THE SPACE AGE
by Rev. Br. G. G. Sherriff, C.F.C.
Every time man discovers something new, he is introduced to a reality
or truth he did not know before. Since God is truth, any sincere man
can, through discovery, be brought closer to God.
A.C.T.S. No 1569 (1970)
* * * * * * *
A SCIENTIST'S BELIEF
* That the power of God is complete.
* That the authority of God is absolute and final.
* That God is both Creator and Redeemer.
* That in his providence, God is in control of his creation, and that
he rules in the affairs of men and that for this, Christ is his
instrument and our contact.
* That God is just (Yet I do not always understand.)
* That God is loving, for he has provided a way through Jesus Christ,
so that by commitment to him we may meet God's requirements and be
acceptable to him.
* That the Bible, as the revealed Word of God, is the supreme authority
for my faith and life.
ELMER W. ENGSTROM,
* * * * * * *
President Radio Corporation of America.
February 10, 1970
* * * * * * *
ON THE MOON
Christmas 1968 was a Christmas that will be remembered always, for then
three men circled the moon for the first time. It was man's greatest
scientific achievement to date. This pinnacle of human endeavour
reminded mankind of the greatness of the universe and the power and the
majesty of God. From 200,000 miles in space a message was beamed to
mankind from Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William
Anders. The message read:
"For all people back on earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that
we would like to send to you.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth
was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
"And God said, "Let there be light." And there was light. And God saw
the light that it was good and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And the
evening and the morning were the first day.
"And God said, Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters, and let
it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and
divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which
were above the firmament. And it was so.
"And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning
were the second day.
"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in
one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called
the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called
seas, and God saw that it was good."
"And from the crew of Apollo 8," continued Commander Borman, "we close
with a good night, good luck and a Merry Christmas. And God bless all
of you . . . . all of you on the good earth."
Earlier Borman had prayed from 230,000 miles in space when he saw a
small blue and green earth blob far outside his window.
"Give us, O God, the vision which can see your love in the world in
spite of human failure.
* Give us the faith to trust your
goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
* Give us the knowledge that we may
continue to pray with understanding hearts.
* And show us what each one of us can
do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace. Amen."
So at the very pinnacle of scientific success when because of the
co-operation and hard work of several thousand men three men orbited
the moon, these men remind us of the power and goodness of God.
Jim Lovell summed up his thoughts by concluding his description of his
lunar flight by quoting a poem written by a Canadian aviator in the
Second World War.
"I thought about these lines," wrote Lovell, "they were with me through
my entire flight. I guess they say what I wish I were articulate enough
to say, about my experience up there:
"I've trod the high untrespassed
sanctity of space, and felt the face of God."
* * * * *
Then at 6.18 a.m. (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on July 21st,
1969, an achievement unique in the history of mankind took place; man's
first true spacecraft, Eagle,
landed on the moon's surface. At 12.55 p.m. the same day Neil Armstrong
took one small step on the moon's surface . . . .
It was, in a sense, an achievement shared by the whole human race,
because never before has an audience of 500 million people spread over
most of the world watched breathlessly an exploration that could have
failed at any second if one of the million or so parts had gone wrong.
Probably half a million people had worked on the project. It was
* * * * *
To honour this event a dedicatory inscription written personally by
Pope Paul VI and a small Papal flag were among items the astronauts of
Apollo 11 left on the surface of the moon.
The translated text of the Papal letter is:
* "O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is
your name over all the earth!
You have exalted Your majesty above the
heavens . . ..
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have fashioned praise,
because of Your foes, to silence the hostile and the vengeful.
When we behold the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the
stars which You set in place -
What is man that You should be mindful of him or the son of man that
You should take care of him?
You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with
glory and honour.
You have given him rule over the works of Your hands, putting all
things under his feet; all sheep and the birds of the air, the fishes
of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth."
"For the glory of the Name of God, who gives men such power,
We pray and wish well for this
-Pope Paul VI. - A.D. 1969.
All the astronauts have been amazed at the great beauty of the universe
. . . . the "richest blackness" of the sky; the "blue and white" of
planet Earth from outer space, and its "almost iridescent band of blue
which formed the horizon" . . . . (all so beautiful that Schweickart of
Apollo 9 "was just overwhelmed by the beauty of it all"); the
remarkable colours on the moon that appear to change from tan to grey
to black as one moves in relation to the sun; . . . . the eerie effect
of the transparent moon dust that radiates out parallel to the surface
when disturbed. "Beautiful, beautiful," exclaimed Buzz Aldren when
first stepping into the mystic surface of the moon. "It has a stark
beauty all its own. It's very pretty out here." Neil Armstrong
described its appearance after his historic statement, "That's one
small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Edwin Aldren summed up his thoughts after his return to planet earth .
. . "in reflecting the events of the last several days, a verse from
the psalms comes to my mind . . . . "When
I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the
stars which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him."
Thus this "one small step for man" has truly become "one giant leap for
mankind" because it has made men of all nations think of the greatness
of the universe and so of the power of God . . . . or to express these
sentiments in the words of Albert Einstein . . . . "the
rapturous amazement at the harmony of the natural law." Though man's
knowledge of science has increased so rapidly in the last decades, as
Sir Isaac Newton
says, "the vast ocean of truth lies still undiscovered before him."
To give but some insignificant idea of the divine magnificence of the
universe we quote from the American astronomer, Dr. Conklin, who in
1969 has computed what may be the earth's Basic Motion in relation to
the unimaginable reaches of the universe itself.
"By observation astronomers calculate that a "fixed" point near the
equator is moving at 1,000 miles per hour round the earth's axis . . .
. That the earth moves at 66,500 miles per hour in orbit round the sun
. . . . That the solar system circles the core of our galaxy, the milky
way, at 481,000 miles per hour . . . . And that the milky way orbits
the centre of a "supercluster" of some 2,500 nearby galaxies at
1,350,000 miles per hour; but even that is not all . . . . . In addition to the motions of the solar
system, the milky way, and the "supercluster" of galaxies, astronomers
believe that all these groups move through the universe itself."
Truly "What is man, God, that You are mindful of him?"
SCIENTISTS OF THE PAST
Max Planck in his "Where is Science Going?"
stated "It is not by accident that
the greatest thinkers of all ages were also deeply religious souls."
The truth of such a statement can be fittingly illustrated from the
life of Sir Isaac Newton,
whose tomb in Westminster bears the inscription, "Let men rejoice that
so great a glory of the human race has appeared." Voltaire claimed that
"if all the geniuses of the universe were assembled, Newton should lead
the band." Alexander Pope
aptly expressed the same sentiment when he wrote, "Nature and Nature's
Laws lay hid in night; God said, 'Let Newton be'; and all was light."
What Newton thought of himself, however, was different, when towards
the end of his life he humbly stated, "To
myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore,
ever finding a smoother pebble and a prettier shell while the great
ocean of truth lies all undiscovered before me."
He was forever impressed by the greatness of God . . . . "Whence is it
that Nature does nothing in vain; and whence arises all that order and
beauty which we see in the world?"
Speaking of God, he continued, "This
being governs all things as Lord over all, and on account of His
dominion He is called Lord God . . . . It is the dominion of a
spiritual being . . . . the true God is a living, intelligent and
Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, stated on more than
one occasion that "Science
positively affirms creative power . . . . If you think strongly enough
you will be forced by science to believe in God." And "Kelvin",
according to Sir Bertrand Windle, F.R.S., M.A., Sc.D., I.L.D., Ph.D.,
"can hardly be said to have had a superior or even an equal save Newton
Charles Darwin, the man who
first proposed the theory of evolution, which created an intellectual
and religious upheaval right throughout the world, concludes his famous
book the "Origin of Species"
with a firm testimony to his belief in a living God . . . . Speaking of
his theory of evolution he concludes his book with . . . ."There is a grandeur in this view of life,
with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator
into a few forms or into one; and that, while this planet has gone
cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a
beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and
are being evolved."
Science still speculates on the
Darwinian Theory, though. Darwin wrote to Bentham, "When we
come to details we cannot prove that a single species has changed." (Life and Letters 1, 210).
Sir Ambrose Fleming in his
presidential address to the Philosophical Society of Great Britain,
stated, "We can quite appropriately
assert that the origin of man is to be looked for in the creative -
power of a self-conscious Creator and supreme intelligence and will"
and not to a blind evolution.
Blaise Pascal, Frenchman,
achieved fame as a mathematician, a physicist, an inventor, a writer, a
theologian and a philosopher. He abandoned science and mathematics in
1654 for "total submission to Jesus
Christ". It is in his letters that his country praises him most
- "A triumph of literary art of which no familiarity dims the splendour
and which no lapse of time can impair." After his death, his famous Pensees (Thoughts) were
found. There were 924 of these religious thoughts that have become
world known, particularly since these, his letters and his Scientific
Treatises have been included in the "Great Books of the Western World".
In June 1662 Pascal out of Christian charity gave shelter to a poor
family suffering from small-pox. He himself moved to Gilberte, where he
died later on in the same year aged 39. He had written in his Pensees years before, "All bodies together and all minds
together and all their works are of less worth than the smallest act of
charity. Charity is of an infinitely higher order."
Pierre Termier, world famous
geologist, wrote over twenty-four pages of Christian Witness,
including, "I cannot survey the
history of the earth without finding the idea of God, who is not only a
Creator but who governs that world with a loving providence, quite
natural and almost necessary."
Fabre, the famous
entomologist, wrote: "After 88 years
of thought and observation I say not merely I believe in God - I can
even say that I see Him. Before these mysteries of life reason bows and
abandons itself to adoration of the Author of these miracles " . . . .
Alessandro Volta, famous for his experiments with electricity,
claimed, "I have always believed and
still believe the Holy Catholic Faith to be the one true and infallible
religion; and I constantly give thanks to God who has infused into me
this belief, in which I desire to live and die, with the firm hope of
Louis Pasteur's statement, "It
is because I have thought and studied much that I have kept the faith"
is true for many intellectuals. He himself found God again through his
study of science. "I see everywhere
the inevitable expression of the Infinite in the world, through it the
supernatural is at the bottom of every heart."
The great mathematical genius Augustin
L. Cauchy testified to his faith . . . . "I, with Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, Descartes, Newton, Fermat, Lubnitz, Pascal, Grimaldi, Euler Gulden, Boscovich, Gerdil, with all great
astronomers, all great physicists, all great mathematicians of past
ages, believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ."
Life Magazine, May
30th, 1955, paid a special tribute to Albert
Einstein (1879-1955) in an article entitled "Death of a Genius"
by Life editor, William Miller. It stated, "the entire world mourned
for the greatest scientific thinker of his age."
This tribute contained an account of an interview between Einstein and
William Miller, his son, Pat, and a Dr. Hermanns. The interview was
conducted at Einstein's home. "Looking about the room," wrote Miller,
"I was struck by a porcelain figure of a Madonna and Child in a
corner." Einstein had had carved above the fireplace in a room at Fine
Hall, Princeton, the words: "God, who creates and is Nature, is very
difficult to understand, but He is not arbitrary or malicious." This
silent testimony of his belief in God, unorthodox though it was, was
certainly real. "I cannot prove to
you," he told Miller, "that
there is no personal God . . . . the presence of a superior reasoning
power, revealed in the incomprehensible universe forms my idea of God."
Einstein continued: "You will hardly
find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds, without
peculiar religious feeling of his own . . . . His religious feeling
takes the form of rapturous amazement at the harmony of the natural
law. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work. It is
beyond question akin to what has possessed the religious geniuses of
"I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith.
The situation may be expressed by an image, 'Science without religion
is lame, religion without science is blind' . . . . Where faith is
lacking, science degenerates into a mechanical rule of thumb business"
. . . . "One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the
mysteries of eternity, of life and of the marvellous structure of
We conclude this section with the testimony of Sir Ambrose Fleming, English
physicist and electrical engineer, winner of both the Hughes Medal and
the Albert Medal of the Royal Society. "We can quite appropriately assert that
the origin of man can be looked for in the creative power of a
self-conscious Creator and supreme intelligence and will. We cannot,
however, assume that a mere abstract term such as evolution, which
merely connotes a gradual change, is a vera causa in a scientific
PLANCK - THE SCIENTIST WHO FOUND GOD
When the great Albert Einstein was asked to write an introduction to
Max Planck's book, "Where is
Science Going?" he was embarrassed, and stated, "Why should I tell of his greatness? It
needs no paltry confirmation of mine. His work has given one of the
most powerful of all impulses to the progress of science. His ideas
will be effective as long as physical science lasts. And I hope that
the example which his personal life affords will be not less effective
with later generations of scientists."
In the introduction written by Einstein he mentioned that the majority
of scientists were men who were either anxious to display their
particular talents or anxious to become rich and famous because of
their achievements. He then wrote, "Should an angel of God descend and
drive from the Temple of Science all those who belong to the categories
I have mentioned, I fear the temple would be nearly emptied. But a few
worshippers would still remain - some from former times and some from
ours. To this latter belongs our Planck. And that is why we love him."
Max Planck was born in Kiel, Germany, in 1858, of a long family of
scholars. He studied at the great Universities of Munich and Berlin and
later became Professor at both. On October 19th, 1900, Planck became
world famous when he proposed his famous Quantum Postulate to the
Berlin Physical Society. In brief his theory stated that a body does
not radiate energy continuously but rather intermittently, in finite
bundles called "quanta". It is reported that he told his son, "I have
made a discovery today as important as Newton's."
Planck was Secretary of the Prussian Academy of Science and later won
the highest academic post in all Germany when he became President of
the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. In 1920 he received the coveted Nobel
Prize. It was because of his influence that Einstein came to Berlin.
These two great men became firm friends, and often relaxed by playing
music together, Einstein the violin and Planck the piano. So it was
that Planck's life was filled with joy amid the fullness of his own
achievement and the company of scientific colleagues.
In his book "Scientific
Autobiography" Max Planck wrote:
"Let us consider the confusion of the scientific viewpoint with the
religious viewpoint. Even though science and religion, in their
ultimate effects, are headed for the same goal, the recognition of an
omnipotent intellect ruling the universe, yet they are basically
different both in their starting points and in their methods."
"Religion is the link that binds man
to his God. It is founded on a respectful humility before a
supernatural power to which all human life is subject, and which
controls our weal and woe. To be in harmony with this power and to
enjoy its good graces is the incessant endeavour and supreme goal of
the religious person . . . . He can
enjoy that purest of all happiness, the inner peace of mind and soul
that is secured only by a firm link to God, and by an unconditionally
trusting faith in His omnipotence and benevolence. In this
sense, religion is rooted in the consciousness of the individual."
"We stand in the midst of life, and its manifold demands and needs
often make it imperative that we reach decisions. Long and tedious
reflection cannot enable us to shape our decisions and attitudes
properly; only that definite and clear instruction can which we gain
from a direct inner link to God . . . . This alone is able to give us
the inner firmness and lasting peace of mind which must be regarded as
the highest boon in life. And if we ascribe to God, in addition to His
omnipotence and omniscience, also the attributes of goodness and love,
recourse to Him produces an increased feeling of safety and happiness
in the human being thirsting for solace. Against this conception not
even the slightest objection can be raised from the point of view of
natural science, for questions of ethics are entirely out of its realm."
"No matter where and how far we look, nowhere do we find a
contradiction between religion and natural science. On the contrary, we
find a complete concordance in the very points of decisive importance. Religion and natural science do not
exclude each other, as many contemporaries of ours would believe or
fear; they mutually supplement and condition each other . . . . The
very greatest natural scientists of all times - men such as Kepler, Newton, Leibniz - were permeated by
a most profound religious attitude."
"The two roads (religion and science) do not diverge; they run parallel
to each other, and they intersect at an endlessly removed common goal."
"Religion and natural science are fighting a joint battle in an
incessant, never relaxing crusade against scepticism and against
dogmatism, against disbelief and against superstition, and the rallying
cry in this crusade has always been, and always will be: 'On to God'."
In his book entitled, "Where
is Science Going?" Planck continued: "There can never be any
real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the
complement of the other. Every
serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious
element in his nature must be recognized and cultivated if all the
powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and
harmony. And indeed it was not by any accident that the greatest
thinkers of all ages were also deeply religious souls, even though they
made no public show of their religious feelings."
"Natural science wants man to learn, religion wants him to act."
"While religion and natural science require a belief in God for their
activities, to the former, He is the starting point, to the latter the
goal of every thought process. To the former He is the foundation, to
the latter the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view."
It is not surprising then that in 1968 it was reported from Basle,
Switzerland, that Max Planck had become a Catholic soon before his
death in 1947. Planck who forever sought truth and had written that
"truthfulness is the noblest of all human virtues" found Christ, "the
way, the truth and the life".
Claus Zoege von Manteuffel, the reviewer, writing in the Zurich
Gazette, asserted after noting Planck's conversion, "Religion and the
natural sciences harmonize when it comes to the question of a Supreme
He said that Planck recognized this in the course of his studies.
"There is, however, a difference in
as much as the believer starts out from God while the scientist comes
to God after starting out from empirical notions he obtains in his
TESTIMONIES OF LIVING SCIENTISTS
Robert H. Cameron, Professor of
Mathematics, University of Minnesota.
"I believe that Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever, is
the Answer to the problems of every age, and in particular, the Answer
to the problems of this space age in which we live . . . . He is the
Answer to nuclear armaments . . . . He is the Answer to the racial
problem, the freedom problem, and the sex problem . . . . He is the
Answer to the sin problem . . . . Our Lord is the Answer to the problem
of life and death. He said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he
that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and
whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" . . . . Our
wonderful Triune God is wiser than the wisest scientist and more
powerful than the greatest monarch or dictator, yet He loves and cares
for each one of us individually. He has a plan for each of our lives,
and will communicate it to us if we wait on Him for guidance."
* * * * *
Professor C. A. Coulson, Professor
Applied Mathematics, Oxford University.
"The greater part of our schoolboy's acceptance of science and
rejection of religion springs from his unexamined belief that science
accepts no presuppositions, and must therefore be superior to
Christianity, which is overloaded with them. Yet this view is wholly
"Think for a moment of some of the attitudes of mind with which any
scientist comes to his search.
There is honesty,
there is enthusiasm, for no one ever yet began an experiment without an
element of passion;
there is humility, before a created order of things;
there is a singleness of mind about the search;
there is co-operation with his fellows both in the same laboratory, and
across the seven seas;
there is heroic patience;
above all there is judgement.
Science could not exist and certainly is not practised without these
"Patience, humility, fair-mindedness, integrity, co-operation, these
are the hall-marks of our tradition. And they force me to the
conclusion that this tradition is ultimately based on, and derives its
final sanction from moral convictions which are often unrecognized, but
none the less imperative."
* * * * *
E. A. Milne, Professor, Oxford.
"The Christmas message - which is also the Christian message - is
'Gloria in excelsis Deo' . . . . Glory to God in the highest and on
earth peace to men of good will. This is not a bad definition of the
aim of all true science, the aim of rejoicing in the splendid mysteries
of the world and universe we live in, and of attempting so to
understand these mysteries that we can improve our command over nature,
improve our conditions of life, and so ensure peace."
* * * * *
Professor Rutherford Aris, Chemical
Engineering, University of Minnesota.
"As you study science and space you will discover many interesting and
fascinating things which are worthy of your study and attention. But
you will not find any ultimate explanations. Science tells the "how" of
things. You have to study the Bible to get the "why" of it all. Science
will give you wonder. Scripture makes you want to worship."
* * * * *
Dr. Alex Wood, Physicist, Cambridge.
"What I really feel is that Christ has verified Himself in my
experience and that He can do it in yours."
* * * * *
Dr. Harry Windsor, M.S., F.R.C.S.,
who led the team that performed Australia's heart transplant at St.
Vincent's Hospital on Wednesday, October 24th, 1968, said he felt the
operation had brought him "a little nearer God".
Dr. Windsor was speaking at a press conference:
"When you are so closely associated with the cessation of life and you
are endeavouring to give life to someone who is about to leave life, it
takes you a bit closer to the Almighty."
* * * * *
Australian Scientist, Dr. James H.
Jauncey, holds ten academic degrees, including bachelor's degrees in
science, psychology, philosophy and divinity; master's degrees in
science and history; and doctor's degree in mathematics. His degrees
were earned in Melbourne, Perth, London and Berkeley (California). He
is listed in Who's Who in
American Education and has professional standing in the British
Psychological Society and the Royal Geographic Society.
"Scientists throughout the world today are largely frightened men. This
does not mean that they are unduly pessimistic. It does mean that they
are fully aware of the dangers that are facing civilization. Most of
them have the confidence that mankind will find a way of getting things
under control before it is too late. This is the major reason why so
many scientists are returning to God as a final and only answer to the
problems of the world.
"Intrinsically, there is nothing mutually contradictory about
scientific and religious thought. Both science and revelation come from
the one God. . . . Increasing scientific knowledge has brought about
greater vindication and understanding of the Christian Faith. . . . In
the end, the secrets of the universe must show the stamp of the
Architect who made it, of Him Who was expressed in Christ. And He has
already spoken in His Word."
* * * * *
Dr. W. L. Starkey, Ph.D., Associate
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University,
"Men who study natural phenomena tend to reject the supernatural. Many
in the scientific world do not accept Christianity simply because they
have not sufficiently investigated Christianity. I would suggest to the
earnest seeker for truth that serious consideration be given to the
credibility of the revelation of God contained within the Holy
* * * * *
Dr. Robert B. Fischer, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington,,
"God has revealed Himself to man through that which He has created.
Whether we observe and study this creation through the eyes of the
astronomer, the geologist, the botanist, the chemist, the business man
or the boy or girl, we are observing and studying the handiwork of God,
whether we realize it or not."
* * * * *
Dr. Brian P. Sutherland, Ph.D.,
F.C.I.C., Administrative Assistant, Consolidated Mining and Smelting
Company, Trail, British Columbia.
"I find that for myself as a scientist and a Christian there is no more
satisfying intellectual pursuit than the humble study of the revelation
of God in nature and in the Bible.". . . . . .
* * * * *
Dr. George K. Schweitzer, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Nuclear Chemistry, University of Tennessee,
Knoxville; Research Radiochemist, University of Tennessee; Atomic
Energy Commission Research Progress, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
"Man has changed his world in a remarkable way, but has not been able
to alter himself. Since this problem is basically a spiritual one, and
since man is naturally bent toward evil (as history attests), the sole
way that man can be changed is by God. Only if a man commits himself to
Christ Jesus and submits himself to the Holy Spirit for guidance can he
be changed. Only in this miraculous transformation rests hope for the
atom-awed, radio-activity-ruffled world of our day and its inhabitants."
* * * * *
Dr. Russell L. Mixter is professor of
zoology at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Dr. Mixter holds the
Master of Science degree in zoology from Michigan State University and
the doctorate in anatomy from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Mixter is the author of "Creation and Evolution" a
monograph; and he is editor of "Evolution and Christian Thought
Today," a symposium.
"Everywhere I look I see the evidence of intelligent planning and
design. I would be a fool not to believe in an intelligent First
Designer and Planner. Consider, for example, the co-ordination of our
nerves and muscles. I may prick my finger with a sharp instrument. The
nerve impulses go to my spinal cord and I withdraw my finger before I
actually feel the pain. The reflex action is based on all animal life.
Then consider how we can purposefully control our muscles. As you make
notes, your brain orders your finger muscles to write the particular
words you want. All living things testify to their marvellous Maker. As
a scientist I can only bow in reverence."
* * * * *
Dr. Edson Peek has been a
distinguished professor of physics for twenty years at Northwestern
University in Chicago. He holds the B.A. and the M.S. degrees from
Northwestern and the Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago.
He has been a consultant to Argonne
National Laboratory, the government's atomic research installation near
Dr. Peck has been awarded research
grants of more than forty-five thousand dollars by the National Science
Foundation and the U.S. Defence Department.
"As a physicist, I observe the expansion of our universe. I observe
that it had to have a beginning, and that it was begun by an
"I believe that the scientist who is a Christian has the task to speak
to both the Church and the world, so that the Church may understand the
role of the scientist.
"Many Christians have a vague feeling that science and the Bible
conflict. I was glad to assure my fellow church members that that is
* * * * *
Dr. John H. Martin is an associate
physicist at Argonne and one of the developers of a revolutionary new
fifty-million-dollar atom smasher.
Dr. Martin earned his Ph.D. degree in
physics from Washington University, St. Louis, in 1949. He taught for
four years at Forman Christian College, Lahore, West Pakistan, before
coming to Argonne as a research physicist.
"The new forces inside the nucleus of the atom compel me to believe in
a Supreme Being.
"Not every scientist believes in our Christian concept of God. But I
have never encountered a scientist who did not believe in some sort of
higher power or force. In physics especially the student is compelled
to believe in God. At least I am.
"For example, consider the new forces that have been discovered through
recent explorations of the atom's nucleus. They represent a seemingly
new order of physical law, but a law that is orderly. For example, they
cannot be explained by our traditional laws of gravity, magnetism, and
electrostatic attraction. The more deeply we delve into the mysteries
of the atom the more imponderable these forces become. But the
knowledge we have discovered has proved that they act and react in an
orderly manner. It is this consistency in order that forces me to
believe in a Divine Planner.
"My respect and admiration of God's handiwork grows with every passing
day I spend in this lab."
* * * * *
A key man in America's space program
is Walter F. Burke, general manager of Project Mercury and Gemini, and vice-president
of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis. Mr. Burke, and the
fifteen technicians and scientists under his supervision, are charged
with the designing, developing, building, firing, and launching of the Mercury and Gemini space capsules.
Mr. Burke holds science degrees from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of
Michigan, where he taught courses in aeronautical science for four
"Personally, I think the space age has done a great deal of good. It
has been a factor in the deepening of my spiritual life. I read the
Bible more now. I have gone beyond the philosophical question: Is there
a God? Each day I think more of God's purpose for my life and how I can
be a better witness for Christ.
"In all my associations with scientists, I cannot recall ever meeting a
true atheist. And since we have actually got into space, I have
detected a deeper faith among my associates. Hardly a day goes by in my
work that I do not hear someone speak of spiritual matters. In the past
few months, I have sensed a spiritual awakening among space people.
They talk more freely now, and some have admitted Christian convictions
to me that I never dreamed they held before."
* * * * *
Dr. Frank A. Crane is professor of
pharmacognosy and botany at the Chicago campus of the University of
Dr. Crane holds four academic
degrees, including Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, New York.
His major field of study was plant physiology.
"I do not see how there could not be a God. Neither a plant nor a
medieval castle could have been built by chance. In the plant world are
many testimonies to divine planning and creation.
"The scientist has no special advantage with God. Science simply cannot
meet the deepest needs of life. One cannot find God through a
"The God I know is all-wise and all-knowing. He does not make mistakes.
I am looking forward to the time when we can understand the present
unsolved mysteries of the universe."
* * * * *
Dr. Walter R. Hearn, Ph.D., Assistant
Professor of Chemistry, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa.
"Being a Christian is not just science or philosophy or morality or
aesthetics; it transcends these things, as life transcends them.
Indeed, knowing Christ means life itself to me, but a new kind of life,
the "abundant life" He promised. Who could convey the meaning of life
to a person who had never lived? One must live to know what life is,
and one must know Christ to know what it means to be a Christian!"
* * * * *
Sir John Hunt, C.B.E., D.S.O., Leader
of the 1953 Everest Expedition.
"The satellites coursing round our planet give the Universe a new
reality; they have focused our minds on another, infinite world and set
us thinking on the wider meaning of Creation.
"In the exciting quest to Outer Space we are on the verge of further
great discoveries - and clearly the majority of us can take no active
part in them. For you and me, the prospect of a journey to the moon is
remote. We will remain firmly on earth, awed spectators of the Space
journeys of a few brave men.
"Yet the power to launch a satellite can bring destruction as well as
discovery. Although most people are uncomfortably aware of this fact,
few of them seem to think that they have any responsibility for it.
"In an age of such terrifying power, it is now more urgent than ever
for ordinary men and women to remember that the hope of salvation, for
the individual and for humanity, lies in the simple message of
universal love which Christianity brings.
"There is no limit to man's power to discover and progress if he is
guided by this message. But we must take care lest the abiding truths
are crowded out by the torrent of words that follows each new
* * * * *
Professor Julius Sumner Miller,
Professor of Physics, El Camino College, California, A.B.C. Science
Lecturer, in his introduction to "Men of Science" writes:
"Whatever science is, it is first of all human adventure on the highest
intellectual grounds revealing constantly the great spirit of
questioning and wonder which prevail in the human mind. In science
proper lie the noblest aspects of man, the highest goals, the deepest
hopes for things eternal. For this intellectual process has one
singular intention, one noble ambition and it is this: to uncover the
orderly Beauty of Nature. With this comes the greatest satisfaction of
understanding which must indeed rank as the highest ambition of man.
"And so it is that Science, when viewed properly, in its noblest
flights, in its deepest attributes, is indeed one with Religion, for
there ever remains the sphere of Darkness beyond our reach. It is as
with Newton that the great ocean of Truth lies all undiscovered."
* * * * *
Jack King, the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) chief of information.
"We have now about 50 astronauts in training. I know a number of them
who are Catholic and they are very strong in their beliefs.
"You sometimes hear people, especially in the fields of science and
technology, say that they do not need God - that science is their God.
In my dealings with astronauts I really don't find this. The concept of
atheists tying in with science is something you hear or read about, but
I can't think of one that I have found here at the Cape, and I've been
here since 1958."
* * * * *
Doctor Wernher Von Braun, the
scientist who developed the Saturn
V Rocket which took the Apollo 11 Astronauts to the
"God has built man with curiosity. God expects man to use this gift.
Now we have the tools available to explore space and I believe if it
were not the Creator's intent for us to explore celestial bodies, He
would not have permitted us to have acquired the tools.
"Something else is apparent. God has not placed any visible obstacles
in our way. I believe we have His permission and His blessing.
"Science and religion are NOT
antagonists. On the contrary, they are sisters. While science tries to
learn more about the creation, religion seeks a better understanding of
the Creator. While through science man tries to harness the forces of
nature around him, through religion he seeks to control the forces of
"Today, hundreds of millions of people, haunted by the destructive
power of nuclear bombs, pin their hopes again on frail political
structures. But the great reform which alone can put our fears to rest
must come again from a rebirth of man's faith in God and love for his
fellowman. The only force that can save the world from catastrophic war
is the God-given power of reason and morality in man himself.
"Atheists all over the world have called upon science as their crown
witness against the existence of God. But as they try, with arrogant
abuse of scientific reasoning, to render proof that there is no God,
the simple and enlightening truth is that their arguments boomerang.
For one of the most fundamental laws of natural science is that nothing
in the physical world ever happens without a cause. There simply cannot
be a creation without some kind of spiritual creator.
"The better we understand the intricacies of the universe and all that
it harbours, the more reason we have found to marvel at God's creation.
"These are important formative years of our scientific and
technological society. It is Christianity's role to see that it does
not become a society without a soul. The trends set during the next few
decades may shape the character of our civilization for ages. We have a
glorious opportunity to change the imperfect, to raise our standards of
behaviour, as well as our standard of living."
* * * * *
Dr. Irving W. Knobloch has been a
professor in the Department of Botany, Michigan State University, since
Dr. Knobloch holds graduate degrees
from the University of Buffalo and Iowa State University. He is a
specialist in cytology, morphology, and agrostology. He is the author
of articles in both scientific and religious journals and is listed in "Who's Who in America."
"The conflict between science and Christianity lies not in the facts as
known in science and given in the Bible but in the interpretations
"My faith in the Bible enables me to believe that life did not come
about by pure chance. I believe that behind this universe is an
intelligent, personal God, one in whom I can believe and with whom I
can have fellowship."
* * * * *
Malcolm A. Jeeves, until recently
Professor of Psychology, University of Adelaide, now Professor of
Psychology at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Author of "Scientific Psychology and
"I believe that a Christian can pursue his investigations with a spirit
of adventure and of freedom in the conviction that, ultimately, nothing
that he discovers about the nature of man through his reading of the
book of nature can conflict with a proper understanding of what God has
given to us in His other book through revelation.
"Secondly, it is my belief that the more I understand the way man is
made and how he works the greater will be my ability to treat him with
the dignity and respect which are his due as the crown of God's
creation, made indeed 'in the image of God'."
* * * * *
* * * * * * *
LEGEND OF THE COVER
SCIENCE, RELIGION AND STAMPS.
The Monastery in which I live, has an interesting collection of stamps
as one of the Brothers is a keen philatelist. One of his displays he
calls "The Space Age and Religion". It includes the following stamps.
The American stamp to
commemorate Apollo 8
mission to the moon [6 cents, 1969] reproduces an actual photo of the
earth taken from a window of the spaceship, and bears the inscription
of the first sacred words of the Bible, "In the beginning God . . ."
The Paraguay stamp of Solar system
reminds us of the vastness of God's creation, while the Australian Antarctic Territory stamp
[1 cent] of the Aurora Australis recalls the ever changing beauty of
To mark the International
Geophysical Year of 1957-58
the United States produced a three cent commemorative stamp depicting
"the Creation of Adam" by Michelangelo. It shows the hand of God
touching and instilling life into the hand of Adam. Beneath this is the
earth surmounted with flames to illustrate the geological disturbances
on the earth preparing it for man.
The Australian Christmas stamp of
[5 pence] especially produced by Victorian artist John Mason shows the
Virgin Mother and St. Joseph reverently paying homage to the Christ
Child. This belief in a personal God, who so loved the world that He
sent His only begotten Son to redeem and save it, has been acknowledged
by most great thinkers and scientists.
The Paraguay stamp honouring Sir
Isaac Newton recalls to mind his humility when face to face with
the order and beauty of God's universe. The Albert Einstein
stamp of the same series, [Triangular 40 pesos stamp with the famous 'E
= mc to the power of 2' formula,] commemorates the great scientific
genius of the twentieth century whose belief in God and in His
greatness was real though somewhat unorthodox, but who humbly
confessed: "One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the
mysteries of eternity, of life and of the marvellous structure of
The stamp to commemorate Charles
impact on the scientific and religious world of his time [from
Argentina] recalls not only his theories of evolution but the firm
statement of his belief in a personal God, with which he concludes his "Origin of Species". The Pierre Curie
stamp in the same series [Romania, 55 Cs] recalls the scientific work
of this outstanding Catholic Professor and his wife, and their fine
example of dedicated Christian living and working for the benefit of
The Brien McMahon stamp, to
pay tribute to the Senator who introduced the American Atomic Energy
Act, whereby this great God-given source of power was to be used for
peaceful purposes and not for the destruction of man, recalls that
science must be the servant of intelligent and moral man and not his
master. [U.S. stamp, with the slogan, 'Atomic Energy Act - Peaceful
The John F. Kennedy stamp is
included in the collection because, after his interview with world
renowned scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun in 1961, he, the first
Catholic president of the United States, announced to Congress that the
United States would "commit itself to achieving the goal, before the
decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to
earth." [U.S. stamp, with the slogan. ' . . .and the glow from that
fire can truly light the world - John Fitzgerald Kennedy - 1963'.]
The Irish stamp of 1944 [two
pence and a halfpenny, Eire] to commemorate the centenary of the death
of Brother Edmund Ignatius Rice, Founder
of the Christian Brothers, [now Blessed] also portrays a star and a
burning lamp. The former symbolizes the Scriptural promise applied to
teachers that they would "shine as stars for all eternity"; while the
latter illustrates that our lives should bear witness to Christ, the
light of the world, as a light shines in the darkness. This stamp is
included to commemorate the dedicated and devoted teachers of all
nations, who give their lives to pass on to youth the truths both of
faith and of science.
That scientific and religious truths do not contradict is illustrated
by the stamp honouring Max Planck
(1858-1947), the scientist who found God, because of his study of
science and the order in nature led him to a belief in a personal God,
and then to his becoming a Catholic. [German Federal Republic. 20 pfs.]
Some of man's recent scientific achievements in space are recalled by
the American Project Mercury stamp
commemorating Gemini 4;
the Dubai (Arabian) stamp honouring
astronauts; the Hungarian or Magyar stamp illustrating the
successful space flight through the Van Allen Radiation belt [60 fs];
and the Australian World
Telecommunications stamp commemorating Intelsat II. [25 cents
showing the Parkes Radio-Telescope.]
The remaining eight stamps used in the cover design [and in the
philatelist's display] were selected because they illustrate just a few
of the 'insignificant' works of creation, and show to a certain extent
the variety and richness of living organisms.
The Mongolian prehistoric creature
[Democratic Republic of Mongolia, '30'] shows how life has apparently
evolved according to the plan of God. The grace and beauty of pattern
in the reddish golden Voluta Ruckeri
shell of Papua [&] New Guinea, and the exquisite
phosphorescent colouring of the Albanian
fish, Merlucccius, [10 ps] are just two illustrations of the
beauty of marine organisms.
The Australian azure kingfisher stamp
[24 cents] and the Papuan Butterfly stamp
['Euplova Ducerrsteisius', Papua and New Guinea] illustrate the variety
and the richness of bird and insect life. The almost transparent wings
of the butterfly are delicately woven, and when viewed through a
microscope the colours and tissues are unbelievably beautiful as they
shine with their iridescent splendour.
The humble Black Lizard
depicted on the Nauru
stamp performs its important work in the ecological order. It recalls
the God-given plan in the order of nature where creatures rely and
depend on one another. Destroy one species and the whole environment
Many stamps depicting the richness of flora could have been chosen even
from Australian stamps alone. The rich colours and pastel shades of the
Cooktown Orchid, the golden yellow Wattle and the crimson Waratah would
have enhanced this selection had space permitted their inclusion.
[Brother has separate displays for these.] Instead was selected the
mysterious Kangaroo Paw of
Western Australia - the plant that eats insects because it is unable to
obtain its nitrogen supply directly from the soil. [Australia, 6 cents]
The remaining stamp on the cover is the 1961 Hungarian depiction of the Australian Kangaroo
on display in a zoo. [Magyar Posta] This native marsupial, so often
displayed as an emblem of Australia, is unique not only in its
appearance but in the birth and development of its young.
According to Professor Julius Sumner Miller the aim of science is "to
uncover the orderly Beauty of Nature . . ."
A scientist's rapturous amazement at the harmony of the natural law
leads him to exclaim with Sir Isaac Newton . . . . "This omnipotent
Being governs all things as Lord over all, and on account of His
dominion He is called Lord God."
* * * * * * *
CONCLUSION . . . . .
from Vatican II.
of Thought and Science."
"Never, perhaps, thank God, has there been so clear a possibility as
today of a deep understanding between real science and real faith,
mutual servants of one another in the one truth. Do not stand in the
way of this important meeting. Have confidence in faith, this great
friend of intelligence. Enlighten yourselves with its light in order to
take hold of truth, the whole truth. This is the wish, the
encouragement and the hope, which, before disbanding, is expressed to
you by the Fathers of the entire world assembled in Rome in Council."
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