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Age of the Earth Belief in God Creation/evolution Meaning of life Science

Religion in science

Four hundred years ago most physical scientists held strong faith in God as Creator. In the United Kingdom, Germany and several other European nations their religion was largely biblical Christianity, and because of the result of the very successful Reformation (c. 1550 -1650) of the Church from the teachings of the corrupt Church of Rome, many in the post-Reformation period were protestant Bible believers.  Nevertheless, during the Renaissance period (14th to 17th centuries), under the auspices of the pope and the Church of Rome, science was nurtured and innovative advances made by some, for example, Nicolas Copernicus (1473 – 1543), who developed the idea of a heliocentric universe. That hypothesis was supported by Galileo (1564 – 1642) who inferred from his observations of the moons of Jupiter that Earth also must orbit the sun.

Role of belief in God in science

Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei,_1636
Galileo Galilei Credit: Wikipedia

The Bible never taught the notion of a stationary Earth and an absolute geocentric universe. Galileo had the pope’s approval to explore the idea of heliocentrism and showed that it was compatible with the Bible.  It was in fact the belief in the trustworthiness of the Scriptures and stationarity of natural law because it was the product of a divine Creator that inspired great scientists like Newton, Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo to seek elegant yet simple answers to great questions about our universe.

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Belief in God Physics Science

The Lawgiver is the biblical Creator God

Michael Faraday  Credit: Wikipedia
Michael Faraday      Credit: Wikipedia

Where does knowledge1,2 come from? From research and inquiry? It seems an obvious question, but is it really? It is only obvious if we realize what the unstated assumptions are that go with it. Why do men study science anyway? Why do they believe it a fruitful activity at all? The answer must be founded on the belief that the laws of nature, which they are attempting to discover, are the same today as they were yesterday, and will be the same again tomorrow. What is the justification for this?

If we look back 500 years we see a list of names of well-known philosophers and scientists: Tycho Brahe, Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Gottfried Leibnitz, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Carolus Linnaeus, John Dalton, Christian Huygens, Robert Hooke, Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, James Joule, Louis Pasteur, William Thomson (aka Lord Kelvin), James Clerk Maxwell, John Strutt (aka Lord Rayleigh), John Ambrose Fleming, to only name a few. These men all believed in the truth of the Bible, so much so they believed that the laws governing nature that we study in the laboratory can be extrapolated to the Universe and apply both in the past and the future. We know this by the very nature of the scientific endeavours they were involved in.