Here are some of the greatest scientists in history who were also deeply committed to their Christian faiths.
Said that a deeper understanding of science was a higher glorification of God. Defined elements, compounds, and mixtures. Discovered the first gas law – Boyle’s Law.
A Roman Catholic believer in the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures. A founder of modern chemistry; discovered oxygen’s role in combustion and respiration; discovered that water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen;
The son of a Calvinist pastor. Wrote religious texts and is commemorated by the Lutheran Church on their Calendar of Saints. Published more mathematics than any other single mathematician in history, much of it brilliant and groundbreaking.
A devout member and elder of the Sandemanian Church. Discovered electromagnetic induction; discovered the first experimental link between light and magnetism; carried out the first room-temperature liquefaction of a gas.
An evangelical Protestant who learned the Bible by heart at age 14. Transformed our understanding of nature: his famous equations unified the forces of electricity and magnetism, indicating that light is an electromagnetic wave. His kinetic theory established that temperature is entirely dependent on the speeds of particles.
A Roman Catholic Augustinian abbot. Founded the science of genetics; identified many of the mathematical rules of heredity; identified recessive and dominant traits.
A deacon in the Baptist Church. Discovered that light can behave as a particle as well as a wave, and coined the word photon to describe a particle of light.
A devout Anglican: made religious broadcasts, and wrote religious articles. Unified evolution by natural selection with Mendel’s rules of inheritance, so defining the new field of population genetics. Invented experimental design; devised the statistical concept of variance.
Son of a Lutheran pastor. A devout Christian who died reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Transformed geometry providing the foundation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity; the Riemann hypothesis has become the most famous unresolved problem in mathematics.
Roman Catholic priest. Discovered that space and the universe are expanding; discovered Hubble’s law; proposed the universe began with the explosion of a ‘primeval atom’ whose matter spread and evolved to form the galaxies and stars we observe today.
Passionate dissenting Protestant who spent more time on Bible study than math and physics. Profoundly changed our understanding of nature with his law of universal gravitation and his laws of motion; invented calculus; built the first ever reflecting telescope; showed sunlight is made of all the colors of the rainbow.
A member of the United Church of Christ. Prayed daily. Wrote books linking science and religion; believed religion more important than science. Invented the laser and maser. Established that the Milky Way has a supermassive black hole at its center.
A devoted Anglican, spent her spare time reading the Bible. Discovered the first complete specimen of a plesiosaur; deduced the diets of dinosaurs.
Member of the Congregational Church who attended services every week. Invented vector analysis and founded the sciences of modern statistical mechanics and chemical thermodynamics.
A faithful Quaker who lived modestly. Dalton’s Atomic Theory is the basis of chemistry; discovered Gay-Lussac’s Law relating temperature, volume, and pressure of gases; discovered the law of partial gas pressures.
A Lutheran Protestant who believed science revealed the immortal human soul and that there is complete unity between science and God. Gauss revolutionized number theory and invented the method of least squares and the fast Fourier transform. His profound contributions to the physical sciences include Gauss’s Law & Gauss’s Law for Magnetism.
A Methodist who believed science was part of his quest for God. Discovered that atoms have the same number of electrons as their atomic number and that X-rays emitted by excited atoms are ‘fingerprints’ for the atom.
A Protestant Evangelist and Bible class leader whose faith in Jesus was the mechanism through which he carried out his scientific work. Improved the agricultural economy of the USA by promoting nitrogen providing peanuts as an alternative crop to cotton to prevent soil depletion.
Atheist turned devout Christian. Invented positional cloning. Took part in discovery of the genes for cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and neurofibromatosis. Directed National Human Genome Research Institute for 15 years.
A devout Methodist, who said science was a way of knowing more about God. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics after he artificially split the atom and proved that E = mc2.
An Anglican who believed God spoke to her, calling her to her work. Transformed nursing into a respected, highly trained profession; used statistics to analyze wider health outcomes; advocated sanitary reforms largely credited with adding 20 years to life expectancy between 1871 and 1935.
A practicing Anglican who prayed and read the Bible daily. Discovered the electron; invented one of the most powerful tools in analytical chemistry – the mass spectrometer; obtained the first evidence for isotopes of stable elements.
A Roman Catholic who declared that he had never wavered in his faith. Invented the electric battery; wrote the first electromotive series; isolated methane for the first time.
A Roman Catholic theologian. Pascal’s wager justifies belief in God. Devised Pascal’s triangle for the binomial coefficients and co-founded probability theory. Invented the hydraulic press and the mechanical calculator.
An elder of the Free Church of Scotland. Codified the first two laws of thermodynamics, deduced the absolute zero of temperature is -273.15 °C. On the Kelvin scale, absolute zero is found at 0 kelvin. Invented the signalling equipment used in the first transatlantic telegraph via an undersea cable.
A Protestant devotee who devoted a chapter of his autobiography to a discussion of his faith. The father of the computer, invented the Analytical Engine, a Turing Complete computer in 1837 – the first general purpose computer.
A Lutheran with deep Christian convictions. One of the primary creators of quantum mechanics. Formulated the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
A Protestant, wrote religious texts and helped organize the construction of the Reformed Church in Göttingen. The father of modern physiology.
Born a Lutheran, converted to Catholicism and became a bishop. Beatified in 1988, the third of four steps needed to be declared a saint. One of the founders of modern geology and stratigraphy.
Said that God’s design was revealed by chemical investigations. Discovered the electrical nature of chemical bonding. Used electricity to split several substances into their basic building blocks for the first time, discovering chlorine and iodine; produced the first ever samples of the elements barium, boron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and strontium. Invented the safety lamp.
A Quaker, who believed the hand that made us is Divine. He was the first scientist to propose stars obtain their energy from nuclear fusion. Experimentally verified Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
A devout Christian who preached about the Resurrection and founded the creationist Evolution Protest Movement. Founded the electronic age with his invention of the vacuum tube (thermionic valve); devised the hand rules for electric motors and generators.
A Calvinist with Unitarian sympathies who funded a lectureship considering the relation of the Bible to the Sciences. Took part in the invention of a single-wire telegraph and patented it. Developed the Morse code.
Christian and sometimes practicing Roman Catholic. Believed in a Divine Providence operating over and above the materialistic happenings of biological evolution. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the physiology of synapses.
Author of this page: The Doc
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