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Bryan Bissell

The Religion of Scientists
Part 2: Great Scientists Who Believe

This file has all the sections listed below…I highly recommend you read both the introduction and the article “Scientists and their gods” by one of the top theoretical chemists of our day first.  Then the others as you have time.



SCIENTISTS AND THEIR GODS by Dr. Henry F. "Fritz" Schaefer, III, world famous chemist

A SCIENTIST REFLECTS ON RELIGIOUS BELIEF, by Dr. Allan Sandage, world famous cosmologist.










EVOLUTION DEFINITION: In this article, “evolution” will be referring to macro-evolution…the idea that one kind of animal can evolve into a completely different kind of animal over millions of years…for example from a cat to a lion or a deer to a giraffe. Micro-evolution, small variations within specific boundaries of a species, has been observed many times and is not disputed by any scientist whether religious or atheist.)

The last century has seen many major theories sweep our planet in politics, religion, science, medicine and other areas.  One major area of debate in science has been between the theories of evolution and creation, between the theory that life has been created by chance and the idea that life was carefully designed.  Throughout history, there have been many times that the majority view has been wrong, but that not many have known it because the majority view controlled the press and information and what was expressed from the official sources.  This can easily be proved to be true today in many areas as well.  The majority view of any period of history usually tries to exclude views that oppose it.

The polish philosopher Alfred Korzybaski (1879-1950) wrote, "There are two ways to slice easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking."

A lot of people fall into this trap. They either become completely skeptical and doubt everything completely, or they just believe without any evidence and depend completely and solely on faith.  Both ways mean they don’t have to honestly evaluate the evidence and problems with their own worldview.  Thus these ways of believing are an excuse to avoid honesty and truth.  But, as usual, the truth is something that lies between the extremes and takes a lot of trial and error to discover with both sides making lots of mistakes.

In the debate between creation and evolution, it has also happened…many just dismiss religious thought automatically and apriori.  Some others dismiss science automatically at the slightest conflict with their own beliefs.  But both sides have had to admit that they were wrong (this doesn’t mean that the Bible has so far been proven in error…but many times people’s opinions and theories about it have been.)

But, many of the top scientists in the world, and many with Nobel prizes in science even currently are strong believers in the creation of the world by an intelligent and personal God even though they don’t have all the answers yet.  They analyze and investigate carefully trying to figure out the things that they don’t understand.  They don’t depend only on science or only on belief. Rather, they try to work with them together. And as they search deeper and deeper into science and the workings of our world, it becomes more and more possible to rationally consider the existence of an intelligent designer who many call God.  Here are just 3 examples of top notch Christian scientists in the last century:


Pasteur (1822-1895), dean of the faculty of sciences at Lille University, wrote:
"A bit of science distances one from God, but much science nears one to him."


Dr. Wernher von Braun (1912 -1977), NASA director and "father of the American Space Program."
"There simply cannot be a creation without some kind of Spiritual Creator...in the world around us we can behold the obvious manifestation of the Divine plan of the Creator."
“What random process could possibly explain the simultaneous evolution of the eye’s optical system, the nervous conductors of the optical signals from the eye to the brain, and the optical nerve center in the brain itself where the incoming light impulses are converted to an image the conscious mind can comprehend?” Wernher von Braun, foreword to From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo by Harold Hill (Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International, 1976), p. xi.
and, “It is as difficult for me to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.” – Wernher von Braun
and."..the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator."


William Phillips, laser physicist and co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light said in a conference at Harvard University:
"Being an ordinary scientist and an ordinary Christian seems perfectly natural to me.”  He also said,  "I'm strongly of the conviction that God is personal, and this is the foundation of my faith."


Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, United States National Human Genome Research Institute and the vast human genome project, said that “we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God,” His professional reward, he says, comes when he discovers something that "the creator knew ahead of time - that's one of the aspects of my existence I wouldn't trade for anything".  lecture at: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~winstan/gfcf/Francis%20Collins.mp3 and BBC article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2000/human_genome/753711.stm

There are numerous other scientists that believe very strongly that God created the world and that he is their source of inspiration.  People ranging from Sir Isaac Newton to some of the most recent and famous scientists acknowledge that Christianity is extremely compatible with science.

Unfortunately, this is not very well known.  And many writings by skeptics make it appear that Christianity is anti-science and destroys science.  Here are a couple examples of this:


Bertrand Russell once remarked, "I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue." In his popular and controversial work "Why I Am Not A Christian," Russell leveled the charge that Christianity, in particular, has served as an opponent of all intellectual progress, especially progress in science. (Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957), pp. vi, 22-26)


“In rational, intelligent human beings, when they learn a fact that is in direct conflict with a held belief, they reevaluate that belief and likely reject it as untrue.  However, most religious people act as if they do not want to be bothered with facts.  These are some of the most dangerous and psychologically unstable people on the planet.  They're willingly being controlled by a schizophrenic mind that allows both fact and fiction, truths and mythology to govern their actions.. Among atheists, the schizophrenic nature of the religious mind is among the most frustrating and baffling aspects of religion.  How can believers continue to have faith in an explanation that has been proven time and time again to be false!?!?  Why do human beings not reject organizations that continue to tell them lies!?  These are dangerous human beings and more dangerous groups.” From: http://www.ethicalatheist.com/docs/religion_and_science.html

The above quote from the “Ethical Atheist” is typical of how many skeptics regard people of faith.  I have read and listened to these and other criticisms from skeptics:


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