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The Bible and Science: The relation of faith and science

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Saturday, November 25, 2017

 

Robert Runnels Williams is between his mother and father in front of the Williams's home in Redlands, California, 1915.

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For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

 

Focus question: Does faith play a role in scientific research and how Christians interpret data?

 

Alice C. Linsley

 

In the first installment of this 4-part series on The Bible and Science we noted that many significant breakthroughs in science and technology have been made by professing Christians. For some, success brought them conflict with religious leaders and secular scientists. Vindication came late for Copernicus and Galileo. The inventor of the MRI, Dr. Raymond Damadian, was denied a Noble Prize in Medicine because of his fundamentalist religious beliefs.

When it comes to biblical studies and scientific research, humility is a cardinal virtue. Those who have done the hard work deserve the credit, and the humble acknowledge the help they received from others. Sometimes they admit to serendipitous events or conversations that led them to seemingly miraculous breakthroughs.

Niels Bohr often spoke of the numinous dream that led to his discovery of the structure of the atom. August Kekule said he discovered the Benzene molecule after having a dream of a snake seizing its own tail.

In Toward the Conquest of Berberi, the chemist Robert R. Williams (the son of missionaries) recounts his chance meeting in the Philippines with U.S. Army doctor, Edward B. Vedder. Vedder had discovered that an alcoholic extract of rice bran cured infants who were dying from Berberi. He gave Dr. Williams a bottle of the extract and asked him to identify the substance responsible for its life-saving effect.Twenty-six years of research culminated in the synthesis of thiamine (vitamin B1) by Dr. Williams. The synthesis of this vitamin led to the eradication of Beriberi, a disease that killed millions in the Orient every year.

 

Read it all here.

 

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