One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.
The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need You. We’re at the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, we don’t need you here anymore, you can go your way.”
God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest?”
To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!”
But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”
The scientist said, “Sure, no problem,” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
God looked at him and said, “No, no! You go get your own dirt!”
Is there a distinction between science and religion, each choosing a side? Or can it be much bigger than that? It is bigger than that. We can reconcile the two into something beautiful and amazing.
Reconciliation is an accounting process that compares two sets of records to check that the figures are in agreement. It is also defined as reestablishing a close relationship between two things, to settle or resolve, and to bring oneself to accept a point.
Today I’m going to showcase some of the most famous scientists in history who believed in God.
Albert Einstein-a German-born theoretical physicist was widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. Einstein is known for developing the theory of relativity, and the theory of quantum mechanics. He said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
Arthur Compton-demonstrated the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation. He set Jesus as the center of his faith in God’s eternal plan. He once commented that “he could see Jesus’ spirit at work in the world as an aspect of God alive in men and women.”
Blaise Pascal- In 1642, while still a teenager, started some pioneering work on calculating machines establishing him as one of the first two inventors of the mechanical calculator. (My personal hero as an accountant!) In 1646 Pascal experienced a conversion and began to write on theological subjects in the course of the following year. On the 23 of November, 1654, between 10:30 and 12:30 at night, Pascal had an intense religious experience and immediately wrote a brief note to himself which began: “Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars…” and concluded by quoting Psalm 119:16: “I will not forget thy word. Amen.” He seems to have carefully sewn this document into his coat and always transferred it when he changed clothes; a servant discovered it only by chance after his death. He came up with a theory which has since been named “Pascal’s wager” which states is a person has nothing to lose if he believes in God and it turns out in the end he was wrong, but he has everything to lose if he wagers that God doesn’t exist and it turns out in the end that he really does.
Francis Collins-is an American physician-geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases and led the Human Genome Project. By graduate school, Collins considered himself an atheist. However, a conversation with a hospital patient led him to question his lack of religious views, and he investigated various faiths. He familiarized himself with the evidence for and against God in cosmology, and on the recommendation of a Methodist minister used Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis as a foundation to develop his religious views. He believes that people cannot be converted to Christianity by reason and argument alone, and that the final stage of conversion entails a “leap of faith.” After several years of deliberation, he finally converted to Christianity during a trip to the Cascade Mountains, where he describes a striking image of a frozen waterfall as removing his final resistance, resulting in his conversion the following morning. He described himself as a “serious Christian”.
Galileo-was an astronomer, physicist, and engineer, from Pisa. Galileo has been called the father of observational astronomy, modern physics, and the scientific method. He was a genuinely pious Roman Catholic. He also was put on trial for defending the theory of Copernicus that the earth revolves around the sun. Which went against what the Church thought, which was that the earth was the center of the universe, and everything revolved around it. (Wow, sense of entitlement, much?)
Copernicus-who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at it center. In his commentary on Psalms 93:1 he states that “The heavens revolve daily, and, immense as is their fabric and inconceivable the rapidity of their revolutions, we experience no concussion…. How could the earth hang suspended in the air were it not upheld by God’s hand? By what means could it maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it.”
Werner Heisenberg- one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. He also made important contributions to the theories of the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows, the atomic nucleus, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles. He was a devout Christian, who wrote: “We can console ourselves that the good Lord God would know the position of the [subatomic] particles, thus He would let the causality principle continue to have validity.” (Causality principle-also referred to as causation, or cause and effect.)
Guglielmo Marconi-inventor and electrical engineer, was known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, and a radio telegraph system. He is credited as the inventor of the radio, with contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy. He was a devout member of the Catholic church and personally introduced Pope Pius XI in 1931 in the first radio broadcast of a pope. He said, “With the help of God, who places so many mysterious forces of nature at man’s disposal, I have been able to prepare this instrument which will give to the faithful of the entire world the joy of listening to the voice of the Holy Father.”
Louis Pasteur-formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation. He was an ardent Christian throughout his whole life, and his son-in-law wrote, in a biography of him, “He had an absolute faith in God and in Eternity, a conviction that the power for good given to us in this world will be continued beyond it. He had full respect for the form of religion, and he came to it simply and naturally for spiritual help.”
The Literary Digest of 18 October 1902 gives this statement from Pasteur that he prayed while he worked:
Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.
Michael Faraday- contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. He was a devout Christian. Biographers have noted that “a strong sense of the unity of God and nature pervaded Faraday’s life and work.”
Joseph H. Taylor Jr.- who made contributions in Astronomy, Physics and Applied Mathematics said, “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”
Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, said “Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.”
Scientifically speaking, I conclude that sums it up. Or as my fellow blogger Tim McGee so eloquently said regarding the math of faith, “Faith is believing we can get from A to C by letting God solve for B.”
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