Famous Catholic Scientists

The names for three different kinds of electrical measure: amps, volts, and coulombs, come from the surnames of three Catholic scientists who were each pioneers in their respected fields. André Marie Ampere was a French mathematician, chemist, and physicist. His experiments quantified the relationship between the electrical current and the magnetic field. It was Ampere’s devotion at daily Mass that inspired a young Frédéric Ozanam to devote himself more earnestly to his Catholic Faith. Ozanam was going through a period of doubt and, while visiting a church in Paris, he saw the great scientist praying fervently before the altar. He found Ampere there again the next day. Soon he struck up a friendship with the scientist and even lived with his family for over a year. When he was only twenty years old Ozanam founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was beatified by John Paul II in 1997. Alessandro Volta was an Italian physicist who discovered the electric pile. He was expert in the field of electrical pressure. The units of electric potential (volts) and the alternate name of the quantity (voltage) are named after him. Charles Coulomb was a French engineer and physicist who published the laws of electrostatics between 1785 and 1791. His name is associated with the units of electrical quantity or charge. (Most of this information was found in Michael Foley’s book, Why Do Catholics Eat Fish On Friday.)

  • former atheist

    Many of the greatest scientists who have ever lived – among them Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday, Mendel, Pasteur and Kelvin – have not only believed in God but have found in
    their scientific work the evidence for God.

    More recently we can mention Albert Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist of the 20th century. What led him to believe in God was the fact that the universe was not chaotic, as one would expect if it resulted from chance, but rather ordered and intelligible and that “The most
    incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” … with Laws of Physics which operated at the moment of the origin of the universe. If these Laws existed, then such Laws logically first require a Law-Maker or SuperIntellect (which we call God).

    Dr Arno Penzias (Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist) – “I invite you to examine the snapshot provided by half a century’s worth of astrophysical data and see what the pieces of the universe
    actually look like…In order to achieve consistency with our observations we must…assume not
    only creation of matter and energy out of nothing, but creation of space and time as well. The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

    Allan Rex Sandage (astronomer) – “It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the
    supernatural that I could understand the mystery of existence.”

    Professor Vera Kistiakowski (professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the Divine.”

    Dr Stephen Meyer (a geophysicist with a Cambridge doctorate in origin-of-life biology) – “If it’s true there’s a beginning to the universe, as modern cosmologists now agree, then this implies a cause that transcends the universe. If the laws of physics are fine-tuned to permit life, as
    contemporary physicists are discovering, then perhaps there’s a Designer who fine-tuned them. If there’s information in the cell, as molecular biology shows, then this suggests intelligent design. To get life going in the first place would have required biological information; the
    implications point beyond the material realm to a prior intelligent cause.”

    Dr Hugh Ross (Astrophysicist) – has identified 148 astrophysical parameters that must be ‘just so’ for a planet to exist that can support human life, yet the odds against this happening by chance are, he calculates, many times greater than the total number of stars in the entire universe! Given such facts, even so great an astronomer and former atheist as Fred Hoyle, has
    written: “I do not believe that any scientists who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the Laws of Nuclear Physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside stars.”

    Wernher von Braun (pioneer rocket engineer – “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.”

    Paul Davies (British astro-physicist) – “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all … It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe … The impression of design is overwhelming”.

    George Greenstein (astronomer) – “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or, rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”

    Philosopher Richard Swinburne, in his book Is there a God? (Oxford University Press 1996, p. 68), sums it up with a touch of humour: “To postulate a trillion-trillion other universes, rather than one God, in order to explain the orderliness of our universe, seems the height of irrationality.”

    Ed Harrison (cosmologist) sums up the statements of many astro-phycists: “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and
    refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one … Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline towards the teleological or design argument.”

    … and this is just a miniscule sample of the scientists who have truly not been afraid to
    confront the attestation and have also gone “where the evidence” has taken them.

    They tell us that Faith does NOT obliterate thinking; but elevates it, giving it more room to breathe.

    People like Hawking may be heroes in their own tiny worlds, but it does not automatically make them experts in any other area.

    … Which is interesting – – when even atheist scientists sometimes accidentally make admissions to the reality of God, eg:

    Admission by Professor George Wald (a non-believer Harvard biologist): “There are only TWO possibilities as to how life arose:
    “One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a super natural creative act of
    God. There is NO THIRD POSSIBILITY.

    He admits that “Spontaneous generation, that life arose from non-living matter, was
    scientifically DISPROVED 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others.

    “That leaves us with the ONLY POSSIBLE CONCLUSION — that life arose as a SUPERNATURAL creative act of God.

    … [yet] I will NOT accept that philosophically because I DO NOT WANT to BELIEVE in God.

    “Therefore I CHOOSE to believe in that which I know is scientifically IMPOSSIBLE…” (Scientific American 199, September 1958, p.100).

    NOTE – Wald is admitting: In other words “I DON’T WANT to BELIEVE IN GOD and this decision WILL PRECLUDE all my scientific observations. I DON’T CARE FOR TRUTH because it challenges my ego – so I will continue to believe what I can see is SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.”

    NOTE how:

    1. Oxford Professor of Mathematics JohnLennox, also describes such irrational behaviour by some atheist “scientists” as as “incoherent nonsense” (see God’s Undertaker – Has Science Buried God? (Lion Hudson, Oxford 2009), by John Lennox, Oxford Professor of Mathematics.

    2. This kind of approach to science of IRRATIONAL ABSENCE of LOGIC and un-paralleled ARROGANCE is described by Professor Edward Feser as the “ULTIMATE SUPERSTITION” (his book: “Atheism – The Last Superstition”).

    3. That in fact it is “atheistic materialism” which actually UNDERMINES science, distorting it into something that fails to act for the common good of all.

    4. It is important to NOTE that Professor Austin L. Hughes (Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina) also WARNS us that this type of “science” [as practiced by Stenger and Lewontin and Wald] is actually “SCIENTISM”

    – Hughes WARNS that the DANGER of this “SCIENTISM” (science distorted by inaccurate, incoherent criteria) is that it has much in common with SUPERSTITION.