I see your earlier posts about early science, all those people who started up scientific enquiry. Impressive history. Maybe back them it was easier to see the designer. But since Darwin, it seems to me there is a great decline in people claiming to believe. What’s current situation?
Yes I think it is harder to believe in twentieth century terms, the hyper-rationalism, materialism, naturalism – all philosophies that flourished together until the nuclear bombs starting go off and people realized that unbridled trust in rational science may not be a simple one-way blessing. It’s like the time when people realized that not all priests were doing the right things – trust crumbled which simply made the situation worse for a while until real remedies came in in the past decade or so. There is another layer to this I have been told by science faculty too. People of faith are ‘not allowed’ to say so. That is, in the name of ‘being secular’ they keep quiet in the public sphere, or for fear of being flamed by a proseltyzing atheist in their department, they keep their heads down. Either way, you wont know their faith as easily these days as used to happen. The following list makes it clear that where the research is done, the connection between faith and science is still very strong.
(Extracted from the book, 50 NOBEL LAUREATES AND OTHER GREAT SCIENTISTS WHO BELIEVE IN GOD, comprises religious quotations from the most influential scientists in the world.)
In the course of my 11-year research I have studied hundreds of books, articles and letters – primarily those found in the archives of the National Library of Bulgaria (Sofia), Biblioteca Comunale di Milano and the Austrian National Library (Vienna). I have also corresponded with many contemporary Nobel Prize-winning scientists who have shared their personal beliefs about God.
I believe that this book will inspire believers, will give hope to seekers and that it will challenge those who think that religion and contemporary science are in insurmountable conflict.
1. ALBERT EINSTEIN, Nobel Laureate in Physics:
1. ¨ “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, as cited in Clark 1973, 33).
2. ¨ “The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior Reasoning Power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God.” (Einstein, as cited in Libby Anfinsen 1995).
Clark, Ronald W. 1985. The Life of Ernst Chain: Penicillin and Beyond. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Anfinsen, Libby. 1995. Memorial speech for Christian Anfinsen at Memorial Garden Dedication, Weizmann Institute. November 16. (The Christian Anfinsen Papers. Profiles in Science.) U.S. National Library of Medicine.
PS. A letter written by Einstein to Gutkind was made public recently which appears to indicate that Einstein became an atheist toward the end of his life. The author of this web site contends that such conclusion is not necessarily justified.
2. MAX PLANCK, Nobel Laureate in Physics
1. ¨ In his famous lecture Religion and Science (May 1937) Planck wrote: “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).
2. ¨ “Religion represents a bond of man to God. It consists in reverent awe before a supernatural Might [Macht], to which human life is subordinated and which has in its power our welfare and misery. To remain in permanent contact with this Might and keep it all the time inclined to oneself, is the unending effort and the highest goal of the believing man. Because only in such a way can one feel himself safe before expected and unexpected dangers, which threaten one in his life, and can take part in the highest happiness – inner psychical peace – which can be attained only by means of strong bond to God and unconditional trust to His omnipotence and willingness to help.” (Max Planck 1958, 9).