Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries

Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), physics

Formulator of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.

Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all Religion. You will find science not antagonistic, but helpful to Religion.

The Times, May 2, 1903, Lord Kelvin on Religion and Science, corrected by Lord Kelvin himself in The Life of William Thompson, Baron Kelvin of Largs, by S.P. Thompson

Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1907), pioneer of anaesthetics

But again I looked and saw Jesus, my substitute, scourged in my stead and dying on the cross for me. I looked and cried and was forgiven. And it seems to be my duty to tell you of that Saviour, to see if you will not also look and live: How simple it all becomes when the Holy Spirit opens the eyes!

From his own personal testimony, St Columba’s Free Church, Edinburgh, where he was an elder, reproduced by Sovereign Grace Union

Lord Joseph Lister (1827-1912), pioneer of antiseptics

I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.196, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Sir Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945), pioneer of electronics

There is abundant evidence that the Bible, though written by men, is not the product of the human mind. By countless multitudes it has always been revered as a communication to us from the Creator of the Universe.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.217, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

George Washington Carver (1864-1943), pioneer of agricultural chemistry

Without my Saviour I am nothing.

The Lord has guided me. He has shown me the way, just as he will show everyone who turns to Him.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.228, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Max Planck (1858-1947), pioneer of quantum physics

Both religion and science need for their activities the belief in God, and moreover God stands for the former in the beginning, and for the latter at the end of the whole thinking. For the former, God represents the basis, for the latter – the crown of any reasoning concerning the world-view.

Max Planck, Religion und Naturwissenschaft, Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth Verlag, 1958, 27

Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977), pioneer of space rockets

An outlook… at the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator.

[Scientific concepts] exist only in the minds of men. Behind these concepts lies the reality which is being revealed to us, but only by the grace of God.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.250-1, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

In conclusion

Many more pages of quotations of famous scientists and medical pioneers could be put together, but it would become a book, which is beyond the purpose of this article. The reader will also notice that I have not included anybody since Wernher von Braun died in 1977. This is not because there have not been any important scientists and medical pioneers who are Christians since then; on the contrary there have been many. However, many of those I have cited here were key founders of most of the major branches of science, and my purpose has been to show that Christians have clearly been heavily involved in the foundation and development of modern science, despite what today’s myth-makers would claim.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

It has often been said that if that there had been no Reformation there would not have been the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century and the huge scientific movement of the nineteenth century.

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), pioneer of classification

Botanist, biologist and the person who worked out the classification of plant and animal species.

‘Almighty Creator and Preserver of all things… praised be all Thou has created.

‘Let us… not set aside God’s works, but, guided by them, revere the Master!

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.51, 60, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), physics

Brewster’s Law (which was foundational for laser technology), kaleidoscope, key person in improving stereoscope and photographic imaging, co-founder of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

It can’t be presumption to be SURE [of our forgiveness] because it is Christ’s work, not ours; on the contrary, it is presumption to doubt His word and work.’

Before he died he said,

I shall see Jesus, and that will be grand. I shall see Him who made the worlds.

Dan Graves, Scientists of Faith, p.95, Kregel Resources, ©1996

Michael Faraday (1791-1867), pioneer of electric motors

When asked about his belief in the afterlife he quoted the Bible (2 Timothy 1:12):

Speculations? I have none. I am resting on certainties. ‘I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day’.

In a public talk on science and religion he said:

The book of nature which we have to read is written by the finger of God.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.97, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Samuel Morse (1791-1872), pioneer of the telegraph

When the first telegraph message was sent in 1844 it said, ‘What hath God wrought’. Samuel Morse said something similar:

It is HIS work… “Not unto us, but to Thy Name, O Lord, be all the praise”.

The nearer I approach to the end of my pilgrimage… the grandeur and sublimity of God’s remedy for fallen man are more appreciated.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.106-7, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Charles Babbage (1791-1871), pioneer of modern computer

We take the highest and best of human faculties, and, exalting them in our imagination to an unlimited extent, endeavour to attain an imperfect conception of that Infinite Power which created everything around us.

Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A Fragment, Charles Babbage. The purpose of this book was to demonstrate that science affirms the Christian faith

Matthew Maury (1806-1873), pioneer of oceanography

Maury read in Psalm 8:8 that the seas have ‘paths’ so he set out to discover the ocean currents and establish a shipping map. Despite being mocked for this he proved the Bible and now all navigators rely on his work.

The Bible is true and science is true, and therefore each, if truly read, but proves the truth of the other.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.131, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

James Joule (1818-1889), physics

After the knowledge of, and obedience to, the will of God, the next aim must be to know something of his attributes of wisdom, power and goodness as evidenced by His handiwork.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.141, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), pioneer of bacteriology

Pasteur disproved the false scientific belief called ‘spontaneous generation’. It had been believed by scientists since pagan times that life could emerge from non-life by natural processes. He demonstrated the Law of Biogenesis that life only comes from life. His work led to pasteurisation, vaccination and immunization. Lord Joseph Lister, another Christian, took Pasteur’s new germ theory into medicine and became the pioneer of antiseptics.

The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.

Science brings men nearer to God.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.153, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), pioneer of genetics

Mendel was an Austrian monk whose life was devoted to God.

One man, eager to praise his Creator by uncovering new knowledge about created things, brought about a permanent revolution in agriculture and medicine, as well as in pure science.

G. Webster, The Man Who Found Out Why: The Story of Gregor Mendel, World’s Work, Kingswood (Surrey), 1968, p.174, from Ann Lamont, p.165

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), physics

Maxwell’s equations were foundational for our revolution in technology; without them we would have had no television, radio, computers, iPods, X ray etc.

Almighty God, who has created man in Thine own image, and made him a living soul that he might seek after Thee, and have dominion over Thy creatures, teach us to study the works of Thy hands, that we may subdue the earth to our use, and strengthen the reason for Thy service; so to receive Thy blessed Word, that we may believe on Him whom Thou has sent, to give us the knowledge of salvation and the remission of sins. All of which we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.208, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries

This was a critical period for forming the foundation of modern scientific and medical practice. Christians were at the forefront of founding such great institutions as the Royal Society in London in 1660.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), astronomy

How exceedingly fine is the godlike work of the Best and Greatest Artist.

Nicolaus Copernicus, The Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres (Amherst: Prometheus Books, [1543, 1939] 1995), pp. 6, 27. The original title in Latin was De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Quoted from James Nickel, Mathematics: Is God Silent? (Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 2001), p. 112

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627), pioneer of modern science

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.

Francis Bacon, Essays, Civil and Moral, Chapter 16: Of Atheism

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), astronomy

The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.

Galileo Galilei (Il Saggiatore, 1623)

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), astronomy

I had the intention of becoming a theologian… but now I see how God is, by my endeavours, also glorified in astronomy, for “the heavens declare the glory of God”.

Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible, p.23, Creation Science Foundation, © 1995

The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.

Johannes Kepler, Defundamentis Astrologiae Certioribus, Thesis XX (1601)

Rene Descartes (1596-1650), pioneer of modern philosophy of science

But as regards God, if I were not overwhelmed by philosophical prejudices, and if the images of things perceived by the senses did not besiege my thought on every side, I would certainly acknowledge him sooner and more easily than anything else. For what is more manifest than the fact that the supreme being exists, or that God, to whose essence alone existence belongs, exists?

Adam, Charles, and Paul Tannery. 1964–1976. Oeuvres de Descartes, vols. I-XII, revised edition. Paris: J. Vrin/C.N.R.S., 7:68-69

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), maths prodigy

So I hold out my arms to my Redeemer, who, having been foretold for four thousand years, has come to suffer and to die for me on earth, at the time and under all the circumstances foretold. By His grace, I await death in peace, in the hope of being eternally united to Him. Yet I live with joy, whether in the prosperity which it pleases Him to bestow upon me, or in the adversity which He sends for my good, and which He has taught me to bear by His example.

Blaise Pascal, Pascal’s Pensées, trans. W.F. Trotter (London & Toronto: Dent & Sons; New York: Dutton, 1931), 222-223

Robert Boyle (1627-1691), pioneer of modern chemistry

We ought, whenever we speak of God, and of His attributes, to stand in great awe.

Boyle, R., 1772. Of the high veneration man’s intellect owes to God, peculiarly for his wisdom and power. In: The Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle, T. Birch (ed.), J. Rivington et al., London, Vol. 5, p. 157

Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689), pioneer of modern medicine

Regarded as the ‘Father of English medicine’ or ‘England’s Hippocrates’, such was his great standing in medical science.

‘Whoever applies himself to medicine should seriously weigh the following considerations:

First, that he will one day have to render an account to the supreme Judge of the lives of sick persons committed to his care.

Next, whatever skill or knowledge he may, by divine favour, become possessed of, should be devoted above all things to the glory of God and the welfare of the human race.

Thirdly, he must remember that is no mean or ignoble creature that he deals with. We may ascertain the worth of the human race since for its sake God’s only begotten Son became man and thereby ennobled the nature that he took upon him.

Finally the physician should bear in mind that he himself is not exempt from the common lot but is subject to the same laws of mortality and disease as his fellows and he will care for the sick with more diligence and tenderness if he remembers that he himself is their fellow sufferer.

Kenneth Dewhurst, Dr. Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689): His Life and Original Writings, section: Theologia rationalis, in a message to his students in 1668, London, 1966

Hermann Boerhaave (1668-1738)

Founder of the Leiden Medical College in Holland (1700s), which became the role model for other medical colleges, such as Edinburgh Medical School.

He asserted, on all occasions, the divine authority and sacred efficacy of the holy scriptures; and maintained that they alone taught the way of salvation, and that they only could give peace of mind. The excellency of the christian religion was the frequent subject of his conversation. A strict obedience to the doctrine, and a diligent imitation of the example of our blessed saviour, he often declared to be the foundation of true tranquility.

From Dr Samuel Johnson’s biography, Life of Hermann Boerhaave: His religious thinking, 1739

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), pioneer of modern physics

Discovered the laws of gravity and motion, and invented calculus, the reflecting telescope and optics.

All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer.

I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.