BREATHING AND BELIEVING 21 CENTURY SCIENTISTS
Continuing the series in Max Doubt beyond those lists and individuals already published, this list includes the latest practitioners of science and faith. It is getting easier, after a blackout during the twentieth century, to discuss faith and science, and to get on with solving and implementing on issues of common concern..
Interest in the relationship between science and religion has increased in recent decades due to continued controversies and recognition from awards like the Templeton Prize.
Sir Robert Boyd (1922–2004): A pioneer in British space science who was Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He lectured on faith being a founder of the "Research Scientists’ Christian Fellowship" and an important member of its predecessorChristians in Science
Alberto Dou Mas de Xaxàs, 1915-2009, Spanish/Catalan Jesuit priest and one of the foremost mathematicians of his country. He was a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and a Professor of Mathematics at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and he was Rector of Universidad de Deusto from 1974 to 1977.
Mariano Artigas (1938–2006): He had doctorates in both physics and philosophy. He belonged to the European Association for the Study of Science and Theology and also received a grant from the Templeton Foundation for his work in the area of science and religion]
J. Laurence Kulp (1921–2006): Plymouth Brethren member who led major studies on the effects of nuclear fallout and acid rain. He was a prominent advocate in American Scientific Affiliation circles in favor of an Old Earth and against flood geology.
Walter Kohn (1923-) –American theoretical physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1998
"I am very much a scientist, and so I naturally have thought about religion also through the eyes of a scientist. When I do that, I see religion not denominationally, but in a more, let us say, deistic sense. I have been influence in my thinking by the writing of Einstein who has made remarks to the effect that when he contemplated the world he sensed an underlying Force much greater than any human force. I feel very much the same. There is a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, and a sense of great mystery."
John Billings (1918–2007): Australian physician who developed the Billings ovulation method of Natural family planning. In 1969, Billings was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (KCSG) by Pope Paul VI.
C. F. von Weizsäcker (1912–2007): German nuclear physicist who is the co-discoverer of the Bethe-Weizsäcker formula. His The Relevance of Science: Creation and Cosmogony concerned Christian and moral impacts of science. He headed the Max Planck Society from 1970 to 1980. After that he retired to be a Christian pacifist.
John Archibald Wheeler (1911–2008): American theoretical physicist who was largely responsible for reviving interest in general relativity in the United States after World War II. One of the later collaborators of Albert Einstein, he tried to achieve Einstein’s vision of a unified field theory. He is also known for popularizing the term black hole, and for coining the term wormhole. He was a lifelong Unitarian.
Stanley Jaki (1924–2009) Benedictine priest and Distinguished Professor of Physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, who won a Templeton Prize and advocated the idea modern science could only have arisen in a Christian society.
Nicola Cabibbo (1935–2010): Italian physicist, best known for his work on the weak interaction. He was also the president of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics from 1983 to 1992, and from 1993 until his death he was the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Allan Sandage (1926–2010): An astronomer who did not really study Christianity until after age forty. He wrote the article A Scientist Reflects on Religious Belief and made discoveries concerning the Cigar Galaxy.
Ernan McMullin (1924–2011): Ordained in 1949 as a catholic priest, McMullin was a philosopher of science who taught at the University of Notre Dame. McMullin wrote on the relationship between cosmology and theology, the role of values in understanding science, and the impact of science on Western religious thought, in books such as Newton on Matter and Activity (1978) and The Inference that Makes Science (1992). He was also an expert on the life of Galileo. McMullin also opposed intelligent design and defended theistic evolution.
Stephen Meyers (1958–): Physicist and earth science. Meyers wrote Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt. Worked as a geophysicist for the Atlantic Richfield Company. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science in 1991. Director of theCenter for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute and Vice President and Senior Fellow at the DI.
Still Living (we hope)
This section concerns significant Christian thinkers in science who are alive today. Those who lead organizations of Christians in science or who write works concerning how Christians of today respond to science.
Eben Alexander (born 1953): American, Harvard-educated neurosurgeon best known for his book, "Proof of Heaven", in which he describes his 2008 near death experience. In a recent interview, Dr Alexander said: "It’s time for brain science, mind science, physics, cosmology, to move from kindergarten up into first grade and realize we will never truly understand consciousness with that simplistic materialist mindset.
Werner Arber (born 1929): Werner Arber is a Swiss microbiologist and geneticist. Along with American researchers Hamilton Smith and Daniel Nathans, Werner Arber shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction endonucleases. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Arber as President of the Pontifical Academy—the first Protestant to hold that position.
Francisco Ayala, born in 1934, Spanish geneticist and naturalized US citizen, former Dominican priest and a distinguished professor at University of California Irvine. He is the recipient of the 2010 Templeton Prize and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the winner of the National medal of science. Dr. Ayala has worked extensively on the relationship between the Christian faith and evolutionary theory.
Robert T. Bakker (born 1945): Paleontologist who was a figure in the "dinosaur Renaissance" and known for the theory some dinosaurs were Warm-blooded. He is also a Pentecostal preacher who advocates theistic evolution and has written on religion.
R. J. Berry (born 1934): He is a former president of both the Linnean Society of London and the Christians in Science group. He also wrote God and the Biologist: Personal Exploration of Science and Faith (Apollos 1996) ISBN 0-85111-446-6 H taught atUniversity College London for over 20 years.
Derek Burke (born 1930): British academic and molecular biologist. Formerly a vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Professor Burke has been a specialist advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology since 1985.
Ben Carson (born 1951): American neurosurgeon. He is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. Carson has stated, "I don’t believe in evolution …. I simply don’t have enough faith to believe that something as complex as our ability to rationalize, think, and plan, and have a moral sense of what’s right and wrong, just appeared.”
Alasdair Coles Alasdair Coles is a lecturer in neuroimmunology at Cambridge University and an honorary consultant neurologist to Addenbrooke’s and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals. He is involved in research into new treatments for multiple sclerosis. His amateur research interest, in the neurological basis for religious experience, came from managing a small cohort of patients with spiritual experiences due to temporal lobe epilepsy and he has given lectures on this subject at several universities. Coles was ordained in the Church of England in 2008 and is now a curate at St Andrews Church, Cambridge, alongside his medical and scientific work.
Charles Foster (born 1962): Charles Foster is a science writer on natural history, evolutionary biology, and theology. A Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Linnean Society of London, Foster has advocatedtheistic evolution in his book, The Selfless Gene (2009).
John Gurdon (born 1933): Sir John Bertrand Gurdon is a British developmental biologist. In 2012, he and Shinya Yamanaka were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells. In an interview with EWTN.com on the subject of working with the Vatican in dialogue, he says "I’m not a Roman Catholic. I’m a Christian, of the Church of England…I’ve never seen the Vatican before, so that’s a new experience, and I’m grateful for it."
William B. Hurlbut (born 194?): William Hurlbut is a physician and Consulting Professor at the Stanford Neuroscience Institute, Stanford University Medical Center. In addition to teaching at Stanford, Hurlbut served for eight years on the President’s Council on Bioethics and is nationally known for his advocacy of Altered Nuclear Transfer (ANT).
Brian Kobilka (born 1955): He is an American Nobel Prize winner of Chemistry in 2012, and is professor in the departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kobilka attends the Catholic Community at Stanford, California.
Denis Lamoureux (born 1954): Denis Lamoureux is an evolutionary creationist and holds a professorial chair of science and religion at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta, Canada—the first of its kind in Canada, and with Phillip E. Johnson, Lamoureux co-authored Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins (1999). Lamoureux has also written Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution (2008).
Noella Marcellino (born 1951): American Benedictine nun with a degree in microbiology. Her field of interests include fungi and the effects of decay and putrefaction.
Simon C. Morris (born 1951): British paleontologist who made his reputation through study of the Burgess Shale fossils. He was the co-winner of a Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal and also won a Lyell Medal. He is active in the Faraday Institute for study of science and religion and is also noted on discussions concerning the idea of theistic evolution.
William Newsome (born 1952): Bill Newsome is a neuroscientist at Stanford University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Newsome is the co-chair of the BRAIN Initiative, "a rapid planning effort for a ten-year assault on how the brain works."Newsome is also a Christian and has written about his faith: "When I discuss religion with my fellow scientists…I realize I am an oddity — a serious Christian and a respected scientist.
Joan Roughgarden (born 1946): An evolutionary biologist who has taught at Stanford University since 1972. She wrote the book Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist
Mary Higby Schweitzer (born 19??): paleontologist at North Carolina State University who believes strongly in the synergy of the Christian faith and the truth of empirical science.
Gerhard Ertl (born 1936): He is a 2007 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. He has said in an interview that "I believe in God. (…) I am a Christian and I try to live as a Christian (…) I read the Bible very often and I try to understand it."
Henry F. Schaefer, III (born 1944): He wrote Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? ISBN 0-9742975-0-X and is a signatory of A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. He was awarded the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry in 1979.
Brian Kobilka (born 1955): He is an American Nobel Prize winner of Chemistry in 2012, and is professor in the departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kobilka attends the Catholic Community at Stanford, Calif.
Peter Bussey: British particle physicist and Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Glasgow. Educated at Cambridge University (MA, PhD, ScD), Doctor Bussey is involved in the search for the Higgs boson, and works at major international particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, DESY in Hamburg. He has given many lectures about issues concerning Christian faith and cosmology.
Antony Hewish (born 1924): Antony Hewish is a British Radio Astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974 (together with Martin Ryle) for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars. He was also awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1969. Hewish is a Christian. Hewish also wrote in his introduction to John Polkinghorne‘s 2009 Questions of Truth, "The ghostly presence of virtual particles defies rational common sense and is non-intuitive for those unacquainted with physics. Religious belief in God, and Christian belief … may seem strange to common-sense thinking. But when the most elementary physical things behave in this way, we should be prepared to accept that the deepest aspects of our existence go beyond our common-sense understanding.
Walter Thirring (born 1927): Austrian physicist after whom the Thirring model in quantum field theory is named. He is the son of the physicist Hans Thirring, co-discoverer of the Lense-Thirring frame dragging effect in general relativity. He also wrote Cosmic Impressions: Traces of God in the Laws of Nature.
George Coyne, born in 1933, Jesuit astronomer and former director of the Vatican Observatory.
Guy Consolmagno, born in 1952, American Jesuit astronomer who works at the Vatican Observatory.
Russell Stannard (born 1931): British particle physicist who has written several books on the relationship between religion and science, such as Science and the Renewal of Belief, Grounds for Reasonable Belief and Doing Away With God?.
Robert Griffiths (born 1937): A noted American physicist at Carnegie Mellon University. He has written on matters of science and religion.
George Francis Rayner Ellis (born 1939): Professor of Complex Systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, and is considered one of the world’s leading theorists in cosmology. He is an active Quaker and in 2004 he won the Templeton Prize.
Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. (born 1941): American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his discovery with Russell Alan Hulse of a "new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation.
Colin Humphreys (born 1941): He is a British physicist. He is the former Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science and a current Director of Research at Cambridge University, Professor of Experimental Physics at the Royal Institution in London and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. Humphreys also "studies the Bible when not pursuing his day-job as a materials scientist."
Frank J. Tipler (born 1947): Frank Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University. Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. His theological and scientific theorizing are not without controversy, but he has some supporters; for instance, Christian theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg has defended his theology, and physicist David Deutschhas incorporated Tipler’s idea of an Omega Point.
J. Richard Gott (born 1947): Gott is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. He is known for developing and advocating two cosmological theories with the flavor of science fiction: Time travel and the Doomsday argument. When asked of his religious views in relation to his science, Gott responded that "I’m a Presbyterian. I believe in God; I always thought that was the humble position to take. I like what Einstein said: “God is subtle but not malicious.” I think if you want to know how the universe started, that’s a legitimate question for physics. But if you want to know why it’s here, then you may have to know—to borrow Stephen Hawking’s phrase—the mind of God."
William Daniel Phillips (born 1948): 1997 Nobel laureate in Physics (1997) who is a founding member of The International Society for Science and Religion.
John D. Barrow (born 1952): English cosmologist who did notable writing on the implications of the Anthropic principle. He is a United Reformed Church member and Christian deist. He won the Templeton Prize in 2006. He once held the position of Gresham Professor of Astronomy.
Stephen Barr (born 1953): Physicist who worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory and contributed papers to Physical Review as well as Physics Today. He also is a Catholic who writes for First Things and wrote Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. He teaches at the University of Delaware.
Karl W. Giberson (born 1957): Canadian physicist and evangelical, who has published several books on the relationship between science and religion, such as The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions and Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution.
Andrew Pinsent (born 1966): Fr. Andrew Pinsent, a Catholic priest, is the Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University. He is also a particle physicist, whose previous work contributed to the DELPHI experiment at CERN
Pamela Gay (born 1973): An American astronomer, educator and writer, best known for her work in astronomical podcasting. Doctor Gay received her PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2002.
Ard Louis: A reader in Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford. Prior to his post at Oxford he taught Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University where he was also director of studies in Natural Sciences at Hughes Hall. He has written for The BioLogos Forum.
Gerald B. Cleaver (born ?): Professor in the Department of Physics at Baylor University and head of the Early Universe Cosmology and Strings (EUCOS) division of Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research (CASPER). His research specialty is string phenomenology and string model building.
Manuel García Doncel, (born 1930), Spanish Jesuit physicist, formerly Professor of Physics at Universidad de Barcelona.
Ian H. Hutchinson (born ?): Professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His primary research interest is plasma physics and its practical applications. He and his MIT team designed, built and operate the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, an international experimental facility whose magnetically confined plasmas are prototypical of a future fusion reactor. He has spoken with the American Scientific Affiliation on the intersections of Christianity and science, and with The Veritas Forum as well.
Richard H. Bube (born 1927): He is an emeritus professor of the material sciences at Stanford University. He is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation.]
Freeman Dyson (born 1923): He has won the Lorentz Medal, the Max Planck Medal, and the Lewis Thomas Prize. He also ranked 25th in The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll. He has won the Templeton Prize and delivered one of the Gifford Lectures. He is famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics.
Walter Thirring (1927-2014), eminent Austrian quantum physicist, authored Cosmic Impressions, Templeton Press, Philadelphia and London, in 2007, and in that book he sums up his feelings about the scientific discoveries made by modern cosmology:
“In the last decades, new worlds have been unveiled that our great teachers wouldn’t have even dreamed of. The panorama of cosmic evolution now enables deep insights into the blueprint of creation…. Human beings recognize the blueprints, and understand the language of the Creator…. These realizations do not make science the enemy of religion, but glorify the book of Genesis in the Bible.“
John T. Houghton (born 1931): He is the co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and won a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society. He’s also former Vice President of Christians in Science.
John Suppe (born 1943): He is a Professor of Geology at National Taiwan University, Geosciences Emeritus at Princeton University. He has written articles like "Thoughts on the Epistemology of Christianity in Light of Science."
Eric Priest (born 1943): An authority on Solar Magnetohydrodynamics who won the George Ellery Hale Prize among others. He has spoken on Christianity and Science at the University of St Andrews and is a member of the Faraday Institute. He is also interested in prayer, meditation, and Christian psychology.]
Robert J. Wicks (born 1946): Robert Wicks is a clinical psychologist who has written on the intersections of spirituality and psychology. Wicks for more than 30 years has been teaching at universities and professional schools of psychology, medicine, nursing, theology, and social work, currently at Loyola University Maryland. In 2996, he was a recipient of The Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Papacy for distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church.
Mike Hulme (born 1960): Mike Hulme is a professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and is the author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change. He has said of his Christian faith, "I believe because I have not discovered a better explanation of beauty, truth and love than that they emerge in a world created – willed into being – by a God who personifies beauty, truth and love."[
Michael Reiss (born 1960): Michael Reiss is a British bioethicist, science educator, and an Anglican priest. He was Director of Education at the Royal Society from 2006 to 2008. Reiss has campaigned for the teaching of evolution,[ and is Professor of Science Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, where he is Pro-Director of Research and Development.
Justin L. Barrett (born 1971): Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development and Professor of Psychology at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology after being a researcher at Oxford, Barrett is a cognitive scientist specializing in the cognitive science of religion. He has published "Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology" (Templeton Press, 2011). Barrett has been described by the New York Times as ‘an observant Christian who believes in “an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God who brought the universe into being,” as he wrote in an e-mail message. “I believe that the purpose for people is to love God and love each other.”’
Denis Alexander (born 1945): Director of the Faraday Institute and author of Rebuilding the Matrix – Science and Faith in the 21st Century. He also supervises a research group in cancer and immunology at the Babraham Institute.