This section is dedicated to the views
of nobelists and other notable modern scientists.
VARIOUS RECENT SOURCES
Brian, Denis (Editor). The Voice of Genius. Cambridge, Masssachussets:
Perseus Publishing, 1995.
(Nobel, physics, 1933)
with his wife.)
What was your husband’s
attitude toward religion?
was a Christian. He went to church on Sundays.
mean he believed in Jesus Christ?
sometimes, and sometimes not. You know, most people are like that.
people I contacted are atheists.
husband wasn’t an atheist
he feel there was an intelligent creator?
(Nobel, Physiology, 1967)
live in a world of chance, yet not of accident. God gambles but He does not
cheat.” (P. 137)
…the stuff of mind pervades the
universe….The stuff of the world is mind stuff…The mind stuff is not spread
in space and time.
find that the Hindu and Buddhist thought on the imperishability, the
immortality of what the Hindus call Self,
(Soul or Spirit), the Atman,
you think life has a purpose?
I said, I began realizing years ago that this universe of ours is a
life-breeding universe…we are in an
astonishing universe with a
special concatenation of properties that makes life possible…Humankind then
takes a great place in cosmic
evolution, one of transcendent worth and dignity in which our purpose is to
know and create and to try to
once wrote “A physicist is the atom’s way of knowing about atoms.” In our
knowing, the universe
comes to know itself.
PENZIAS (Nobel, physics, 1978)
This world is most consistent with purposeful creation.” P. 153
“The best data we have are
exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five
Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a
whole, in that the universe appears to have order and purpose.”
Bible) reflects the same world view, rather than exactly the same world.
It’s consistent with the same
world view, though not exactly
the same, in the sense that there is not that kind of description. The Bible
of purposeful creation. What we
have, however, is an amazing amount of order; and when we see order, in our
experience it normally
this order is reflected in the Bible?
Well, if we read the Bible as a
whole we would expect order in the world. Purpose would imply order, and
what we actually find is order.
we can assume there might be purpose?
This world is most consistent
with purposeful creation.
kind of things that make me believe in purpose, or in the Bible, as it were,
have to do with the miracles of
existence, and not whether
somebody can figure out a way of having ten percent better odds at
you a practicing Jew?
is just a tool to guide our intuition. Math isn’t separate, it’s just one of
those tools. It turns out as
Kepler, the biggest true
believer, said. He thought God was going to be a mathematician and it turned
out to be
a very fruitful supposition.
(NOBEL, PHYSICS, 1964)
you believe in God?
few physicists do.
few. But a surprising number actually and it’s becoming somewhat larger. The
science and religion has
increased, I think, in the last decade or so.
you believe purely on faith?
would say I feel it intuitively. I think my prayers have been answered. On
the other hand, to prove it
scientifically is somewhat like
the problem of telepathy. It’s my own judgment over my experience that
makes me believe in God.
you believe Jesus Christ was God?
That he was part of God I
could say, yes in a sense he was, and so are you. Christ comes closer to
God-like than most of the rest of
(Nobel, Physics, 1981)
(Intro before the interview.)
laureate Artur Schawlow’s favourite book is not The Origin of Species or the
collected works of
but the Bible. This he told
Carl Irving, when interviewed by The San Francisco Examiner in 1985. When I
spoke with Schawlow almost a
decade later, he not only confirmed his faith but said his brother-in-law,
Charles Townes, is also
religious. (P. 209)
the Bible your favorite reading?
don’t read it very much, but if you asked me what I thought was the greatest
book ever written I guess I’d
have to say that was.
Are you religious?
Yes, I was brought up a
Protestant Christian and I’ve been in a number of denominations…I go to
church to a
very good Methodist church.
you believe that Jesus was God?
I wouldn’t say I disbelieve
it…Certainly I think Jesus was the greatest moral philosopher. And the
Jesus is the way to save your
life, I think. Beyond that I don’t know.
JOHN ECCLES (Nobel,
“There is a divine Providence
over and above the materialistic happenings of biological evolution.”
“There is a fundamental mystery
in my personal existence, transcending the biological account of the
of my body and my brain. That
belief , of course, is in keeping with the religious concept of the soul and
special creation by God.” (P.
WILDER PENFIELD (World-renowned
From the scientific view the mind can only find
expression through the brain. Now there may be extraneural
in the way of prayer, between the mind of man and the mind of God in the way
“…there is a
grand design in which all conscious individuals play a role” (quoted by
interviewer from Penfield’s
The mystery of the Mind, New Jersey:
McGrayne, Sharon. Nobel Prize Women in Science.
A Birch Lane
Press Book, 1993
JOCELYN BELL BURNELL (Discoverer of pulsars
by the author from her booklet Broken for Life.
words are in quotations.)
“Can you find a wholeness that includes pain and a readiness to suffer?” she
asked. If God is a loving, caring God
in charge of the world, why is
there suffering? And why so much of it fall on innocent people?
In her book, she offers a possible resolution to these ageless questions.
Although she was loath to abandon the
idea of a kindly God, perhaps God
is not running the world. “If the world is not run by God, then the
that occur cannot be blamed on
God. Perhaps God decided that we are responsible adults that should be given
free hand and allowed to get on
with life without interference…God would still exert influence on the world,
only through people, through
their attitudes and what they do, through their healing and reconciliation.”
As a physicist, Burnell found
such randomness comforting. “It actually ties in very well with the
uncertainty that modern
physicists know is at the heart of everything and seems to be one of the
this world.” In fact she found
the idea liberating, releasing one from the constraints of rewards and
just and unjust, cause and
“Sometimes religion appears to be
presented as offering easy cures for pain: have faith and God will mend your
hurts…” (But) healing so as to
eradicate all the trace of the encounter is not part of the package,” she
Brokenness is an essential
ingredient in life. “Suffering can mature us and make us more sensitive to
then through small deeds and kind
actions we can interact with empathy, reassuring and helping others…
But pain is not part of a Grand
Design and will not come to a purposeful ending unless we work at it to
ensure that it does.”
The Three pound universe. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
(This is a portion of an
interview with Candace Pert, the discoverer of the opiate
"Einstein and other
physicists have described experiencing an almost religious awe when
contemplating the laws of
the universe. Do you feel the same way about the brain?"
"No, I don't feel an awe for
the brain. I feel an awe for God. I see in the brain all the
beauty of the universe and
its order--constant signs of God's presence. I am learning
that the brain obeys all the
physical laws of the universe. It's not anything special.
And yet it is the most
special thing in the universe." (P. 390)
Chandra Wichrasinge, "Science and the Divine
Origin of Life," The Intellectuals
Speak out on
God, ed. Varghese, 23-37. Quoted in Ruggiero, V. R. Warning Nonsense is
America. Nashville: T. Nelson Publ., 1994, P. 175.
CHANDRA WICKRASINGE (British
scientist who worked with Sir Fred Hoyle.)
"There's no evidence for all of the basic tenets of Darwinian evolution. I
don't believe there
was aver any evidence for it. It was a social
force that took over the world in 1860, and I
think it has been a disaster for science ever
Genuine science, she says, supports, " some miraculous property of life
explained in terms of a statistical miracle or
in terms of an Intelligent intervening.It's
one or the other."