Have you ever been told that Christians are anti-science? Have you ever been told that belief in Christianity has traditionally hindered scientific growth? Have you ever been told that God is a science stopper? If you've ever talked to atheists on the internet, chances are, you have. Internet atheists are very, very vocal about how pro-science they are and how anti-science Christians are.
History though shows that this is false. Some of the greatest scientists in history have been Christians, and gave made great contributions to science. Let’s take a few moments to remember these men of science and faith.
1: Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher, who laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities. Pascal invented the pascaline in the 1600s. Now, what is a pascaline, you might ask? A pascaline was the very first calculator ever invented. Its very name derives from Blaise’s last name *pascal*ine. The pascaline, you could imagine, was not nearly as advanced as calculators we have today, after all, it was the first one ever made. You could only add and subtract on the thing. Nevertheless, it was quite the high tech gadget of the day. Pascal invented the machine for his father, who made his living as a tax collector. Pascal built 50 pascalines over a period of 10 years.
According to Biography.com "At the end of the 1640s, Pascal temporarily focused his experiments on the physical sciences. Following in Evangelista Torricelli’s footsteps, Pascal experimented with how atmospheric pressure could be estimated in terms of weight. By taking readings of the barometric pressure at various altitudes, Pascal validated Torricelli's theory concerning the cause of barometrical variations."
2: Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician. Newton was born on January 4 1643. Newton is famous for his work on Gravity, but he also invented things. For example, Newton built reflecting lenses for telescopes, these caused images in smaller telescopes to be much more clear than the refracting models that existed at that time. Isaac also came up with anti-counterfeiting measures for coins, including the ridges you see on quarters today. He also developed calculus.
Newton was a Christian. He wrote a work titled, "Principia" in which he said "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…” Isaac Newton also said, "I have a foundational belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired."
It seems that in spite of what internet atheists want us to believe, belief in God is not a science stopper. It certainly wasn’t for Pascal, and neither was it for Newton. If it wasn’t for either of these men, we might not have calculators and calculus today.
3: Gallileo Gallilei
Galileo Galilei was an astronomer as well as a mathematics professor. Galileo’s research lead him into confirming heliocentrism; the theory that the Earth orbits the sun instead of the other way around, which Copernicus posed prior to Galileo but was as of that time unconfirmed.
Atheists love to use Galileo as an example of Christianity being the great oppressor of science. This is ironic because Galileo himself was a Christian. Galileo is the reason why Copernicus’ accurate theory of heliocentrism was confirmed, and yet Galileo was a firm believer in God. My all time favorite quote from Galileo is “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo is also quoted as saying “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.”
He also said “For the holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word, the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God's commands." Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany: Concerning the Use of Biblical Quotations in Matters of Science (1615), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 182-3
4: Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer who discovered three primary laws of planetary motion. "Among Kepler’s many other achievements, he provided a new and correct account of how vision occurs; he developed a novel explanation for the behaviour of light in the newly invented telescope; he discovered several new, semiregular polyhedrons; and he offered a new theoretical foundation for astrology while at the same time restricting the domain in which its predictions could be considered reliable." – from an article on Britannica.com, Johannes Kepler Biography, see http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johannes-Kepler
Kepler is quoted as saying “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.” And in another place, he said “For a long time, I wanted to become a theologian. Now, however, behold, how through my efforts, God is being glorified through astronomy.” Kepler is also credited with describing his scientific research and study of the universe as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
“The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.” – Johannes Kepler
Shortly before he died, he said he believed “only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ. In Him is all refuge, all solace." - Johannes Kepler, quoted in: J. H. Tiner, Johannes Kepler-Giant of Faith and Science, Mott Media, Milford, Michigan (USA), 1977, p. 193.
5: Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle was a natural philosopher, scientist and theologian. Boyle has made many contributions to science in not just one, but several scientific disciplines. His contributions to science range from the field of chemistry, to physics, to medicine, to hydrostatics, but he is most famous for Boyle's law. Boyle’s law describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, provided that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate and is contained in a closed system.
Robert Boyle is quoted as saying “From a knowledge of God’s work, we shall know him”. This quote was shown at the very beginning of The Case For A Creator movie, hosted by Lee Strobel.
An article from Christianity.com says, “All of Boyle's life, including his scientific work, was to glorify God. Many of his writings were decidedly theological. He wrote tracts on divine love, ethics, the evil of swearing, the excellence of theology, and the style of Scripture. He even tried his hand at a Christian novel, Martyrdom of Theodora and Didymus. In 1662 Boyle was influential in establishing the Royal Society. A majority of the first members were Christians who saw science as a means of understanding God's workings in nature. In his will he established a series of lectureships for proving the Christian religion against its opponents. The Boyle lectureships became an important forum for Christian apologetics, but the strongest apologetic Robert Boyle gave the world was his humble, upright, and dedicated Christian life.” -- Diane Severance, Ph.D. From the article "Robert Boyle: Father of Modern Chemistry", on Christianity.com, see -à http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1601-1700/robert-boyle-father-of-modern-chemistry-11630103.html
History disproves the atheist myth that Christianity is a hindrance to science. Scientists like these 5 had a firm belief in God and The Bible, and that did not hinder their research one iota. Newton discovered gravity, invented more efficient telescopes, invented calculus, and developed methods to better detect counterfeit coins. Blaise Pascal invented the first calculator. Galileo confirmed helocentrism. Robert Boyle produced Boyle’s Law. All of these scientists aided the journey to scientific knowledge. These 5 are only a small number of brilliant theistic scientists of history. A much longer list can be found in this article from the Institute For Creation Research.
The next time an atheist tells you that claiming that God created the universe is a science stopper, just remember these guys.