Are Science and Faith in God Compatible?
—Nobel Laureates Speak Out
“For me, faith begins with the realization that a supreme intelligence brought the universe into being and created man. It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for an orderly, intelligent universe testifies to the greatest statement ever uttered: ‘In the beginning, God…'”
—Arthur Compton (1892-1962), awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the transfer of energy from electromagnetic radiation to a particle, known as the Compton effect.
“If I had no other data than the early chapters of Genesis, some of the Psalms, and other passages of Scripture, I would have arrived at essentially the same picture of the origin of the universe as is indicated by the scientific data.”
—Arno Penzias (1933– ), awarded a 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of cosmic background radiation—patterns that physicists have interpreted as showing that the universe was created from nothing.
“The principle of [divine] purpose … stares the biologist in the face wherever he looks. … The probability for such an event as the origin of DNA molecules to have occurred by sheer chance is just too small to be seriously considered.”
—Ernst Boris Chain (1906-1979), awarded a 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work with penicillin.
“When confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why the only possible answers are religious. … I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life.”
—Arthur L. Schawlow (1921– ); shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics for the development of laser spectroscopy.
“Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly people.”
—Max Born (1882-1970), shared the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum mechanics.
“There is no incompatibility between science and religion. … Science shows that God exists.”
—Derek Barton (1918-1998), shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the concept and applications of conformation.
“I think only an idiot can be an atheist.”
—Christian B. Anfinsen (1916-1995), shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in amino-acid structure and biological activity of the enzyme ribonuclease.
“So many of my colleagues are Christians that I can’t walk across my church’s fellowship hall without tripping over a dozen physicists.”
—William D. Phillips (1948– ), awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for using lasers to produce temperatures only a fraction of a degree above absolute zero.
“I only trace the lines that flow from God.”
—Albert Einstein (1879-1955), awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in theoretical physics, especially the law of photoelectric effect.
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