Thursday, May 24, 2018

T.F. Torrance on Science and Theology

‘When the scientist inquires into the nature of the world, he does that not by looking at God but by looking away from him at the world, but when the theologian inquires into the nature of God as he has revealed himself he does that not by looking at the nature of the world, which God has created out of nothing, but by looking away from the world to its Creator. The scientist and the theologian thus move in opposite directions. The scientist is concerned with the created or contingent universe, so that he does not reckon God among the data with which natural science is concerned. And that is of course consonant with a proper theological understanding of the nature of the universe which God has created as a reality utterly different from himself but which he has endowed with a created rational order reflecting his own transcendent rationality.’ (T.F. Torrance, Preaching Christ Today: The Gospel and Scientific Thinking, 48-49)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Faith and Science According to the First American Female Astronomer, Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell (August 1, 1818-June 28, 1889), the first American woman astronomer, was the first professor of Astronomy at Vassar College and the first director of Vassar's observatory. Honored internationally, she was one of the most celebrated American scientists of the 19th century.

Maria was the third of ten children born to Quakers Lydia Coleman and William Mitchell on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. William Mitchell, an amateur astronomer, shared with his children what he considered to be the evidence of God in the natural world. Only Maria was interested enough to learn the mathematics of astronomy. At age 12 Maria counted the seconds for her father while they observed a lunar eclipse. At 14 she could adjust a ship's chronometer, a valuable skill in a whaling port. She preferred to stand on the roof searching the skies to gathering with the family or friends in the parlor.