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Meta_Agape

Famous Scientists who believed in God

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  1. Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)

    Copernicus was the Polish astronomer who put forward the first mathematically based system of planets going around the sun. He attended various European universities, and became a Canon in the Catholic church in 1497. His new system was actually first presented in the Vatican gardens in 1533 before Pope Clement VII who approved, and urged Copernicus to publish it around this time. Copernicus was never under any threat of religious persecution - and was urged to publish both by Catholic Bishop Guise, Cardinal Schonberg, and the Protestant Professor George Rheticus. Copernicus referred sometimes to God in his works, and did not see his system as in conflict with the Bible.

  2. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)

    Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." (Of Atheism)

  3. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

    Kepler was a brilliant mathematician and astronomer. He did early work on light, and established the laws of planetary motion about the sun. He also came close to reaching the Newtonian concept of universal gravity - well before Newton was born! His introduction of the idea of force in astronomy changed it radically in a modern direction. Kepler was an extremely sincere and pious Lutheran, whose works on astronomy contain writings about how space and the heavenly bodies represent the Trinity. Kepler suffered no persecution for his open avowal of the sun-centered system, and, indeed, was allowed as a Protestant to stay in Catholic Graz as a Professor (1595-1600) when other Protestants had been expelled!

  4. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    Galileo is often remembered for his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. His controversial work on the solar system was published in 1633. It had no proofs of a sun-centered system (Galileo's telescope discoveries did not indicate a moving earth) and his one "proof" based upon the tides was invalid. It ignored the correct elliptical orbits of planets published twenty five years earlier by Kepler. Since his work finished by putting the Pope's favorite argument in the mouth of the simpleton in the dialogue, the Pope (an old friend of Galileo's) was very offended. After the "trial" and being forbidden to teach the sun-centered system, Galileo did his most useful theoretical work, which was on dynamics. Galileo expressly said that the Bible cannot err, and saw his system as an alternate interpretation of the biblical texts.

  5. Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

    Descartes was a French mathematician, scientist and philosopher who has been called the father of modern philosophy. His school studies made him dissatisfied with previous philosophy: He had a deep religious faith as a Roman Catholic, which he retained to his dying day, along with a resolute, passionate desire to discover the truth. At the age of 24 he had a dream, and felt the vocational call to seek to bring knowledge together in one system of thought. His system began by asking what could be known if all else were doubted - suggesting the famous "I think therefore I am". Actually, it is often forgotten that the next step for Descartes was to establish the near certainty of the existence of God - for only if God both exists and would not want us to be deceived by our experiences - can we trust our senses and logical thought processes. God is, therefore, central to his whole philosophy. What he really wanted to see was that his philosophy be adopted as standard Roman Catholic teaching. Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon (1561-1626) are generally regarded as the key figures in the development of scientific methodology. Both had systems in which God was important, and both seem more devout than the average for their era.

  6. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

    Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and theologian. In mathematics, he published a treatise on the subject of projective geometry and established the foundation for probability theory. Pascal invented a mechanical calculator, and established the principles of vacuums and the pressure of air. He was raised a Roman Catholic, but in 1654 had a religious vision of God, which turned the direction of his study from science to theology. Pascal began publishing a theological work, Lettres provinciales, in 1656. His most influential theological work, the Pensées ("Thoughts"), was a defense of Christianity, which was published after his death. The most famous concept from Pensées was Pascal's Wager. Pascal's last words were, "May God never abandon me."

  7. Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

    In optics, mechanics, and mathematics, Newton was a figure of undisputed genius and innovation. In all his science (including chemistry) he saw mathematics and numbers as central. What is less well known is that he was devoutly religious and saw numbers as involved in understanding God's plan for history from the Bible. He did a considerable work on biblical numerology, and, though aspects of his beliefs were not orthodox, he thought theology was very important. In his system of physics, God was essential to the nature and absoluteness of space. In Principia he stated, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."

  8. Robert Boyle (1791-1867)

    One of the founders and key early members of the Royal Society, Boyle gave his name to "Boyle's Law" for gases, and also wrote an important work on chemistry. Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "By his will he endowed a series of Boyle lectures, or sermons, which still continue, 'for proving the Christian religion against notorious infidels...' As a devout Protestant, Boyle took a special interest in promoting the Christian religion abroad, giving money to translate and publish the New Testament into Irish and Turkish. In 1690 he developed his theological views in The Christian Virtuoso, which he wrote to show that the study of nature was a central religious duty." Boyle wrote against atheists in his day (the notion that atheism is a modern invention is a myth), and was clearly much more devoutly Christian than the average in his era.

  9. Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

    Michael Faraday was the son of a blacksmith who became one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. His work on electricity and magnetism not only revolutionized physics, but led to much of our lifestyles today, which depends on them (including computers and telephone lines and, so, web sites). Faraday was a devoutly Christian member of the Sandemanians, which significantly influenced him and strongly affected the way in which he approached and interpreted nature. Originating from Presbyterians, the Sandemanians rejected the idea of state churches, and tried to go back to a New Testament type of Christianity.

  10. Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)

    Mendel was the first to lay the mathematical foundations of genetics, in what came to be called "Mendelianism". He began his research in 1856 (three years before Darwin published his Origin of Species) in the garden of the Monastery in which he was a monk. Mendel was elected Abbot of his Monastery in 1868. His work remained comparatively unknown until the turn of the century, when a new generation of botanists began finding similar results and "rediscovered" him (though their ideas were not identical to his). An interesting point is that the 1860's was notable for formation of the X-Club, which was dedicated to lessening religious influences and propagating an image of "conflict" between science and religion. One sympathizer was Darwin's cousin Francis Galton, whose scientific interest was in genetics (a proponent of eugenics - selective breeding among humans to "improve" the stock). He was writing how the "priestly mind" was not conducive to science while, at around the same time, an Austrian monk was making the breakthrough in genetics. The rediscovery of the work of Mendel came too late to affect Galton's contribution.

  11. William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907)

    Kelvin was foremost among the small group of British scientists who helped to lay the foundations of modern physics. His work covered many areas of physics, and he was said to have more letters after his name than anyone else in the Commonwealth, since he received numerous honorary degrees from European Universities, which recognized the value of his work. He was a very committed Christian, who was certainly more religious than the average for his era. Interestingly, his fellow physicists George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) were also men of deep Christian commitment, in an era when many were nominal, apathetic, or anti-Christian. The Encyclopedia Britannica says "Maxwell is regarded by most modern physicists as the scientist of the 19th century who had the greatest influence on 20th century physics; he is ranked with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for the fundamental nature of his contributions." Lord Kelvin was an Old Earth creationist, who estimated the Earth's age to be somewhere between 20 million and 100 million years, with an upper limit at 500 million years based on cooling rates (a low estimate due to his lack of knowledge about radiogenic heating).

  12. Max Planck (1858-1947)

    Planck made many contributions to physics, but is best known for quantum theory, which revolutionized our understanding of the atomic and sub-atomic worlds. In his 1937 lecture "Religion and Naturwissenschaft," Planck expressed the view that God is everywhere present, and held that "the holiness of the unintelligible Godhead is conveyed by the holiness of symbols." Atheists, he thought, attach too much importance to what are merely symbols. Planck was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God (though not necessarily a personal one). Both science and religion wage a "tireless battle against skepticism and dogmatism, against unbelief and superstition" with the goal "toward God!"

  13. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" - and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

    Source: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html

Edited by Meta_Agape

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I find this interesting, but what I find kind of discouraging is that all of the scientists who most clearly believed in God are old timey, not that they aren't cool. Einstein did not believe in God is a traditional sense and really seemed to be deifying nature itself often (in language that is used by scientists who are atheists even now not infrequently). Planck seems to possibly have been deistic or a pantheist. It's a curious question to me, why there are so few scientists who are clearly believers in the full sense, though I do know there are some.

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Yeah, I kind of expected a few of them to be critiqued, especially Einstein. Anyway don't be dismayed, there are a lot more traiditional Ph.D. types out there these days than the media acknowledges, I wonder why, because the media is all monopoly controlled! But that is another story altogether... http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660

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 Meta_Agape, is the purpose of the thread just as a resource, or as a proof that God is real because scientists believed in him? If it's the latter, that would be an appeal to authority.

 

 

I find this interesting, but what I find kind of discouraging is that all of the scientists who most clearly believed in God are old timey, not that they aren't cool. Einstein did not believe in God is a traditional sense and really seemed to be deifying nature itself often (in language that is used by scientists who are atheists even now not infrequently). Planck seems to possibly have been deistic or a pantheist. It's a curious question to me, why there are so few scientists who are clearly believers in the full sense, though I do know there are some.

 

Yeah, my understanding is Einstein was more of a deist or pantheist. As for why most of the others were "old timey" is likely because they didn't have the ability to observe all the things we can and didn't have as vast a wealth of knowledge to draw from as we do today. It's kind of like why deism started to die out after evolution became more accepted: they already didn't believe in a god that interacted in their daily life; they were looking for an explanation for how we got here.

 

As for the last question, I imagine it largely has to do with the god of the gaps argument. The more the gaps get filled in, the smaller the god becomes.

Edited by RobbyPants

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meta, there are believers out there who are also scientists, but let me ask you this, why so few proportionally? The proportions are quite a bit lower in the scientific community, a fact I often ponder.

 

robby, I suppose if the reason that someone believes is God is because they need God as a mechanism to explain phenomenon x, and once phenomenon x is explained using naturalistic means there is no longer any reason to believe, this may explain some of it.

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robby, I suppose if the reason that someone believes is God is because they need God as a mechanism to explain phenomenon x, and once phenomenon x is explained using naturalistic means there is no longer any reason to believe, this may explain some of it.

 

That's pretty much all deism is, isn't it? I thought it was centered on the notion that there is a god, and he created everything, but he isn't particularly concerned with us or our worship. It's basically just a filler to answer some unanswered questions. Functionally speaking, deism is a lot like atheism, in that deists aren't concerned about gods in their day to day lives.

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robby, I suppose if the reason that someone believes is God is because they need God as a mechanism to explain phenomenon x, and once phenomenon x is explained using naturalistic means there is no longer any reason to believe, this may explain some of it.

 

That's pretty much all deism is, isn't it? I thought it was centered on the notion that there is a god, and he created everything, but he isn't particularly concerned with us or our worship. It's basically just a filler to answer some unanswered questions. Functionally speaking, deism is a lot like atheism, in that deists aren't concerned about gods in their day to day lives.

 

Insofar as the concept isn't taken any further than positing God as an explanatory hypothesis over a body of facts I suppose that is right. I'll give it some further thought.

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Not to wander too much off-topic, but have you considered some believe in God because they experienced something in their life which the science cannot explain? I mean, getting healed from a severe sickness directly after praying etc.? 

 

So it's not in this sense just to find a 'mechanism to explain' things. But of course, often it takes you to experience yourself to really understand what it is about. And I don't mean to have some strange vibe and say that's God, but profound breakthroughs that change life.

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Not to wander too much off-topic, but have you considered some believe in God because they experienced something in their life which the science cannot explain? I mean, getting healed from a severe sickness directly after praying etc.? 

 

So it's not in this sense just to find a 'mechanism to explain' things. But of course, often it takes you to experience yourself to really understand what it is about. And I don't mean to have some strange vibe and say that's God, but profound breakthroughs that change life.

I don't think all belief in God is a mechanism to explain things at all. But, if that's all it is for someone, then I can see how that might get undercut by scientific knowledge. I believe in God for reasons that are very difficult to clearly explain and I don't find that my scientific knowledge lessens that.

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Not to wander too much off-topic, but have you considered some believe in God because they experienced something in their life which the science cannot explain? I mean, getting healed from a severe sickness directly after praying etc.? 

 

So it's not in this sense just to find a 'mechanism to explain' things. But of course, often it takes you to experience yourself to really understand what it is about. And I don't mean to have some strange vibe and say that's God, but profound breakthroughs that change life.

I don't think all belief in God is a mechanism to explain things at all. But, if that's all it is for someone, then I can see how that might get undercut by scientific knowledge. I believe in God for reasons that are very difficult to clearly explain and I don't find that my scientific knowledge lessens that.

 

 

That's nice. I am also fascinated by the latest research on many scientific fronts and for me it's revealing more of God's Creation and how amazing reality this is. I just wanted to open up the definitions a bit so that everyone may have a better glimpse on the subject, myself included. Thanks for the clarification.

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      David said and Paul quoted,
      Romans 4:1-25 (KJV)
      1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
      7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (Psalm 32:1)
      8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Psalm 32:2)
      9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
      13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
      16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 
      22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
      And, Yeshua` (Jesus) said,
      Matthew 7:7-11 (KJV)
      7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
      And,
      Luke 12:22-32 (KJV)
      22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 
      23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      I read the entire "Christian's going to hell" thread and was about to jump in with my own reply.  I did not realize the limitations of this forum section.  I suppose that is fine.  I got a lot out of what was discussed but still struggle with some of it.  I get all the points of views, proof, beliefs and such.  I am not trying to call out or trap anyone.  I am a baby Christian and have honest questions for clarification.  I pray we can all come to an agreement on God's word and truth.
      I was hoping we could base the discussion on Matthew 25 ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+25&version=NIV ) and how it related to the thread I could not jump in on.  My question is this.  Does Matthew 25 add or take away from any and all posts made there by *everyone*? 
      I have more specific questions too.  The ten virgins for starters, do they not represent Christians covered in the blood of Jesus?  I am not clear on the oil in their lamps as well.  I suppose it could relate to my above general question.
      I am wrestling with all this.  I believe I am a born again Christian.  I have faith in my salvation.  I am concerned about others I care for and love.  I will elaborate and add more enquiries as this thread develops.  May opportunities open to know and understand the Holy Trinity better.  Be well, content and helpful in the Lord. 
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