Christianity and the Development of Science: Part 2 – The Founding Fathers of Science

The first part of this blog looked at the historical relationship between Christianity and science. This second part provides additional examples of well-known past scientists whose study of nature came from a desire to know the Creator better. Many of these men were active Christians and held administrative positions in the church. Their study of the Bible led them to view the world in a way that helped them understand nature.

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is a fascinating example of a prominent scientist who was also a devout believer, although in some ways unorthodox. He developed theories of light and of universal gravitation and shares the honor of inventing the calculus with Leibniz.

As a child growing up, Newton’s father died and his mother remarried a man who had little use for him. As a result, Newton had trouble developing friendships which probably fostered an introspection not often seen in young men. At age twenty, Newton experienced some sort of religious crisis and felt impelled to examine the state of his conscience and to draw up a list of his sins before that date. The list included:

“Having uncleane thoughts words and actions and dreamese.” He had not kept the Lord’s day as he ought: “Making pies on Sunday night”; “Squirting water on Thy day”; “Swimming in a kimnel [a tub] on Thy day”; “Idle discourse on Thy day and at other–times”; “Carlessly hearing and committing many sermons.” He had not loved the Lord his God with all his heart and with all his soul and will all his mind: “Setting my heart on money learning pleasure more than Thee”; “Not turning nearer to Thee for my affections”; “Not living according to my belief”; “Not loving Thee for Thy self”; “Not desiring Thy ordinances”; “Not fearing Thee so as not to offend Thee”; “Fearing man above Thee”; “Neglecting to pray.” (Westfall 17& 23)

Newton was as academic in his pursuit of biblical knowledge as of scientific knowledge. He made lists of topics he wanted to study and actively worked towards creating a well-defined set of rules for interpreting the Bible (Westfall 120 & 129). Newton’s rigorous study of the Bible led John Locke to comment that Newton had few equals in Bible knowledge (Westfall 199). Newton held the strong belief that he was part of a remnant, chosen by God to restore the interpretation of the Bible (Mandelbrote 299). However, Newton’s biblical beliefs were not simply limited to the academic. His generosity with money (Westfall 308) and humility were in evidence during his lifetime:

I don’t know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me (Westfall 309).

Although perhaps a product of hero worship, one relative and biographer has described his life as “one continued series of labor, patience, humility, temperance, meekness, humanity, beneficence & piety without any tincture of vice” (Westfall 306).

It is said that a nervous breakdown in 1693 ended Newton’s scientific contributions and redirected his efforts toward theology. Although this may be partially true, he had done considerable study in theology before and did some important scientific research afterward (Westfall 217). He believed that the ancient texts provided scientific information (Shea 681), including a description of a recent creation and catastrophic destructions (Westfall 309). He talked vaguely and suggestively of other worlds formed before the creation of the Earth (Harrison 30). Later in life he wrote on prophecy (Brooke 178-180) and his deep interested in the Mosaic chronology resulted in his book, The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended. He wanted to be sure of the fundamentals of Christianity and considered that to be the religion which Noah practiced: love for God and man (Westfall 138 & 303; Mandelbrote 283).

It should be noted that Newton was heterodox in some respects, although it was not realized until the 20th century (Westfall 304). He believed in the primacy of Scripture, but questioned its inspiration in places and believed there were corruptions (Mandelbrote 284). He admitted the Mosaic account, but checked it against other ancient testimony (Westfall 139). In particular, he believed that one corruption was the trinitarian texts. He was Arian in belief and considered the worship of Christ to be idolatry. Because of his unorthodoxy, he would not take orders at Cambridge (Westfall 130). Probably for the same reason, he felt that religion should be more tolerant, although he himself was not very tolerant of the Roman Catholic Church (Mandelbrote 285, 287-288). Although at one time he was willing to surrender his fellowship rather than give up his unorthodox beliefs, later in life he cultivated orthodoxy (Westfall 302) and was more willing to compromise (Westfall 241). He would not take the sacraments before his death, but wanted no one to know (Westfall 310).

Newton’s science was closely related to his theology. In the General Scholium of his Principia, he states that its purpose was to establish the existence of God (Westfall 205 & 290; Clark 12; Brooke 169; Mandelbrote 292 & 300). It was to combat atheism (Mandelbrote 292), challenge the mechanical explanation, and point to the need for a wise and benevolent deity and an intelligent Creator (Harrison 27). He believed that the universe was governed by general, natural laws set up by God, but preserved by special providence, i.e., aided by supernatural acts (Harrison 27; Mandelbrote 290).

Michael Faraday

Some historians have argued that science is opposed to revealed theology, but the example of Michael Faraday (1791-1867) suggests otherwise. He was a leading–arguably the leading–scientist of his generation. He is known for his pioneering work in electricity and magnetism, including the concept of electric fields and is honored by having the unit of capacitance named after him–the farad. He was also a fully committed Christian who based his religion on a literal interpretation of the Bible (Cantor 10). Faraday once told Ada, Countess of Lovelace, that he belonged to “a very small and despised sect of Christians, known, if known at all, as Sandemanians” (Cantor 34). He viewed his Sandemanian membership–its Christian beliefs, practices and fellowship–as more important than his career in science (Cantor 72).

For his admission to the church, Faraday would have been required to demonstrate before the assembled congregation his faith in the saving grace of God and his commitment to live in imitation of Jesus Christ (Cantor 60). Faraday lived by the Bible and by the demanding discipline imposed by the Sandemanians. His Christianity was not limited to Sunday observance, but infused all aspects of his life–his social intercourse, his views on social and political issues, and his science. Every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening he would leave the Royal Institution and travel to the meetinghouse in the Barbican. His normal practice of the elder’s duties would include his participation in the Sabbath services, including the exhortations that he was expected to deliver. He performed numerous pastoral duties among the London brethren, such as visiting those in need and tending to them, both materially and spiritually (Cantor 64-66).

Although it has been suggested that Faraday had a passionate temperament, suffered from clinical insanity for several years (Koestler 688), and seethed like a volcano internally, little evidence seems to support it (Cantor 263). His contemporaries almost unanimously described him as kind, gentle, unassuming, and honest (Williams 122). His conscientiousness towards spiritual things sometimes meant passing up honors or money that he might otherwise have achieved. He consistently expressed his disinterest in a knighthood, since he believed that the British honors system was corrupt (Cantor 101), and his income was small compared with what he might have obtained as a leading scientific lecturer and researcher (Cantor 109). He felt that no God-given moment should be wasted, and so strictly controlled what he did with his time (Cantor 111).

Although Sandemanians emphasized sobriety, they did not forsake worldly enjoyments. They saw no need to abstain from such social pleasures as the theater or alcohol, provided they were undertaken in moderation. For relaxation Faraday sang and visited the theater, concert hall, or the opera. Popular novels were another source of enjoyment, and he preferred the meat and wine of life to its locusts and wild honey (Cantor 112-113).

Faraday was appointed to the elder’s office in October 1840. This election was one of the most important events in his life. For the next 3½ years he played a leading role in the Sandemanian community. However, on 31 March 1844 he was excluded from the sect. The reason usually given for his exclusion is that he was invited to visit the Queen one Sunday early in 1844. By responding to the summons, he failed to appear at the meetinghouse that Sunday. In the published source for this incident, the reason Faraday was excluded was not so much that he accepted the Queen’s command, as that he was not repentant but insisted on defending his action. Although there are reasons to question this exact explanation, the exclusion did result from a dispute over discipline. He was restored to the community a month later, having expressed his sincere repentance; however, the exclusion affected Faraday deeply (Cantor 61-64). His exclusion lasted five weeks, but it was a further sixteen years before he was re-elected to the elder’s office. He was then an elder for a further four years after which he resigned due to another crisis (Cantor 279). He had been offered the Presidency of the Royal Institution in 1848 and 1858, which he refused (Cantor 134), and was asked again in 1864. If he had undertaken the Presidency, he would have run the risk of compromising his Sandemanian faith, and of a second and final exclusion (Cantor 275 & 278). The repeated requests to be president were enough to precipitate a crisis for Faraday and led to his resignation as elder.

Discipline was a key principle for the Sandemanians, who accepted the Bible not only as the basis for all action, but also as the rule-book for church organization. It was a unified group who achieved an extraordinarily high degree of consensus (Cantor 33). Throughout their history the Sandemanians endeavored to keep themselves distinct from all other religious groups in the belief that they alone were accurately following the directions given in the Bible (Cantor 87). They considered themselves set apart from the world (Hunt 1059).

Faraday’s religion affected his science, notably in his conviction that nature was orderly and “economical” and that divinely ordained natural powers were indestructible. His science was also affected in his caution about the speculative interpretation of experimental facts–a caution that paralleled the Sandemanians’ adherence to the literal word of the Bible, without interpretation. Indeed, Sandemanian “exhortations” consisted of (carefully chosen) Biblical passages strung together with a minimum of connecting material, just as Faraday’s scientific papers ideally consisted of (carefully chosen) descriptions of experimental facts strung together with a minimum of speculative interpretation (Cantor 65; Hunt 1059).

Founding Fathers: Various Disciplines

Here brief descriptions are given of several representative Christians who were founding fathers in the areas of mathematics, chemistry, biology, and geology.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a brilliant mathematician. At age thirty-one he became a devout Christian and all his life carried with him a description of that experience (Pascal, frag. 913, p.309). In his Pensées he has some valuable insights on the relation between science and religion.

   God wishes to move the will rather than the mind. Perfect clarity would help the mind and harm the will (Pascal, frag. 234, p.101).

   There is enough light for those who desire only to see, and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition (Pascal, frag. 149, p.80).

   If there were no obscurity man would not feel his corruption: if there were no light man could not hope for a cure. Thus it is not only right but useful for us that God should be partly concealed and partly revealed, since it is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing this own wretchedness as to know his wretchedness without knowing God (Pascal, frag. 446, p.167).

He believed that it was useless to try to prove the Bible, because it wouldn’t help the atheist and the Bible is sterile without Christ (Pascal, frag. 449, p.169).

Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was founder of the Royal Society in London and is sometimes called the father of modern chemistry (Peacock 149; Hunter). He had a deep theological commitment and was well known for his piety and scruples in matters of religion. This prevented him from taking the oaths required of a president of the Royal Society, which he was offered. He believed there were things we could never know, but that God’s purposes were not completely inaccessible to us. God created and supported the world directly, just as He dealt directly with the believer (Knight 200). In his will he left an endowment to provide sufficient income for an annual lectureship to combat the atheism widely professed by wits in taverns and coffeehouses (Harrison 24).

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) looked for life arising from non-life (spontaneous generation) for twenty years without finding it. Referring to this he said, “Science should not concern itself in any way with the philosophical consequences of its discoveries.” The facts discovered supporting or refuting spontaneous generation should be presented irrespective of those whose philosophical or political ideas were affected by them. However, he also made it clear that in his beliefs and conduct of life, he took more into account than acquired science. He believed there were two distinct domains in man, the scientist and the man of sentiment and belief, and “woe to him who tries to let them trespass on each other in the so imperfect state of human knowledge.” He could not understand certain givers of easy explanations who affirm that matter has organized itself, and who [consider] as perfectly simple the spectacle of the Universe of which Earth is but an infinitesimal part, [and] are in no wise moved by the Infinite Power who created the worlds.” (Vallery-Radot 242-244 & 342; Meadows 169, 175-176)

At a time when triumphant Positivism was inspiring many leaders of men, the very man who might have given himself up to what he called “the enchantment of Science” proclaimed the Mystery of the universe; with his intellectual humility, Pasteur bowed before a Power greater than human power. “Positivism,” he said, “does not take into account the most important of positive notions, that of the Infinite.” He wondered that Positivism should confine the mind within limits. (Vallery-Radot 342, 343)

William Buckland (1784-1856), a professor of geology at Oxford, was known for his sytematic study of Great Britain’s geologic structure, and twice served as president of the Geological Society. He was a committed Christian and Anglican clergyman and wrote a two-volume treatise entitled, Geology and Mineralogy Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (Heeren 270).

Founding Fathers: Clergy

Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) was an astronomer and clergyman in Poland, though he never went on to become a priest (Hummel 41). He regarded his research as “a loving duty to seek the truth in all things, in so far as God has granted”‘ (Peacock 147).

Nicolaus Steno (1638-1686) was a professor of anatomy and later developed principles for describing sedimentary rocks that are still used today. In his later life he turned from science to theology and was ordained a Catholic priest. He took the vow of voluntary poverty, gave all his possessions to the poor, and finally died from an ordeal of poverty and fasting. One of his public lectures contains a line that is often quoted: “Beautiful is that which we see, more beautiful that which we know, but by far the most beautiful that which we do not comprehend” (Albritton 22, 34 & 38).

Conclusion

Although a definite tension exists between Christianity and science, it is often over emphasized because positive interactions have occurred between the two. Christianity had a part in the development of science in Western Europe and many of the founding fathers of science were Christians. They saw God’s finger in nature and used theological arguments with their science (Bynum, Brown & Porter 376). Today we continue to find affirmations of faith among the scientific community as will be discussed in part 3.

______________________________________________________________

Benjamin L. Clausen

Geoscience Research Institute

Loma Linda, CA

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Sources Cited

  • Albritton, Claude C., Jr. The Abyss of Time: Changing Conceptions of the Earth’s Antiquity after the Sixteenth Century. San Francisco, CA: Freeman, Cooper, 1980.
  • Brooke, John. “The God of Isaac Newton”, IN: John Fauvel, Raymond Flood, Michael Shortland, and Robin Wilson, eds. Let Newton Be! Oxford Univ. Press, 1988.
  • Bynum, William F., E. Janet Brown, and Roy Porter. Dictionary of the History of Science. Princeton Univ. Press, 1981.
  • Cantor, Geoffrey N. Michael Faraday: Sandemanian and Scientist: A Study of Science and Religion in the Nineteenth Century. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.
  • Clark, Robert E. D. Science and Christianity–A Partnership. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1972.
  • Harrison, Edward. “Newton and the infinite universe”, Physics Today (February 1986): 24-32.
  • Heeren, Fred. Show Me God: What the Message from Space Is Telling Us About God. Wheeling, IL: Searchlight Publications, 1995.
  • Hummel, Charles E. The Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts between Science & the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986.
  • Hunt, Bruce J. “Faraday at Home and Abroad”, Science 256 (15 May 1992): 1059-1060.
  • Hunter, Michael. Robert Boyle Reconsidered. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994.
  • Knight, David. “Corpuscular science”, Nature 368(17 March 1994): 200.
  • Koestler, Arthur. The Act of Creation. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1964.
  • Mandelbrote, Scott. “‘A duty of the greatest moment’: Isaac Newton and the writing of biblical criticism”, British Journal for the History of Science 26(1993): 281-302.
  • Meadows, Jack. The Great Scientists. Oxford Univ. Press, 1987.
  • Pascal, Blaise. Pensées Translated with an Introduction by A. J. Krailsheimer. Penguin, 1966.
  • Peacock, Roy E. A Brief History of Eternity. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990.
  • Shea, William R. “Galileo and the Church”, IN: David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds. God and Nature. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press, 1986.
  • Vallery-Radot, René. The Life of Pasteur Translated from the French by Mrs. R. L. Devonshire. Garden City, NY: Garden City, 1923.
  • Westfall, Richard S. The Life of Isaac Newton. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993.
  • Williams, L. Pearce. “Wheat and Chaff: The Harvest of the Faraday Bicentenary”, Isis 85(March 1994): 120-124. 

APPENDIX – Other Examples of the Relation between Christianity and Science

Numerous additional examples can be given of scientists influenced by Christianity (Heeren 268-297). Below is a brief list of other scientists who intertwined science and theology for the betterment of the world:

Louis Agassiz – Father of glacial science whose father was a Huguenot.

Charles Babbage – Early creator of the computer.

John Bartram – American botanist and a Quaker.

Sir Charles Bell – Anatomist who wrote on natural theology.

Georges Cuvier – Paleontologist and specialist in comparative anatomy, who propounded multiple catastrophes and was a Lutheran.

John Dalton – Chemist and Quaker.

John Flamsteed – Catalogued nearly 3000 stars and was part of the clergy.

John Ambrose Fleming – Father of modern electronics and part of the evolution protest movement.

Joseph Henry – Studied self-inductance and became secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Sir William Herschel – Discovered Uranus.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz – Co-inventor of calculus and wanted to re-unite Christianity (Catholic/Protestant, Lutheran/Reformed).

Joseph Lister – Pioneer of antiseptic surgery and a Quaker.

Gregor Mendel – Austrian monk who did experiments on garden peas to study patterns of inheritance.

Samuel Morse – Inventor of the telegraph over which he sent: “What hath God wrought.”

Sir William Ramsay – Discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel prize.

John Ray – Contributed to the development of species classification and natural theology.

Bernhard Riemann – Contributed to non-Euclidean geometry and whose father was a Lutheran pastor.

Sir George Stokes – Contributed to wave theory and natural theology and was Lucasion professor at Cambridge and president of the Royal Society.

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64 Responses to Christianity and the Development of Science: Part 2 – The Founding Fathers of Science

  1. Iam MOSE ELKANAH MANG’ERA. I have just finished reading the article above with great interest. It is like the professional mask fell off these distinguished founding fathers of science and the garment of their private and personal christian lives came on. Though there has existed tension between Christianity and science the facts learned from their lives is that Christianity played an important role in the development of science since all the founding fathers were Christians. They saw God’s finger in nature and like Faraday says: ” There is enough light for those who desire to see and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition”

  2. Musa Erasto says:

    It is very interest to read about the great interaction between Christianity in the development of science, and that through these great Scientists: Newton, Faraday, and the founding fathers, now we are able to see great scientific innovations which was done due to their deep commitment and devotion on spiritual life, hence knowing God, and their disciplined religious life has affected positively to the discovery, and development of Science at large. -This is a very good Article, thanks.

  3. Paul Mageto says:

    Isaac Newton confuses me as to whether he is a christian scientist or scientist christian. This is because as much as he claims to be a christian, most of his sentiments are against the Bible e.g. he is unorthodoxy and though he believes in the scriptures, he questions its inspiration.

  4. Douglas Agoga O says:

    I would like to appreciate this particular article for bringing a brief autobiography of most of the re-known physicists of their time. Through this article i have been able to know that these re – known physicists are not supper human but were ordinary human people and some of them like Newton and Faraday lived humble lives. The other element that i have received from this article is that it is possible to be a physicist and a true christian at the same time for that is what most of them were. finally, it is worthy noting that Christianity has a part to play in the development of science and not the other way round.

  5. aruya peter ontiri says:

    with clear boundaries of not trying to use principles of theology to define science and vice visa, religion in part has a contribution to science. the natural scientist too who still take care of the extremes of science, there is still a lot to learn from science of God’s involvement in whatever science seeks to understand. and so there is a harmonious relationship between religion and science.

  6. ILUNGA WAZENGA EMILE says:

    theses experiences from different scientists are helpful for me because they show that to be scientist is not a barrier to believe or to have faith in God. faith in God is an individual decision which depend on the way Scientist or thinkers, understand the importance of the relation between Religion and Science.

  7. Richard Rusoke says:

    its good to study science after being grounded in bible truth so that you cannot compromise your faith. its good to stick on the right if it doesn’t contradict your values and beliefs. it is good to unlearn so that you can learn. No matter what people may say God is having two books that are conveying his sovereignty thus: Nature and the bible.

  8. Despite of the fact that the approach of science and Christianity is far apart from each each other. Yet, there were great scientist who were able to acknowledged God and remained faithful to him and in His service, especially in Europe.
    These includes the following, Isaac Newton who discovered the theory of light, gravity and Calculus. Michael Farady, who was the pioneer of Electricity, Magnetism,and have concept of Electric fields, become committed christian.
    Blaise was a great Mathematicians, Robert Boyle led the royal society in London, Louis Pasteur, looked for life in non- life, William Buckland professor of Geology at Oxford, Nicolas Copericas was Astronomer, and Nicolaus Steno, a professor of anatomy.

  9. Evans Mong'are Ooga says:

    it is interesting to know how distinguished scientists integrated science and Christianity acknowledging God as the creator. It builds my faith to affirm that science does not oppose God nor does it mean that a scientist cannot believe in God. Science and religion are in harmony.

  10. I would like to appreciate the author of this article. it is very educative though challenging. I have learnt it today that there many scientists who have been Christians. I have love loved it. I have felt sorry for some students I discouraged of being scientist. I have realized the need to encourage our church members to take sciences, because if they are to explain the findings, on top of it they will relate it to the almighty God the creator of the universe. for newton to believe the universe to be governed by natural laws set by God, and telling people so it is because of being a christian. if scientist were Christians i see a good venue for God to expose his goodness and powerfulness to people in both the word and also in Physical evidence (science). again that scientist are respected and listened to we need to encourage many to join for God’s sake.

  11. BEATUS GREYSON MLOZI says:

    The fear of the Lord is the source of knowledge, regardless of the known tension between Christianity and Science, the study shows that Christianity have a great contribution in the development of Science among the founding fathers. Newton’s science was closely to his theology, Faraday elected as an Elder which was an important event in his life. For sure God pushed their will rather than their mind.

    • Douglas Agoga O says:

      Mlozi are you sure that God pushed their mind? I beg to disagree with your statement. despite the fact that this physicists had a christian faith; some of them didn’t believe in God as the creator, how then can you say that God pushed their will? You are wrong.

  12. Godebo Negash Petros says:

    it is interesting to know many giant scientists were believe in God and recognize God’s figures upon the creation. however, on the other side their belief is in the contrary to the Biblical fundamental beliefs. Example, Isaac Newton believe in the primacy of scripture, but he questioned its inspiration. and also he considered the worship of Christ to be idolatry. this is what i dislike.

  13. Joseph Mogaka Nyasani says:

    1. Isaac Newton success in scientific field came as a result of his humility and search for the word of God with a quest to do His will. However he went over-bode challenging the trinity in deity. He never believed Jesus has God saying this was idolatry.
    2. Michael Faraday also succeeded in scientific innovations possibly because of his adherence to the Biblical doctrines and practices. The only problem is that he failed to be temperate in his lifestyle. He became obstinate to a point of failing to respect those who deserved respect.
    3. All Christian Scientists who made remarkable achievements in their fields gave God owner by seeking first the Kingdom of God and then their ares of specilization followed. They had a balance of science and religion.
    4. Modern scientists can achieve much if they follow the foot steps of their predecessors. They should fear God and give Him glory.

  14. Paskwale Pacoto Okeny says:

    Most of the scientists reported here acknowledged God in their practice of science. According to this article some of them were committed Christians, elders of church and others were clergies. Therefore, becoming a scientist does not lower one’s believe in God, but it depends on a person’s perception of God, and the understanding of the faith based organization he belongs to.

    • Rukundo Isaie says:

      My name is RUKUNDO Isaie. Reading this article, I am surprised to see that the fathers of Science were Christians, people of faith. Believing in God, He enlighted their mind and helped them to develop the Science we study in the present time. I am wondering why the current atheist scientists do not imitate them.

  15. Habte Angaw Getahun says:

    The above scientists are not far from the religion, that is why they appreciate Christianity through science. As a scientist science helped them to know more about God through nature. These shows us how science and religion agreed each other. But the church has lack of knowledge how to handle those scientists. In general science and bible magnifies the creative power of God.

  16. Fromsa Gadisa Mute says:

    I understand from the reading, that many of fathers of science could have been fathers of religion and faith, if the church able to nurtured them. I saw that most of was combating atheism, though, some has defect in understanding Bible as inspired word of God (Sir Isaac Newton). In general they did not played a positive role to keep them in faith. Because the church too unfriendly to science and scientists. That is a big mistake I Observed.

  17. Lexson Small John Meseka says:

    Generally, the founding fathers of science were Christians, and saw that there are valuable insights between science and religion. They have realized that there is relation between science and religion, and they concluded that Christianity had a part in development of science.

  18. Hindi, William Kabi Oliver says:

    What I like with Micheal Faraday is his pastoral duties among believers visiting the need and caring and tending to them both materially and spiritual.
    I like William Buckland ,because he was a committed christian.

  19. Lutebekela Amos says:

    In the reading it has been found the prominent scientists who were also devoted believers (people of faith in God), like: Sir Isaac Newton – founder of electricity, Michael Faraday – scientific lecturer and researcher, Blaise Pascal – a brilliant mathematician, Robert Boyle – founder of Royal society in London, William Buckland – a professor of geology at Oxford.

    Regardless of their differences in denominations they belong, at least they accommodated their belief in God and science.

    This is an evidence that a scientist who acknowledge God as the author of both-Scripture and nature, can do well in accommodating the two-faith and science.

  20. Mutimanwa Tchaka Dieudonne says:

    In this article we find scientists that experimented in their life both faith to God and science practices. They are naturalistic who saw the fingers of God and utilized theological arguments in their science. all of them lived between 15 century and 19 century. They help us to understand that science and Christianity can interact positively, despite some area of tension.

  21. Bani, Jacob Frungus Rango says:

    what is so interesting and I appreciated so much with these founding fathers are that, they embraced both science and faith in God. They saw God in control over everything in nature. The only thing I don’t like is that most of them were extremists and Isaac Newton considered worship of Christ to be idolatry.

  22. Muvunyi Charles says:

    Through this article i have been able to know that be advanced in scientific knowledge does not cancel out your principles and your christian faith. It is true that in many areas of life , knowledge derived from nature and knowledge in scripture appear to be in harmony. This article is helpful for those who believe that science and Religion are irreconcilable enemies. Thank you!

  23. Niyonagira Alexis says:

    I am very happy for the details about these scientists as we have seen in the presentation of Christianity Aiding the Development of Science. Again I discovered the true that the Bible prays a great role in understanding of the nature as these scientists are witness. Through their studies in nature they discovered the infinite Power who created the world and they use theological arguments with science. So science and Christianity are complementary.

  24. Olivier Kayitare says:

    Wow! this is good news thanks to the author. Well, Whatever makes scientists Christians make them good scientists and good citizens. More thanks be given to Eternal God Creator the author of their existence and they are happy if they know!

  25. Duandro Katchuraki John says:

    After reading this article, I discover that both of the Christian Scientists believe or trust in God and show the interaction between Science and Religion even if they are naturalist concerning creation and by contrast denying certain doctrine such as trinitarian.

  26. Benjamin Ngalam says:

    Although science and Christianity looks outward different, but Fathers of science have testified that, one could see God’s finger in nature.

  27. Samson Onyango says:

    science in it self should lead one to seek God, it is from committed Christians that came up with great scientific discoveries, therefore from true committed Christians we have better scientists and will come better scientific students and discoveries.

  28. JAKECH TUKIKO OTIENO says:

    1.Science does not mitigate the relationship or deprive a person from depending on God but it helps people to appreciate and acknowledge God through the methods of science and nature. Secondly Faith can deprive somebody from accepting some prestigious duties where chances of compromising are high like the presidency. Finally the responsibility that a person has does not stop him from being seriously engaged in matters of religion like these known scientists who acted like a priest

    • JAKECH TUKIKO OTIENO says:

      Science does not mitigate the relationship or deprive a person from depending on God but it helps people to appreciate and acknowledge God through the methods of science and nature, Secondly Faith can deprive somebody from accepting some prestigious duties where there are chances of compromising like political duties like presidency. Finally the responsibility that a person has does not stop him from being seriously engaged in matters of religion like those known scientists who were priests.

  29. Mulugu Fataki Fidèle says:

    By reading Christianity and development of Science founding fathers of Science, I have found that among imminent Scientists were found some who were also devoted believers and committed Christians with high piety, and scrupled in matter of religion

  30. John Ojung'a says:

    One thing is prominently seen. Many scientists depend upon God as the supreme source of knowledge and understanding. In one way or another they recognized God.

  31. I’m so happy to discover that Christianity had a part in the development of science in West Europe, and that many of the founding fathers of science were Christian. Even if some of them had some weakness, They had a strong commitment with God. They saw God finger in the nature. They combated atheism and for some, the Bible is sterile without Christ. May sustain his work.

  32. Daniel Ochar Ndiegi says:

    Most of the greatest scientists who contributed to the development of this world in areas of physics, ,chemistry, biology,geology,and others were Christians. As they study the bible they understood well the nature. This affirms to us that true science does not overlap the Bible but lead people to know God better.

  33. Elizabeth Khonje says:

    I have really been excited and thrilled to discover that scientists from the days of old integrated science and faith. Almost all were devoted Christians. This is proven when Robert Boyce left an endowment in his will to provide income to combat the atheism widely professed by wits in taverns and coffeehouses annually. Pasteur, was anti positivism, Copernicus, trusted God as the provider and truth. Newton was actually confessing his sins to God among others. I have noted with joy that science is integrated successfully with faith. These scientists saw the greatness of God as they worked. They saw that science on its own could be meaningless but Christianity helped them develop facts about science.

  34. Lutebekela Amos says:

    The reading has been profitable as show how prominent scientists like Isaac Newton who contributed in gravitation, optics, calculus and telescopes; even Blaise Pascal who was a brilliant mathematician, and many other scientists who accommodated belief in God and science. This is an evidence that is possible for a good scientist be also a devoted believer in God.

  35. Philip M. Ndikumwami says:

    The article tells us how great scientists like Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday can also be men who fear God. It even tells how the study of the Bible can lead a person to view the world in a way that helps to understand nature. Because the word of God does not reject true science, there is a positive interaction between the two and Christianity has contributed in the development of science because many of the founders of science are Christians.

  36. Okello Robinson Ogwal says:

    To me, Isaac Newton played double standard. However he was more of a Christian than unorthodoxy. Him and Michael Faraday were committed to science through the eyes of God.
    Finally, practicing science has a great influence on the life of Christian believer, leading to lean more towards science, hence, ending up playing double standard.

    • Okello Robinson Ogwal says:

      To me, Isaac Newton played double standards. However he was more of a Christian than unorthodoxy. Him and Michael Faraday were committed to science through the eyes of God.
      Finally, practicing science has a great influence on the life of Christian believer, leading to lean more towards science, hence, ending up playing double standards

  37. NIYONIZIGIYE EPIMAQUE says:

    It is really surprising to learn about those eminent scientists who were at the same time committed in their faith. A professor and great researcher Nicholas, who took voluntary vow of poverty thanks to his Christian faith, Faraday a great physicist who is elected as an elder for his community of believers, etc. this shows that a scientist can be a God-fearing man, believing and serving God.

  38. Genemo Geda Turi says:

    It seems that Christianity and science development was often over emphasized because positive interactions have been occurred between the two. I could see that Christianity had played a role in the development of science in Western Europe and many of the founding fathers of science were Christians. Through their dealing with the nature and the Bible, it seems that they saw God’s hand in nature and they used theological arguments with their science. Though scientists were not willing to fully dedicate themselves to God and His word, I could see that His hand was stretched widely to help them.

  39. Leonard Tumbu Njoye says:

    It is so encouraging, so elevating, and eye-opening to me to discover that faith in and worship to God is not just the business of normal human beings whose academic achievement is of little magnitude. This paper makes it clear that prominent scientists such as Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Louis Pasteur, William Buckland, Nicolas Copernicus, Nicolaus Steno and many others could also be strong worshipers of God. Who am I then? May God help me a dead dog and just a flea appreciate and love Him so whole-heartedly for ever and ever. May this loving God lift me up to Himself the way He wants. Amen.

  40. Kilunda Itengo says:

    Among the great scientists reported up here, we find those who acknowledged God in their lives. They were devoted believers and commited Christians to means that becoming scientist has not hindrance in believing in God, people believe when they encounter Jesus.

  41. This reading is so powerful and helpful in sense that we discover that there is interaction between science and faith. To found that many fathers of science was faithful to God as the Creator of universe help us to correct the opinion in which they are incompatibility between science and faith. A man of faith may be a scientist without problem.

  42. MASEREKA B. PAUL says:

    This article has shade more light to me that science cannot corrupt some ones faith, unless him/herself is corrupt. I have seen these scientists who performed pastoral duties. There are those who could not compromise their faith because of science. some invested their funds and time to combat the atheism and fight for the truth. some did not want to occupy certain offices though they deserved them, because they were committed to their faith.

    • MASEREKA B. PAUL says:

      This article has shade more light to me that science cannot corrupt some ones faith, unless him/herself is corrupt. I have seen these scientists who performed pastoral duties. There are those who could not compromise their faith because of science. some invested their funds and time to combat the atheism and fight for the truth. some did not want to occupy certain offices though they deserved them, because they were committed to their faith.

  43. Isacka Ndaruhekeye says:

    I was so much impressed by the life of most of these Scientists, the carrier of science is a tempting one especially when it comes to the issue of the existence of God and other origins. So it was a wonderful experience to me getting to know that there were Scientists who believed in God and his word in those days. This gives me a confidence to trust the committed Christian Scientists even today.

  44. Kamandi Ferdinand says:

    From this article, the scientists recognized that there is relationship between Christianity and Science. This is testified through their life. Despite their high level in Science, they recognized their experience as nothing compared to the vaster knowledge of the world.
    They performed church duties as good Christians and have been model scientists of their generation. They were committed to science and to the fear of God as source of knowledge.

  45. Joseph Lusega says:

    One thing have impressed me, these professional scientists established theories of various things, yet they gave time to God. They believed and trusted in Him. example Isaac had believed in the Scripture, Robert Boyle, had a deep theological commitment, these can be examples to others.

  46. Jeliko J. Kasiba says:

    I am very interested with this readings, people who are scientist can devote their time to God,and acknowledged Him as a creator .This gives me experience to advice our church members that, they can serve God and at the same time be scientists.

  47. Nelson Olum says:

    After reading the article on-The founding fathers of science; I have found that great scientists were not opposed to the word of God.The eight scientists in the article were Christians. However, Isaac Newton rejected trinity in deity and classified those who worshiped Christ as men and women who worshiped idols.In conclusion, as a gospel minister, we need to encourage our young members who are strong in faith to study different disciplines in science.

  48. NDAGIJIMANA Daniel says:

    According to the article the cited scientists and founding fathers were committed people having faith in God and ready to assist the needy. They very much valued their belief than acquired science and recognized the relationship between science and religion. They also affirmed that Christianity contributed much for the development of science. For them, knowing God is the source of wisdom.

  49. Rukundo Isaie says:

    Reading this article, I am surprised to see the fathers of Science were Christians, and people of faith. Believing in God, He enlighted their mind and helped them to develop the science we study in present time. I am wondering why the current atheist scientists do not imitate them because God is the source of all intelligence.

  50. SULEIMAN NUHU YUSUPH says:

    An article provides scientific information which shows that science relates to theology moreover God gave nature which is used as an argument tool by the scientists, however Isaac newton impressed me as he said scientific field is the best way to God’s word.

  51. DANIEL MABULLA ONESMO says:

    Christians scientists have made great achievements in their field by seeking God in their professional as Isaac Newton did. Light can be found to the scientist who desire to see God through nature.

  52. Robert Young Marcello says:

    I can see the beautifully shining light in the relation between science and christianity as shown in the lives of the founding fathers of science. Only in the unhealthy mindset that christianity and science disagree with each other. To me, they are like a married good and loving couple working together to help us have better understanding of God and nature or the better understanding of our belief. Like the founding fathers of science, let us approach both religion and science with a humble heart of wanting to learn the truth in all things, in so far as God has granted. Remember Nicolaus Steno’s words, “Beautiful is that which we see, more beautiful is that which we know, but by far the most beautiful is that which we do not comprehend.”

  53. Ssenuuni Daniel says:

    Having read the article I have found it helpful to know the fathers of science. Sir Isaac Newton among others, believed in the bible but had question on inspiration and compromised unorthodox belief. Though believed in laws of creation so he was a Naturalistic Evolutionist. Besides this, other scientists have the same beliefs like Newton this means that, partly they new God’s existence but they could not stand the real faith in God. Therefore, they explain things using their knowledge.

  54. Kimoti Daniel says:

    Kimoti D.
    I am challenged to learn that despite their tight scedule in persuit of scientific discoverinies some reknown scietists had time to devote to lerning and writing theological stuff as well as serving in church positions. Michael Faraday stands out as a committed christian who stood firm to his faith so much that, “he viewed his church beliefs, practices and fellowship as more important than his carrer in science.Despite their few fundamental disparities regarding creation, revelation and salvation, their committment to christian faith deserves commendation. My only concern is, where are our Adventist believers and schoolars, who can stand for their faith? WhereAdventist scientists for that matter, dont we have them or they are still in the making?

    • Geoscience Research Institute says:

      This blog is one example of where Seventh-day Adventist scientists are discussing science and religion issues. We also have a website (www.grisda.org) that has a newsletter, journals, and links to books (e.g., Origin by Design by Harold Coffin, Choose you this Day by Leonard Brand and Richard Davidson, Faith, reason & earth history by Leonard Brand, Understanding creation by James Gibson and Humberto Rasi, Entrusted which is edited by Stephen Dunbar and many others) videos and other websites. Adventists who stand for their faith are out there and doing good work and there are many more in the making.

  55. HESBON OMUNE says:

    It is quite impressing and encouraging to learn from the article I read that there is a close relationship between Christianity and science. Great scientists like Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday ,and their Colleagues mentioned in the article were not only believers of a divine Living God who is the creator of the Universe and everything that dwells in it , controlling it by general, natural laws but also studied the Bible to know the Creator better. The founding fathers were both Scientists as well as devoted Christians who were serving God in their respective positions Some were reluctant even to take worldly positions that may compromise their faith in God.

  56. Msafiri Isaac Mtenzi says:

    Issues in Science and Religion
    The Founding Fathers of Science
    By Msafiri Isaac Mtenzi

    What I have learnt as I was going through the paper, it is possible to a scientist and the Christian at the same time. The founding father of science have proved. Concerning Michael Faraday the paper says, “Every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening he would leave the Royal Institution and travel to the meetinghouse in the Barbican. His normal practice of the elder’s duties would include his participation in the Sabbath services, including the exhortations that he was expected to deliver. He performed numerous pastoral duties among the London brethren, such as visiting those in need and tending to them, both materially and spiritually” What a beautiful and powerful the testimony is.
    For Newton it said, “Newton’s science was closely related to his theology” The founding father have set a good examples to be followed by the modern scientists. To them, science was something to glorify God and not working against God. It has been a blessing to me to read the paper.

    Conclusion
    The founding fathers, “They saw God’s finger in nature and used theological arguments with their science”

  57. Micah Agalo says:

    Some of the great scientists recognized the power of God in their work and believed in Him and in His creative power.This is indeed very important and encouraging .Science and religion both go together for the glory of God.

    • ILUNGA WAZENGA EMILE says:

      i pray for our SDA members church to be also involved in this studies of science and religion because it will help the church at different levels to understand that science and faith are the instruments of that God preveted for us to understand his glory and majesty

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