the “origin” of the play, we are not asking about its first words, we are asking who wrote it and why. The origin of the universe is God Almighty.
IgnatiusInsight.com: Stephen Hawking, in A Brief History of Time, talks about God and the mind of God. Yet he also seems to question whether there really is the need for a Creator in order to explain the existence of the cosmos. How do you see the matter? Is God a “necessary hypothesis”? Does science have anything to say about the question?
Dr. Barr: Hawking asked the right question when he wondered why there is a universe at all, but somehow he cannot accept the answer. The old question is, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Science cannot answer that question, as Hawking (at least sometimes) realizes. I think his problem is that he doesn’t see how the existence of God answers that question either. Part of the reason that many scientists are atheists is that they don’t really understand what is meant by “God”.
Anything whose existence is contingent (i.e. which could exist or not exist) cannot be the explanation of its own existence. It cannot, as it were, pull itself into being by its own bootstraps. As St. Augustine says in his Confessions, all created things cry out to us, “We did not make ourselves.” Only God is uncreated, because God is a necessary being: He cannot not exist. It is of His very nature to exist. He said to Moses, “I AM WHO AM. … Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: ‘I AM hath sent me unto you.’’’
I think scientists like Hawking would be helped if they could imagine God as an infinite Mind that understands and knows all things and Who, indeed, “thought the world up”. If all of reality is “intelligible” (an idea that would appeal to scientists), then it follows really that there is some Intellect capable of understanding it fully. If no such Intellect exists or could exist, in what sense is reality fully intelligible? We need to recover the idea of God as the Logos, i.e. God as Reason itself. I note that Pope Benedict has stressed this in his recent addresses about science and in his speech at Regensburg. It is an idea of God that people who devote their lives to rational inquiry can appreciate.
Karl W. Giberson
(Born in 1957) Canadian physicist and evangelical who has published several books on the relationship between science and religion, such as The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions and Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution.
In Karl Giberson’s book, Seven Glorious Days, he states the following:
“I have wondered what the Genesis story would look like if we could update it with the science of today-replacing the seven days of creation with billions of years and recasting the whole story in the context of modern science.”
Authors Note: Dr. Giberson has an interesting take on the first chapter of Genesis that I feel is not far from the truth. In this book, I have written extensively on the fact that the first verse of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” does not state when this beginning occurred. It very well may have been 13.7 billion years ago. The six days of creation that have been taught as the original creation of the universe is not taught in the Bible. The six days are re-creative days of the earth, when after a long period of time being covered with water—God brought the earth out of this state of formless and void, created an atmosphere, separated the water from the land, and allowed the already existing sun to be seen on the earth. The Genesis account is really very easy to understand if you just read it the way that it is written and do not try to entangle the six days with the first verse. Dr. Giberson made a valiant attempt at trying to explain this, yet erred when he rewrote the text to fit his interpretation of Genesis. This is not necessary since the text defines the original creation as being in the past, a time of which the Bible does not define by verse 1. See the chapter The Moment of Creation for three theories that I present for the creation story that Genesis 1 describes.
(Born in 1965) Ph.D.; evolutionary biologist and mathematician, best known for evolutionary dynamics. He teaches at Harvard University. Dr. Nowak studied Biochemistry and Mathematics at the University of Vienna, and earned his Ph.D. in 1989, working with Peter Schuster on quasi-species theory and with Karl Sigmund on evolution of cooperation. In 1989, he moved to Oxford as an Erwin Schrödinger Scholar to work with Robert May, becoming the head of Mathematical Biology in 1995 and Professor of Mathematical Biology in 1997. In 1998, he moved to the IAS at Princeton to establish the first program in Theoretical Biology there. In 2003, Nowak was recruited to Harvard University as Professor of Mathematics and Biology.
His 2006 book, Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life, was published in 2006, resulting in critical acclaim, winning the Association of American Publishers R.R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Professional, Reference or Scholarly Work of 2006.
Text from an interview in “The Telegraph,” By Tom Chivers, March 15, 2011.
“I think that science and religion are components of what people need and what people want in terms of the search for truth. I don’t see science as constructing or providing an argument against well-formulated and thoughtful religious philosophy.”
Tom Chivers of the Telegraph said that in Dr. Nowak’s book, “Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life,” he quotes with approval, Einstein’s line about God as a sort of abstraction, seen in the beauty of nature’s laws. I asked him to expand, but he shies away.
“I am very open-minded, very curious, very keen to learn from other different traditions, different approaches.”
He does, however, believe in the divinity of Christ.
Ph.D., American astronomer. She received her bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT and her Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1995. Currently, Dr. Wiseman is the Chief of the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. On June 16, 2010, she became the new director for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.
“As a Christian I believe that God is responsible for all of nature, for the universe, for our place in it, and therefore by studying the details of it, it is glorifying to God. If you think of God as an artist and we are studying the artwork and the details, it is a wonderful gift to be able to do that. Science is a wonderful God-given gift for studying God’s handiwork. We can’t use science to prove the existence of God because science is limited to studying the physical nature of the world.”
(Born on September 27, 1954) A Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley; an American programmer, inventor of the “Perl” computer programming language in 1987. Wall is the author of the Usenet client and the nearly universally-used patch programs. Larry’s book “Programming Perl” is available at Amazon.
During an interview on slashdot.com, Larry made the following observations about religion and science.
In regards to God as the creator of the universe:
“Once you see the universe from that point of view, many arguments fade into unimportance, such as Hawking’s argument that the universe fuzzed into existence at the beginning, and therefore there was no creator. But it’s also true that the Lord of the Rings fuzzed into existence, and that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a creator. It just means that the creator doesn’t create on the same schedule as the creature’s.”
If God is creating the universe sideways like an Author, then the proper place to look for the effects of that is not at the fuzzy edges, but at the heart of the story. And I am personally convinced that Jesus stands at the heart of the story. The evidence is there if you care to look, and if you don’t get distracted by the claims of various people who have various agendas to lead you in every possible direction, and if you don’t fall into the trap of looking for a formula rather than looking for God as a person. All human institutions are fallible, and will create a formula for you to determine whether you belong to the tribe or not. Very often these formulas are called doctrines and traditions and such, and there is some value in them, as there is some value in any human culture. But they all kind of miss the point.
“Systematic theology” is an oxymoron. God is not a system. Christians are fond of asking: “What would Jesus do in this situation?” Unfortunately, they very rarely come up with the correct answer, which is: “Something unexpected!” If the Creator really did write himself into his own story, that’s what we ought to expect to see. Creative solutions.
And that leads us back (finally) to the last part of your question, how all this relates to Perl.
The philosophy of TMTOWTDI (“There’s more than one way to do it.”) is a direct result of observing that the Author of the universe is humble, and chooses to exercise control in subtle rather than in heavy-handed ways. The universe doesn’t come with enforced style guidelines. Creative people will develop style on their own. Those are the sort of people that will make heaven a nice place.
And finally, there is the underlying conviction that, if you define both science and religion from their true centers, they cannot be in conflict. So despite all the “religiosity” of Perl culture, we also believe in the benefits of computer science. I didn’t put lexical’s and closures into Perl5 just because I thought people would start jumping up and down and shouting “Hallelujah!” (Which happens, but that’s not why I did it).
Justin L. Barrett
(Born in 1971) Ph.D. in Psychology; Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development and Professor of Psychology at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology after being a researcher at Oxford; Dr. Barrett is a cognitive scientist specializing in the cognitive science of religion. He has published “Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology.”
Described by the New York Times as a prominent member of the byproduct camp and an observant Christian who believes in “an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God who brought the universe into being, [and] that the purpose for people is to love God and love each other.”
“Christian theology teaches that people were crafted by God to be in a loving relationship with him and other people, Why wouldn’t God, then, design us in such a way as to find belief in divinity quite natural?”
In his book, “Why would anyone believe in God,” Dr. Barrett states:
“Belief in God is an almost inevitable consequence of the kind of minds we have. Most of what we believe comes from mental tools working below our conscious awareness. And what we believe consciously is in large part driven by these unconscious beliefs.”
Ph.D.; Dr. Pamela L. Gay is an American astronomer, educator, podcaster, and writer, best known for her work in astronomical podcasting. She was one of the cofounders of Slacker Astronomy and was an “on-air” personality for the show from February 2005 until the end of its first iteration in September 2006. She currently works with Fraser Cain in co-hosting Astronomy Cast. She received her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Texas, Austin in 2002.
Excerpts of an interview with Dr. Pamela Gay on “Star Stryder.com”
“I am a Christian. … I believe in the theological framework that it outlines. All men are sinners. All men can be saved. I personally believe in the salvation of Jesus Christ…
I am a scientist. I don’t believe science offers the answers to everything, especially questions of the soul and morality, but I believe in the theoretical framework that is defined through scientific observations. The Universe is old (billions of years old) and has evolved from a singularity to today’s world of stars, planets, and life. I believe that to be educated is to understand there are certain self-evident scientific truths that we as humans must struggle to try and understand. There is nothing I have found in the Bible to deny room for this belief, and I am interested in the the pile of comments I’m sure this statement will draw. And in my heart of hearts, I have never been afraid scientific observations are completely wrong.
In considering the juxtaposition of these two sets of statements I find a weak heart, but no contradictions.
People who know me in real life, know that while I am a loud advocate of science, I am a very quiet voice in Christianity.
While at Urbana in December of ’93, I heard a talk on tent making that made a lasting impression. There is a quiet strength in actions. There is something that appeals to me in living a Christian life and when asked, “Why do you do this [kindness of some unrequired sort]?” to respond that it is the correct thing to do, and then, when asked, to bring in my religious beliefs. When asked what I believe, I tell the truth.
But I have to admit that while I am never afraid to say I am an astronomer, I am always afraid to say I am a Christian.
…But I think I’m going to have to get over my fear, because I’m discovering I’m passionate about calling attention to the narrow-mindedness of people believing all or most Christians are anti-science and of people believing all or most scientists are anti-Christian. And I’m really tired of the name calling that originates from both sides.
I am a Christian. And I am a scientist. And I find no internal contradictions.”
Author’s Note: It is important to note that not all of the above individuals believe all the same tenets of the Christian faith. In the basics of the existence of God and the Creation of the universe by God, they do agree. In further discussions on the many other doctrines of the Christian faith, there will certainly be disagreements as well as agreements. My intention as a Christian author is to demonstrate that many people who believe in God and that He created the universe, can also be intelligent men and women, with advanced degrees and great success in the sciences.
(September 7, 1925–February 8, 2008) was an American astronomer, physicist, and cosmologist; a leading NASA scientist, populist author and futurist. Dr. Jastrow claimed to not know whether God exists or not, yet many of his comments reveal that he did posses a great deal of faith that God exists. All of the conclusions that Dr. Jastrow made regarding the universe came about by his years of study on the origin of the universe and how life is possible on one planet in a remote section of the Cosmos.
“Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”
“On Earth, a long sequence of improbable events transpired in just the right way to bring forth our existence, as if we had won a million-dollar lottery a million times in a row. Contrary to the prevailing belief, maybe we are special …. It seems prudent to conclude that we are alone in a vast cosmic ocean, that in one important sense, we ourselves are special in that we go against the Copernican grain.”
“There is no explanation in the Big Bang theory for the seemingly fortuitous fact that the density of matter has just the right value for the evolution of a benign, life supporting universe.”
“The Hubble Law is one of the great discoveries in science; it is one of the main supports of the scientific story of Genesis.”
“Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
On the implications of a universe that had a beginning:
“There is a strange ring of feeling and emotion in these reactions [of scientists to evidence that the universe had a sudden beginning]. They come from the heart whereas you would expect the judgments to come from the brain. Why? I think part of the answer is that scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon which cannot be explained, even with unlimited time and money. There is a kind of religion in science; it is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the Universe. Every event can be explained in a rational way as the product of some previous event; every effect must have its cause, there is no First Cause. … This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized.”
“Consider the enormity of the problem. Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks: What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe? And science cannot answer these questions, because, according to the astronomers, in the first moments of its existence the Universe was compressed to an extraordinary degree, and consumed by the heat of a fire beyond human imagination. The shock of that instant must have destroyed every particle of evidence that could have yielded a clue to the cause of the great explosion.”
Dr. Jastrow’s view on the inevitability of science and religion:
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
In describing Albert Einstein’s discovery that the universe had a beginning:
“Einstein never liked the idea of a big bang because it suggested a beginning and a creation, and a creation suggested a Creator. And Einstein didn’t believe in that concept of a deity, as the Creator. He thought the existence of the deity was expressed in the laws of nature, something as Spinoza did. But he came out here (Mount Wilson Observatory), and he looked through the hundred-inch telescope, of course he had made up his mind long ago already to accept this, but he turned around to the reporters, who were admiring the scene, and he said, “Yes, I believe it, there was a big bang ….”
Founder of the quantum theory and one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century.
“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater.
“I now believe there is a God…I now think it [the evidence] does point to a creative Intelligence almost entirely because of the DNA investigations. What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.”
“It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together.”
“It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”
(American astronomer) Greenstein, George. The Symbiotic Universe: Life and Mind in the Cosmos.
“As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or, rather, Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”
Douglas Richard Hofstadter
(Born on February 15, 1945) An American professor of cognitive science whose research focuses on the sense of “I,” consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation, and discovery in mathematics and physics. He is best known for his book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, first published in 1979. It won both Nobel and the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.
“What turns a mere piece of matter from being mere matter into an animated being? What gives certain special physical patterns in the universe the mysterious privilege of feeling sensations and having experiences?”
Frank Jennings Tipler
(Born February 1, 1947) A mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University. Dr. Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. Some have argued that it is pseudoscience. Dr. Tipler was a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, a society which advocated intelligent design.
“When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”
Edgar Dean Mitchell
(Born September 17, 1930) Earning a Sc.D., Dr. Mitchell is an American pilot, retired Captain in the United States Navy, and NASA astronaut. As the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14, he spent nine hours working on the lunar surface, making him the sixth person to walk on the Moon.
“When I went to the moon I was a pragmatic test pilot. But when I saw the planet Earth floating in the vastness of space the presence of divinity became almost palpable and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident.”
John Archibald Wheeler
(July 9, 1911–April 13, 2008) was an American theoretical physicist who was largely responsible for reviving interest in general relativity in the United States after World War II. Dr. Wheeler also worked with Niels Bohr in explaining the basic principles behind nuclear fission. One of the later collaborators with Albert Einstein, Dr. Wheeler tried to achieve Einstein’s vision of a unified field theory. He is also known for having coined the terms black hole, quantum foam, and wormhole, and the phrase “it from bit.” For most of his career, Wheeler was a professor at Princeton University and was influential in mentoring a generation of physicists who made notable contributions to quantum mechanics and gravitation. Amongst his many comments of creation, Dr. Wheeler said this:
“A life-giving factor lies at the centre of the whole machinery and design of the world.”
“The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books – a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.”
Chemist-Physicist, Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry
“The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”
Dr. Paul Davies
Noted author and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Adelaide University.
“The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural ‘constants’ were off even slightly. You see,” Davies adds, “even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life—almost contrived—you might say a ‘put-up job’.”
Professor Steven Weinberg
Nobel Laureate in High Energy Physics [a field of science that deals with the very early universe], writing in the journal “Scientific American.”
“…how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values.”
“General Scholium,” in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton. 1687
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections”
“16O has exactly the right nuclear energy level either to prevent all the carbon from turning into oxygen or to facilitate sufficient production of 16O for life. Fred Hoyle, who discovered these coincidences in 1953, concluded that “a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.”
Christian de Duve
“A Guided Tour of the Living Cell,” Nobel laureate and organic chemist
“If you equate the probability of the birth of a bacteria cell to chance assembly of its atoms, eternity will not suffice to produce one… Faced with the enormous sum of lucky draws behind the success of the evolutionary game, one may legitimately wonder to what extent this success is actually written into the fabric of the universe.”
A leading paleontologist, who discovered the significance of the Cambrian explosion of animal life, writes in his seminal book, Life’s Solutions:
“I am convinced” that nature’s success in the lottery of life has “metaphysical implications.”
Winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy
“I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”
Robert B. Griffiths
Ph.D. in Physics, American physicist at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the originator of the consistent histories approach to quantum mechanics.
In his notes, Dr. Griffiths states:
“Quantum mechanics is hard to understand not only because it involves unfamiliar mathematics, but also because the usual discussion in textbooks about how to relate the mathematics to the real world is incomplete.”
At present, Dr. Griffiths is the Otto Stern University Professor of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published over 140 articles as well as the book, “Consistent Quantum Theory.” He is a member of Sigma Xi, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation. Griffiths’ research interests continue to include the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum computation, and the relation of physical science and Christian theology.
Dr. Griffiths has written a wonderful book regarding the relationship of Christianity and Physics called “Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship.”
“We can’t understand the universe in any clear way without the supernatural.”
“Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of Nature is repugnant to me … I should like to find a genuine loophole.”
Creation—the Story of the Origin and Evolution of the Universe
New York & London: Plenum Press, 1988, p. 202
“We do, of course, have an alternative. We could say that there was no creation, and that the universe has always been here. But this is even more difficult to accept than creation.”
“Until the late 1910’s humans were as ignorant of cosmic origins as they had ever been. Those who didn’t take Genesis literally had no reason to believe there had been a beginning.”
“Show Me God: What the Message from Space Is Telling Us About God,” Day Star Publications, 2000, p. 177
“How is it that common elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen happened to have just the kind of atomic structure that they needed to combine to make the molecules upon which life depends? It is almost as though the universe had been consciously designed…”
“The Fate of the Universe”
“In order to make a universe as big and wonderful as it is, lasting as long as it is—we’re talking fifteen billion years and we’re talking huge distances here—in order for it to be that big, you have to make it perfectly. Otherwise, imperfections would mount up and the universe would either collapse on itself or fly apart, and so it’s actually quite a precise job. And I don’t know if you’ve had discussions with people about how critical it is that the density of the universe come out so close to the density that decides whether it’s going to keep expanding forever or collapse back, but we know it’s within one percent.”
“If the strong nuclear force were slightly weaker, multi-proton nuclei would not hold together. Hydrogen would be the only element in the universe.”
“To make sense of this view (design as opposed to accident), one must accept the idea of transcendence: that the Designer exists in a totally different order of reality or being, not restrained within the bounds of the Universe itself.”
George Smoot and Keay Davidson
“Wrinkles in Time, New York”
“The essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
“The Fingerprint of God”
“Stronger (nuclear) forces would cause all of the primordial hydrogen — not just 25% of it — to be synthesized into helium early in the history of the universe. And without hydrogen, the stars could never begin to shine.”
Since the beginning of science, all of the great minds who are responsible for our ability to understand the universe today, were theists, many of who were Christians.
Galileo (1564–1642), Kepler (1571–1630), Pascal (1623–62), Boyle (1627–91), Newton (1642–1727), Faraday (1791–1867), Babbage (1791–1871), Mendel (1822–84), Pasteur (1822–95), Kelvin (1824–1907), and Clerk Maxwell (1831–79), all believed that God was the source of the Cosmos and their reason for studying science in the first place.
Many people today believe that the Greeks are responsible for the beginning of science in the sixth century. Long before any discovery was made by the first scientists, the Hebrew scriptures spoke of one God creating the heavens and the earth. It was from this basis that science experienced an explosion of knowledge beginning in the 1500’s, because of the foundation that God had made the Cosmos. Had these men not read the Hebrew texts that described the heavens, it is doubtful that many of the startling discoveries made during that time would have occurred.