Christians Who Believe In The Science Of Evolution

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  • Bill Nye’s epic debate with Ken Ham of the Creation Museum continued the ongoing debate about the earth’s origin.

    While young earth creationists like Ham point to the Bible and place the earth’s age at 6,000 years old, others rely on scientific evidence that say it’s several billion years old. However, the debate does not need to pit science against religion. Plenty of scientists have deeply held Christian beliefs while still agreeing with mainstream scientific beliefs about evolution.

    Here are a few that we know of — please add to this list by submitting scientists whom you know or admire who have faith and believe in the science of evolution.

     

    Loading Slideshow...
    • John Polkinghorne

      Royal Society Member, theoretical physicist, theologian, Anglican priest “Science cannot tell theology how to construct a doctrine of creation, but you can’t construct a doctrine of creation without taking account of the age of the universe and the evolutionary character of cosmic history.” <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • John D. Barrow

      Cosmologist, theoretical physicist, mathematician “If a ‘religion’ is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Gödel has taught us that, not only is mathematics a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.” J.D. Barrow in Between Inner Space and Outer Space, Oxford University Press, 1999, p 88. <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Barrow&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • William Phillips

      Physicist, 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics “As for the age of the earth and the universe, within the usual limits of any scientific conclusions, I believe that the present calculations of about 4 billion years for the earth and 14 billion years for the universe are not far wrong, and I see no conflict with that understanding and my understanding of the Bible.” <a href=”http://www.reasons.org/articles/notable-christians-open-to-an-old-universe-old-earth-perspective#phillips_w&#8221; target=”_blank”>-Reason.org</a> <a href=”http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1997/phillips-facts.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Martin A. Nowak

      Evolutionary biologist, mathematical biologist “I think that science and religion are components of what people need and what people want in terms of the search for truth. I don’t see science as constructing or providing an argument against well-formulated and thoughtful religious philosophy.” <a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/evolution/8382449/Martin-Nowak-a-helping-hand-for-evolution.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>-The Telegraph</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Nowak&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Ian Hutchinson

      Nuclear physicist “One of the conflicts that is most visible in current culture is between scientism and religion. But the overall confrontation is not just with religious faith, prominent though that part of the debate may be. Religious belief is not at all unique in being an unscientific knowledge. On the contrary, I shall argue that there are many important beliefs, secular as well as religious, which are justified and rational, but not scientific. ” <a href=”http://monopolizingknowledge.net/&#8221; target=”_blank”>-Monopolizing Religion</a> <a href=”http://web.mit.edu/nse/people/faculty/hutchinson.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Ard Louis

      Theoretical Physicist “As Christian thinkers throughout the middle ages wrestled with the questions of miracles and God’s action in the world, the following ideas emerged: If the regularities of nature are a manifestation of the sustenance of God then one would expect them to be trustworthy and consistent, rather than capricious. The regular behaviour of nature could be viewed as the “customs of the creator” as it were. Christians glorify God by studying these “laws of nature”. A strong case can be made that such theological realisations helped pave the way for the rise of modern science.” -<a href=”http://www.free-online.org/free-thinking/lifes-big-questions/science/has-physics-disproved-the-existence-of-god.htm&#8221; target=”_blank”>Has Physics Disproved The Existence of God?</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ard_Louis&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Owen Gingerich

      Astronomer “For me the universe is more coherent and congenial place if I assume that it embodies purpose and intention.” <a href=”http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2007/09/gods-universe-review.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>-God’s Universe</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Gingerich&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Kenneth Miller

      Biologist “Like many other scientists who hold the Catholic faith, I see the Creator’s plan and purpose fulfilled in our universe. I see a planet bursting with evolutionary possibilities, a continuing creation in which the Divine providence is manifest in every living thing. I see a science that tells us there is indeed a design to life.” <a href=”http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/kenneth_r_miller.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>-Brainy Quote</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_R._Miller&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Francis Collins

      Physician-geneticist involved in the Human Genome Project <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

    • Karl Giberson

      Karl Giberson, Ph.D, is a leading scholar of science & religion, a topic on which he has written several books and hundreds of articles, essays, reviews, and blogs. He is the former President of the BioLogos Foundation (www.biologos.org), founded by Francis Collins to help Christians make peace with science. <a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karl-giberson-phd/&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more</a>

    • Michael Zimmerman

      Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. is the founder and director of The Clergy Letter Project, an international organization of religious leaders and scientists created to demonstrate that religion and science need not be in conflict. The Clergy Letter Project sponsors Evolution Weekend annually, an opportunity for congregations of all faiths to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. <a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more</a>

     
    Though the above scientists have faith in God, these scientists below have beliefs that fall on a greater spectrum.

    • Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
      “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for 
the existence of God.” ClarificationThe full quote, from one of Darwin’s letters, carries a different sentiment. A young admirer asked Darwin about his religious views (the original inquiry is lost), and the great naturalist answered: “It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.”
    • Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
      “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual…The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” –American astrophysicist
    • Francis Collins (1950-)
      “Science is…a powerful way, indeed – to study the natural world. Science is not particularly effective…in making commentary about the supernatural world. Both worlds, for me, are quite real and quite important. They are investigated in different ways. They coexist. They illuminate each other.” –American physician-geneticist and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute
    • Max Planck (1858-1947)
      “It was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.” –German physicist, noted for work on quantum theory
    • Erwin Schroedinger (1887-1961)
      “I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experiences in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, god and eternity.” –Austrian physicist, awarded Nobel prize in 1933
    • William H. Bragg (1862-1942)
      “From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped.” –British physicist, chemist, and mathematician. Awarded Nobel Prize in 1915
    • Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
      “God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand.” –American physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1965
    • Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)
      “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.” –German-American rocket scientist
    • Nevill Mott (1905-1996)
      Photo Credit: University Of Bristol
      “Science can have a purifying effect on religion, freeing it from beliefs of a pre-scientific age and helping us to a truer conception of God. At the same time, I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.” –English physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1977

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Bill Nye’s epic debate with Ken Ham of the Creation Museum continued the ongoing debate about the earth’s origin.

While young earth creationists like Ham point to the Bible and place the earth’s age at 6,000 years old, others rely on scientific evidence that say it’s several billion years old. However, the debate does not need to pit science against religion. Plenty of scientists have deeply held Christian beliefs while still agreeing with mainstream scientific beliefs about evolution.

Here are a few that we know of — please add to this list by submitting scientists whom you know or admire who have faith and believe in the science of evolution.

 

Loading Slideshow...
  • John Polkinghorne

    Royal Society Member, theoretical physicist, theologian, Anglican priest “Science cannot tell theology how to construct a doctrine of creation, but you can’t construct a doctrine of creation without taking account of the age of the universe and the evolutionary character of cosmic history.” <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • John D. Barrow

    Cosmologist, theoretical physicist, mathematician “If a ‘religion’ is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Gödel has taught us that, not only is mathematics a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.” J.D. Barrow in Between Inner Space and Outer Space, Oxford University Press, 1999, p 88. <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Barrow&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • William Phillips

    Physicist, 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics “As for the age of the earth and the universe, within the usual limits of any scientific conclusions, I believe that the present calculations of about 4 billion years for the earth and 14 billion years for the universe are not far wrong, and I see no conflict with that understanding and my understanding of the Bible.” <a href=”http://www.reasons.org/articles/notable-christians-open-to-an-old-universe-old-earth-perspective#phillips_w&#8221; target=”_blank”>-Reason.org</a> <a href=”http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1997/phillips-facts.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Martin A. Nowak

    Evolutionary biologist, mathematical biologist “I think that science and religion are components of what people need and what people want in terms of the search for truth. I don’t see science as constructing or providing an argument against well-formulated and thoughtful religious philosophy.” <a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/evolution/8382449/Martin-Nowak-a-helping-hand-for-evolution.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>-The Telegraph</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Nowak&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Ian Hutchinson

    Nuclear physicist “One of the conflicts that is most visible in current culture is between scientism and religion. But the overall confrontation is not just with religious faith, prominent though that part of the debate may be. Religious belief is not at all unique in being an unscientific knowledge. On the contrary, I shall argue that there are many important beliefs, secular as well as religious, which are justified and rational, but not scientific. ” <a href=”http://monopolizingknowledge.net/&#8221; target=”_blank”>-Monopolizing Religion</a> <a href=”http://web.mit.edu/nse/people/faculty/hutchinson.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Ard Louis

    Theoretical Physicist “As Christian thinkers throughout the middle ages wrestled with the questions of miracles and God’s action in the world, the following ideas emerged: If the regularities of nature are a manifestation of the sustenance of God then one would expect them to be trustworthy and consistent, rather than capricious. The regular behaviour of nature could be viewed as the “customs of the creator” as it were. Christians glorify God by studying these “laws of nature”. A strong case can be made that such theological realisations helped pave the way for the rise of modern science.” -<a href=”http://www.free-online.org/free-thinking/lifes-big-questions/science/has-physics-disproved-the-existence-of-god.htm&#8221; target=”_blank”>Has Physics Disproved The Existence of God?</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ard_Louis&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Owen Gingerich

    Astronomer “For me the universe is more coherent and congenial place if I assume that it embodies purpose and intention.” <a href=”http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2007/09/gods-universe-review.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>-God’s Universe</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Gingerich&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Kenneth Miller

    Biologist “Like many other scientists who hold the Catholic faith, I see the Creator’s plan and purpose fulfilled in our universe. I see a planet bursting with evolutionary possibilities, a continuing creation in which the Divine providence is manifest in every living thing. I see a science that tells us there is indeed a design to life.” <a href=”http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/kenneth_r_miller.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>-Brainy Quote</a> <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_R._Miller&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Francis Collins

    Physician-geneticist involved in the Human Genome Project <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more here</a>

  • Karl Giberson

    Karl Giberson, Ph.D, is a leading scholar of science & religion, a topic on which he has written several books and hundreds of articles, essays, reviews, and blogs. He is the former President of the BioLogos Foundation (www.biologos.org), founded by Francis Collins to help Christians make peace with science. <a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karl-giberson-phd/&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more</a>

  • Michael Zimmerman

    Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. is the founder and director of The Clergy Letter Project, an international organization of religious leaders and scientists created to demonstrate that religion and science need not be in conflict. The Clergy Letter Project sponsors Evolution Weekend annually, an opportunity for congregations of all faiths to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. <a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/&#8221; target=”_blank”>Read more</a>

Though the above scientists have faith in God, these scientists below have beliefs that fall on a greater spectrum.

  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
    “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for 
the existence of God.” ClarificationThe full quote, from one of Darwin’s letters, carries a different sentiment. A young admirer asked Darwin about his religious views (the original inquiry is lost), and the great naturalist answered: “It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.”
  • Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
    “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual…The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” –American astrophysicist
  • Francis Collins (1950-)
    “Science is…a powerful way, indeed – to study the natural world. Science is not particularly effective…in making commentary about the supernatural world. Both worlds, for me, are quite real and quite important. They are investigated in different ways. They coexist. They illuminate each other.” –American physician-geneticist and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute
  • Max Planck (1858-1947)
    “It was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.” –German physicist, noted for work on quantum theory
  • Erwin Schroedinger (1887-1961)
    “I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experiences in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, god and eternity.” –Austrian physicist, awarded Nobel prize in 1933
  • William H. Bragg (1862-1942)
    “From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped.” –British physicist, chemist, and mathematician. Awarded Nobel Prize in 1915
  • Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
    “God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand.” –American physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1965
  • Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)
    “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.” –German-American rocket scientist
  • Nevill Mott (1905-1996)
    Photo Credit: University Of Bristol
    “Science can have a purifying effect on religion, freeing it from beliefs of a pre-scientific age and helping us to a truer conception of God. At the same time, I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.” –English physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1977

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