The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
(Psalm 19:1)

science-and-the-glory-of-god-1Several WallBuilders speakers just returned from engagements in Alaska, where they witnessed the incomprehensible wonder of the Northern Lights, the breathtaking beauty of the majestic mountain ranges, and the creative uniqueness of its wildlife. Throughout American history, those who believed Psalms 19 and explored God’s marvelous creation have had great impact on our science.

science-and-the-glory-of-god-2For example, U.S. Navy Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury became known as “Father of Oceanography” and  “Pathfinder of the Seas” because of what he discovered from reading Psalm 8 and Ecclesiastes 1. When criticized for his reliance on the Bible, Maury responded:

I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes and is therefore of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. . . . The Bible is true, and science is true. . . . They are both true; and when your men of science, with vain and hasty conceit, announce the discovery of disagreement between them, rely upon it: the fault is not with the Witness or His records [that is, God], but with the “worm” [sinful human] who essays [attempts] to interpret evidence which he does not understand.  [1]


Thomas Jefferson, a diligent student of history, observed that:

The Christian religion…is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind. [2]

In fact, Jefferson said that  “Bacon, Newton and Locke . . . [are] my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced.” [3] While Locke was a Christian philosopher, both Bacon and Newton were Christian scientists. Notice the philosophy of these two.

Francis Bacon
science-and-the-glory-of-god-4, known as the “Father of Modern Science,” [4] developed the process of inductive thinking and created the scientific method. He also penned several books on religion, such as On the Unity in Religion (1612), On Atheism (1612), and Of Praise (1612), as well as a translation of Biblical psalms (1625).
science-and-the-glory-of-god-5 Sir Isaac Newton as an English mathematician and scientist credited with birthing modern calculus and discovering the laws of universal gravitation. But he actually wrote more on theology than he did on science!


There are many other examples, making clear that science as we know it today would not exist had it not been for those who used the Bible to lay the foundations of modern science.

(For more information on the Bible and Science, see the commentary for Daniel 1 in The Founders’ Bible).

[1]  A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, Diana Fontaine (Maury) Corbin, editor (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1888), p. 178, “Maury’s Address at the Laying of the Corner-stone of the University of the South, on the Sewanee Mountains in East Tennessee, was delivered at the request of Bishop Otey on Nov. 30th, 1860.” See also Stephen McDowell, Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Pathfinder of the Seas (Charlottesville, VA: Providence Biblical Worldview University, 2011).


[2] Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Charlottesville: F. Carr and Co., 1829), Vol. III, p. 463, to Moses Robinson on March 23, 1801.


[3] Thomas Jefferson, The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Paul Leicester Ford, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905), Volume XI, p. 168, to Dr. Benjamin Rush on January 16, 1811.


[4] The Works of Francis Bacon, James Spedding, editor (London: Longmans & Co., 1870), Vol. III, p. 509, “Preface to the De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium”; John Timbs, Stories of Inventors and Discoverers in Science and the Useful Arts (London: Kent and Co., 1860), p. 91, “Lord Bacon’s ‘New Philosophy”; David C. Innes, “The Novelty and Genius of Francis Bacon,” Piety and Humanity (accessed on January 28, 2013).