RSR's List of Creationist Fathers of the Physical Sciences

* Ten Years Later RSR Update: Real Science Radio hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams update an RSR show from ten years ago this week on the fathers of the physical sciences. As documented by leading science historians, many of the fathers of the natural sciences rejected naturalistic origins, including those who worked both before and after Darwin. Pioneering scientists who rejected atheistic origins included Copernicus, Bacon, Kepler, Galileo, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Cuvier, Dalton, all of whom worked before Charles Darwin. And those who did their work after the publication of Origin of Species included Faraday, Pasteur, Joule, Kelvin, Lister, Carver, each of whom continued to advocate for special creation and to reject evolution. (See also Fathers Pt 2 and Fathers Pt 3.)

* Answering the Atheist's Argument from Authority: Our list below of many of the fathers of science who believed in a creator is not an argument from authority. Rather, it is a REBUTTAL to logical fallacy committed often by  evolutionists when they make an invalid argument from authority. First, they severely misrepresent reality when they claim, as physicist Lawrence Krauss said to Bob Enyart, that "all scientists are Darwinists", for they are ignoring the 600,000 U.S. Ph.D.s, MDs, and professors, who reject the fundamental claim of materialistic origins. Secondly, while there is nothing wrong with quoting an expert on a topic, the bait and switch tactic of identifying experts in one topic and then without acknowledging the switch, proceeding as though they were experts in a different field, is one way of committing the logical fallacy of an invalid argument from authority. Being a pilot doesn't mean that you know how to make an airplane, let alone gravity. So we should take care not to commit the logical fallacy of argument from an invalid authority, like this:

Scientists are experts in operational physics, chemistry, and biology.
Most scientists believe in naturalistic origins.
Therefore naturalistic origins must be true.

It is a logical fallacy to claim, as Lawrence Krauss did to Real Science Radio, that success in operational science translates to deserved trust in origins. Our list of the fathers of science who believe in the Creator God is offered  to rebut the common claim, as made by countless atheists (including TOL's Stratnerd), that only uneducated people reject evolution.

* Fathers of Science who Believed in the Creator God
Philip Paracelsus, died 1541, Chemical Medicine
Nicolas Copernicus, 1543, Scientific Revolution
Francis Bacon, 1626, Scientific Method
Johann Kepler, 1630, Physical Astronomy
Galileo Galilei, 1642, Law of falling bodies
William Harvey, 1657, Circulatory System
Blaise Pascal, 1662, Probability and Calculators
Robert Boyle, 1691, Chemistry
Christiaan Huygens, 1695, Physical Optics
Isaac Newton, 1727, Gravitation
Carolus Linnaeus, 1778, Taxonomy, Modern Biology
George Cuvier, 1832, Anatomy/Paleontology
John Dalton, 1844, Atomic Theory

For those who object that these brilliant men lived prior to the 1859 publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, consider the following scientific giants all of whom in a time of more open debate, publicly rejected natural origins and Darwinian evolution, and indicated that the evidence supports belief in a supernatural Creator:

Michael Faraday, died 1867, Electromagnetism
Matthew Maury, 1873, Oceanography
James Clerk Maxwell, 1879, Electromagnetic Radiation
Louis Pasteur, 1885, Microbiology
James Joule, 1889, Thermodynamics
Lord Kelvin, 1907, Thermodynamics (preferred ID over Darwinism; see below)
Joseph Lister, 1912, Modern Surgery
G. W. Carver, 1943, Modern Agriculture

* SEE ALSO the 600,000 Ph.D.s, Profs, and MDs Doubting Darwin: For the research on how many U.S. professionals in the operational sciences, medicine, professors, etc., do not accept the general claim of materialistic origins, see Real Science Radio's List of Scholars Doubting Darwin & the Big Bang.
 

* Which Technologies or Inventions Depend Upon Darwinism or an Old Earth? Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding Creation states that young earth creation, "requires one to regard virtually all of modern science as fundamentally mistaken... about most of the... principles that have made modern technologies possible." Its authors, Whorton and Roberts, have that claim in common with evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky, and those who've said the same to us here at RSR: Lawrence Krauss and Alate_One from over at our sister site, TheologyOnLine.com. Dobzhansky claimed that "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." And TOL's Alate_One claimed on the Bob Enyart Live Forum that, "Mainstream science is the only science that actually works." So Real Science Radio has a question for A_O, Whorton and Roberts, Krauss, and Dobzhansky (although we'll have to wait to ask him till judgment day). In a list of major inventions and technologies since 1860, can you identify ones that were enabled by Darwinian insight, or by belief in an old earth? Countless technologies and inventions were enabled by Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Mendel, Bacon, Pascal, Dalton, Faraday, Joule, Kelvin, Lister, Carver, and the Wright Brothers. But they're all on OUR creationism list. But, which of these did the inventors need Darwinism to develop?

Light bulb, vacuums, pasteurization, railway, typewriter, electric motor, carburetor, loudspeaker, telephone, phonograph, microphone, photographic film, seismograph, solar panels, punch cards, cars, combustion engine, AC transformer, contact lens, tractor, ballpoint pen, cinematography, wind energy, zipper, escalator, X-ray, remote control, tape recorder, air conditioning, fire fighting foam, neon lamp, EKG, airplane, seismometer, sonar, radio, TV, rockets, radar, sliced bread, transfusion (think Harvey here), EEG, steel, radio telescope, jet engine, computer, Velcro, transistor, atomic clock, nuclear reactor, fiber optics, hard drives, satellites, spandex and spam, lasers, digital photography, optical disc, 3D holography, LED, mouse, lunar lander, Venus lander, video games, video cassette, space station, e-mail, karaoke :), LCD, microprocessor, MRI, Ethernet, PC, DNA sequencing, Internet, Plasma TV, GPS, MP3 player, flash drive? (See more inventions and discoveries.)

* Honorable Mentions including Paley, Mercator, Huygens: Unlike the countless corrections that evolutionists must make to Darwin's book a century-and-a-half later, William Paley's 1802 intelligent design book was praised in 1871 by Lord Kelvin in his address as president to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and to this day, Natural Theology remains accurate and awesomely relevant! Gerardus Mercator devised the standard map projection for nautical purposes. Huygens rejected natural origins as this quote from late in his career indicates, regarding:

the finger of God, and the Wisdom of Divine Providence, is in them much more clearly manifested than in the other.  One of Democritus’s or [de]Cartes’s Scholars may venture perhaps to give some tolerable Explication of the appearances in Heaven and Earth, allow him but his Atoms and Motion; but when he comes to Plants and Animals, he’ll find himself non-plus’d, and give you no likely account of their Production.  For every thing in them is so exactly adapted to some design, every part of them so fitted to its proper life, that they manifest an Infinite Wisdom, and exquisite Knowlege in the Laws of Nature and Geometry, as, to omit those Wonders in Generation, we shall by and by show; and make it an absurdity even to think of their being thus haply jumbled together by a chance Motion - See more at: http://crev.info/?scientists=christiaan-huygens#sthash.qsuWMqYT.dpuf
the finger of God, and the Wisdom of Divine Providence, is in them much more clearly manifested than in the other.  One of Democritus’s or [de]Cartes’s Scholars may venture perhaps to give some tolerable Explication of the appearances in Heaven and Earth, allow him but his Atoms and Motion; but when he comes to Plants and Animals, he’ll find himself non-plus’d, and give you no likely account of their Production.  For every thing in them is so exactly adapted to some design, every part of them so fitted to its proper life, that they manifest an Infinite Wisdom, and exquisite Knowlege in the Laws of Nature and Geometry, as, to omit those Wonders in Generation, we shall by and by show; and make it an absurdity even to think of their being thus haply jumbled together by a chance Motion - See more at: http://crev.info/?scientists=christiaan-huygens#sthash.qsuWMqYT.dpuf

Miracle... For the finger of God, and the Wisdom of Divine Providence, is in [living things]. For every thing in them is so exactly adapted to some design, every part of them so fitted to its proper life, that they manifest an Infinite Wisdom, and exquisite Knowlege in the Laws of Nature and Geometry, as, to omit those Wonders in Generation, we shall by and by show; and make it an absurdity even to think of their being thus haply jumbled together by a chance Motion...

* Regarding Gregor Mendel: A few years after this airing, Bob Enyart removed Gregor Mendel (d. 1884), father of genetic science, from the above list. Though Mendel was an Austrian monk, we have not found positive evidence that he held to a creationist position, neither before nor after he read Darwin. RSR has noticed that creationist sources that claim Mendel was a creationist lack supporting first hand testimony. Anti-creationist David Allen at least allegedly translates Mendel's own words. "As soon as the earth in the course of time had achieved the necessary capability for the formation and maintenance of organic life, plants and animals of the lowest sorts first appeared [and] developed more and more abundantly; the oldest forms disappeared in part, to make space for new, more perfect ones." Allen also quotes Orel claiming that Mendel wrote that this was, "at the present time the generally accepted view of the emergence and development of the earth."

Darwinists' Long-term Opposition to Genetic Science: Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig's research on Mendel shows that the world of biology, beholden to the theory of evolution, mostly ignored the discovery of the laws of genetics for 35 years, with the more aggressive Darwinists opposing genetic science for 72 years. Mendel's papers were not unknown. Rather, between 1866 and 1900 science journals referenced Mendel's work repeatedly as did Encyclopedia Britannica in 1881 and his papers were mailed to dozens of well-known biologists and they were presented to the libraries of more than a hundred leading institutions around the world. Mendel correctly discovered that species possessed genetic variability but only within strict limits, a discovery which questioned the demands that Origin of the Species placed on organisms. As a result, the Darwinist juggernaut left the scientific world hostile to Mendel's experimentally-derived laws of genetics. "The controversy became so bitter that in 1903 the British periodical Nature closed its columns to the Mendelians. The columns of Biometrica had already been closed to them..." His writings were not "rediscovered" around 1890 but rather, by then, the sheer force of their value finally broke through the evolutionary prejudice against genetic science. The more militant Darwinists however (the early 20th century zealots like our own PZ Myers, AronRa, Jerry Coyne, Jack Horner, Eugenie Scott) refused to acknowledge the value of the scientific laws from Mendel, the father of genetic science, until 1932. Lönnig has re-published these quotes:
- 1909: "But on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species of higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution." -Alfred Russel Wallace, father of the theory of evolution and of natural selection (along with Charles Darwin) 
- 1916: "It comes to pass that some biologists of the greatest authority in the study of Mendelian principles of heredity are led to the expression of ideas which would almost take us back to creationism."
- 1924: "Mendelian analysis...has not given us the origin of species. ... I notice that certain writers who conceive themselves to be doing a service to Darwinism, take thereupon occasion to say that they expected as much and that from the first they had disliked the whole thing."
- 1925: "I well remember the enthusiasm with which the Mendelian theory was received when it was first introduced to the scientific world in the early days of this century. We thought at last the key to evolution had been discovered. But as our knowledge of the facts grew, the difficulty of using Mendelian phenomena to explain evolution became apparent, and this early hope sickened and died. The way that Mendel cut was seen to lead into a cul-de-sac [evolutionary dead end]"
- 1927: "The data of Mendelism embarras us very considerably"
- 1988 Science Historians: In Mendel's own writing, "he gave conditional acceptance to the view, expressed by Gaertner, 'that species are fixed within limits beyond which they cannot change.'"
- 2010: One of the famed Ted talks, this one on cancer research by Danny Hillis, makes distracting science-cliché errors which illustrate how Darwinism gets credit even for predictions that it gets flatly wrong. At 3:23 in (and again for 10 seconds beginning at 4:13), Hillis ironically credits Darwinism for predicting (when in reality, per its actual history, it aggressively opposed) genetic science. And at 4:43 Hillis completely misrepresents the crisis of evolutionists trying to reinforce Darwin's tree using genetic sequencing. (For example, NewScientist's cover story: Darwin Was Wrong: about the tree of life, is presented along with RSR's own List of Genomes that Just Don't Fit, as with the small, rodent-like elephant shrew, which weighs just over a pound, having a genome closer to an elephant than to other shrews.)
Please feel free to send us any documentation you may have on this matter, to Bob@rsr.org.

* Lord Kelvin's Proof of God vs. AronRa's Two-word Quote Mine: Evolutionists wrongly accuse creationists of quote mining. In an RSR debate, popular atheist AronRa committed a record-breaking "quote mine" of only two words! Ra wrote that in Kelvin's opinion, the concept of evolution was "not unscientific." :) For a more accurate assessment of this old-earth creationist's views, in the Address of Sir William Thomson [Lord Kelvin], President, at the Forty-First Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Kelvin concluded his lengthy report with these words:

"But overpoweringly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie all round us; and if ever perplexities, whether metaphysical or scientific, turn us away from them for a time, they come back upon us with irresistible force, showing to us through Nature the influence of a free will, and teaching us that all living beings depend on one ever-acting Creator and Ruler." -Lord Kelvin

In the same speech, Kelvin also defended the experimentally established law of biogenesis and rejected abiogenesis, which is the popular claim of naturalistic origins for life itself, unsubstantiated by evidence but believed by virtually all atheists, as a matter of unquestionable dogma and blind faith:

"A very ancient speculation, still clung to by many naturalists... supposes that... dead matter may have run together or crystallized or fermented into 'germs of life,' or 'organic cells,' or 'protoplasm.' But science brings a vast mass of inductive evidence against this hypothesis of spontaneous generation, as you have heard from my predecessor in the Presidential chair. Careful enough scrutiny has, in every case up to the present day, discovered life as antecedent to life. Dead matter cannot become living without coming under the influence of matter previously alive. This seems to me as sure a teaching of science as the law of gravitation." -Lord Kelvin

Such words from Kelvin "incited a great flutter amongst the dovecots of science of the shoddy kind" remarked a John Buchanan. Still though, Kelvin was not a young-earth creationist and he proposed in his speech that perhaps life that was originally created by God on another planet and may have come to Earth via meteorites. And then, while specifically disavowing the mechanisms of Darwinism, Kelvin wrote, "if evolution there has been," then that life would have been guided to diversify by intelligent design. And ultimately Kelvin observed that even if all this did happen, it does not imply however that mankind evolved from animals!

And Kelvin would always reject efforts to provide a maximum age for the earth as older than 40 million years, which age is far too young, even if evolutionary mechanisms could theoretically create vital organs, for Darwinian mechanisms to explain the diversity of life. For as widely observed, natural selection can explain the survival, but not the arrival, of the fittest.

Fathers of the Young Earth Creation Movement: In debate with popular atheist AronRa, Bob showed that Isaac Newton, considered the world's greatest scientist, argued that the solar system did not form naturally but was created by the command of God not eons ago but only a few thousand years before Christ and that he wrote extensively to defend the authority of the Bible including as taken literally as a history text. Many leading scientists accepted the straightforward chronology of Scripture and the global flood. Johann Kepler, the father of modern astronomy and discoverer of the laws of planetary motion, is another who specifically affirmed God's creation of the heavens and the Earth approximately 6,000 years earlier. Henry Morris is the father of the modern (revived) biblical creation movement by his publication with John Whitcomb in 1961 of The Genesis Flood, preceded by Morris' The Bible & Modern Science in 1951 and That You Might Believe in 1946. Heroic Christian thinkers, however, spanned the period from Darwin to the modern creation movement. Heroic Christian thinkers, however, spanned the period from Darwin to the modern creation movement. For one example, in Charles Hodges 1940 Systematic Theology - Volume II, foreshadowing both the information basis of the coming explosion of genetic science and Intelligent Design movement, wrote that Darwinism "assumes that matter does the work of mind. This is an impossibility and an absurdity..." RSR celebrates the work of all these men, for when the scientist finally reaches the summit, he finds the theologian already there.

Isaac Newton on Atheism and Visibility from the Ark: During or after 1719 Newton wrote in his Short Scheme of True Religion, "Opposite to [godliness] is Atheism in profession and Idolatry in practise. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind..." Separately, in his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms, published posthumously in 1728, Newton even wrote that because of the extreme weather during the global flood that Noah would have poor visibility from the Ark for much of the time during the Flood, "when the Moon could not be seen..." Of course, Newton did not need to know about Darwin nor genetics to reject biblical creation and agree with the ancient Greek philosophical claim of an eternal universe. Newton was a creationist.

-The Enyart Postulate: Bob Enyart's nephew Brian has noted that what we call natural is actually supernatural and what we call supernatural is actually natural. He does not suggest that we should change the way we talk. Rather, we should recognize that God's nature is the most natural thing. We tend to think of that which is most natural from our own frame of reference. But from the perspective of God as the ultimate standard, it is the matter that He created that is supernatural. Webster gives as a definition of natural, "having a normal or usual character". And because matter has only recently been introduced, the natural normal and usual character of existence is spirit, and specifically, Spirit. So because God has existed throughout eternity past, He is more "natural" than His creation so that the nature of God is the most natural thing in existence and the nature of the physical realm is supernatural. (Related: Brian also gave to RSR the "ray analogy" regarding God's relationship to time.)

- Related Matters and Bertrand Russell: Prior to the creation, there were no physical laws. That simple observation answers the superficial question that Bertrand Russell quoted in his Why I Am Not A Christian. "Who made me?", cannot be answered, he claims, since it immediately suggests the further question, "Who made god?" Russell is confused on two fronts. First, anything that has a beginning has a cause. Secondly, physical beings, like the physical universe, are subject to the physical laws, including the manifestation of entropy known as the Second Law. Thus obviously, the universe and its contents (including us) have not existed eternally for by now it would have expended all available energy and everywhere would have grown cold and dark having suffered a heat death. But God is spirit. He is not subject to the physical laws. Thus, Russell's argument is sufficient against a physical, created idol but not against the target of his hubris, Jesus Christ, the eternal Creator of all things.

Consider also whether or not the creation of the heavens and the earth was a miracle. A miracle is an event that supercedes physical or spiritual law (Enyart, The Plot, Chapter 10). Prior to the creation, physical laws did not exist. Mendel's law (description) of genetics, Newton's law (description) of gravity, Ohm's law (description) of the relationship between voltage, current, and resistance, were initiated when biological reproduction, mass, and electricity first appeared. They had no effect, prior to that, for they had nothing to describe, and even today only physical entities (not souls, spirits, nor God) are subject to the behaviors they describe. Now let's consider the question of whether or not the initial creation was a miracle, using its most rigorous definition: an event that supersedes physical or spiritual law. Because there were no physical laws that would govern the initial creation of matter and energy, therefore, the initial creation of the universe did not violate the physical laws. (For they did not yet exist.) Then how about the spiritual laws (do not bear false witness; authority flows downhill; love is the commitment to the good of another; etc.)? Were there any spiritual laws that described God as unable to create the heavens and the earth? Of course not. Thus, the initial creation superceded no laws. So, speaking in the vernacular and informally, it seems acceptable to describe the initial creation as a miracle. But speaking with deeper insight, and technically (which is not always necessary to do), it is an exaggeration. After the initial creation though, that is, after the first creative act of God on Day One, the physical laws came into existence. And from that point, since matter does not spring up into grasses and trees, nor spontaneously form into gulls or gazelles, it seems that all of God's remaining acts described in Genesis during the six days of creation were indeed miraculous.

Our final consideration concerns God's statement, "Let there be light," on Day One. For millennia thinking men have pondered the implications of that phrase, considering that the Sun was not created until Day Four. Dr. Walt Brown has pointed out that light is not emitted only by stars, but also by merging subatomic particles. On Day One God made the basic building blocks of the matter that he would use later on Day Four to make the stars and to "stretch out" the heavens. The Earth is not in the center but near the outer edge of the Milky Way. Thus as our planet rotated on its axis, the light produced by the natural attraction of the subatomic particles that were created on Day One bathed the Earth on one side. "God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day." And so technically speaking, the first miracle occurred on Day Two, when God created the firmament.

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