“Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings”
While doing my daily research, I came across an advertisement for a t-shirt that reads as follows:
Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.
This can be easily turned around by making the point that science gave us atomic weapons.
Religion says ‘love your neighbor.’ Science drops atomic weapons on noncombatants.
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Modern-day anti-religionists have very little understanding of history. Their logic is also a bit skewed.
Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967), who makes the “Celebrity Atheist List,” was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with Enrico Fermi, he is often called the “father of the atomic bomb.”
Evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins claims Einstein as a fellow atheist. In a letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind 1953, Einstein revealed his views on the Bible:
“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this for me.”
Einstein, while not directly participating in the development of the atomic bomb, “was instrumental in facilitating its development.” He signed a letter that was sent to President Franklin Roosevelt urging that the bomb be built.
So if liberal logic is in place, atheists are the bigger killers. “It’s science!”
But gets get real for a moment and stop summing up a topic with clever but obviously false memes.
Rodney Stark argues there is “no inherent conflict between religion and science” and “Christian theology was essential for the rise of science.” After a thorough study of the Scholastic period, he shows “that the leading scientific figures in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries overwhelmingly were devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God’s handiwork.”1
Here is a list of a few noted Bible-believing scientists: Isaac Newton, Lord Kelvin, Joseph Lister, Johann Kepler, Robert Boyle, and Gregor Mendel. Airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright were Christians. After a successful demonstration of flight while in France, Wilbur was asked if he would fly the machine the next day. “Wilbur told him no. Tomorrow was a Sunday and he would not break the Sabbath.”2
Maybe we can blame the Christian Wright brothers for inventing the airplane that was used by terrorists to kill more than 3000 people. Seems logical to me.
The facts are, as Loren Eisely points out, the Christian worldview “gave birth in a clear, articulate fashion to the experimental method of science itself.”3
The late atheist author Isaac Asimov was honest enough to acknowledge that early scientists were Christians. For example, he mentions John Ray who developed an early classification system for animals.4
Natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor Robert Boyle (1627–1691) spent a portion of his fortune “to have the Bible translated into various languages.”
In his will and testament, Boyle “addressed his fellow members of the Royal Society of London, wishing them all success in ‘their laudable attempts, to discover the true Nature of the Works of God’ and ‘praying that they and all other Searchers into Physical Truths’ may thereby add ‘to the glory of the Great Author of Nature, and to the Comforter of mankind.’”5
The title of one of Boyle’s many books was The Christian Virtuoso, that is, “The Christian Scientist.” Boyle was not a lone Christian voice crying in the wilderness of secular science. The membership of the Royal Society was made up of many Christians who shared Boyle’s view that “the world was God’s handiwork” and “it was their duty to study and understand this handiwork as a means of glorifying God.”6
On the archway above the wooden door of the Cavendish Laboratory, at Cambridge University, there is a Latin inscription that reads, Magna opera Domini. Exquista in omnes voluntates ejus.
“The inscription had been placed there at the insistence of the physicist James Clark Maxwell, the first Cavendish professor in 1871. The inscription quotes a Psalm that reads, ‘Great are the words of the Lord, sought out by all who take pleasure therein.’ The inscription summarized Maxwell’s inspiration for scientific study: the thought that works of nature reflect the work of a designing mind. In this belief he had been joined by many of the leading scientists of Western civilization for over four hundred years — Copernicus, Kepler, Ray, Linnaeus, Curvier, Aggassiz, Boyle, Newton, Kelvin, Farady, Rutherford — on and on the list could go.”7
Modern-day science is built on the shoulders of Christian scientists who believed in the regularity and predictability of the created order because there was a Creator behind it all.
Much of science is used for good, and some of it is used for evil. Doctors who train to “do no harm,” use their skills to kill unborn babies through abortion.
- Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 123. See the “Roster of Scientific Stars” on pages 198–199. [↩]
- Barry Combs, with Martin Caidin, Kill Devil Hill: Discovering the Secret of the Wright Brothers (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1979), 281. [↩]
- Loren Eisely, Darwin’s Century (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958), 62. [↩]
- Isaac Asimov, Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology: The Lives and Achievements of More Than 1000 Great Scientists from Ancient Greece to the Space Age, 3rd ed. (Garden City, NY: 1982), 137. [↩]
- Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the end of Slavery (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 158. [↩]
- Stark, For the Glory of God, 158. [↩]
- Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York Harper/Collins, 2009), 145. [↩]