Scientists And Their Gods

Note: this was originally an excerpt from the article mentioned at the beginning. Since then, I’ve added a few others and I’ve also done some further research on most of the scientists.

In Scientists And Their Gods, Dr. Henry F. Schaefer (Christian, Nobel nominee, Stanford grad, and the third most-quoted chemist in the world) writes about the fact that there are many Christians who work in the hard sciences. I was particularly interested to note that three (four counting the author) have connections to Stanford.

Some notables:

Robert Griffiths, “member of our U.S. Academy of Sciences, Otto Stern professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon University received one of the most coveted awards of the American Physical Society in 1984 on his work in physical mechanics and thermodynamics. Physics Today said he is an evangelical Christian who is an amateur theologian and who helps teach a course on Christianity and science.” (incidentally, he’s a Stanford grad)

Richard Bube “For many years, Bube was the chairman of the department of materials science at Stanford and carried out foundational work on solid state physics concerning semiconductors. He said:There are proportionately as many atheistic truck drivers as there are atheistic scientists.”

John Suppe, “Member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and noted professor of geology at Princeton, expert in the are of tectonics, began a long search for God as a Christian faculty member. He began attending services in the Princeton Chapel, reading the Bible and other Christian books.”

Charles H. Townes “My candidate for the scientist of the century is Charlie Townes. (Of course, he is a friend of mine and there could be some bias here.) He did something fairly significant when he discovered the laser. He almost got a second Nobel Prize for the first observation of an interstellar molecule.”

Arthur Schawlow: “won a Nobel Prize in physics, 1981, serves as physics professor at Stanford and identifies himself as a Christian.”

Allan Sandage: “the world’s greatest observational cosmologist, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution, was called the Grand Old Man of cosmology by The New York Times when he won a $1 million prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.”

William Phillips yet another Nobel laureate. Read a fascinating article about him.

David Cole: a Berkeley biochemist. Couldn’t find a bio page on him.

Francis Collins: director of the Human Genome Project, the largest scientific project ever undertaken, Dr. Collins once said I’d call myself a serious Christian. That is someone who believes in the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection, and who tries to integrate that into daily life and not just relegate it to something you talk about on Sunday morning. (source) Incidentally, Collins was an atheist who became a believer after attaining his doctorate.

Arno Penzias said “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.” (read more about him)

Owen Gingerich, professor of astronomy at Harvard and a devout Christian, said “I can only imagine that God, as a powerful force in the universe, could put on many different faces. If God is in fact all-powerful, there’s no reason why this all-powerful force in the universe could not represent itself and relate to the self-conscious human beings, in some fashion, through communication with human beings. And how do you communicate? Through prophets of all ages.” (source)

Related Stories

  • You might also want to take a look at the American Scientific Affiliation: a fellowship of men and women in science and disciplines that relate to science who share a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science.
  • Also read about our comment on Stanford’s own Don Knuth–the ultimate mac-daddy of computer science.
  • Larry Wall, creator of Perl and devout Christian, gets posed a tough question on Slashdot: read all about it.

last updated 5/21/2005: added Owen Gingerich

10 thoughts on “Scientists And Their Gods”

  1. hi there,
    u’ve taken quite an effort to compile those stuffs. it’s not just interesting but fascinating as well. well i will put in more of my thoughts later coz have to get up for my 8 am class for topology and functional analysis @ iit delhi. just wanna make sure i got to be the first to answer! hah this crazy race.

  2. Simply pointing out that a common assumption isn’t true: namely the assumption that none of today’s leading scientists believe in God or the Bible.

    Clearly a list like this doesn’t prove that Christianity is true anymore than a list of atheistic or Muslim scientists would prove their respective cases. But a list like this ought to cause people to reexamine some of their assumptions about the relationship of modern science and religion.

    And so what I am saying is this: if you’ve written off religious belief under the assumption that there’s an inherent contradiction between faith and science, you should give both faith and science a closer look.

  3. I feel as though I owe Mr. Garland’s impersonator some witty response, given how much thought he obviously put into his devastating attack upon my faith.

    But I will refrain.

    But since I’m always trying to help people improve their writing style, I will point out that the second “you” in his well-crafted essay is redundant.

  4. if science could be a means to spread the Gospel of God then so be it.

  5. Hello readers,
    It is strange that people of today cannot perceive the wonderful works of God all around us. To me it does not require any proof about God’s existence.Yet in any case more than 90% of the greatest scientists through the ages are sciencere believers in God.It is really great to note that great scientists of today are also following the steps of the giants.I subscribe to what Albert Einstein said,” Religion without Science is blind and Science without Religion is lame”

  6. God is our Father, God is the maker of all men while Scientists is the makers of all inventions and discoveries.But, that too from their Gods

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