Science and Faith

This section contains several papers I have written on science and the Christian Faith. I hope that you will find them informative and useful. The papers that are in PDF format can be viewed online or downloaded to your machine.

  • The Creation Days in Genesis

    In this paper I discuss the major views that Christian scholars have held relative to the days of creation in Genesis chapter one. I discuss the historical background of the controversy that exists over the proper interpretation of this creation account as well as some of the cultural and language difficulties involved in interpreting the events involved. I also present some of the common arguments "for" and "against" each of these major interpretations. I know that I, like everyone else, have certain biases relating to this subject, but I have attempted to avoid these as much as possible in this presentation.

  • Galileo and Changing Views of the Universe

    The trial and censorship of Galileo for advocating the sun-centered model of Copernicus is often viewed as a battle between science and Christianity. As we will see the situation is much more complicated. We begin by describing the earth-centered views of Aristotle and Ptolemy that were widely accepted from about 350 BC up into the 17th century, a period of almost 2000 years. In 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus introduced a sun-centered model that was the first challenge to the prevailing Aristotelian viewpoint. However, this model was no more accurate than the Aristotelian model. Next we see how Galileo's telescopic observations challenged some of the assumptions of the Aristotelian model. Galileo's advocacy of the Copernican model was opposed by many in the Catholic church as well as by the academic establishment. To complicate the situation there was an earth-centered model introduced by Tycho Brahe that shared the advantages of the Copernican model as well as some of the advantages of the Aristotelian model. Thus at the time of Galileo's trial, an earth-centered view was still very reasonable. Next we look at the events surrounding the trial and censorship of Galileo. Finally we see how Johannes Kepler developed a more accurate model in which the planets follow elliptical orbits with the sun at one focus. Newton later showed that Kepler's model follows from his laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation. This is basically the model that is used today.

  • The Scopes Trial

    The public view of this trial has been largely influenced by the movie and play "Inherit the Wind." It has been pointed out by several historians that this movie and play do not present a completely accurate view of what actually happened. In this paper I try to present a more balanced view of what took place in this trial.

  • The Huxley-Wilberforce Debate

    It turns out that there is considerable controversy over what exactly happened in this famous encounter between Thomas Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce dealing with Darwinian evolution. In this paper I discuss the meager amount of historical data that exists and try to separate what is factual from what is myth.

  • The Life and Faith of Leonhard Euler

    Leonhard Euler is considered by many to be the preeminent mathematician and physicist of the eighteenth century. In this paper I summarize his life, including his scientific accomplishments as well as his strong Christian Faith.

  • The Life and Faith of Michael Faraday

    Michael Faraday is considered by many to be the finest experimental scientist of all time. Although he was an excellent chemist, he is best known for his work in electricity and magnetism. He demonstrated electromagnetic induction, built the first electric motor, and built the first electric generator. In this paper I summarize his life, including his scientific accomplishments as well as his strong Christian Faith.

  • The Life and Faith of James Clerk Maxwell

    James Clerk Maxwell is not well known outside scientific circles, but he ranks alongside Newton and Einstein as one of the greatest physicists of all time. He developed a set of equations describing electricity and magnetism, and predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves (radio, TV, microwave, etc.) twenty years before anyone was able to generate them. He was also a committed Christian. In this paper I summarize his life, including his many scientific achievements and his Christian Faith.

  • The Life and Faith of Blaise Pascal

    Blaise Pascal is well known as a mathematician, scientist, philosopher, and Christian apologist. In this paper I summarize his life, including his many scientific, mathematical, and literary achievements as well as his Christian Faith.

  • Famous Scientists Time-line (PDF)

    This file contains a chart showing the time periods in which various famous scientists lived.

  • The Hebrew Language and Way of Thinking (PDF)

    The Old Testament in the Bible was written in ancient Hebrew, a language very different from English. In this paper I briefly discuss the development of the Hebrew alphabet, the ancient Hebrew manuscripts, the nature of the Hebrew language, the Hebrew way of thinking, and some important Hebrew words.

  • The Arrest and Trial of Jesus

    This paper is not about science, but it discusses some important events in the life of Jesus. We will see that both the arrest and trial of Jesus represented gross miscarriages of justice. To understand the magnitude of these injustices, we summarize some of the key concepts of Hebrew law and how they were violated. Strangely, these terrible events can serve as a source of comfort to those who experience injustice today. They can be assured that Jesus understands their situation for he has been there.