Friday, September 10, 2010

Quotes from Scientists #2

Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981 Nobel Prize in physics): "It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life." (1)

Wernher von Braun (Pioneer rocket engineer) "I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science." (2)

Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT physicist): "The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine." (3)

(1) Margenau, H. and R. A. Varghese, eds. Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens (Open Court Pub. Co., La Salle, IL, 1992).
(2) McIver, T. 1986. Ancient Tales and Space-Age Myths of Creationist Evangelism. The Skeptical Inquirer 10:258-276.
(3) Margenau, H and R.A. Varghese, ed. 1992. Cosmos, Bios, and Theos. La Salle, IL, Open Court, p. 52.

These quotes were pulled from:


  1. Personal preference. I have always found arguments of design/ Teleology arguments of that sort somewhat distasteful. Suppose for a moment the sciences unravel all the mysteries of the universe including how the universe came into being/ eternal. Now suppose the sciences are able to ascribe NATURAL causes to absolutely everything, there is no stone left unturned, there is no NEED for a GOD of the Gaps. What then? Where will the William Lang Cregs and the Lee Stobels turn? Back to Scripture... Where else. Because, even if the sciences discover How everything became the way it is now, this would still not eliminate the question of, Is there a God and what meaning does my life have, or Jesus becoming flesh and dying for our sins...C.S. Lewis discusses this style of argumentation in Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man.

  2. I agree with what you said, David. Arguments from design are not my favorite preference either. Like you said, the teleological argument only argues for the existence of God, only showing a Creator, not the Savior. Because of this William Lang Craig and Lee Strobel do more than just design arguments. And I've never seen those two stop with design or only share design, even in a debate just on the existence of God. They always move beyond that to the evidence of Christ's divinity.

    What I like about these quotes is that they show that the current discoveries by scientists are not showing a natural explanations of the universe. They are discovering that the evidence points to God, and more and more, that is the case with science. And if Christianity is correct, as I firmly have faith that it is, science will inevitably show a Creator, not a natural universe. After all, Darwin's theory was only for the origin of species, not the origin of life!

    That's why I think it's very interesting, that now that scientific evidence is clearly pointing to a creator, as these quotes from leading scientists are illustrating, there seems to be a cultural shift towards pluralism. Now that science shows there must be a Creator, the world says, "That's cool if there's a Creator, because it doesn't matter who that creator is, and if you think you can say who that creator is, then you're close-minded and intolerant or others, especially if you are a Christian." I wonder what Zeitgeist was behind that strategic move?

  3. Of course, The Craigs and Strobels of the world don't stop with teleology. The Atheists response demands the argument to continue. example;

    1. Theists: Mr. Atheists, how do you explain all the complexity in the universe? (Simplified for Brevity's sake, Take whichever version you like)
    2. Atheists: well, I Don't try to... everything is the way it is and there's no reason for it to be this way or that way. If things had happened differently then they would be different. There is no need for an explanation when the presupposition does not contain a creator predicate.

    Or another way, all arguments from design suffer the same flaw... They are all circular. You may have to hunt to find the premises contained within the conclusion but its there.

    Furthermore, if we were to somehow discover a complexity which could not be explained, I would be cautious to come out and say, "see, proof there must be a designer God" We can hear the response from the scientific community, "It's not God we just haven't figured it out yet..." We are just giving Atheists ammunition against us when we come out in that fashion.

    Conclusions, let scientists practice science. If scientists come out one day and say the Universe has always existed, FINE! Let them... This has NO bearing What so EVER on the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. Science, real science, makes no claims on Gods existence. They can't, they can only point to a universe and say this is how it came about. Moral questions, ethics, purpose, these are all areas true sciences are silent. If they are not, then they have smuggled a naturalistic/materialism philosophy and are trying to pass that off as science and we should not be tricked.

    thank you for your time )