Bible-Believing Scientists of the Past

One of the self-serving arguments of modern evolutionists is their rather arrogant claim that creationist scientists are not real scientists. No matter that a large number of creationists have earned authentic Ph.D. degrees in science, hold responsible scientific positions and have published numerous scientific articles and books—if they are creationists, they are not true scientists! In a Letter-to-the-Editor, Steven Schafersman, of Rice University's Department of Geology, says, for example: "I dispute Henry Morris's claim that thousands of scientists are creationists. No scientist today questions the past and present occurrence of evolution in the organic world. Those ‘thousands of creationists' with legitimate post-graduate degrees and other appropriate credentials are not scientists, precisely because they have abandoned the scientific method and the scientific attitude, criteria far more crucial to the definition of scientist than the location or duration of one's training or the identity of one's employer" (Geotimes, August 1981, P. 11).

Thus modern creationists are conveniently excluded as scientists merely by definition! Science does not mean "knowledge" or "truth," or "facts," as we used to think, but "naturalism" or "materialism," according to this new definition. The very possibility of a Creator is prohibited by majority vote of the scientific fraternity, and one who still wishes to believe in God must forfeit his membership.

Well, no matter. At least we creationist scientists can take comfort in the fact that many of the greatest scientists of the past were creationists and for that matter, were also Bible-believing Christians, men who believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were "thinking God's thoughts after Him," learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God's glory and man's good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the "scientific method." In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper "scientific attitude," for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age. The mechanistic scientists of the present are dwarfed in comparison to these intellectual giants of the past. Even the achievements of an Einstein (not to mention Darwin!) are trivial in comparison. The real breakthroughs, the new fields, the most beneficial discoveries of science were certainly not delayed (in fact probably were hastened) by the creationist motivations of these great founders of modern science.

TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

 

TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

Nor should anyone suppose that their commitment to theism and creationism was only because they were not yet acquainted with modern philosophies. Many were strong opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc.). Even those who lived before Darwin were strong opponents of earlier evolutionary systems, not to mention pantheism, atheism, and other such anti-supernaturalist philosophies, which were every bit as prevalent then as now.

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist "fathers" of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

In each case, the scientists listed were strict creationists, unreservedly believing in the Bible and the God of the Bible. Some were "progressive creationists," but none were theistic evolutionists, so far as can be determined. They came from a variety of denominational backgrounds and doctrinal persuasions, but all were at least professing Christians, committed to the basic doctrines of Christianity. Additional biographical data concerning both their Christian convictions and their scientific contributions have been compiled recently by the writer for a chapter in a future book and it has been a great personal blessing to share in their lives and studies in this way. The mere listing of their names in these summary Tables may seem impersonal, but even this bare compilation is impressive.

The scientific achievements of modern creationist scientists do not yet measure up to those of these earlier creationists (neither do the attainments of modern evolutionists for that matter), but we at least have the same beliefs, the same motivations and the same spiritual resources. There is a much greater weight of establishment prejudice to overcome today, but the God of Robert Boyle and the God of Clerk Maxwell is still the same "Creator, who is blessed for ever" (Romans 1:25), "Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, 0 Lord our God: for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. 0 Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee." (II Chronicles 14:11).

* Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.

Cite this article: Morris, H. M. 1982. Bible-Believing Scientists of the Past. Acts & Facts. 11 (1).


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