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Full text of "Religious beliefs of scientists, including one hundred hitherto unpublished letters on science and religion from eminent men of science"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 



PRESENTED BY 

PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND 
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS 
OF SCIENTISTS 



INCLUDING ONE HUNDRED HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED 

LETTERS ON SCIENCE AND RELIGION FROM 

EMINENT MEN OF SCIENCE 



BY 

ARTHUR H. TABRUM 

M 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY 

REV. C. L. DRAWBRIDGE, M.A, 

AUTHOR OF "IS RELIGION UNDERMINED ?" ETC. 



PUBLISHED BY 

HUNTER & LONGHURST 

58 & 59, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.G. 

FOR THE 

NORTH LONDON CHRISTIAN EVIDENCE LEAGUE 



PREFACE 

THE following pages contain considerably more 
than one hundred letters, nearly all of which were 
received by the compiler in his efforts to ascertain 
the truth or falsity of certain assertions made by 
4t Freethinkers," Agnostics, and other opponents of 
Religion. These assertions are to the effect that 
Religion and Science are diametrically antagonistic 
to each other, and that men of Science are, and 
must necessarily be, irreligious and anti-Christian. 

Part I. includes letters written some fourteen 
years ago which, but for the iteration and reiteration 
of the above-mentioned assertions, might still have 
remained unpublished. (Indeed, this applies to the 
whole of the book.) Consent to publish the 
letters in Part I. and those in Parts II. and III. 
(which have been recently received) has been ob- 
tained. Consequently, with the exception of those 
from the deceased, the whole of the replies represent 
the present beliefs of their respective writers. 

While little or no attempt has been made to 
adhere to a strict rule in the arrangement of the 
letters, a general rule has been observed. Thus : In 
Part I. those from the representatives of " The 
Physical Sciences " precede the letters of those 



vi PREFACE 

whose domain is usually called the "Biological."" 
In Part II. the order is reversed. There, the replies 
by those who work in the fields of biology, zoology, 
physiology, anatomy, pathology, botany, anthro- 
pology, gynaecology, psychology, and philosophy 
take precedence, and are followed by the answers 
of teachers and professors of mathematics, physics,, 
astronomy, chemistry, geology, and electrical 
engineering. 

It may be interesting to state the proportion 
between the letters sent and the replies received : 
Part I. a reply, with few exceptions, to every 
inquiry. Part II. the percentage was not so high 
as in Part I., but the majority responded. 

For certain biographical details, the writer is 
indebted to " Chambers's Encyclopaedia " and to 
" Who's Who " ; and to the proprietors of those 
works he begs to express his best thanks. 

A. H. TABRUM. 
LONDON, N. 

May, 1910. 



CONTENTS 



PART I 



LETTERS, ETC., BY 



PAGE 

PRESIDENTS OF THE ROYAL 

SOCIETY 

Sir George Stokes . . 7 
Lord Kelvin . .10 

Lord Lister . .11 

Lord Rayleigh . . 12 

CHEMISTS, PHYSICISTS, ETC. 

Lord Avebury . . 13 

Sir William Ramsay . 15 

Sir Henry Roscoe . . 16 

Sir William Crookes . 16 

Prof. J. H. Gladstone . 17 

Prof. Balfour Stewart . 19 

Prof. P. G. Tait . . 20 

Sir William de W. Abney 22 

GEOLOGISTS 

Prof. James Geikie . . 23 

Prof. W. Boyd Dawkins 25 

Sir Joseph Prestwich . 26 

Sir J. William Dawson . 27 

Prof. H. G. Seeley . . 28 

Prof. Edward Hull . . 29 



BIOLOGISTS, PHYSIOLOGISTS, 

ETC. 

Sir William Flower . 31 

Prof. Alex. Macalister . 32 

Prof. J. G. McKendrick . 33 

Prof. Lionel S. Beale . 34 

Prof. W. Carruthers . 36 

Prof. Sidney Vines . . 37 

Dr. W. H. Dallinger . 38 

Prof. G. J. Romanes . 39 

Sir Douglas Galton . . 41 

Sir Jas. Crichton-Browne 42 

Sir James Paget . . 43 

Sir Henry Acland . . 44 

Sir J. Russell Reynolds . 46 

Sir George M. Humphry 46 

Sir J. Eric Erichsen . 46 

Sir Dyce Duckworth . 47 

Sir Victor Horsley . . 48 



PHILOLOGISTS AND ORIEN- 
TALISTS 
Prof. E. B. Co well . . 49 



vii 



viii 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

PHILOLOGISTS AND ORIEN- 
TALISTS (contd.) 

Sir Monier Monier-Wil- 
liams . . . .50 

Prof. A. H. Sayce . .51 



Prof. F. Max-Muller 



PAGE 

52 



Sir J. Burdon-Sanderson 54 
Sir W. Thiselton-Dyer . 55 
Sir E. Ray Lankester . 58 





PART II 




LETTERS, ETC., BY 


Dr. Alfred Russel Wal- 


PHYSIOLOGISTS 




lace . '. 


60 


Dr. Augustus Waller 


90 


Sir Oliver Lodge . 


61 


Prof. William Stirling . 


90 


Sir Archibald Geikie 


64 


Prof. W. M. Bayliss 


9i 


Sir Robert Ball 


65 










ANATOMISTS 








Sir William Turner 


91 


BIOLOGISTS, ETC. 




Sir William Collins . 


92 


Prof. J. Arthur Thomson . 


67 


Sir William Church 


92 


Prof. Patrick Geddes 


69 


Prof. John Cleland . 


93 


Prof. C. Lloyd Morgan . 


72 


Prof. Yule Mackay . 


93 


Prof. Sir J. J. Thomson . 


74 


Prof. Bertram Windle . 


94 


Prof. Frank Cavers 


75 






Mr. J. Butler Burke 


80 


PATHOLOGISTS 




Prof. Gerald Leighton . 


81 


Sir Samuel Wilks . 


96 


Prof. R. Ramsay Wright 


82 


Prof. G. Sims Woodhead 


97 






Sir Thomas Barlow 


98 






Sir Patrick Manson . 


98 


ZOOLOGISTS 








Prof. Adam Sedgwick 


82 


BOTANISTS 




Prof. George H. Car- 




Prof. H. D. Scott . 


99 


penter .... 


83 


Prof. J. Reynolds Green . 


99 


Prof. W. Kitchen Parker. 


86 


Prof. George S. Boulger . 


IOO 


Sir Richard Owen . 


86 


Mr. James Britten . 


104 


Dr. Sidney F. Harmer . 


87 






Dr. Francis H. Guille- 




ANTHROPOLOGISTS, ETC. 




mard . ... 


87 


Sir Clements R. Markham 


104 


Mr. Aubyn Trevor-Battye 


88 


Prof. A. H. Keane . 


105 


Prof. Henry Macintosh . 


89 


Sir Edward Bradbrook . 


106 



CONTENTS 



IX 



PAGE 

GYNAECOLOGISTS 

Sir Alex. Simpson . . 109 

Sir James Y. Simpson . in 

Sir Halliday Croom . in 

Prof. John W. Taylor . 1 12 

Sir Lauder Brunton . 113 

Dr. H. Trentham Butlin . 114 

PSYCHOLOGISTS, ETC. 

Prof . James Ward . .115 

Prof. G. F. Stout . .115 

Prof. J. Clark Murray .116 

Dr. F. C. Schiller . .116 
Prof. H. Langhorne 

Orchard . . .117 

MATHEMATICIANS 

Prof. Horace Lamb . 118 

Prof. A. C. Dixon . .119 

Prof. William Burnside . 119 

Prof. Francis Tarleton . 119 

Prof. George Chrystal . 120 

PHYSICISTS 

Prof. W. F. Barrett . 121 

Prof. G. F. Fitzgerald . 123 

Prof. L. R. Wilberforce . 124 

Prof. A. W. Reinold . 124 

Prof. William Thrift . 125 



ASTRONOMERS 
Sir David Gill . 



. 126 



PAGE 

ASTRONOMERS (contd.} 

Prof. Edmund Whittaker 126 
Prof. H. H. Turner . 128 
Dr. E. Walter Maunder . 130 
Dr. Arthur Downing . 131 
Dr. Andrew C. Crommelin 132 
Mr. Ellard Gore . .133 
Prof. S. A. Saunder . 133 
Mr. Walter W. Bryant . 134 

CHEMISTS 
Prof. Sir T. Edward 

Thorpe . . .135 

Prof. Sir William Tilden 136 

Prof. A. H. Church . 137 

Prof. Edward Divers . 137 

Prof. Alex. Crum Brown 139 

Prof. H. C. H. Carpenter 139 

Dr. F. Mollwo Perkin . 140 

Sir William Perkin . 140 

GEOLOGISTS 

Prof. William J. Sollas . 140 
Prof. T. Rupert Jones . 142 

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS 
Sir William Preece . . 142 
Prof. J. A. Fleming . 142 
Prof. J. A. Ewing . . 144 



The Cambridge Memorial 146 



CONTENTS 
PART HI 

LETTERS FROM AMERICAN MEN OF SCIENCE 



Prof. Simon Newcomb . 151 

Prof. Wilbur Atwater . 152 

Mr. Nikola Tesla . . 153 

Prof. David Starr Jordan . 153 

Prof. John P. Munson . 154 



Dr. William Kendall 
Dr. William J. Holland 
Prof. J. J. Walsh . 
Prof. Edmund J. James 



PAGE 

I5& 

159 
, 161 
, 162 



Prof. Frederick L. Charles 163 



INTRODUCTION 

THE Rationalist Press Association sells annually a 
vast number of cheap books, on the covers of which 
it is stated that the objects of the R.P.A. are : 

"to stimulate the habits of reflection and 

inquiry and the free exercise of individual 

intellect," &c. 

I have before me one of the most popular of 
their text-books, which fills 418 pages with the 
attempt to prove that belief in God is dying. One 
quotation from it (p. 18 of the latest edition, 1910) 
will sufficiently indicate its stimulating nature : 

"It is extremely doubtful whether any scientist 
or philosopher really holds the doctrine of a 
personal God, &c." * 

This sweeping assertion certainly "stimulates 
reflection and inquiry," and imperatively demands 
"the free exercise of individual intellect" 2 In 
these days of free education an ever-increasing 

1 In the preface to the cheap reprint (from which the above 
quotation is taken) the author, Mr. Vivian Phelips, writes : 

" Although the work has been carefully revised, the actual 
corrections found necessary are unimportant." 

2 The tenth clergyman to preside at the annual meeting of 
the British Association is the President for 1910, Rev. Canon 
T. G. Bonney, M.A., B.D., D.Sc., F.R.S., F.S.A., who has been 
Emer. Prof, of Geol., Univ. Coll. Lond., Hulsean Lect, and 
Rede Lect. 

xi 



xii INTRODUCTION 

number of people are critical of mere dogmatic 
statements unsupported by evidence especially 
when they are of an extraordinary nature and 
make exorbitant demands upon one's docility. The 
following pages present the reader with bare, un- 
varnished facts. This book has made no demands 
upon the imagination of its author, and lays no 
strain upon the credulity of the reader, but leaves 
him free to form his own conclusions from the 
evidence. It is, in fact, our earnest wish that the 
reader will approach the subject in a thoroughly 
critical and scientific spirit, and conscientiously 
exercise the fullest independence of judgment and 
freedom of thought. 

Every one has a perfect right to expect, and he 
owes it to himself to demand, from his self- 
appointed teachers whether they call themselves 
" Rationalists," " Freethinkers," or by any other 
name some kind of evidence in support of the 
statements which they make. Those who appoint 
themselves instructors of the public act unwisely if 
they allow themselves to so far forget this fact as to 
offer without apology mere dogmatic assertions as 
a substitute for evidence. The Literary Guide and 
Rationalist Review the other day (in an article written 
by Mr. Joseph McCabe 1 ) made the following au- 
thoritative assertion : 

"Beyond all question the higher culture of 
America is Rationalistic (with a capital R) 
from New York to California." 

The phrase, "Beyond all question" arrests atten- 

1 Formerly a Franciscan monk, The Very Rev. Father 
Antony. 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

tion, because it appears to discourage questioning 
and investigation, and therefore "stimulates reflection 
and inquiry " on the part of all those who like to be 
free to examine the evidence and to form their own 
conclusions. The last sentence of the article in 
question is as follows : 

" Full, free, and virile discussion hurts only one 

thing a lie." 

This is an admirable but, at the same time, a double- 
edged truism, which when employed by those who 
have not first investigated the facts, is apt to recoil 
upon its users. That scientists, as such, are anti- 
religious, is one of the most frequent assertions of 
the Atheist demagogues in the Parks, but no one 
of any intelligence accepts the unsupported dogmas 
of such men in a spirit of credulous docility. What 
we want to know is, What are the facts? 

The great popularity of the assertion that scientists, 
as such, are anti-religious is due (i) to the difficulty 
of criticising it adequately on the spur of the 
moment, and (2) to the fact that it is a dogma 
which carries great weight in the estimation of those 
who, for some unknown reason, consider Natural 
Scientists to be the supreme authorities on the 
subject of Theology. The value of the above- 
mentioned anti-religious assertion, however, ob- 
viously ought to depend upon whether it is true 
or false. In order to find this out it is necessary 
to discover what the scientists themselves have to 
say about their religious beliefs. Mr. Tabrum (a 
member of the League) set himself the task of 
obtaining first-hand information upon this point 
from our greatest Natural Scientists, and the 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

following pages contain the results of his in- 
vestigations. The letters received from scientists 
are published for the use of unbiassed readers 
whether Theists, Atheists, or Agnostics who are 
"rationalists" in the sense that they insist upon 
doing their own thinking, actively employing their 
reason and common sense, studying the actual facts, 
and forming their own conclusions accordingly. 
We have in view readers who, whether religious 
or anti-religious, are genuinely free and unbiassed 
in their thinking, and do not consider it to be a 
duty which they owe to some religious or anti- 
religious party, or theory, to obstinately maintain 
an unquestioning belief in the infallibility of biassed 
and unsupported assertions made by special pleaders, 
whether religious or anti-religious irrespective of 
the facts. The true "freethinker" and the genuine 
" rationalist " is not the man who unquestioningly 
adopts amazing anti-religious dogmas without evi- 
dence, but the man who follows St. Paul's advice 
and " proves all things and holds fast that which is 
good." We assume that every one who turns over 
these pages is a free and unbiassed seeker after truth, 
who adjusts his theories to the facts, irrespective of 
whether they turn out to be what he wishes and 
expects, or not. 

This book will be followed, after a short interval, 
by the issue of another containing a very large 
number of replies sent to the League by eminent 
American and British scientists in answer to the 
following eight questions : 

i. Is it your belief that the universe has an 
intelligent First Cause ? 



INTRODUCTION xv 

2. Do you attribute personality to that First 
Cause ? 

3. Do you believe that man has the faculty of 
apprehending God ? 

4. Is it your belief that Man's personality 
survives in a conscious state beyond the 
grave ? 

5. Do you believe that God has revealed 
Himself to Man pre-eminently through 
Jesus Christ ? 

6. Do you believe Jesus Christ to be " The Son 
of God " ? 

7. Is it your belief that Man possesses "free- 
will " within limits ? 

8. Is it your belief that the Bible contains a 
Divine Revelation ? 

The very surprising statements made by the 
Rationalist Press Association on the subject of 
Comparative Religion, in their text-book above quoted 
and in their other publications, stimulated us to 
"reflection and inquiry" with the result that, in 
the interests of truth, we have issued two books 
"Mythic Christs and the True" (6d. net) and 
"Pagan Christs "' (3d. net), by Rev. Dr. W. St. 
Clair Tisdall, M.A., James Long Lecturer on 
Oriental Religions. 

C. L. DRAWBRIDGE, 

Chairman of the 

North London Christian Evidence League. 
May, 1910. 

1 Our publications may be obtained from Messrs. Hunter & 
Longhurst, 58 and 59, Paternoster Row, E.G., and from any 
bookseller. 



NOTE 

IN answer to my question as to whether he had 
selected the following letters for publication and 
kept back others, Mr. Tabrum replied : 

" In addition to the letters appearing in the book 
forty-eight others were received, of which eighteen 
stated that they could not reply to my questions. 
Of the remaining thirty letters, which are marked 
" Private" or for which permission to publish has 
not been received, seventeen are from correspon- 
dents who are distinctly Christian, one, perhaps 
two, are Agnostic, and the remainder are favourable 
to the Christian position." 

None of the letters has been edited. 

C. L. D. 



Religious Beliefs of Scientists 

PART I 

AN anti-Christian writer, in a work published a 
few years ago, concluded with these words : 
"Christianity is not true." Its untruth, he 
asserted, has, in a large measure, been proved 
by the aid of Science. Science, according to this 
and other "rationalist" writers and lecturers, has 
shown the belief in God to be irrational, the con- 
ception of immortality chimerical and absurd, and 
freedom of will an illusion. We are told that 
materialistic monism, which claims to be based 
on scientific truth, not only "shatters" the "central" 
and "essential" teachings of theistic philosophy, 
but " demolishes the entire structure upon which 
the religions of the world are built," and de- 
monstrates conclusively that opposition " between 
Science and Christianity " not only exists, but 
is " increasing " in " vehemence," the result of 
which is, that men of science are, and must 
necessarily be, materialists, atheists, agnostics, and 
opponents of Christianity. 

That these and similar allegations are actually 
made by leading exponents of " Freethought," and 
are not merely the utterances of an irresponsible 



2 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

free lance, may be seen by reference to the 
writings of Mr. R. Blatchford, the " Riddle of 
the Universe," and Mr. Joseph McCabe's "Vin- 
dication" 1 of that work. Mr. McCabe, after 
naming, among others, Huxley and Clifford, 
writes (p. 16) : "These have professed Agnos- 
ticism, and the silence on the religious question 
of the vast majority of our scientific men must 
especially in view of the feverish alertness of the 
Churches to drag them on to platforms when they 
are known to be in the least favourable I should 
say, be construed in the same sense." In other 
words, Mr. McCabe says the "vast majority" of 
scientific men must be agnostics. And later, when 
speaking at the annual dinner of the Rationalist 
Press Association an anti-Christian and anti- 
religious association the same writer (after re- 
ferring to certain Continental scientists, and also 
to those who had, fifty years ago, fought for the 
"cause of Freethought") stated that :" He [Sir 
Oliver Lodge] ought to stand much nearer to us 
than he did ; but, with that exception, not a single 
man of science was in reality against us." 2 

Are these allegations true ? Do the facts warrant 
the sweeping character of the assertions ? Is Mr. 
McCabe and the agnostic school of thinkers whom 
he represents on this subject, right ? The open- 
minded reader, after perusing the following pages, 
can form but one opinion, and can have but one 
answer to these questions ; and that answer will 
not be in the affirmative. 

1 " Haeckel's Critics Answered " (1903). 

2 Literary Guide, April, 1905, p. 57. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 3 

Before, however, presenting the views of living 
men (and of those recently passed away), we will 
take a brief survey of the scientific workers of a 
former generation, and ascertain what their attitude 
was towards religion. 

Previous to the publication of the "Origin of 
Species," the great investigators of Nature the 
founders of modern Science were, as is generally 
known, earnest Christian men. Boyle and Dalton, 
both known for their work in the science of 
Chemistry ; Young, who had a large share in 
establishing the undulatory theory of Light ; 
Humphry Davy, of " Lamp " fame ; and James 
Prescott Joule, founder of the modern theory 
of Conservation of Energy, are but a few 
examples. Reference is made on a subsequent 
page to others, equally distinguished, and of the 
same period. But with the appearance of Darwin's 
epoch-making work all was changed. The " Origin 
of Species," and all that it involved, altered the 
whole trend of scientific and philosophical thought. 
Did, however, the views contained in that work, 
combined with the accumulation of scientific 
facts, lead scientific workers themselves to reject 
the " central " and " essential " teachings of 
Christianity ? An examination of the addresses 
(Presidential and Sectional) delivered before the 
British Association for the Advancement of 
Science, 1 reveals the fact that many leaders of 
Science notably Sir W. Fairbairn, Sir W. Arm- 
strong, Professor John Phillips, Sir George Stokes, 

1 British Association Reports for 1861, 1863, 1864, 1869, 
1871, 1872, 1873, l8 7 6 > l8 79) 1882, 1884, 1886. 



4 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Lord Kelvin, Dr. W. B. Carpenter, Professors S. 
Williamson, T. Andrews, G. Allman, G. W. 
Siemens, Sir J. W. Dawson, and others did not 
hesitate, in the face of the scientific world, to state 
that the universe itself is evidence of the existence 
of Divine Mind, God. More than this, Professor 
J. H. Gladstone, who was closely associated with the 
British Association throughout his long scientific 
career, wrote : * " I have known the British Associa- 
tion under forty-one different Presidents all lead- 
ing men of Science, with the exception of two or 
three appointed on different grounds. On look- 
ing over these forty-one different names, I count 
twenty who, judged by their public utterances or 
private communications, are men of Christian 
belief and character, while, judged by the same 
test, only four disbelieve in any Divine revela- 
tion. Of the remaining seventeen, some have 
possibly been religious men, and others may have 
been opponents. . . ." 

It may, however, be asked : What of those who 
have filled the presidential chair of the Association 
since Dr. Gladstone published his article in 1886 ? 
The answer is that many among them Sir W. 
Flower, Sir F. Abel, Sir Douglas Galton, Sir J. 
Evans, Sir W. Turner, Professor Japp, Sir David 
Gill, Professor John Perry, Professor H. E. 
Armstrong, Sir E. W. Bradbrook, Dr. H. B. 
Tristram, Sir ]. J. Thomson have expressed 
themselves 2 in similar terms to their predecessors ; 

1 The Christian, December 16, 1886. 

3 British Association Reports, 1889, 1890, 1895, 1897, 1902, 
1907, 1909, &c. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 5 

have confessed that the more extensive their 
knowledge of Nature and its forces, the stronger 
is the conviction borne in upon them that there 
must exist an Efficient Cause God. Furthermore, 
Sir George Stokes whose letters now appear here 
with the permission of his son, Sir Arthur Stokes 
pointed out that : 

"Some sceptics seem to assume that a scientific 
man may safely be taken to be an unbeliever unless 
he has written something which shows the oppo- 
site. This is obviously and transparently unfair. 
There may be scientific men who are sceptics, 
but my belief is that they form a very small 
minority. 

" From what I heard once in Bradlaugh's Hall 
I was struck by the way in which sceptics, in 
attacking what they represented as Christianity 
whether from honest ignorance or wilful misrepre- 
sentation, I cannot say, though I leaned to the idea 
of honest ignorance were really attacking an utter 
caricature of Christianity. . . ." 

The previous day (September 2, 1897), when 
referring to the illustrious mathematician, Cayley, 1 
and to the eminent Cambridge botanist, Babington, 2 
Sir Georges Stokes had written : 

" I knew both Professor Cayley and Professor 
Babington intimately, and I knew that they were 
both religious men. . . . Both were of a quiet, 
modest, retiring character ; or, if the expression 
'retiring' be thought too strong, they were at any 
rate the reverse of pushing. It is a great mistake 
to assume that a scientific man is not a religious 
1 Died 1895. a Died 1895. 



6 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

man because he does not usually speak (unless it 
may be in the privacy of his own family) about 
religious subjects. There is a proverb, 'Deep 
waters run smooth/ and I think that oftentimes 
when religion is deeply felt it is not much spoken 
about. The sceptic has no right whatever to assume 
that a scientific man is not a religious man because 
he may not have written articles or made speeches 
on religious subjects. . . ." 

In view of these letters by Sir George Stokes and 
the article by Dr. Gladstone, so far as the last 
decade is concerned, Mr. McCabe's allegation that 
owing to their "silence" the "vast majority" of 
our scientific men " must " be Agnostics is reduced 
to an unwarrantable assumption : his desire to 
"drag" them into the Agnostic camp is not a 
success. Are his allegations true of living men ? 

Healthy scepticism is sometimes good and 
necessary ; and, if the foregoing tends to raise 
doubts as to the accuracy of some of the assertions 
made by anti-religious writers and lecturers, the 
following will bring a conviction that the whole 
list of allegations cited above are altogether un- 
worthy of acceptance. 

Some years ago a lecture was delivered under 
the auspices of a certain Atheist Society, and among 
the subjects treated were those which are usually 
included under the phrase " Science and Religion." 
If the lecturer intended to raise doubt as to some 
aspects of the Christian religion, he certainly 
succeeded in the case of at least one of his 
listeners. Anxiety followed doubt and, ultimately, 
the present writer was led to approach, through 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 7 

the medium of correspondence, a number of 
eminent men of science. 

The precise assertions made by the lecturer in 
question were (i) " that recent scientific research 
has shown the Bible and Religion to be untrue " ; 
and, (2) that " leading men of science are irreligious 
and anti-Christian." In each letter of inquiry 
these assertions were quoted and, while freely 
acknowledging the very limited extent of his 
reading on the subjects referred to, the writer 
stated that such as it was " it has led me to the 
conclusion that between the established facts 
of Science and the fundamental teachings of 
Christianity between true Science and true 
Religion there is no real antagonism." Then, 
having asked : " Is this conclusion, in your opinion, 
well-founded ? " these two direct questions were 
put : 

1. Is there any real conflict between the 

facts of Science and the fundamentals of 
Christianity ? 

2. Has it been your experience to find men 

of Science irreligious and anti-Christian ? 
The first reply is by Sir George G. Stokes. 1 He 
was for over fifty years Lucasian Professor of 
Mathematics at Cambridge. " For sixty years of 
my life," said Lord Kelvin, " I looked on Stokes 
as my teacher, guide, and friend." He " ranged," 
added that great man, "over the whole domain 
of natural philosophy in his work and thought." 
About him Professor Huxley wrote : " There is no 
one of whom I have a higher opinion as a man 
1 Died 1903. 



8 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

of science no one whom I should be more 
glad to serve under, and to support year after 
year in the Chair of the [Royal] Society." x 
While, to Dr. Gladstone he was "the Sir Isaac 
Newton of to-day." 2 For over thirty-one years Sir 
George Stokes held the Secretaryship of the Royal 
Society and was, on resigning that post in 1885, 
elected President. His acquaintance with scientific 
men must, necessarily, have been very extensive. 
He wrote : 

" I can reply at once, and with much pleasure, to 
your inquiries. 

"i. As to the statements that ' recent scientific 
research has shown the Bible and Religion to be 
untrue/ the answer I should give is simply that the 
statement is altogether untrue. I know of no sound 
conclusions of Science that are opposed to the 
Christian religion. There may be wild scientific 
conjectures put forward by some, chiefly those 
whose science is only at second-hand, as if they 
were well-established scientific conclusions, and 
which may be of such a nature as to involve, on 
the assumption that they are true, certain diffi- 
culties ; I would not go so far as to speak of 
opposition, as for the most part Religion and 
Science move on such different lines that there is 
hardly opportunity for opposition. 

" But if an appearance of opposition may some- 
times arise from this cause, it far oftener, I think, 
arises from the errors of the defenders of the Faith 
once delivered to the saints, in putting forward 

1 " Stokes' Scientific Correspondence," vol. i, p. 179. 
3 See ibid. pp. 76-90. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 9 

propositions which are mere human accretions to 
it, and presenting the two as if they had equal 
claim to acceptance. When I speak of the errors 
of defenders of the Faith I am not thinking of the 
learned theologians of the present day, but rather 
of those of a bygone age, from whom these 
accretions passed into the popular theology, and 
were supposed to be involved in the Christian Faith. 
This mistaken belief afforded infidels a handle for 
attacking the Faith through the error involved in 
some of the accretions to it. 

"To illustrate my meaning I will refer to a pro- 
position dogmatically laid down as a part of the 
Christian Faith in a standard work written, I believe, 
one or two centuries ago. It is that the Christian 
doctrine of the future resurrection requires us to 
believe that all the particles of the present body, 
however widely separated, even though the body 
may have been burnt to ashes and the ashes strewn 
to the winds, will be brought together and will be 
re-animated to form the future body. I daresay 
many an infidel lecturer has descanted on the diffi- 
culties of believing such a proposition as that. But 
before the Christian apologist replies by falling 
back on the principle that ' with God all things are 
possible/ he would do well to consider whether 
there is any occasion to defend the proposition at 
all. My own conviction is that there is no such 
proposition involved in the scriptural doctrine of 
the Resurrection. The notion that it is involved in 
it seems to me intensely silly. 

" I should doubt if you would find a single theo- 
logian at the present day who would regard the 



io RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

proposition as connected in any way with Christi- 
anity. But I doubt if infidel lecturers have even 
yet given up harping on it. 

" I may appear to have been treating a theological 
fossil as if it were a living animal. But it may serve 
very well as an illustration of my meaning. 

" 2. You say ' as far as my reading goes I am of 
opinion that true Science and true Religion har- 
monise.' I am of the same opinion. 

" 3. You ask if it has been my experience to find 
1 the greatest scientists irreligious.' That has not 
been my experience, but the reverse. To confine 
myself to my own line of mathematical and physical 
science, and to those who are no longer on earth, 
though not very many years dead, I could not 
well select more eminent scientists, of world-wide 
reputation, than Faraday, Clerk Maxwell, and 
Adams, the discoverer of Neptune. I knew all 
three very well, especially Maxwell and Adams, 
with whom I was very intimate. I know that they 
were all deeply religious, Christian men." 

Lord Kelvin, 1 whose name, as a scientist, is 
known throughout the civilised world, was also 
a President of the Royal Society. He was called 
the " Napoleon of Science " and the " Prince of 
Scientists." To him, says Sir William Ramsay, 
" the world owes an eternal debt of gratitude, and 
he it was for whom no honour that men have it in 
their power to bestow could be too great." Like 
Sir George Stokes, Lord Kelvin held a professor- 
ship of Natural Philosophy, Glasgow University 
for over half a century. He replied : 
r Died December, 1907. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS u 

" I have received your letter of the i6th, and think 
you are quite right in the views which you express, 
and in your opinion that true Religion and true 
Science harmonise perfectly. 

" I do not find that the leading men of science are 
' irreligious/ although certainly many of them feel 
great difficulties. But I am afraid that some of the 
more thoughtless among the younger men engaged 
in scientific pursuits do not feel troubled with any 
difficulties, and might be not unjustly called 
' irreligious.' " 

Lord Kelvin was a member of the Church of 
England and of the Episcopal Church of Scot- 
land. 1 

Lord Lister, O.M., too, is an ex-President of the 
Royal Society. 2 He was Professor of Surgery suc- 
cessively at Glasgow, Edinburgh, and, from 1877 till 
his recent retirement, at King's College Hospital, 
London. His great work, which has made him 
famous, is his " Discovery of the Antiseptic Treat- 
ment in Surgery," which in modern times has 
created " a revolution in the treatment of wounds," 
and by which discovery, says Professor M'Kendrick, 
" he has earned the gratitude of humanity." Lord 
Lister possesses many honours, both British and 
foreign, and is justly called one of the greatest of 
living men. His answer is direct. He writes : 

" Your letter has been forwarded to this place, 
where I am spending a few days. 

" In reply to your inquiry, I have no hesitation in 
saying that in my opinion there ' is no antagonism 

' " Views of Modern Science," by G. T. Manley, M.A. 
a 1895-1900. 



12 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

between the Religion of Jesus Christ and any fact 
scientifically established/ " 

Lord Rayleigh, O.M., also held the highest official 
position in the scientific world the Presidentship 
of the Royal Society. He is, says Sir William 
Huggins, " a man of world-wide eminence in 
science." Lord Rayleigh is a physicist and mathe- 
matician of the foremost rank ; was Professor of 
Experimental Physics at Cambridge, 1879-1884 ; 
and succeeded, in 1887, Tyndall at the Royal 
Institution as Professor of Natural Philosophy. He 
also was, from 1887 to 1896, Secretary of the Royal 
Society, and is now Chancellor of Cambridge Uni- 
versity. With Sir William Ramsay he discovered 
the element known as argon. Lord Rayleigh's 
reply, if brief, is to the point : 

" I am not able to write you at length, but I may 
say that in my opinion true Science and true 
Religion neither are nor could be opposed. 

" A large number of ' leading scientists ' are not 
irreligious or anti-Christian. Witness : Faraday, 
Maxwell, Stokes, Kelvin, and a large number of 
others less distinguished. 

" It may be true that a number of biologists 
in recent times have taken an anti-theological 
view." 

Evidence of Lord Rayleigh's deeply religious 
nature is seen in the lines x he has prefixed to his 
Collected Papers, i.e., 

"The works of the Lord are great, 
Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." 

1 See Nature, August 18, 1904. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 13 

Lord Avebury (better known as Sir John Lub- 
bock), admittedly one of the greatest living men of 
science, not only represents anthropology, but the 
sciences as a whole. He has been successively 
President of the British Association, the Entomo- 
logical Society, the Ethnological Society, the Lin- 
nean Society, the Anthropological Institute, the 
Ray Society, the Statistical Society, and also Vice- 
President of the Royal Society. He is a high 
authority on the habits of insects, especially ants, 
bees, and wasps. 

Lord Avebury, in directing attention to his pub- 
lished opinions on the subject, writes : 

" I am afraid the subject about which you write 
is too large for a letter, and I must refer you to the 
chapters on Religion in my ' Pleasures of Life ' and 
< Use of Life/ 

" At the same time I may say that men of science 
are not in my opinion ' anti-Christian/ " 

From his " Use of Life " the following passages 
are selected : 

"The Infinite and the Absolute can never be 
explained, nor explained away." 1 

" Goethe described the worship of Sorrow as the 
essence of Christianity. But we may be sure that 
the Creator would not have made all Nature beauty 
to the eye, and music to the ear, if we had not been 
meant to enjoy it thoroughly. . . ." 2 

" Theology and Dogma are the science, but not 
the essence of Religion. ' Christianity ' says Drum- 
mond, ' has succeeded not only because it is divine, 

1 " The Use of Life" (cheap edition), p. 115. 

2 Ibid. p. 16. 



14 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

but because it is so very human/ Religion in daily 
life is a rule of conduct, a safeguard in prosperity, 
a comfort in adversity, support in anxiety, a refuge 
in danger, a consolation in sorrow, a haven of 
peace." 

" ' Remember thy Creator in the days of thy 
youth/ To die as we should wish, we must live 
as we ought. To the good man Death has no 
terrors." a 

" The duty to our neighbour is part of our duty 
to God. The mediaeval brigand, who described 
himself as 'the friend of God and the enemy of 
mankind/ did not more entirely mistake the true 
spirit of Christianity than many who have less 
excuse. The love of God is best shown by the 
love of man." 3 

" There are noble sentiments in Plato and Aris- 
totle and Epictetus, in Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, 
but there is no such Gospel of Love as that 
in the New Testament. Truly said Jesus that 
His was a new religion. 'A new command- 
ment I give unto you : That ye love one 
another/ "4 

" Christianity does not call on us to sacrifice this 
world in order to secure the next. On the con- 
trary, ' to love that which is commanded and desire 
that which is promised' would add to our happi- 
ness here as well as hereafter. There is no real 
difference between worldly and heavenly wisdom. 
For religion consecrates daily life." 5 

1 " The Use of Life," p. 116. 

a Ibid. p. 107. 3 Ibid. p. 116. 

4 Ibid. p. 119. s Ibid. p. 119. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 15 

"... We alone can deprive ourselves of these 
advantages. 'For I am persuaded that neither 
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor 
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor 
height, nor depth, nor any other living creature, 
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord/ Thus, 
and thus only, will life be bright, peaceful, and 
happy." * 

In another work, published a few years ago, 
Lord Avebury says he thinks that: 

"To attempt to add to, or improve on, the 
teaching of Christ seems vain and even arrogant. 
The discussions of theology are intensely inte- 
resting, no doubt ; they are the science, but 
they are not the essence of religion. Theology 
is a branch of science : it is not religion. It 
is an exercise of the mind religion of the 
heart." 

Sir William Ramsay is the most distinguished 
chemist of the present day. He has held the 
Professorship of Chemistry at the University Col- 
lege of London since 1887 ; is also a D.Sc., LL.D., 
M.D., Ph.D., F.C.S., F.R.S. ; is honorary member 
of scientific societies in Rome, France, Berlin, 
Bohemia, Holland, St. Petersburg, Turin, Rou- 
mania, Vienna, Norway, and Sweden ; also honorary 
member of the Academies of Geneva and Mexico, 
and of the Philosophical Societies of Manchester, 
Philadelphia, and Rotterdam. In addition to his 
discoveries in conjunction with Lord Rayleigh, 

1 "The Use of Life," p. 122. 

8 " Essays and Addresses," p. 293. 



16 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

the Professor is the discoverer of helium and 
other elements. 

Sir William Ramsay's reply is lengthy and in- 
tensely interesting, but he does not wish it to be 
printed. While, however, expressing a desire for 
its exclusion here, he allows the writer to say 
that he is in general agreement with the conclu- 
sion expressed in his (the writer's) letter : and 
holds that " between the essential truths of Chris- 
tianity and the established facts of Science there 
is no real antagonism." 

Sir Henry Roscoe, F.R.S., was for many years 
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Owens Col- 
lege, Manchester ; he holds doctorates from nearly 
all the British Universities ; is Past-President of 
the British Association and of the Chemical Society; 
and Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. 
He responds thus : 

"Your note of inquiry raises many difficulties, 
and I am afraid that my time is just now too 
much occupied to enable me to give any further 
answer than this, that many eminent men of science 
are good Churchmen." 

Sir William Crookes is another eminent chemist. 
He has received many honours in recognition of 
his work ; discovered, in 1861, thallium ; has been 
President of the British Association and of the 
Chemical Society ; and, for many years, has edited 
the Chemical News ; is a Doctor of Science (Oxon, 
Ireland, and Cape of Good Hope), and a Fellow 
of many learned bodies. He writes, October 15, 
1897, as follows: 

"Your conclusions are perfectly sound. I see 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 17 

no conflict between the established facts of science 
and the essential teachings of the Scriptures, 
between scientific truth and the religion of Jesus 
Christ. 

" Among a crowd of eminent men of science 
who are of this opinion I need only mention the 
names of Faraday and Sir George Stokes." 

Professor John H. Gladstone x was Professor of 
Chemistry at the Royal Institution, 1874-77 ; Pre- 
sident of the Physical Society, 1874-76 ; President 
of the Chemical Society, 1877-79. "Gladstone 
has/' said Sir William Dewar in 1898, "worked 
out his long and brilliant scientific career as a 
labour of patient love. Furthermore, he has created 
an entirely new department that which is in 
modern times regarded as Physical Chemistry. 
For half a century he has worked on this side 
of chemistry." He was presented in 1897 with 
the Davy Medal on the ground of the " great extent 
and value of his chemical and physical researches, 
extending over a period of forty-nine years." The 
Professor was a member of the Committee of the 
r . Christian Evidence Society. 

Professor Gladstone, in reply, sent a report of a 
speech delivered at the Annual Meeting of the 
I London Banks Prayer Union, from which this 
paragraph is taken : 

"... We begin with Christ at Bethlehem. The 

first who came to Him were poor peasants ; but the 

next were the scientific men of the age. . . . Coming 

to later ages we find such men as Copernicus, Tycho 

Brahe, and Kepler, who were men of a Christian 

1 Died October, 1902. 

3 



iS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

spirit and ready to ascribe to God all their faculties, 
and to give praise to Him. Turning to our own 
country, we find such men (I will only speak of 
those of the first character) as Lord Bacon. I do 
not say that he was a godly man in every way, but 
we know not only that he was a believer, but that 
he wrote as a Christian, and that his writings con- 
tain not only the highest philosophy, but a good 
deal of religious advice. Well, sir, we go on and 
find Newton. No higher name could we mention 
a name great in many departments of science, the 
greatest, perhaps, I may say ; and at the same time 
a devout Christian who was not ashamed to write 
religious works. I might proceed to such men as 
Robert Boyle, the ' Father of Modern Chemistry/ 
or Cuvier, one of the greatest anatomists. Then 
again there is Michael Faraday, a man who was a 
humble Christian and who in various ways endea- 
voured to do acts of Christian kindness. And may 
I mention Herschel, Sir David Brewster, and the 
late Clerk Maxwell all men known as Christians 
by their words and by their writings ? If you ask 
whose name stands the highest in physical science 
among living men, some will probably answer Pro- 
fessor Stokes, of Cambridge, and others Sir William 
Thomson (Lord Kelvin), of Glasgow both believers 
in Christ. ... If we turn to the biological side of 
science and ask which is the highest name, we shall 
probably be reminded of the veteran Richard Owen, 
whose contributions to the study of natural theology 
are well known. Twelve days ago, at the anniver- 
sary of the Royal Society, the four English savants 
to whom medals were distributed were Professor 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 19 

Flower, Captain (now Sir William) Abney, Pro- 
fessor Cayley, and Lord Rayleigh no slight proof 
that among those who are taking a high place 
in science are to be found good disciples of 
Christ." * 

Professor Balfour Stewart, 2 Professor of Physics 
at Owens College, Manchester, as a physicist had 
a high reputation and wrote many text-books 
"Treatise on Heat," " Elements of Physics," &c. 
He also contributed largely to the " Encyclopaedia 
Britannica." He is regarded as " one of the 
founders of the method of spectrum-analysis." 

Concerning the late Professor, Mrs. Stewart 
says : 

" I may assure you of his firm faith in the religion 
of Christ." 

In 1887 the Professor addressed the annual 
meeting of the Christian Evidence Society. He 
then said : 

" The controversy between Religion and Science 
is misnamed. It is not, and cannot possibly be, a 
controversy between Religion and Science, but it is 
rather between certain theologians and certain men 
of science, and into such a controversy what is 
known in scientific phraseology as the personal 
equation enters, unconsciously, no doubt, but yet 
largely." 3 

Discussing the credibility of miracles of Christ's 
Resurrection and Ascension, he observed : 

" Did the action of the known forces of Nature 

1 Report Banks Union, pp. n, 12. 
8 Died December, 1887. 
3 Annual Report, p. 36. 



20 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

hold good invariably on this occasion, or was it 
sometimes over-ridden by a higher force ? Un- 
doubtedly it was unmistakably so in the Resurrec- 
tion and Ascension of Christ. Of course we are 
bound to examine the evidence of these great 
events, and this has been done in a very complete 
manner ; the history that records them has stood 
the test so well that any hypothesis other than 
that of their reality will undoubtedly lead us into 
great moral and spiritual confusion. Even our 
opponents will assent to this ; but, then, they 
will tell us that they would rather put up with 
this moral and spiritual confusion than with the 
intellectual confusion that would necessarily follow 
a belief in the occurrence of these great events. 
Now, I deny that there is any such mental 
confusion. I see no reason why the ordinary 
forces should not be modified occasionally 
by higher forces under such circumstances 
as those which accompanied the advent of 
Christ." i 

Professor P. G. Tait, 2 mathematician and Pro- 
fessor of Natural Philosophy, at Edinburgh Uni- 
versity, from 1860-1901 ; was a Doctor of Science 
and Fellow of many learned societies. He wrote, 
with Lord Kelvin, " Thomson's and Tait's Natural 
Philosophy," and was also one of the authors of 
"The Unseen Universe." 

" If," he replied, "you have access to the Inter- 
national Review (New York, November, 1878) you 
will find your questions very fully answered 

1 Annual Report, pp. 39, 40. 

2 Died July, 1901. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 21 

in a paper which I wrote in reply to Mr. 
Froude. 

" You will also find them answered, but not in 
such a direct manner, in any of the later editions 
of 'The Unseen Universe.'" 

From the article, referred to, the following 
extracts are taken : 

"The assumed incompatibility of Religion and 
Science has been so often confidently asserted 
in recent times that it has come, like the universal 
knowledge and ability of Lord Brougham, or 
the all-round scientific merits of the ' Vestiges of 
Creation/ to be taken for granted by writers of 
leading articles, &c., and it is, of course, perpetually 
thrust by them broadcast before their too trusting 
readers. 

" But the whole thing is a mistake, and a mistake 
so grave that no true scientific man (unless in- 
deed he be literally a specialist such as a pure 
mathematician, or a mycologist or entomologist) 
runs, in Britain at least, the smallest risk of 
making it. J 

"When we ask," wrote the Professor, "of any 
competent authority, who are the ' advanced/ the 
best, and the ablest scientific thinkers of the imme- 
diate past (in Britain), we cannot but receive for 
answer such names as Brewster, Faraday, Forbes, 
Graham, Rowan Hamilton, Herschel, and Talbot. 
This must be the case unless we use the word 
'science' in a perverted sense. Which of these 
great men gave up the idea that Nature evidences 
a Designing Mind ? " 2 

< P. 727. 2 P. 725- 



22 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Professor Tait was a sincere Christian ; and one 
distinguishing feature of Christianity he pointed 
out is its universality : 

"While almost all other religious creeds involve 
an outer sense for the uneducated masses, and 
an inner sense for more learned and, therefore, 
more dominant priesthood ; the system of Chris- 
tianity appeals alike to the belief of all, requiring of 
all that, in the presence of their common Father, 
they should sink their fancied superiority one over 
another, and frankly confessing the absolute un- 
worthiness which they cannot but feel, approach their 
Redeemer with the simplicity and confidence of 
little children.''^ 

Sir William de W. Abney, D.Sc., F.R.S., Advisor 
to the Board of Education (Science and Art Depart- 
ment) since 1903 ; Chairman of the Society of 
Arts, 1904 ; President of the Royal Astronomical 
Society, 1893-95 ; President of the Physical Society, 
1895-97, i s an authority on the photography of the 
heavens. He responded as follows : 

I" I am a student of science and honestly say, that 
so far from there being antagonism between the 
Bible and physical science, the reverse is the case. 
Science tells us that there are certain laws in Nature 
now where there are laws there must be a law- 
giver a God. A student of physical science at all 
events must be a reverent man, for it tells him how 
far he is removed from the knowledge of such a 
Law-giver. 

" The doctrine of salvation is not, and cannot be 
learned from science it is a matter of faith, and 
1 International Review (New York, Nov., 1878, p. 732). 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 23 

as such is beyond the reach of scientific manifesta- 
tion ; but there is no more reason to doubt of its 
truth from the story as we read of it, than there 
is that George I. lived and died. If there is a 
Supreme Intelligence, as I believe science teaches 
there is, the mystery of the Atonement is no greater 
mystery than many other matters which we cannot 
explain. 

" Men of science are not more irreligious or 
anti-Christian than men who are not scientific. I 
should say much less so. Newton, Faraday, 
Brewster, Stokes, are examples of Christian men. 
There are many other leaders of science who could 
be named and who are bright examples of Christian 
character. 

" If any one asserts that Science and Religion are 
opposed, and that men of science are irreligious 
because they are men of science, they assert that 
which is false when they so generalise." 

Professor James Geikie, D.C.L., LL.D., Professor 
of Geology and Mineralogy since 1882, and Dean of 
the Faculty of Science, at Edinburgh University ; 
is an honorary member of many learned societies 
abroad, and Fellow of the Geological and Royal 
Societies. He is the author of several works on 
geology. In answer to the questions sent he 
ri .says : 

" It is difficult to give a categorical reply to your 
questions without running the risk of being mis- 
understood. I suppose there are few, if any, culti- 
vated people nowadays who believe in the ' plenary 
inspiration of the Bible.' Many of the statements 
made in the Sacred Record in regard to the natural 



24 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

world are not consistent with actual fact. That has 
long been recognised. 

11 Some apologists have tried to bring the state- 
ments referred to into harmony with the results of 
scientific research, by putting interpretations upon 
the words of Scripture which, to say the least, are 
forced and unconvincing. These well-meaning 
men, in my humble opinion, do more harm than 
good. Surely it must be obvious that the aim and 
object of the Scriptures as a whole is not the 
teaching of natural science, but religion. 

" We do not go to the Bible to learn astronomy, 
or geology, or chemistry. The world itself is the 
Bible of Nature the revelation of God to us as a 
Creator. If we humbly and reverently study the 
works of Nature we shall apprehend something 
of the almighty power of the Great Designer. Now, 
just as God, the Creator of the visible universe, 
reveals Himself to us through Nature, so God, the 
Divine Framer and Governor of the Unseen, 
reveals Himself to us in the Bible and in the 
lives and writings of great thinkers. 

" In Christ we have the most perfect exponent 
of the will of God in regard to our spiritual 
relations with Him. But surely one cannot doubt 
that God is revealed in the spiritual life of all 
mankind. 

" You will see, then, how it is possible for a 
scientist to be very unorthodox so far as ' plenary 
inspiration ' and such views are concerned, and 
yet at the same time a truly religious man and 
sincere Christian. 

" It is simply an impertinence to say that the 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 25 

' leading scientists are irreligious or anti-Christian. 1 
Such a statement could only be made by some 
scatter-brained chatterbox or zealous fanatic." 

Professor W. Boyd Dawkins, Professor of Geology 
and Palaeontology at Owens College, Manchester, 
since 1879 ; was Geologist on the Geological Survey 
of Great Britain, 1861-69 > Curator of Manchester 
Museum, 1870; has written on "Cave Hunting," 
" Early Man in Britain," and other treatises. The 
Professor is a great authority on questions of mining 
and civil engineering. Since 1870 he has been con- 
sulting geologist. He is a Doctor of Science and a 
Fellow of several scientific societies. He writes : 

"Were I in your place I would not attach the 
least importance to what any man calling himself 
an anti-religious lecturer may say on matters either 
of Science or of Religion. 

" You are, in my opinion, right in holding that 
there is no antagonism between Science and 
Religion, the one dealing with the world of 
matter, the other with the world of spirit. 

" It is, of course, true that scientific research 
has shown the imperfection of the cosmogony of 
the Old Testament, but it has done nothing more. 

"I know of no leader in science Darwin, 
Huxley, Tyndall, Stokes, Lord Kelvin who is 
either irreligious or un-Christian. They all recog- 
nise that the material world is their field of work 
and do not venture to dogmatise on spiritual 
things. Speaking for myself, I know too well my 
own ignorance of my own subject to deal with any 
such thing which I cannot subject to a material 
test. 



26 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" I do, however, look on the universal experience 
of mankind that Religion is always connected with 
the highest social state, as a sufficient test for me, 
and I find no antagonism between my Science and 
my Religion." 

Sir Joseph Prestwich 1 was, at his death, the 
foremost geologist of modern times. He was the 
"revered and much beloved father and former 
President" of the Geological Society, declared 
Dr. Hicks in his presidential address to that Society 
in 1897, and "gave his attention in the main to 
pure science." The late baronet's letter is as 
follows : 

" In answer to your inquiry as to the assertion 
which you inform me has been made in your 
neighbourhood 'that recent scientific research has 
shown the Bible and Christianity to be untrue/ 
nothing can be further from the truth. Religion 
and Science constitute two distinct branches of 
Human Knowledge and inquiry. They move in 
parallel lines, and cannot, in my opinion, clash. 
They certainly should not. The one has to deal 
with moral questions, the other with physical 
questions. You may have seen that I deal with 
one of the latter in my l Tradition of the Flood/ 
recently published by Messrs. Macmillan & Co." 

Sir Joseph was a member of the Church of 
England, and concerning his last illness, Lady 
Prestwich writes : 

" At night, when a brief invalid prayer was read 
a sentence or two he roused himself and joined 
with fervour, and followed also a few verses of a 
1 Died June, 1896. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 27 

psalm, ending with a hymn, to which he specially 
liked to listen. He often asked for the hymn, ' Jesu, 
Lover of my soul ! '" * 

Sir J. William Dawson, LL.D., 2 a distinguished 
geologist, who was devoted to the study of the 
geology of Canada and, says Sir William Turner, 
"became the leading authority on the subject"; 
was Principal of the M'Gill University, Montreal, 
1855-93 ; first President of the Royal Society of 
Canada; author of many works, including " Modern 
Ideas of Evolution," " Handbook of Canadian 
Geology," and " Handbook of Canadian Zoology" ; 
and " one to whom," declared Lord Lister, " the 
cause of Education in the Dominion is deeply 
indebted." He replied : 

" For answer to your question in your favour 
of January 24th, I may refer you to my published 
works, more especially ' The Origin of the World ' 
and ' Modern Science in Bible Lands' ; also to my 
little tract published by the Religious Tract Society, 
entitled, ' Points of Contrast between Science and 
Religion.' I shall send with this a little tract 
published at New Year for circulation among 
students. 

" As to the religious beliefs of scientific men, as 
far as my experience goes, they are as devout as 
any other class of men, and it is remarkable how 
many of the most eminent have been Christians. 
Newton and Faraday are brilliant examples, and 
there are not a few like them to-day." 

The " New Year's Address " sent by iSir William 

1 " Life and Letters," p. 399. 
3 Died November, 1899. 



28 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Dawson was originally intended for private circu- 
lation. It is, however, permissible to quote two 
passages here : 

" All students of nature," he affirmed, " are 
probably prepared to admit that there must be a 
First Cause of the universe and its phenomena. 
Every individual effect, so far as we can ascertain, 
must have an adequate cause or causes, and we 
cannot hold this rationally with respect to details 
without admitting that there must have been a 
primary cause for the whole. The phenomena 
of the universe cannot possibly be causeless or 
fortuitous in the first instance. This doctrine of 
a First Cause is necessary to any rational under- 
standing of material nature, quite as much as it is 
necessary to Religion, or to any comprehension of 
the spiritual world." x 

Sir William concludes : 

"Thus Nature and Christianity, when rightly 
viewed, become parts of one great plan of the 
Creative Mind, by which all apparent anomalies 
and failures in man and his natural allies will be 
finally resolved into mercy and justice, so that 
nature itself can be complete and perfect only in 
the final triumph of the Gospel of Christ." 2 

Professor H. G. Seeleys was for many years 
Professor of Geology, Geography and Mineralogy, 
King's College, London, and was also the author 
of many learned works, including " Physical 
Geology and Palaeontology." He was a Fellow 

1 "The Natural and the Spiritual as presented to us in 
Science and Revelation," p. 4. 

2 Ibid. p. 12. 3 Died 1908. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 29 

of the Royal, Linnean, Geological, Zoological, 
and Geographical Societies. 

Professor Seeley's reply is not for publication. 
His views on this question are, however, expressed 
in his instructive little work, " Factors in Life." * 
He there declares : 

"To the religious nature neither life nor death 
has terrors, and in freeing existence from its 
greater anxieties the influence of Religion works 
on the same foundation of moral effort as Science. 
The sciences are the sisters of Religion in that 
they unfold something of the laws by which the 
universe is governed, and by which man's life is 
directed. They are thus far the stepping-stones 
of faith. And those who have learned that 
health is the reward which man may gain by 
moral discipline, that mental vigour may be aug- 
mented by the wise (or moral) use of food, and 
that education is the systematic exercise of moral 
responsibility in any or all the affairs of life, may 
find that in the practice and pursuit of the truths 
of Science they are conscious of a religious educa- 
tion which is a light to the feet. Such matters are 
factors in life, which may educate us in a reverent 
appreciation of religious truth and Divine govern- 
ment of the world." 

Professor Edward Hull, F.R.S., consulting geolo- 
gist, was appointed to the Geological Survey of the 
United Kingdom, 1850 ; Scotland District Surveyor, 
1867; Ireland Director, 1869; Professor of Geology 
in the Royal College of Science, from which he 
retired in 1890. The Professor is an authority on 
1 P. 190. 



30 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Britain's coal resources, and contributed to the 
" Contemporary Science Series " the volume on 
" Volcanoes, Past and Present." Until recently 
he was secretary of the Victoria Institute. To the 
questions submitted to him he answers : 

" In reply to your inquiries, I beg to say : First, 
that as the Bible was not written for the purpose 
of teaching men natural history and physical 
science and was addressed primarily to men 
living in Eastern countries and unacquainted with 
the results of modern research the language used 
when subjects of natural knowledge are touched 
upon, is that which was in accordance with 
the ideas then held by those to whom it was 
addressed. 

"The results of modern investigation were left 
for a future age to arrive at by human reason and 
experience. Consequently, the Bible and Science 
run on parallel lines. Those subjects which the 
intellect of man is capable of investigating being 
left to him, while the Bible deals with the moral 
and spiritual aspects of man's nature, which his 
unassisted reason is incapable of discovering. 

"As regards the truth and authenticity of the 
historical books every day's discovery tends to 
confirm them, and recent investigations in Egypt, 
Palestine, and other Eastern countries have shown 
how, even in minor details, the documents of 
the Old Testament may be accepted with implicit 
confidence. 

"The fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old 
Testament in the person of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ uttered centuries before His advent as 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 31 

well as those relating to the fate of nations 
especially the Jewish people is convincing 
proof that they were uttered under the influence 
of Divine inspiration. While the high morality 
of Bible teachings is incompatible with the idea 
that they were uttered by impostors. The teach- 
ings of Our Lord and His apostles bear in them- 
selves the impress of Divine truth. 

"As regards the statement of the lecturer that 
men of science are generally sceptics and un- 
believers, as far as my knowledge and information 
extends the statement is untrue. No doubt 
amongst men of science, as amongst other 
classes, there are many who are indifferent or 
hostile to the Christian Religion, but I do not 
think there is a greater proportion of such 
amongst men of science. On the other hand, 
there are many of the highest eminence in the 
scientific world who are firm believers and earnest 
Christians, and I need only mention two, the late 
and the present Presidents of the Royal Society 
Sir George Stokes and Lord Kelvin. Amongst 
geologists the sceptics are very few, and the 
Christians many, and this I can state from per- 
sonal knowledge." 

Sir William Henry Flower, 1 one of the greatest 
men of science of the nineteenth century, was 
for many years Hunterian Professor of Anatomy 
and Physiology ; Director of the Natural History 
Department, British Museum, 1884-98 ; and, as 
Virchow once exclaimed, the "Prince of Museum 
Directors." Sir William was a high authority 
1 Died 1899. 



32 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

on anatomical and zoological questions. He 
wrote : 

"In reply to your letter of January 31, I may 
observe that in every society and every age there 
have been, and are, persons who are unable to 
accept the evidences of a revealed Religion, being 
naturally of what may, without any offence, be 
termed a sceptical temperament. 

" I do not think that the discoveries of Science 
during the past century have had anything to do 
with increasing the proportion of such persons to 
those who are otherwise constituted, and from 
observation among my large acquaintance with 
men of various kinds who follow the pursuits 
which are commonly called * scientific' I feel 
confident that the number of religious men 
among them is not in any degree less than 
among any other group, such as lawyers, doctors, 
soldiers, &c., and I don't see why it should be." 

An account of the "life" of Sir William Flower is 
given by Mr. Charles Cornish, 1 and in Chapter XVIII. 
the " last years " of this great man who was, at the 
same time, an earnest student of Nature and a true 
son of the Church are beautifully and lovingly 
described by his wife, Lady Flower. 

Professor Alexander Macalister, M.A., M.D., D.Sc., 
LL.D., F.R.S., an anatomist and zoologist, who has 
been Professor of Anatomy in the University of 
Cambridge since 1883. Earlier in life he held 
the Professorship of Zoology in the University, 
Dublin. He is the author of many text-books 

1 "A Personal Memoir," by Charles Cornish, M.A., 
F.G.S. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 33 

which deal especially with morphology and zoology. 
He answers the questions thus : 

" In my opinion there is no conflict between 
Science and the moral and spiritual teachings of 
the Bible. I believe that my opinion is shared 
by a large number of those whose lives are 
devoted to scientific research work." 

Professor Macalister also calls attention to Mr. 
Manley's lecture, 1 to which he (the Professor) 
contributed a letter, from which the following is 
taken : 

" Speaking for myself," he writes, " I cannot see 
anything incompatible with the modern develop- 
ment of scientific teaching in the fundamental 
doctrines of Christianity, and consider that it is 
only on the basis of a crude and superficial 
philosophy that any such incompatibility has been 
supposed to exist. Accordingly, it has been my 
experience that the disbelief in the revelation 
which God has given in the life and work, death 
and Resurrection of our Saviour, is more preva- 
lent among what I may call the camp-followers 
of Science, than amongst those to whom actual 
scientific work is the business of their lives." 

Professor John G. M'Kendrick, M.D., LL.D., 
F.R.S.E., F.R.C.P., F.R.S., Emeritus Professor of 
Physiology in the University of Glasgow, 1876- 
1906 ; author of several works on physiology and 
also a " Life of Helmholtz." He says : 

" In reply to your note, I beg to say that in 
my experience I have always found true men of 
science to be deeply reverent in spirit, although 
1 "Views of Modern Science," p. 13. 

4 



34 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

they may have often been unable to accept some 
of the statements of dogmatic theology. 

"Nor is the Religion of Jesus Christ opposed 
by Science. Both Science and Theology (which is 
the theory of religious belief) have not yet said 
the last word as to the mysteries by which 
human life is surrounded. We may be sure that 
if we understood more of the mysteries that are 
at the end of all scientific speculation, we would 
find that there was nothing incompatible between 
scientific truth and a belief in God and Immor- 
tality and Duty. It is a shallow view of the 
Universe that leads a man to assert that Science 
has explained or can explain everything, or that 
its teachings are opposed to the highest and 
deepest beliefs cherished by the human race." 

Professor Lionel S. Beale 1 was a very dis- 
tinguished physician and biologist. He wrote 
largely on questions of physiology, pathology, and 
anatomy; was a member of the scientific societies 
of New York, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, and also of 
many learned societies in Great Britain. His reply 
runs thus : 

"Your anti-religious friend or enemy makes a 
grievous mistake. His assertions have been 
repeated again and again, and will be repeated 
as long as the world lasts, no doubt. Not one 
of the ' leading scientists' dare state in plain lan- 
guage the scientific facts which justify the conclu- 
sion in question. Not one scientific or other 
person can explain the exact difference between a 
particle of living matter and the same matter dead. 
1 Died 1906. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 35 

" The progress of Science depends upon obser- 
vation and experiment. Science is always advanc- 
ing, but will never cease to advance in consequence 
of knowledge being incomplete. 

" Why some scientifically-inclined people attack 
Religion I never could understand. Suppose every 
form of Religion blotted out, where would be the 
gain ? Science could not take its place for it is 
ever changing. The scientific mind is the excep- 
tion, and though its restless aspirations benefit 
mankind, it feels the want of peace, rest, and 
content. These can hardly be found in the 
struggle to worship either the atom or the Cos- 
mos and our atom and Cosmos will be pitied 
and despised by our successors, who will have a 
far more highly developed atom and Cosmos, but 
still imperfect, still in the process of evolution 
and unrest the perfect atom and Cosmos that 
are to be worshipped in some far-off time to come 
not being yet realisable to the mind also in the 
process of evolution, slowly perfecting itself by 
smashing other minds and their works but- still 
far from perfection, unfit to survive, and having 
no right to rule or boast or crow, however 
gently." 

The late Professor read many Papers before 
the Victoria Institute. The appended is from his 
Paper read on June 2, 1903 : z 

" By the telescope man has been able to see 
the wonderful works of God that do not live, 
but were created and completed aeons ago, by His 

1 "The Living God of Living Nature from the Science 
Side." 



36 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Infinite Power, and now, and for ever, will be 
governed by His eternal unchanging universal 
law. 

" By the microscope man is enabled to see and 
form some idea of the design, construction, and 
gradual formation of the wonderful living, ever- 
changing, growing and multiplying living organ- 
isms which constitute living nature as we know 
it at this time, and which living nature receives 
unceasing support, and, as many think, is under 
the direct supervision of Almighty power which 
shall never cease. Does not careful minute inves- 
tigation in all departments of living nature con- 
vince man of God's living presence in every part 
of the life-world, and is it not certain that further 
minute investigations on life, development and 
growth will gradually bring the living human 
intellect nearer to Him ? " 

Dr. William Carruthers, F.L.S., Consulting 
Botanist of the Royal Agricultural Society ; late 
Keeper of the Botanical Department, British 
Museum ; President of the Linnean Society, 1886- 
90 ; and a Fellow of the Geographical and Royal 
Societies, writes : 

" It is not in accordance with the truth to say 
that recent ' scientific research has shown the 
Bible and Religion to be untrue.' It is not quite 
right to say that true Religion and true Science 
' harmonise.' They have to do with different 
spheres Religion affects the moral and spiritual, 
Science the material. True Religion can be obtained 
only by revelation from God, and He has given us 
this revelation in His Son and His Word. True 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 37 

Science can be acquired by the exercise of man's 
natural faculties. 

" I know of no fact of Science which is antagon- 
istic to the Bible, rightly understood. Our 
almanacks tell us the sun rises at a particular 
time every one knows that this is a scientific 
error, but it is the only way in which people 
would understand what is meant, and with a 
similar treatment (and necessary, for if scientific 
language had been used it would not have been 
understood) the Bible is, as far as I know, with- 
out scientific error. 

" It is also not in accordance with truth to say 
that 'the leading men of Science are irreligious.' 
There are no doubt among scientific men, as there 
are among all other groups of men, those who have 
thrown off religion ; but with a tolerably large ac- 
quaintance with scientific men, it is my belief that 
the number of irreligious men among them is not 
in larger proportion than among others/' 

Professor Sydney H. Vines, Professor of Botany 
in the University of Oxford ; was President of 
the Linnean Society, 1900-4 ; is Fellow of the 
Linnean and Royal Societies, and a Doctor of 
Science of both London and Cambridge Universi- 
ties. He is also author of " Physiology of Plants," 
" Text Book of Botany," and many scientific papers 
in various journals. The Professor is acknowledged 
to be one of the most distinguished of living 
botanists. With the conclusion expressed in the 
letter of inquiry he is in entire agreement, and 
responds thus : 

" In reply to yours of the loth inst., I am of 



38 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

opinion that the conclusion at which you have 
arrived with regard to the alleged antagonism 
between the essential truths of the Bible and the 
established facts of Science, is well founded." 

Dr. W. H. Dallinger,* F.R.S., the well-known 
microscopist, although a clergyman, had no 
pastoral charge ; he commenced, in 1870, a series 
of researches which extended over ten years, in the 
life-history of minute septic organisms, and he had 
many honours and doctorates conferred upon him, 
including that of Doctor of Science. He wrote : 

" There is no warrant for the sweeping denial of 
the lecturer you refer to. The ' Religion of the 
Bible ' rightly understood is the complement the 
fulfilment of the facts of recent ' scientific research/ 
Much explanation, no doubt, is needed to make 
this clear ; but it is a statement that carries with it 
proofs acceptable to the largest number of the most 
thoughtful men of the world. 

" Read in proof of this ' Thoughts on Religion,' 
by the late G. Romanes, one of the profoundest 
men of science of our time, who once in his honest 
agony of doubt wrote a book in defence of Atheism ! 
But at last the same man died a satisfied and 
thoughtful believer in Christ. 

" The other statement is equally untrue. The 
leading men of science are honest men, and when 
they doubt they say so. Witness, George Romanes ; 
but they are not irreligious or anti-Christian. 

" It will be enough to say that the present Presi- 
dent of the Royal Society, Lord Kelvin, is a Christian 
believer, and the late President of the Royal Society, 
* Died 1909. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 39 

Sir George Stokes, is a sincere believer to say 
nothing of scores of others." 

" There are scientific doubters, so there are 
doubters in all grades of our fellow-men ; but it 
is false to say that they are more abundant in the 
ranks of science." 

Professor George Romanes x was one of the fore- 
most naturalists of modern times. He published, 
in 1874, the Burney Prize Essay, the subject being 
" Christian Prayer considered in relation to the 
belief that the Almighty governs the world by 
general laws," but three years after he wrote a work 
which, as Dr. Dallinger points out, is practically 
a defence of Atheism ! Some years before his death 
he was engaged in gathering material for a work 
designed to show the fallacy of his former atheistic 
opinions and, at the same time, to present an 
apology in favour of Theism and Christianity. His 
return to the Faith of his earlier life gave rise to 
an assertion by the opponents of Christianity that 
Romanes' intellect had become impaired 1 The 
utter baselessness of this slander is proved by his 
personal friends Professor Sir J. Burdon Sander- 
son 2 and Bishop Gore.s 

The following extracts are taken from Romanes' 
unfinished and much discussed work : 

" My aim," he wrote, " is to carry the ' reconcilia- 
tion ' into much more detail and yet without quitting 
the grounds of pure reason. I intend to take Science 
and Religion in their present highly developed states 
as such, and show that on a systematic examination 



1 Died 1894. 8 R y- Soc - Proc., vol. Ivii. 

3 In a letter to the present writer. 



40 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

of the latter by the methods of the former, the 
1 conflict ' between the two may be not merely 
'reconciled' as regards the highest generalities of 
each, but entirely abolished in all matters of detail 
which can be regarded as of any great impor- 
tance." * 

" When I wrote the preceding treatise [the Candid 
Examination]/' he declared, "I did not sufficiently 
appreciate the immense importance of human nature, 
as distinguished from physical nature, in an inquiry 
touching Theism. But since then I have seriously 
studied anthropology (including the science of com- 
parative religions), psychology and metaphysics, 
with the result of clearly seeing that human nature 
is the most important part of nature as a whole 
whereby to investigate the theory of Theism. This 
I ought to have anticipated on merely a priori 
grounds, and no doubt should have perceived it, 
had I not been too much immersed in merely 
physical research." 2 

" Moreover, in those days, I took it for granted 
that Christianity was played out, and never con- 
sidered it at all as having any rational bearing 
on the question of Theism. And, though this was 
doubtless inexcusable, I still think that the rational 
standing of Christianity has materially improved 
since then. . . . But now all this kind of [eighteenth- 
century] scepticism has been rendered obsolete, 
and for ever impossible ; while the certainty of 
enough of St. Paul's writings for the practical 
purpose of displaying the belief of the apostles has 

1 " Thoughts on Religion " (1904), p. 114. 

2 Ibid. p. 154. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 41 

been established, as well as the certainty of the 
publication of the Synoptics within the first century. 
An enormous gain has thus accrued to the objective 
evidences of Christianity." 1 

The Professor then, on a subsequent page, drew 
attention to the fact that : 

" It is a general, if not a universal, rule that 
those who reject Christianity with contempt are 
those who care not for religion of any kind. 
' Depart from me ' has always been the sentiment 
of such. On the other hand, those in whom the 
religious sentiment is intact, but who have rejected 
Christianity on intellectual grounds, still almost 
deify Christ. These facts are remarkable." 2 

"Unbelief," Professor Romanes concluded, "is 
usually due to indolence, often to prejudice, and 
never a thing to be proud of." 3 

Sir Douglas Galton 4 was a distinguished " autho- 
rity on sanitary matters, especially on the hygienic 
construction of buildings." s He was also a strong 
promoter of the establishment of a National Physi- 
cal Laboratory, now an established fact ; and, for 
twenty-five years held the post of General Secretary 
of the British Association. 

In giving permission for the inclusion of the 
late baronet's letter, his daughter, Mrs. Gwendolen 
Gascoigne, writes : " Sir Douglas was a most ardent 
and practical Christian himself, and always held 
that Science and Christianity should go together. 
Lord Kelvin, I know, also held this very strongly." 

1 "Thoughts on Religion," p. 155-6. 

3 Ibid. p. 158. a ibid. p. 145. 

4 Died 1899. 5 Royal Society Proceedings, 1900. 



42 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Sir Douglas Gallon's reply is : 

" i. In my opinion Science is not antagonistic to 
the religion taught in the Bible, 

2. Many of the most eminent men of science are 
firm Christians and religious men. I would instance 
Sir George Stokes, former President of the Royal 
Society, amongst physicists, and Professor Bonney 
amongst geologists. These names occur to me on 
the spur of the moment, but there are many 
others." 

Sir James Crichton-Browne, M.D., D.Sc., LL.D., 
F.R.S., F.R.S.E., Lord Chancellor's Visitor in 
Lunacy since 1875 ; and Vice-President and 
Treasurer of the Royal Institution since 1889. He 
is also a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, New 
York ; and an authority on mental and nervous 
diseases, concerning which he has written exten- 
sively. He writes : 

"The Bible is not a scientific treatise, and Science 
is not a spiritual revelation, and it may well 
be, therefore, that where they respectively travel 
beyond their strict province, they apparently con- 
tradict each other. If the Bible is technically 
incorrect in its Mosaic Cosmogony, Science is not 
less at fault in its narrow interpretations of the 
deepest wants and highest aspirations of the heart 
of man. The Bible and Science, it seems to me, 
supplement each other and whatever their super- 
ficial disagreements may be, they have a profound 
harmony, and are alike manifestations cf that 
Divine Nature that reveals itself, not suddenly and 
in its completeness, but, little by little and gradually 
from darkness, through dawn, unto the perfect day. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 43 

Hold fast then, I would say to you, to the Sermon 
on the Mount, and give no heed to the ravings of 
vain and foolish secularists. 

" It is unhappily true that some men of science 
able and honest but absorbed in material studies, 
have denied the inspiration of the Scriptures and 
even their claim to rational consideration, or have 
confessed their inability to form any opinion on 
spiritual affairs, but the great Masters of Science 
have been for the most part truly devout and full 
of faith," 

Sir James Paget, 1 was an eminent surgeon and 
pathologist ; sometime President of the Royal 
College of Surgeons ; and Vice-Chancellor of 
London University, 1884-1895. He was the re- 
cipient of many honours and doctorates from 
the British Universities. 

Sir James wrote, sending a pamphlet " in answer 
to your questions." In this pamphlet he affirmed : 

" It has come to be supposed by many that 
Science in its modern form is always opposed not 
only to intellectual and inferential theology, but to 
the Christian religion. This supposition is not 
just." 2 

"You will find among scientific men very few 
who attack either theology or religion. The attacks 
imputed to them are made, for the most part, by 
those who, with a very scanty knowledge of science, 
use, not its facts, but its most distant inferences, as 
they do whatever else they can get from any source, 
for the overthrow of religious beliefs." 3 

1 Died 1899. 

3 "Theology and Science," p. 3. 3 Ibid. p. 3. 



44 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Towards the end of his long and distinguished 
career, in his last letter to Sir Henry Acland, Sir 
James wrote : 

" I wish I could hope to see you soon ; but I 
fear this cannot be in Oxford. My infirmities 
increase so rapidly that I cannot hope to travel so 
far, in weather so very cold as we must have in 
winter. They increase, thank God, without pain, 
but not without evidence of warning. And I try to 
use their warnings rightly, using especially what 
you gave me last year Dr. Pusey's book of prayers, 
edited by Dr. Liddon, and good Bishop Andrew's 
Meditations. I could have, I think, no better 
human guidance. May God bless them and guide 
me to their just use adding this to His many 
mercies." x 

Sir Henry W. Acland 2 was Regius Professor of 
Medicine at Oxford University, 1858-94 ; and also 
sometime Lees Reader in Anatomy. He was a 
high authority on physiological and anatomical 
questions, about which he wrote many papers. 

Sir Henry's letter is marked " private," but he 
enclosed a copy of his " Inaugural Robert Boyle 
Lecture," which, to him, gave some indication of 
" the character of the younger men " at Oxford 
University, for the Lectureship was founded by 
the "Junior Scientific Society." In this lecture, 
after examining the writings of Boyle, he 
said : 3 

" It follows, therefore, that since both in Science 

1 " Memoir," by his son, p. 421. 

* Died 1900. 

3 Inaugural "Boyle" Lecture, p. 31. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 45 

and in Theology the last two centuries have raised 
questions and taught many facts of the first im- 
portance to man, which in Bacon's time were 
neither known nor accessible, yet the application 
of reason and faith respectively to human know- 
ledge and human ignorance in their time and place, 
remain as then unaltered, except in detail. I will 
go further, and say that the total impression of a 
long life of observation and action on my own 
mind is, that in the greatest men the two qualities 
are combined with an intensity not possessed by 
narrow minds. Is it necessary to name Galileo, 
Kepler, Newton, the Herschels, Faraday ? " 

His biographer writes of Sir Henry Acland : 
" Broad-minded and tolerant to all, he was essen- 
tially a son of the Church of England : her prayers, 
her ordinances, her spirit were the very fibre of his 
being. Let the sentences with which he closed his 
will stand as his last earthly confession : 

" ' And now with a deep sense of the mercy and 
goodness of God to me and mine through parents, 
children, and friends, and by the saintly life of my 
dear wife gone before, I commit my soul to my 
Heavenly Father in the faith and love of Christ, 
and hope for forgiveness in my shortcomings in my 
holy profession ; and I pray that the faithful study 
of all nature may in Oxford and elsewhere lead men 
to the knowledge and love of God, to faith and 
charity, and to the further prevention and relief of 
the bodily and mental sufferings of all races of 
mankind." x 

1 " Henry Acland A Memoir," p. 499 (1903), by J. B. 
Atlay. 



46 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Sir J. Russell Reynolds,* M.D., F.R.S., a dis- 
tinguished physician, was twice re-elected Presi- 
dent of the Royal College of Physicians. He was, 
for many years, Professor of Clinical Medicine 
and Professor of the Principles and Practice of 
Medicine. He edited "System of Medicine," and 
was an authority on nervous diseases. He re- 
plied : 

" It is quite impossible for me to answer your 
letter of the 3rd instant in detail. I however quite 
agree in the main with the conclusions expressed in 
your letter ; this is however all that I feel able to 
say on the subject at present." 

Sir George M. Humphry, 2 F.R.S., was Professor 
of Human Anatomy 1866-83, and from 1883 till his 
death, Professor of Surgery in the University of 
Cambridge ; a well-known anatomist. 

Professor Humphry in returning the letter of 
inquiry wrote, opposite the question, " Is there 
any real antagonism between the facts of Science 
and the teachings of Jesus Christ ?" 

" Not that I am aware of." 

Professor Humphry was an earnest Christian ; a 
member of the Church of England. 

Sir J. Eric Erichsen,3 an eminent consulting and 
operating surgeon, "devoted heart and soul to the 
advancement of surgery," was Professor of Surgery, 
and sometime President of the University College, 
and also Past- President of the Royal College of 
Surgeons. He answered thus : 

" Youask me two questions : 

" ' ist. If in my opinion there is any antagonism 
Died 1896. " Died 1896. 3 Died 1896. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 47 

between Science and the essential teachings of the 
Bible, and 

" ' and. If there is any antagonism between the 
Religion of Jesus Christ and any fact scientifically 
established ? ' 

" To both these questions I give an answer in the 
negative. 

" There is, in my opinion, no antagonism between 
Science and the essential teachings of the Bible or 
between the Religion of Jesus Christ and any fact 
scientifically established." 

Sir Dyce Duckworth, M.D., (Edinburgh, Cincin- 
nati, and Royal University College, Ireland), Medical 
Referee to the Treasury ; late President of the 
Clinical Society; Representative of the Royal College 
of Physicians in the General Medical Council ; and 
Treasurer of the Royal College of Physicians, 
writes : 

" ' Fret not yourself because of the ungodly.' 
There are too many feeble, vain, and ignorant 
talkers in the world. You may rest assured that 
the greatest number of the best and most open- 
minded men of science find no difficulty in recon- 
ciling the Christian religion with the constant addi- 
tions made to science, nor do they find the Bible 
to be in any way a stumbling-block to the reception 
of new aspects of old truths. All truth is God-like, 
and God allows, clearly, new manifestations of His 
work and wisdom to be elucidated by man's honest 
labours and inquiries. Many of the difficulties 
have been made by ecclesiastics who put limits to 
man's search after truth and who think they know 
all that can be known. 



48 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" What is always needed is a reverent study and a 
full acknowledgment of God as a Father and as the 
great 'All in All. 1 

" Things that are did not make themselves, and 
all is traceable to the great Master Builder of the 
Universe. His merciful manifestation of Himself, 
'whom no man hath seen nor can see/ is in the 
Divinity of the one perfect Man, His Son, Jesus 
Christ. In my experience the only solution of all 
our difficulties is to maintain a humble, child-like 
faith and a confident trust in the perfect love of 
God, who 'knows whereof we are made, and 
remembers that we are but dust.' 

"With that and perfect love, there need be no 
fear, and all will come right in His own time. 
That is the faith to live by and to die with, and 
the happiest people (and the happiest of the dying) 
are those who hold firm by that faith. 

"This is my experience after much thought, 
much knowledge of human nature, and not a little 
study of all the difficulties you relate to me." 

Since his letter was written Sir Dyce Duckworth 
in a speech * delivered before the University College, 
London, said : 

" I have no hesitation in declaring myself a con- 
vinced Christian, and I think I may say, for certainly 
the greatest number of the members of my profes- 
sion in England, that that is the faith which they 
hold." 

Sir Victor Horsley, M.D., Emeritus Professor 
of Clinical Surgery, University College Hospital, 

1 "Christian Apologetics," p. 79 (1903), edited by W. W. 
Seton. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 49 

1906 ; President of the Pathological Section, British 
Medical Association, 1892-93 ; is a member of 
numerous scientific bodies and is a distinguished 
physiologist and authority on the functions of the 
brain. 

Sir Victor Horsley wrote that he could not claim 
any authority to instruct in religious matters. It 
may not, however, be out of place here to quote 
his view as to the position of the Church and the 
medical profession : 

"The position of the professions," he says, 1 "is 
one of natural harmony and loyal co-operation. 
The business of both is to further the best aims 
of our civilization and social life, and this has been 
accomplished by mutual respect and help." 

Professor Edward B. Cowell 2 will be remembered 
as Edward FitzGerald's friend, and one whom the 
poet referred to as " my delightful Cowell," and as 
" Master." Professor Cowell was known as one of 
the "most learned and most delightful men in 
Cambridge." He was Professor of Sanskrit at the 
University for many years and a great authority on 
language, folklore, and allied subjects. His letter 
runs : 

" I have much pleasure in answering your letter 
as far as I can, but I am sorry to say that my special 
studies relate to language, not to science. I have 
known and do know many eminent men of science 
who are sincere Christians. I need only name Sir 
George Stokes, the Cambridge Professor of Astro- 
nomy and for many years the President of the 
Royal Society. 

1 Nineteenth Century, November, 1892. a Died 1903. 

5 



50 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" You seem to me quite right in your view of the 
supposed opposition between the Bible and Science ; 
it is our interpretations which create the discre- 
pancy. 

" My own view of the matter, however, is that the 
evidence for revealed Religion has been purposely 
left less absolutely certain than we might have 
wished, as this is part of our probation. We must 
still hold to the poet's wise words written two 
hundred years ago : 

"'Hope humbly, then, on 
Patient pinions soar, 
Wait the great teacher Death, 
And God adore.' 

" If we really feel a craving for light from above, 
there is plenty of evidence to help and encourage 
us ; but if we in our hearts prefer not to accept 
Christianity, there are many difficulties to perplex 
us. It is, in fact, ' the choice of Hercules ' enacted 
anew for every man in his own lifetime. The 
particular temptations vary in different times and 
for different temperaments, but the moral test is 
the same for every son of Adam. This is what is 
meant by such a verse as Jeremiah xvii. 10. 
" I find this a comfort to my own mind." 
Sir Monier Monier-Williams, 1 Boden Professor 
of Sanskrit at Oxford University from 1860 till his 
death. An important work of his life was connected 
with the Indian Institute, which was established 
mainly through his energy. Sir Monier Monier- 
Williams was the author of several works on Indian 
1 Died 1899. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 51 

Religion and Philosophy, and was a great scholar. 
He replied : 

" Your letter, which has reached me in France, 
would require several sheets of paper to answer 
properly, and I cannot spare the time. 

" I may say, however, that the Christian religion 
is not a science. It is not mathematics. We do 
not go to the Bible for scientific truth, but for 
spiritual. Christianity is faith, hope, and love. It 
is the breathing of a Divine, Christ-like spirit 
through every action of everyday life. 

" Many scientific men have been true Christians. 
If you require an example in the present day, you 
cannot do better than take that of Sir G. G. Stokes, 
of Cambridge, President of the Royal Society." 

Professor A. H. Sayce, LL.D., D.Litt., Professor 
of Assyriology in the University of Oxford since 
1891 ; President of the Anthrological Section at the 
British Association, 1887 ; Hibbert Lecturer, 1887, 
and Gifford Lecturer, 1900-02. He is the author 
of many works on Egyptian and Babylonian reli- 
gions and customs, including " Introduction to the 
Science of Language," " Verdict of the Monu- 
ments," and "Archaeology of Cuneiform Inscrip- 
tions" (1907). In his reply, written in Egypt, the 
Professor says : 

" I entirely share your opinion that true Science 
and true Religion harmonise. As you will see 
from the Marquis of Salisbury's address to the 
British Association last year, 1 the real scientist is 
the first to confess that he knows nothing beyond 
a very limited area of experience. 
1 1894. 



52 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

"There are a few * leading scientists' who are 
irreligious, but the vast majority, so far as my 
knowledge goes, are quite the reverse. The ' irreli- 
gious ; are for the most part those who have merely 
a smattering of scientific knowledge." 

Professor F. Max Miiller, 1 perhaps the greatest 
philologist of modern times. He, according to 
Chambers's Encyclopaedia, did "more than any 
other single scholar to awaken in England a taste 
for the science of languages ; " was Professor of 
Comparative Philology at Oxford University the 
greater part of his life, and published many 
volumes of his lectures, including " Anthropological 
Religion," "Psychical Religion," and "Science of 
Language." 

Professor Max Miiller was induced, some years 
ago, to take part in a symposium in the "Agnostic 
Annual " on the question " Why live a moral life ? " 
Shortly after the appearance of the " Annual " con- 
taining his contribution, the Professor was led to 
write an article which bore the significant title 
" Why I am not an Agnostic." Some of his reasons 
may fittingly find a place here : 

"But," wrote the Professor, "another and even 
more fatal step is to follow, which, I fear, will 
deprive me altogether of any claim to that title 
[Agnostic]. I cannot help discovering in the uni- 
verse an all-pervading causality or a reason for 
everything ; for, even when in my phenomenal 
ignorance I do not yet know a reason for this or 
that, I am forced to admit that there exists some 
such reason ; I feel bound to admit it, because to 
1 Died 1900. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 53 

a mind like ours nothing can exist without a 
sufficient reason. But how do I know that ? Here 
is the point where I cease to be an Agnostic. I do 
not know it from experience, and yet I know it 
with a certainty greater than any which experience 
could give. 1 

" If any philosopher can persuade himself that 
the true and well-ordered genera of nature are the 
result of mechanical forces, whatever name he may 
give them, he moves in a world altogether different 
from my own. . . . 2 

" As Christians we have to say, in the language of 
St. John and his Platonic and Gnostic predecessors, 
'In the beginning there was Logos.' 3 

"But if," concludes Professor Max Miiller, 
"Agnosticism excludes a recognition of an eternal 
reason pervading the natural and moral world, if 
to postulate a rational cause for a rational universe 
is called Gnosticism, then I am a Gnostic and a 
humble follower of the greatest thinkers of our 
race from Plato and the author of the Fourth 
Gospel to Kant and Hegel." 4 

In closing this section it seems necessary to again 
call the reader's attention to Mr. McCabe's book, 
" Haeckel's Critics Answered." That work is used 
by Secularist and Agnostic lecturers as a kind of 
text-book, and has been responsible for the spread 
of not a few grossly inaccurate and misleading 
statements. It is not suggested that Mr. McCabe 
is to be blamed for the use (or misuse) to which his 
words are put, but it cannot be denied that parts 

1 Nineteenth Century, December, 1894, p. 893. 

9 Ibid. p. 893. 3 ibid. p. 894. * Ibid. p. 895. 



54 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

of the book in question easily lend themselves not 
only to anti-religious but to anti-truthful advocacy. 
As an example of what is here meant, take the state- 
ment of an atheist lecturer made in an address early 
last year ; a statement which is obviously based on, 
and to some extent a reproduction of, Mr. McCabe's 
own words. After alluding to certain Continental 
Freethinkers, the report runs : 

"He [the speaker] was glad to think that practi- 
cally every scientist in England of any eminence 
was an 'unbeliever/ as was evidenced by the way 
Lord Kelvin was corrected in the Times a few years 
ago, when he asserted that scientists were coming 
to believe in a creative principle. Professor Ray 
Lankester, Sir ]. Burdon Sanderson, and Sir William 
Thistleton-Dyer immediately flatly contradicted 
him. . . ."i 

Now, it is quite true that Lord Kelvin's speech 
delivered at University College, reported in the 
Times and subsequently printed in the Nineteenth 
Century and After, was criticised by the distin- 
guished men named. But that hardly warrants the 
assertion that they were " unbelievers " in the sense 
of disbelieving in the existence of God, or that they 
subscribed to the " Freethought " and " Rationalism " 
usually preached from Agnostic and Atheist plat- 
forms. They are not " Atheists," nor are they 
"unbelievers" or "Freethinkers" in the sense 
implied. 

Sir J. Burdon-Sanderson 2 was a distinguished 
biologist, and in answer to an inquiry, his niece, 

1 Islington Gazette, March 4, 1909. 

2 Died November, 1905. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 55 

Mrs. M. A. Macqueen, writes : * " I showed her (the 
late Sir J. Burdon-Sariderson's sister) and my 
youngest sister your letter, and they confirm the 
statement I already have made to you that Sir John 
was ' a deeply religious and reverent minded man.' " 
In another letter (April 12, 1909) Mrs. Macqueen 
writes : " His (Sir John's) parents were Baptists, 
and they adhered to the intensely orthodox and 
somewhat narrow religious views of the time. But 
this produced a sound and strenuous type of mind. 
Lady Sanderson's father was a Congregational 
minister, and they belonged to her church during 
his life time. And Sir John identified himself with 
all sorts of religious and benevolent schemes. . . . 
I believe him to have always been," adds his niece, 
" a deeply religious man. Perhaps latterly he has 
been wider and less restricted in his outlook, but I 
am sure he never could have been described an 
' atheist ' or ' unbeliever.' " 

And what did the terms "religion" and "religious" 
convey to the Professor? In a letter to the writer 
he defined religion thus : " Religion, i.e. the recog- 
nition of the will of the Supreme Being as a motive 
of conduct." 

In 1902 Sir W. Thistleton-Dyer reviewed Mr. 
Edward Clodd's " Life of Huxley." In this review 
the distinguished botanist, while criticising Huxley's 
" religion," presents his own opinions on this great 
question. He observes : 

" The Romanes lecture, which Mr. Clodd admires 
so much, to me is pathetic, because it is a sort of 
cry of despair. . . . But helpful or constructive, I 

1 May n, 1909. 



56 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

say it is not. I turn to Mr. Clodd, and find he 
extracts from it ' a religion that, co-ordinated with 
the needs and aspirations of human nature, would 
find its highest motive and its permanency in an 
ethic based on sympathy.' " " Sympathy," Sir 
William thinks, "may explain the altruistic aspect 
of morality ; but I fail to see how it accounts for 
the ' renunciation ' of the lower impulses which is 
characteristic of the highest ethical development. 
And how, for practical purposes, is ' sympathy ' to 
be infused ? My experience of human nature 
inclines me to think that it requires a more 
powerful appeal to the imagination than is afforded 
by a mere academic counsel of perfection of this sort. 

" As I am writing these lines," he continues, 
" my eye falls on a speech in the daily paper by 
Viscount Goschen. I quote the following : ' As a 
layman he wished, on behalf of laymen, to express 
their admiration of the work which was being 
carried on, and which the clergy were doing in 
the East End of London/ where, he added, 'the 
miserable breakages of civilisation resorted in their 
deepest despair.' " "If we dispense with the clergy," 
Sir William asks, " have we at present any effective 
agency for dealing with this sort of problem ? I 
see none, and I am firmly persuaded that no 
abstract principles would have prevented Huxley 
substantially agreeing with Lord Goschen." 1 

A clear instance of unfair and misleading state- 
ment, confirming the complaint against Mr. 
McCabe, is found in his chapter " Lord Kelvin 
Intervenes." He states : 

1 Nature, June 5, 1902, pp. 122-3. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 57 

"Sir W. Thistleton-Dyer, writing of Huxley 
(Nature, June 5, 1902), said : ' Huxley was firmly 
imbued with what is ordinarily called a " material- 
istic " conception of the universe/ I think that this 
is probably a true view." 

Mr. McCabe's comment on this is : " The repre- 
sentation that Haeckel is alone, or almost alone, 
in his view of life is a gross and audacious mis- 
representation." Now from this it would appear 
that Sir Thistleton-Dyer is a thorough-going 
" materialist," especially in regard to life, its origin 
and continuance, but in the very same paragraph, 
a few lines further on, the eminent botanist 
remarks : 

" I do not see even the beginning of a materialistic 
theory of protoplasm. This, however, was what 
Huxley attempted in the lecture on ' Physical Basis 
of Life,' of which I see a cheap reprint is about 
to be issued. Mr. Clodd summarises it as if its 
contents were accepted scientific truths. But this 
is far from being the case, and I should myself be 
in great difficulty if they were presented to me in 
the examination-room." * 

In the same review Sir W. Thistleton-Dyer pro- 
tests more than once against Mr. Clodd introducing 
and discussing in such a connection anti-theological 
matters. After one reference to these, he exclaims : 
" This would be all very well in a secularist pam- 
phlet, but I fail to see its place in a life of Huxley, 
even if I thought it just." The general trend of the 
article is against, and not favourable, to Agnosticism 
and " unbelief." 

1 Nature, June 5, 1902, p. 121. 



58 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

And lastly, Professor Ray Lankester, the eminent 
zoologist, in closing his presidential address deli- 
vered before the British Association, said : 

" It seems to me not inappropriate that a Society 
for the Advancement of Science should have taken 
its origin under the walls of York Minster, and that 
the clergy of the great cathedral should have stood 
by its cradle. It is not true that there is an essential 
antagonism between the scientific spirit and what 
is called the religious sentiment. ' Religion/ said 
Bishop Creighton, 'means the knowledge of our 
destiny and of the means of fulfilling it.' We can 
say no more and no less of Science. Men of Science 
seek, in all reverence, to discover the Almighty, the 
Everlasting. They claim sympathy and friendship 
with those who, like themselves, have turned away 
from the more material struggle of human life, and 
have set their hearts and minds on the knowledge 
of the Eternal." * 

1 Nature, August 2, 1906. 



PART II. 

THE letters which appear in the foregoing section 
were, as already stated, written some years ago. 
When obtaining permission for their publication, 
the writer desired to ascertain whether, with the 
subsequent advance of science, any radical change 
had taken place in the scientific mind. He there- 
fore wrote to other representatives of Science, 
asking similar questions to those submitted to the 
distinguished men cited. The queries, as the 
reader will remember, were : 

1. Is there any real conflict between the facts 

of science and the fundamentals of Chris- 
tianity ? 

2. Has it been your experience to find men of 

science " irreligious and anti-Christian " ? 
Before giving the replies received, the religious 
views of four of the best known men of science, 
viz., Dr. A. R. Wallace, Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir 
Archibald Geikie, and Sir Robert Ball are here 
presented. That this is necessary is shown by 
the fact that, quite recently, a lecturer of an Atheist 
Society, in claiming that the majority of intelligent 
men are no longer religious, declared that Sir Oliver 

59 



6o RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Lodge was " an Atheist " ! Suggestions of a similar 
character were made concerning the other scientists 
named. 

Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, O.M., co-discoverer, 
with Charles Darwin, of "The Origin of Species 
by Natural Selection " is one of the greatest of 
living naturalists ; author of " Natural Selection," 
1870; "Darwinism," 1889; "Man's Place in the 
Universe," 1903 ; and other works. He writes : 

"Thus, the universe in its purely physical and 
inorganic aspect is now seen to be such an over- 
whelming complex organism as to suggest to most 
minds some vast Intelligent Power pervading and 
sustaining it. 

" Persons to whom this seems a logical necessity 
will not be much disturbed by the dilemma of the 
agnostics that, however wonderful the material 
universe may be, a Being who could bring it into 
existence must be more wonderful, and that they 
prefer to hold the lesser marvel to be self-existent 
rather than the greater. When, however, we pass 
from the inorganic to the organic world, governed 
by a new set of laws, and apparently by some 
regulating and controlling forces altogether distinct 
from those at work in inorganic nature ; and when, 
further, we see that these organisms originated at 
some definite epoch when the earth had become 
adapted to sustain them, and thereafter developed 
into two great branches of non-sentient and sentient 
life, the latter gradually acquiring higher and higher 
senses and faculties till it culminated in man a 
being whose higher intellectual and moral nature 
seems adapted for, even to call for, infinite de- 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 61 

velopment this logical necessity for some Higher 
Intelligence to which he himself owes his existence, 
and which alone rendered the origin of sentient 
life possible, will seem still more irresistible." x 

Dr. Wallace's ideal is that man shall be as Christ 
would have him be, " brother unto brother." In 
a work published in 1898 he wrote : 

"As this Century has witnessed a material and 
intellectual advance wholly unprecedented in the 
history of human progress, so the Coming Century 
will reap the full fruition of that advance, in a 
moral and social upheaval of an equally new and 
unprecedented kind, and equally great in amount. 
That advance is prefigured in the stirring lines of 
Sir Lewis Morris, with which I may fitly close 
my work : 2 



" 'There shall come, from out this noise of strife and groaning, 
A broader and a juster brotherhood, 
A deep equality of aim, postponing 
All selfish seeking for the general good. 
There shall come a time when each shall to another, 
Be as Christ would have him, brother unto brother.' " 



Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S., who, as a physicist, 
stands in the first rank, is Principal of Birmingham 
University ; was Professor of Physics at Liverpool 
University, 1881-1900 ; the recipient of many 
scientific honours, including D.Sc. (London), Hon. 
D. Sc. (Oxford, Victoria, and Liverpool Universities), 
LL.D. (St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen); 

1 " Harmsworth's History of the World," Part I. p. 92. 

2 " The Wonderful Century." 



62 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

and author of many works, both scientific and 
theological. 

Addressing an audience at the Birmingham Town 
Hall, on the Tendency of Modern Science, Pro- 
fessor Lodge said : 

"The human race may regard the Deity differently 
at different times, but it is not to be supposed that 
God Himself differs from age to age ; it is we who 
differ, and if we would learn His ways and scheme, 
we must try and see it in action now. Now, or 
not at all. Nevertheless, this discovery of the 
uniformity of the law of evolution has led thought- 
ful men in a sceptical direction. We who are 
immersed in science have by this time, in large 
numbers, gone through that process I myself have 
been through that period everybody has who has 
thought but we are coming out at the other end. 
I find, however, judging by writings in the Press, 
that some of the more thoughtful of the working 
men of England are somewhat behind. " x 

In concluding the address, he expressed himself 
thus : 

" If I have made myself at all clear and in the 
short time allotted to me I may not have succeeded 
let me summarise briefly and rather crudely, and 
say, from the scientific point of view, that the 
tendency of science, whatever it is, is not in an 
irreligious direction at the present time, that the 
realisation of the unity of the cosmic scheme 
tends to faith, and not to unbelief or unfaith. We 
are beginning to realise that the whole scheme, 
so magnificent, so enormous, so immense for 
1 Commonwealth, August, 1903, p. 227. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 63 

remember that this planet is but one of millions 
demands in some only half-intelligible but real 
sense, an organiser, a manager, a controller, acces- 
sible to prayer, able and willing to help, in His own 
way and in His own time, but still always able 
and willing : not less, certainly not less, than we 
are." * 

Writing on the same theme, a few months 
previously, he declared : 2 

"' Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands 
or feet ' : poetry, yes but also science ; the real 
trend and meaning of Science, whether of orthodox 
' science ' or not." 

As to the relation of Science to the belief in 
immortality, he, about this time, writes : 

"There are parts of the structure of Religion 
which may safely be underpinned by physical 
science : the theory of death and of continual 
personal existence is one of them ; there are many 
others, and there will be more. But there are and 
always will be vast religious regions for which 
that kind of scientific foundation would be an im- 
pertinence, though a scientific contribution is ap- 
propriate; perhaps these may be summed up in 
some such phrase as 'the relation of the soul to 
God.' " 3 

And Sir Oliver Lodge contributed to the Hibbert 
Journal* two articles in which he discussed the 
relations of Science and Theology in detail. For 

1 Commonwealth, August, 1903, p. 229. 
8 Hibbert Journal, p. 215, January, 1903. 
3 Contemporary Review, December, 1904. 
July, 1906. 



64 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

a brief statement of his position, these passages, 
from his "Catechism," will suffice: 

Q. "What then do you reverently believe can 
be deduced from a study of the records and tra- 
ditions of the past in the light of the present ? 

A. " I believe in one Infinite and Eternal Being, 
a guiding and loving Father, in whom all things 
consist. I believe that the Divine Nature is speci- 
ally revealed to man through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lived, and taught, and suffered in Palestine 
1900 years ago, and has since been worshipped by 
the Christian Church as the immortal Son of God, 
the Saviour of the world." 

" I believe that man is privileged to understand 
and assist the Divine purpose on this earth, that 
prayer is a means of communication between man 
and God, and that the Holy Spirit is ever ready 
to help us along the way towards Goodness and 
Truth, so that by unselfish service we may gradually 
enter into the Life Eternal, the Communion of 
Saints, and the Peace of God." 

Sir Archibald Geikie, D.C.L., D.Sc., LL.D., the 
distinguished geologist, President of the Royal 
Society ; was President of the Geological Society 
1891-92, 1906-08 ; of the British Association, 1892 ; 
and is author of many standard works on Geology, 
thus eloquently sums up his " Lessons " : x 

"One grand object of science is to link the 
present with the past, to show how the condition 
of the globe to-day is the result of former changes, 
to trace the progress of the continents back through 
long ages to their earliest beginnings, to connect 

1 " Elementary Lessons in Physical Geography," p. 355-56. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 65 

the abundant life now teeming in air, on land, 
and in the sea with earlier forms long since 
extinct, but which all bore their part in the grand 
onward march of life, now headed by man ; 
and thus, learning ever more and more of that 
marvellous plan after which this vast world has 
been framed, to gain a deeper insight into the 
harmony and beauty of creation, with a yet pro- 
founder reverence for Him who made and who 
upholds it all." 

Sir Robert Ball, the famous author of the " Story 
of the Heavens," and other works on astronomy ; 
Professor of Astronomy and Geometry at Cam- 
bridge University and Director of the Observatory 
there since 1892 ; ex-President of the Royal Astro- 
nomical Society, of the Mathematical Association, 
and of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland ; when 
delivering the Annual Address of the Victoria Insti- 
tute J on " The Origin of New Stars " said : 

" It is true we believe I myself certainly do that 
our solar system has originated from the nebula, just 
as I believe the adult came from the child, but if you 
ask me where that nebula came from, well, we 
may say it came from the collision of two stars. 
But then comes the question, ' Where did the two 
stars come from ? ' To that Science really gives no 
answer ; and as far as I can understand these things, 
the very circumstances of the heavens seem to me 
to bear written on them the impress of the fact 
that they cannot have gone on from all time as 
they are now. There must have been, so far as 
we can understand it, some beginning, some 
1 Vic. Ins. Journal of Transactions, vol. xxxiii. p. 18. 
6 



66 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

time at which there was an intervention of force 
and action such as Science is not able to take 
cognizance of. Hence it is I cannot but express 
hearty sympathy with the efforts, and successful 
efforts, which have been made by this Institute 
to show that in our endeavours to understand the 
wonders of nature, we have ever brought before 
us the fact that there are innumerable mysteries 
in nature which can never be accounted for by 
the operations with which science makes us 
familiar, but which demands the intervention of 
some Higher Power than anything man's intellect 
can comprehend." 

Speaking on the "Earth's Beginning" at the 
Christmas Lectures at the Royal Institution, Pro- 
fessor Ball asked : x 

" May I, with all reverence, try to attune our 
thoughts to the time-conceptions required in this 
mighty theme by quoting those noble lines of 
the hymn : 

"'A thousand ages in Thy sight 

Are like an evening gone, 
Short as the watch that ends the night, 
Before the rising sun.' " 

In January, 1905, an appeal was sent to the local 
education authorities of England and Wales. It 
bears the signatures of Lord Kelvin, Dr. Hopkinson 
(Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, Manchester), 
Dr. W. Simon, and of several well-known teachers 
of religion and heads of religious bodies ; it is also 
1 " The Earth's Beginning," p. 20. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 67 

signed by Sir Robert Ball, whose wishes are thus 
expressed : 

"We, therefore, most earnestly desire that in all 
schools effective moral training, based upon those 
Christian principles which ought to pervade all 
teaching and discipline, should be provided. On 
this account we trust and have reason to hope 
that Bible teaching, fitly graded, will be continued 
in the schools under your care." 1 

Sir Robert Ball is a member of the Church of 
England. 

Professor J. Arthur Thomson, M.A., Regius Pro- 
fessor of Natural History at Aberdeen University 
since 1889 ; formerly lecturer on Zoology and 
Biology at the School of Medicine, Edinburgh ; 
joint author of " Evolution of Sex " ; author of 
"The Science of Life" ; " Progress of Science in the 
Nineteenth Century" ; "Herbert Spencer" ; "Out- 
lines of Zoology " ; and " Heredity," on which he 
is a leading authority. He has also written largely 
on biological and zoological subjects for " The 
Encyclopaedia Britannica " and for " Chambers's 
Encyclopaedia." He answers thus : 

" In reference to your momentous questions, 
my views are stated in 'The Bible of Nature' 
(T. & T. Clark, 1908), and in an essay (along with 
Professor Patrick Geddes) in ' Ideals of Science and 
Faith, 1 edited by J. E. Hand (George Allen, 
London, 1905). 

"A very useful book is Professor Otto's ' Naturalism 
and Religion ' (translation, Williams & Norgate, 
1907). 

1 Times, January 21, 1905. 



68 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" My own conviction is that the so-called opposi- 
tion between Science and Religion is wholly due to 
confusion of thought." 

Some striking passages taken from the essay men- 
tioned, are here given : 

"We propose, therefore, to devote the last 
section of this essay to a brief consideration of 
the ideals of biology." 

" Like any other science, Biology has for one of 
its ideals to gain a clear, orderly, correlated, and 
interpretable view of nature. It analyses and pulls 
things to pieces, but only as a means to an end, 
in order, sooner or later, to put them together 
again unified in intelligence. . . ." 

"What the poet and the artist see instinctively, 
what the metaphysician and the theologian reach 
deductively, biology is striving to establish induc- 
tively the Unity of Nature. Truly, the ideal is very 
far from realisation, but every year sees some corner 
of the picture filled in. In a true sense, biology 
is thus approaching one aspect of the theologian's 
idea of God." ' 

" But he [the scientist] cannot help feeling all 
the time that he is working at a picture which will 
not merely inform but gladden the eyes. In short, 
he agrees with the theologian that his ' chief end ' 
includes enjoying as well as knowing, as the Shorter 
Catechism puts it." 2 

" The partial pursuit of certain paths may some- 
times dull or even play false to healthy emotion, but 
the general result and ideal of biology is to deepen 
our wonder in the world, our love of beauty, our 

1 " Ideals of Science and Faith," p. 75. 3 Ibid. p. 76. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 69 

joy in living. The modern botanist is, in a very real 
sense, more aware of the Dryad in the tree than the 
Greek could be. Our point is that biology, by the 
revelation of mystery, wonder, and beauty of life, 
its intricacy and subtlety, its history, its tragedy and 
comedy, approaches another aspect of the Idea 
of God." * 

"This aspect of the biological ideal might be 
developed at length ; but we venture to submit 
without further evidence our third proposition 
under this head, that biology in revealing possi- 
bilities of betterment, of saving, strengthening, 
regenerating men, again approaches another aspect 
of the Idea of God." 

Professors Thomson and Geddes sum up: 

" This great old controversy, then, with its 
mutually exclusive formalists, we are thus begin- 
ning to see as a passing scene, a phase of a larger 
drama, of which man is but an awakening spectator 
a stumbling actor that of the birth, the struggle, 
the death, yet the renewal and ascent of the Ideal of 
Evolution. Thus biological science must indeed 
become the handmaid of religion, as the theologian, 
again thinker and symbolist, can offer the interpre- 
tation of Life. " 3 

Professor Patrick Geddes, Professor of Botany 
at University College, Dundee (St. Andrews 
University) ; Warden of University College, Chelsea ; 
successively Demonstrator of Practical Physiology 
at University College, London ; of Natural History 
at the University of Aberdeen ; of Botany at 

1 "Ideals of Science and Faith," p. 77. 

2 Ibid. p. 79. 3 Ibid. p. 80. 



70 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Edinburgh ; Lecturer on Natural History in the 
School of Medicine, Edinburgh ; author, with 
Professor Thomson, of " Evolution of Sex " ; 
has written extensively on Morphology, Botany, 
Variation and Selection ; and has also contri- 
buted to "Chambers's Encyclopaedia" articles on 
Biology, Botany, and Evolution. In his reply he 
says : 

" The question you raise is too vast for me to 
dare to enter into correspondence about ; but 
you will find a scientific man of religious nature 
in Sir Oliver Lodge e.g., his ' Man and the 
Universe ' will no doubt express both attitudes, 
and similarly in Arthur Thomson see his 'The 
Bible of Nature,' &c. For a theologian com- 
petent and sympathetic in biology, see Otto's 
' Naturalism and Religion ' (Williams & Norgate, 
1907). 

" Personally I have no doubt but that Science 
is enlarging towards increasing recognition of 
beauty, truth, and goodness in the order of things 
and that theologians, poets, artists, idealists of all 
kinds, are becoming increasingly aware of the exist- 
ence of order and law." 

Two passages from that delightful little book * 
which contains " Sunday Talks with my Children " 
included here with the Professor's consent, in- 
dicate that the tendency of modern thought is not 
towards, but away from, a " materialistic " con- 
ception of the universe : 

" In a very true and thorough sense," he says, 

" The World Without and the World Within," p. 7, by 
Professor Geddes. (St. George Library, Birmingham.) 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 71 

"the ' In-World ; is more familiar, more real than 
the other ; for all we know, or can ever know, of 
the ' Out- World/ or of each other, is in our own 
minds. ' I think, therefore I am/ said a great 
philosopher long ago ; while another is famous for 
having puzzled people by seeming to deny that 
there was any matter at all. But when you think a 
little, you see something of what he meant that all 
we know of matter is in mind." 

Then, to his children, he puts the question : 

" ' What do you do with me in the garden so often 
on week-day afternoons ? ' t We work, and on 
Sunday we rest and play/ ' Yes/ he replies, ' your 
Sabbath in this sense is a real Sabbath. It ends the 
week. When we have laboured, then, like the 
Creator in the Bible story, we look round and see it 
is very good." 

And, finally, Professor Geddes, in his essay " An 
Educational Approach " writes : 

" The frank acceptance of every element of applied 
science as it appears is no longer seriously resisted 
in the name of religion. In this way one of the 
oldest quarrels in world-history seems approaching 
its conclusion ; its rival thesis and antithesis begin- 
ning to establish a synthesis, and this an expanding 
one." * 

The attitude of Professor Geddes is not, as the 
reader observes, that of a materialist. Indeed, with 
one doubtful exception, all those whose conclusions 
are cited in the preceding pages are by implication, 
if not emphatically, non-materialists. But, in con- 

1 " Ideals of Science and Faith," p. 197. (Edited by Rev. 
J. E. Hand.) 



72 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

sequence of a deliberate statement * to the contrary, 
a third query (on this question of materialism) was 
put to Professor Lloyd Morgan. 

Professor C. Lloyd Morgan, Principal of the 
University College, Bristol ; psychologist and 
biologist ; lecturer in Physical Science in the Dioce- 
san College, Rondebosch, Capetown, 1878-84 ; 
Professor of Zoology and Geology at University 
College, Bristol, 1884 ; Professor of Psychology 
there since 1901 ; and author of " Animal Biology," 
" Introduction to Comparative Psychology," " Psy- 
chology for Teachers," " Habit and Instinct," &c. 

Professor Morgan replied : 

" You would probably best gather my general 
attitude in face of the question, 'What is the 
relation of Science to Religious Thought ? ' from 
my little booklet on 'The Interpretation of Nature' 
(Macmillan). I do not myself regard Science and 
Religion as antagonistic. 

" Sweeping assertions are of little value in the 
absence of statistical evidence. For what it is worth 
my own opinion is that a decreasing number of 
men of science are Materialists that is to say, 
accept Materialism as a philosophy, or substitute for 
a philosophy." 2 

1 In an article (January 10, 1909) a " Freethought" lecturer 
and writer asserts that "for the last forty years the over- 
whelming majority of scientific men have been materialists, 
and they are becoming such in increasing numbers every day.'' 

2 Mr. G. F. C. Searle, F.R.S., Lecturer in Experimental 
Physics and Demonstrator at the Cavendish Laboratory, 
Cambridge, expresses precisely the same view. See his 
paper, " The Modern Conception of the Universe," delivered 
on January 10, 1910, before the Victoria Institute. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 73 

Professor Morgan, in the work named, declares 
that : 

"... Naturalism, however, proclaims that I am 
just a little bit of nature, differentiated from the 
rest ; that I am a minute cluster of phenomena in 
relation with the total remainder of phenomena . . . 
Just in so far as I am one with Nature, and therefore 
in physical relationship with other manifestations in 
terms of matter and energy, is the purpose of my 
being one with the purpose which underlies the 
manifestations of nature, and am I in spiritual 
relationship with a wider and richer purpose which 
is thus manifested ? " x 

" My aim," he concludes, " has been to show that a 
belief in purpose as the causal reality of which nature 
is an expression is not inconsistent with a full and 
whole-hearted acceptance of the explanations of 
naturalism, within their appropriate sphere. ... At 
the close I reach the conclusion that it is not 
impossible to bring these views into harmony, if we 
accept the postulate that determining purpose is the 
reality which underlies the determinate course of 
phenomena. . . . " 2 

"On this deeper plane of interpretation, just as 
for the thinker all nature is instinct with reason, so 
too for the poet does the whole universe ' tremble 
with song/ As the poet from whom I borrow this 
expression Mr. William Watson sings it : 

" Lo, with the ancient 
Roots of man's nature 
Twines the Eternal 
Passion of song. 



" The Interpretation of Nature," pp. 109-1 10. * Ibid. p. 162. 



74 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Ever love fans it, 
Ever life feeds it, 
Time cannot age it, 
Death cannot slay. 

Deep in the world-heart 
Stands its foundations, 
Tangled with all things, 
Twin-made with all. 

Nay, what is Nature's 
Self but an endless 
Strife towards music, 
Euphony, rhyme ? 

Trees in their blooming, 
Tides in their flowing, 
Stars in their circling, 
Tremble with song. 

God on His throne 
Eldest of poets ; 
Unto His measures 

Moveth the whole." ' 



As though in direct confirmation of Professor 
Lloyd Morgan, comes the British Association 
inaugural address by Sir J. J. Thomson, the Cam- 
bridge Professor of Physics and Head of the 
Cavendish Laboratory. His speech at Winnipeg, 
which according to the Telegraph* correspondent 
was listened to by an "enormous" audience of 

1 " The Interpretation of Nature," p. 163. 

2 Daily Telegraph, August 27, 1909. (See also Nature, 
August 26, 1909.) 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 75 

chiefly scientific people, closed with these signifi- 
cant words : 

" There never were any signs of an approach to 
finality in science. As we conquer peak after peak 
we see in front of us regions full of interest and 
beauty, but we do not see our goal, we do not see 
the horizon ; in the distance tower still higher peaks, 
which will yield to those who ascend them still 
wider prospects, and deepen the feeling, whose 
truth is emphasised by every advance in science, 
that ' Great are the works of the Lord.' " 

Professor Frank Cavers, D.Sc., Professor of 
Biology at Hartley University College, Southampton. 
He is a contributor to "The Book of Nature/' 
and to various scientific journals, and writes : 

" Many thanks for your interesting letter. I can 
fully sympathise with the difficulties that hamper 
Christian workers in large centres, arising from 
the opposition of atheistic and agnostic lecturers 
and writers. I often think that we whose faith is 
firm and deep-rooted do not realise, as we should, 
the influence that these anti-Christian lecturers 
and writers undoubtedly exert upon young people. 
As I dare say you will know, every important Uni- 
versity and University College in this country has 
a Christian Union, and in those with which I have 
been connected while a student in the Royal 
College of Science and London University, and 
while a lecturer in the Universities of Leeds and 
Manchester there is a large membership of students 
and teachers, meetings being held at least once 
weekly during the session. In our Christian Union 
here we have as members in the Men's Branch 



76 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

the very pick of our students practically all those 
who are best at work and athletics alike and our 
meetings are partly conducted by students and 
partly by members of the staff of whom about 
one-third take an active part in this work. Natur- 
ally we are often consulted by students who have 
heard or read of the well-worn objections to Faith 
propounded by agnostics and atheists, and I have 
had many talks with waverers upon the subject, 
besides giving addresses which might be helpful in 
showing that, as you well put it, ' there is no antago- 
nism whatever between the established facts of 
science and the fundamental truths of Christianity/ 
Probably few outside of our University Colleges 
know what a large amount of useful work is being 
done in a quiet way for the cause we have at heart, 
for of course many of our students on leaving 
College become teachers in schools and technical 
institutes. To me it appears to be a most cheering 
prospect, for I know (being editor of our College 
Magazine, I get the Magazines of all the other 
colleges sent me) that the same work is being 
carried on in all the other Universities and Univer- 
sity Colleges in the country. 

" But I fear I have digressed a good deal. I 
know of only two prominent scientists who have 
made determined attacks on the Christian Faith 
Huxley and Haeckel. As scientists, certainly neither 
ranks higher in the slightest degree than those 
whose names you mention in your letter two of 
whom were among my teachers when a student. 
Haeckel's scientific theories have, as a matter of fact, 
been rendered obsolete in many respects by more 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 77 

recent work, so much so that his name is only 
mentioned in our present-day treatises on Evolution 
in order to point out that his views on the subject 
are completely out of date, and that, for example, 
his 'recapitulation theory' has not stood the fierce 
test of detailed embryological research in recent 
times and is consequently a barren generalisation. 
His ' monistic' views are the laughing-stock of 
modern philosophers. Huxley's scientific work 
certainly stands on a far higher plane, but as regards 
Evolution, he was of course merely the 'popularised 
of Darwinism, to which he contributed nothing new 
whatever. 

"As to the alleged 'conflict' between Science and 
Religion, I believe you will generally find that the 
Science which is pressed into service by agnostics 
and atheists is many, many years behind the times, 
and that these writers and lecturers have only a 
second-hand smattering of the Biology of forty or 
fifty years ago. Science forges ahead pretty rapidly 
nowadays, and in regard to Evolution, for example, 
many of Darwin's theories have fallen to the ground. 
In fact, the whole question of Evolution is in the 
melting-pot now, and it is not easy to foresee what 
will come out as a result of current research on the 
difficult problems of variation, heredity, &c. The 
man who ventures to dogmatise on such subjects 
cannot be, and is not, taken seriously in the world 
of scientific experts ; while those who take upon 
themselves to deny the existence of an intelligent 
First Cause (or to negative any of the other teachings 
of Christianity) cannot possibly claim that they do 
so in the name of Science. 



78 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Professor Cavers closes his letter by referring to 
his busy life at the College, which, in addition to his 
ordinary duties, includes editing the students' Maga- 
zine, presiding over their Scientific Society, lecturing 
for the Workers' Educational Association, and "turn- 
ing out with the football and harriers teams " all 
of which " count for something when one wishes to 
help one's fellows and show that a Christian is not 
necessarily a mournful recluse or what students call 
a 'muff.'" 

Later, in another letter, Professor Cavers points 
out that the biologist, Professor F. E. Wiess, D.Sc., 
F.L.S., of Manchester University is "a Christian and 
a member of the Society of Friends." 

In connection with Professor Cavers's affirma- 
tion that Dr. Haeckel's " l monistic ' views are the 
laughing-stock of modern philosophers," the sub- 
joined facts are worthy of note. About nine years 
ago there appeared a work entitled the " Riddle of 
the Universe," in which Professor Haeckel pro- 
pounded in detail his ' monistic philosophy.' It is 
translated into English by Mr. Joseph McCabe and, 
in the Preface (3rd edition, November, 1902), the 
reader is informed that the work is not only 
" unanswered," but that it is " unanswerable." " It 
is," Mr. McCabe asserts, "unanswered, because 
unanswerable" 

Now, as to the scientific facts which Professor 
Haeckel so skilfully marshals, no "answer" is 
necessary. But what are we to say of the far- 
reaching inferences his materialistic-monistic dog- 
mas which he seeks to draw from the facts ? 
Are his dogmas unanswerable ? A few years after 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 79 

Mr. McCabe had penned his Preface, which ap- 
peared to close the case against fuller considera- 
tion and to put an end to further discussion, several 
" answers " were published to Professor Haeckel's 
philosophical speculations and anti-Christian dog- 
mas. Those by Sir Oliver Lodge and Dr. Frank 
Ballard may be mentioned as examples. 

Sir Oliver Lodge's work was published in 1905. 
Its full title is " Life and Matter : a Criticism of 
Professor Haeckel's l Riddle of the Universe/ " and 
in this book Professor Lodge, having examined 
and criticised at length the German savant's 
hypothesis with regard to the Origin of Life, 
says : 

" From this point of view Professor Haeckel 
is no doubt amply justified in his writings; but, 
unfortunately, it appears to me that although he 
has been borne forward on the advancing wave 
of monistic philosophy, he has, in its specification, 
attempted such precision of materialistic detail, and 
subjected it to so narrow and limited a view of 
the totality of experience, that the progress of 
thought has left him, as well as his great English 
exemplar, Herbert Spencer, somewhat high and dry, 
belated and stranded by the tide of opinion which 
has now begun to flow in another direction. He 
is, as it were, a surviving voice from the middle 
of the nineteenth century ; he represents, in clear 
and eloquent fashion, opinions which then were 
prevalent among many leaders of thought 
opinions which they themselves in many cases, 
and their successors still more, lived to outgrow ; 
so that by this time Professor Haeckel's voice is 



8o RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

a voice of one crying in the wilderness, not as the 
pioneer or vanguard of an advancing army, but 
as the despairing shout of a standard-bearer, still 
bold and unflinching, but abandoned by the 
retreating ranks of his comrades as they march 
to new orders in a fresh and more idealistic 
direction." x 

And with this Professor Hendrich Weinel is in 
entire agreement. In a long and suggestive article 
on " The Religious Thought in Germany To-day " 
(Hibbert Journal, July, 1909), Dr. Haeckel's fellow- 
professor at Jena University tells his English 
readers that " Bebel and Haeckel are, to their own 
age and its interests, survivals from the seventieth 
year of the nineteenth century. They are no 
longer leaders of the generation which lives and 
works." 

"Science," he continues, "grows more cautious 
and restrained, and feels her limits more intimately. 
She knows that the pretence of solving the ' world- 
riddle ' by her means alone is a mere echo of 
youthful enthusiasm ; and only our half-educated 
public, which founded the ' League of Monists ' 
two years ago, now listen to cant of this kind." 

The next letter is from Mr. J. Butler Burke. 

Mr. J. Butler Burke, M.A. (Cambridge and 
Dublin), formerly lecturer at Mason College, Bir- 
mingham ; and Berkeley Fellow of Owens College, 
Manchester ; has lectured on his special work 
"The Origin of Life" throughout Great Britain. 
Mr. Burke's theories were, in 1905, fully discussed 
in scientific circles and in the Daily Chronicle. He 

1 " Life and Matter " (sixpenny reprint, 2nd ed.), p. 28. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 81 

is the author of "The Origin of Life" (1906), and 
many papers connected with his branch of study. 
In response to the inquiry he says : 

"The subject of religion is a deep and solemn 
one ; and Science, such as we know it, particularly 
in its relation to the problems of life and mind, is 
still in its infancy, so that I am sure that you will 
forgive me if I say that such contradictions as may 
be found between the truths of revelation as we 
understand, or misunderstand, them and those of 
Science as we know them, may yet after all be 
found to be merely apparent and not real 
anomalies." 

Professor Gerald Leighton, M.D., Professor of 
Pathology and Bacteriology at the Royal Veterinary 
College, Edinburgh ; founded, in 1902, The Field 
Naturalists' Quarterly. He is Fellow of the Physi- 
cal and other scientific societies ; and author of 
many papers on zoology, biology, and pathology. 
He writes: 

" I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 24th 
inst. The questions you ask me to answer are 
so large that it would take a volume to do so. 
Indeed, I have myself endeavoured to express my 
views on those questions in a book of my own. 

" I may say that both of the statements which 
you quote in your letter to me, as having been 
made by a lecturer you heard, appear to me to 
be inaccurate. I do not believe that there can be 
any opposition between the essential teaching of 
Christianity and the teaching of the facts of Science. 
There may be, and at times there are, modes of 
presenting the truths of Christianity and the truths 

7 



82 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

of Science which to superficial observers may 
appear antagonistic. 

"My own experience of such eminent men as 
I have happened to meet has not been that they 
are irreligious or anti-Christian, but quite the 
contrary ; though, of course, it may be perfectly 
true that few, if any, could be called precisely 
orthodox. One has only to mention the name 
of such a man as Sir Oliver Lodge to indicate 
that the trend of scientific thought to-day is towards 
the establishment of what might be called a 
scientific Christianity, and in my humble judgment 
the tendency is to bring into closer relationship 
the truths of both Science and Christianity, rather 
than the contrary." 

Professor Leighton's book is entitled "The 
Greatest Life " (Duckworth & Co.). In chapter xviii. 
he treats of " The Science in Christianity." 

Professor R. Ramsay Wright, F.R.S., F.Z.S., 
Vice-President of the University of Toronto since 
1901 and Professor of Biology there since 1887, has 
written many memoirs on zoological and anato- 
mical questions, and is Fellow of several scientific 
societies. He replies : 

"In answer to your letter, I beg to say that 
in my opinion there is no real conflict between 
the facts of Science and the essential teachings 
of Christianity, and that it has not been my 
experience to find eminent men of science either 
irreligious or anti-Christian." 

Professor Adam Sedgwick, M.A., Professor of 
Zoology at the Imperial College of Science and 
Technology ; late Professor of Zoology at the 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 83 

University of Cambridge ; formerly Reader in 
Morphology in that University ; President of the 
Zoological Section, British Association, 1899 ; 
Fellow of the Royal and other scientific bodies, 
answered the questions thus : 

"You are quite right. There is no antagonism 
between Religion and Science. 

" On reading your letter the names of my great- 
uncle, the late Woodwardian Professor of Geology 
here, of Sir George Stokes, and of Lord Kelvin 
all most distinguished men of science and earnest 
Christians at once occurred to me. Sedgwick 
died in 1873, Stokes three or four years ago, and 
Lord Kelvin last year. 

" I may also call your attention to the concluding 
words of Sir Ray Lankester in his British Associa- 
tion Address at York in 1906. He then said : 

" ' It is not true that there is an essential antago- 
nism between the scientific spirit and what is called 
the religious sentiment. " Religion," said Bishop 
Creighton, " means the knowledge of our destiny 
and of the means of fulfilling it." We can say no 
more and no less of Science. Men of science seek, 
in all reverence, to discover the Almighty, the Ever- 
lasting. They claim sympathy and friendship with 
those who, like themselves, have turned away from 
the more material struggles of human life, and have 
set their hearts and minds on the knowledge of 
the Eternal.'" 

Professor George Carpenter, Professor of Zoology 
at the Royal College of Science, Dublin, since 
1904 ; Assistant Naturalist in the Dublin Museum, 
1888, where he worked at Zoological collections till 



84 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

1904. He is the author of " Insects : their Struc- 
ture and Life " ; has contributed important papers 
to the journals of the Linnean and Microscopical 
Societies, and also to various periodicals. He 
sends the following letter : 

" I am much interested in your letter, and if you 
think that what I write in reply can be of any help 
or service to any one, you have full liberty to make 
any use that you please of it. 

" There is no conflict ' between the fundamental 
teachings of Christianity and the established facts 
of natural science/ because the former deal with 
man's apprehension of God through Christ, and 
the latter with man's comprehension of the physical 
universe, of which, bodily, he forms a part, and yet 
from which he can mentally hold himself aloof. 
The supposed conflict has arisen from the tendency 
of religious persons to dogmatise on questions of 
natural phenomena with which it seems to them 
that religion is intimately bound up ; and from 
the tendency of many scientific thinkers to try to 
explain all mental and spiritual phenomena in 
terms of physics and biology. For example, 
there are pious people who think it necessary 
to believe that bats are 'unclean birds' and that 
the 'coney' chews the cud, because they cannot 
separate the fundamental teachings of the Gospel 
from an impossible theory about the inspiration 
of the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are 
physiologists who try to explain the facts of 
revelation and conversion in terms of molecular 
motion. 

" We must not forget that the teachings of 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 85 

Christianity come to us in connection with great 
historical events, and in the interpretation of these 
events the methods of scientific research have a 
legitimate place. There will be a difference of 
attitude according as the apprehension of the 
unique personality of Christ makes material 
phenomena seem of minor importance in His 
presence, or as the conviction that what we call 
' miracles' cannot be established by testimony 
leads to a sceptical attitude. Thus there may be 
a conflict with scientific theory or supposition, 
though not with scientific fact. 

"It cannot be denied that there is less antagonism 
now between scientific men and religious teachers 
than there was twenty or thirty years ago. 
The latter are leaving biological and physical 
questions to students of science, while men of 
science, even if not professedly Christian, are often 
as sympathetic as they can conscientiously be to 
Christianity. Many of my scientific friends are 
known to me as earnest Christians. Those who 
are not, seem to me to turn away sadly and 
reluctantly rather like the young man with 'great 
possessions ' than like the ' irreligious ' persons. 

"While it is vain to separate Christian teaching 
from historical fact, it is necessary to insist that 
Christianity is an experimental religion, and here 
we find its harmony with scientific teaching. ' If 
any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of 
the doctrine.' Personal experience of Christ's 
power to save and help is the supreme test." 

In a subsequent letter, Professor Carpenter refers 
to the fact that the elucidation of the secrets of 



86 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Nature and a wider and more complete scientific 
knowledge did not lead such men as Kitchen 
Parker and Flower to reject Christianity. 

Sir William Flower's letter, as the reader knows, 
appears on a former page, and Professor William 
Kitchen Parker whom Professor Carpenter calls 
" a great comparative anatomist "-~in criticising an 
agnostic work, confessed that : 

"All through these fifty years 'the joy of the 
Lord has been my strength,' and the supposed 
old wives' fables and cunningly contrived decep- 
tions of the four Gospels, which according to ... 
it is immoral to believe, these supposed inventions 
of those old Jews have been the strength of my life 
they have lifted up my mind. As for the know- 
ledge of modern Science, it is only ignorance with 
its eyes open. Constructive geniuses, like the fine 
fellow just named, can build you up any number 
of Summer Palaces of thought, but they are as thin 
and weak as gossamer. 

" The smallest organic creature has the stamp of 
infinity upon it. I shall know what a primrose is 
when I see it in the light of the face of its Maker. 
Now, it is a normally miraculous link in a practi- 
cally infinite chain of normally-miraculous living 
creatures." * 

And Sir Richard Owen, 2 probably the greatest 
anatomist of the nineteenth century, is also 
mentioned by Professor Carpenter. He was a 
convinced Christian and saw nothing in scientific 

1 " Biographical Sketch " (p. 125) by his son, T. Jeffrey 
Parker. 
a Died December, 1892. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 87 

truth inimical to the Christian faith. In an 
address before the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion, he asked his " fellow-Christians" : 

" Has aught that is essentially Christian suffered 
have its truths ceased to spread and operate in 
mankind since physical doctrines, supposed or 
' declared contrary to Holy Writ/ have been 
eatablished ? 

" Allay, then, your fears, and trust in the Author 
of all truth, who has decreed that it shall never 
perish ; who has given a power to man to acquire 
that most precious of his possessions with an 
intellectual nature that will ultimately rest upon 
due demonstrative evidence." 

Dr. Sidney F. Harmer, Keeper of Zoology in the 
Natural History Department of the British Museum ; 
formerly Superintendent of University Museum of 
Zoology, and Lecturer in Natural Science, King's 
College, Cambridge ; is joint editor of the " Cam- 
bridge Natural History " ; and is a Fellow of the 
Royal and Zoological Societies. 

Dr. Harmer writes that he has no objection to the 
inclusion of " my name in a list of those who have 
expressed the opinion that there is no real conflict 
between the facts of science and the essential teach- 
ings of the Christian religion." 

Dr. Francis H. H. Guillemard, M.A., zoologist ; 
has travelled in practically all European countries 
in connection with his scientific work ; Geo- 
graphical Editor of the Cambridge University 
Press ; Member of the Council of the Royal 
Geographical Society ; has written many papers 
which appear in the Proceedings of the Zoological 



88 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Society; has also made contributions to medical 
literature and to the Quarterly and Blackwood 
Magazines ; and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. 
He, in response, says : 

" I am too busy to reply at length to your 
inquiry, but I think your conclusion that ' between 
the established facts of Science and the funda- 
mental teachings of Christianity there is no real 
antagonism ' is correct. 

" I have always found the difficulties to be of 
man's creating the absurdities of the Athanasian 
Creed, the taking of Genesis quite literally, and so 
forth." 

Mr. Aubyn Trevor- Battye, M.A., zoologist ; has 
travelled in America, North Africa, Russia, and 
other countries for exploration and to study Natural 
History ; was zoologist to the Conway Expedi- 
tion, 1896 ; and is Fellow of the Linnean, Zoo- 
logical, and Royal Geographical Societies. He 
writes : 

" I am just starting for abroad. But if you 
will consult Dr. Temple's Bampton Lectures on 
Science and Religion you will get a far better and 
wiser answer to your difficulties than any I could 
give you." 

One passage from the Lectures to which Mr. 
Trevor-Battye refers will be sufficient to give an 
adequate idea of what the late Archbishop 
thought concerning these great themes. He said 
(Lecture VII.) : 

"The students of the Bible will certainly learn 
that Revelation need not fear the discoveries 
of Science, not even such doctrines as that of 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 89 

Evolution. And students of Nature will certainly 
learn that Science has nothing to fear from 
Revelation, not even from the claim to miraculous 
power. For most certainly both Science and 
Revelation come from one and the same God." 

Professor Henry Mackintosh, M.A., Professor of 
Zoology, 1879, and of Comparative Anatomy since 
1884 in Dublin University, answers : 

" In reply to yours of the 3oth ult. The more 
I study the Bible (the foundation of all real 
religion) the more convinced I am of its Divine 
origin and authority ; and the more I study that 
part of creation with which my profession brings 
me most in contact, the more convinced I am 
that creation can be accounted for only on the 
assumption of an intelligent Creator transcending 
in a measureless degree anything else we know. 
The knowledge of the mind and character of the 
Author of the Book and the Creator of the system 
which can be gained by a study of both along 
the right lines leaves not the shadow of a doubt 
that both must be in perfect harmony ; and that 
the discords which at present seem discernible 
are due to our ignorance, and will disappear as 
we learn to think more accurately. 

" In my judgment there cannot be a conflict 
between Religion and Science, since both are of 
God, and He is incapable of error. 

" The so-called conflicts are, as you quite rightly 
say, antagonisms between the theories of the theo- 
logists who do not know science, and men of 
science who do not know religion. 

"That there are irreligious men of science is 



9 o RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

unhappily true, but the same thing is true of men 
in other paths of life. That there are, and have 
been, men of science who are believers in religion 
is so true that the man who asserts the contrary 
only convicts himself of crass ignorance." 

Another Professor of Zoology writes : 

"The statements of ' anti-religious ' lecturers are 
hardly worth consideration. It is useless to dis- 
charge a gun to kill a fly." 

Dr. Augustus Waller, M.D., distinguished physio- 
logist ; Director of the Physiological Laboratory, 
University of London ; Corresponding Member of 
the Societe de Biologic, Paris ; of the Physio- 
logical Society, Moscow ; of the Royal Academies 
of Medicine of Rome and of Belgium ; is also 
Fellow of the Royal and other scientific bodies 
in Great Britain ; and author of several trea- 
tises on Physiology and kindred sciences. He 
says : 

"I certainly agree in your conclusion that be- 
tween 'the established facts of science and the 
fundamental teachings of Christianity' there is no 
real antagonism. I also agree that eminent men 
of science, are not, as a rule, irreligious or anti- 
Christian. 

" Most men of science realise the limited scope 
of positive science, and recognise that the final 
problems of the universe are beyond its reach." 

Professor William Stirling, M.D., Professor of 
Physiology and Histology, and Dean of the Faculty 
of Medicine, Victoria University, Manchester ; 
Fullerian Professor of Physiology at the Royal 
Institution, London ; formerly Assistant to the 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 91 

Regius Professor of Natural History, Edinburgh 
University; and Regius Professor of the Institute 
of Medicine, University of Aberdeen. He has 
written various works on Physiology and Histology : 
and is a D.Sc., and LL.D. He writes : 

" I am favoured with your note of the I3th inst. 
So far as my observation goes it has always seemed 
to me that scientific men are both reverent and 
religious in the best sense of the words." 

Dr. W. M. Bayliss, M.A., Physiologist ; is Assis- 
tant Professor at the University of London ; 
Secretary Physiological Society ; has published 
numerous articles on physiological subjects in the 
Journal of Physiology and other scientific journals ; 
is a Doctor of Science and Fellow of the Royal 
Society. He says : 

" I can easily answer your questions. I can see 
no real antagonism between the fundamental teach- 
ings of Christianity and the established facts of 
science. 

" My experience has been to find men of science 
as a rule more truly religious than a large number 
of orthodox believers. A few may be anti-Christian, 
but it seems to me that this attitude is towards the 
unfounded pretentions of certain parties, especially 
in the Middle Ages." i 

Sir William Turner, F.R.S., Principal and Vice- 
Chancellor of Edinburgh University since 1903 ; 
Professor of Anatomy there, 1854-67 ; President of 
the British Association, 1900 ; Member of the 
General Medical Council, 1873-1905, and President 
1898-1904 ; Editor of the Journal of Anatomy and 
Physiology ; has been presented with doctorates 



92 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

by the principal Universities of Great Britain ; is 
one of the greatest of living anatomists. 

In reply to the questions submitted, Sir William 
Turner sent a report of a lecture, delivered at the 
Young Men's Christian Association, Edinburgh, by 
Professor Crum Brown. The lecture, with which 
Sir William is doubtless in agreement, contains 
these words : 

" When anybody told them that modern learn- 
ing and science were opposed to religion and 
Christianity, they might assure that person, from 
their own experience, that it was not the case. 
Those who scoffed at Associations such as theirs 
knew in their hearts that the members of the 
Association were right." 

Sir William J. Collins, M.D., a famous oculist ; 
was Demonstrator of Anatomy at St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital ; served on Royal Vivisection and other 
Commissions ; President, 1902-04, of the Medico- 
Legal Society; Hibbert Trustee; author of "Spinoza," 
"The Man v. the Microbe," "Physic v. Meta- 
physic," and various scientific memoirs. He 
answers thus : 

" In reply to your note, I have generally found 
a materialistic conception of the universe indicative 
of a third or fourth rate man of science. 

"The ablest scientists generally incline to 
idealism rather than materialism, and if not 
devout believers, at least are reverently cautious 
in dogmatising on matters of religion." 

Sir William Church, M.D., President of the Royal 
College of Physicians, 1899-1905 ; Lecturer in 
Comparative Anatomy at St. Bartholomew's Hos- 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 93 

pital ; Lee's Reader in Anatomy at Christ Church, 
Oxford ; has received many degrees and doctorates. 
He writes : 

"The object of Science is the search for Truth. 
God is Truth. In my opinion the seekers for 
truth are among the most religious and devout 
of men, although they may refuse to subscribe 
to what are called the ' dogmas ' of the Christian 
faith. 

" You must make a distinction between men 
of science and men who apply the knowledge of 
the scientific discoveries of the times to the arts 
and needs of man." 

Professor John Cleland, M.D., Professor of 
Anatomy, since 1877, m * ne Glasgow University ; 
Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Queen's 
College, Gal way, 1863-77 ; author of many works 
and memoirs dealing with physiology, pathology 
and anatomy, e.g., "Animal Physiology," "Cell 
Life and Pathology"; Doctor of Science and 
Doctor of Laws, answers as follows : 

" I have given your letter a very careful perusal. 
... I have no hesitation in agreeing with you 
that while there are theological dogmas held by 
many which are contrary to scientifically ascer- 
tained fact, there is, and I shall add there can be, 
no real antagonism between the teaching of Christ 
and the teachings of Science." 

Professor John Yule Mackay, M.D., Principal 
since 1897, and Professor of Anatomy since 1894, 
at University College, Dundee ; Senior Demon- 
strator in Anatomy and Lecturer in Embryology, 
in the University of Glasgow ; has written on 



94 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

morphological and anatomical questions, and has 
also collaborated with Professor Cleland. He 
says : 

" I thoroughly agree with the opinion expressed 
in your letter of the iQth inst., that there is no 
real conflict between the essential truths of 
Christianity and the facts of Science. 

" It has not been my experience to find emi- 
nent men of Science either irreligious or anti- 
Christian." 

Professor Bertram C. A. Windle, M.A., M.D., 
anatomist ; President of Queen's College, Cork ; 
late Dean of the Medical Faculty and Professor 
of Anatomy and Anthropology at the University 
of Birmingham ; formerly member of the Con- 
sultative Committee of the Board of Education ; 
has been Examiner in Anatomy in the Universities 
of Cambridge, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Durham, and 
at the Royal College of Physicians, London ; is 
the author of several scientific works including 
"Vitalism and Neo-Vitalism " ; is D.Sc., LL.D., 
and F.R.S. He replies : 

" I entirely agree with you that there is no real 
antagonism between the facts of Science and 
Religion as properly understood. Also I can assure 
you that there are quite a number of men who 
might fairly claim to have done a reasonable 
amount of work who are also firm believers in 
the truths of Christianity." 

With his reply Professor Windle enclosed a copy 
of a lecture, from which the following passages 
are quoted : 

" There are five of these units," he says in 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 95 

speaking of electricity, "the Volt, the Ampere, 
the Coulomb, the Ohm, and the Farad. How are 
these terms derived, and what do they signify ? 
Well, in the first place, each of them is the whole 
or the part of a man's name. . . . We may dispose 
at once of the Ohm, which is the unit of resistance, 
and of Farad, which is that of capacity, since 
neither Ohm nor that great man, Michael Faraday, 
were Catholics. But all the other three belong to 
us." * 

To his lecture Professor Windle adds a note 
stating that there is evidence for thinking that 
Ohm was a Catholic. While Faraday, the prince 
of experimentalists, was a deeply religious man 
who belonged to "a very small sect known, if 
known at all, as the Sandemanians " (Tyndall's 
"Fragments of Science," vol. ii.). 

Turning to another branch of Science the 
Professor said : 

"Everybody has heard of the Rontgen rays, 
and most people have either seen them or at 
least the radiographs which they produce, but 
probably few know that the discoverer of these 
rays is a faithful son of the Church." 2 

With regard to Pasteur and his work, Professor 
Windle said : 

"At any rate, no sane person doubts the great 
scientific interest and the enormous practical im- 
portance of Pasteur's work. Nor does any person 
who knows anything about him doubt the sincerity 
of his attachment to the Catholic Faith." 3 

1 " Some Debts which Science owes to Catholics," p. 4. 

2 Ibid. p. 5. 3 Ibid. p. 7. 



96 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Touching the question of the origin of life, 
Professor Windle told his hearers : 

"So much for this great controversy, in which, 
as I have tried to show, Catholic names have been 
prominent from the earliest to the latest times, for 
Mr. Butler Burke, the author of the latest unsuc- 
cessful attempt to prove abiogenesis, is also a 
member of our Faith." * 

Then, with regard to Mendel, the great biologist, 
of "Mendel's Law" fame, Professor Windle asks : 

" But who, after all, is this Mendel of whom 
there is so much talk, around whose discoveries 
or theories all this scientific controversy rages ? 
Well, Mendel was a monk, and ended his days 
as Abbot of the Augustinian Abbey of Briinn, and 
it was in the gardens of this Abbey that his 
classical experiments were carried out." 2 

Sir Samuel Wilks, past-President of the Royal 
College of Physicians ; sometime Curator of the 
Museum and Lecturer on Pathology at Guy's 
Hospital ; Member of the Medical Council, 1887 ; 
Member of the Senate of the London University, 
1885 ; Member of the Royal Commission on Con- 
tagious Diseases, 1870 ; author of " Lectures on 
Pathological and Anatomical Questions." 

Sir Samuel Wilks's conclusion is found in the 
oration he delivered some years ago. It appears 
here with his consent : 

" Hear what a learned professor of anatomy, 
Wendell Holmes, can say : ' Science represents the 
thought of God discovered by man ; by learning 

1 "Some Debts which Science owes to Catholics," p. 8. 
a Ibid. p. 10. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 97 

the natural laws he attaches effects to their first 
cause, the will of the Creator/ or in the poetic 
language of Goethe : ' Nature is the living garment 
of God/ * 

" Science conducts us through infinite paths ; it 
is a fruitful pursuit for the most poetic imagination. 
We take the world as we find it, and endeavour 
to unravel its mysteries ; but the Alpha and Omega 
we know not. Enough for us to look at what is 
lying round us ; it is a part we see and not the 
whole, but we can say with the poet, ' we doubt 
not, through the ages one increasing purpose 
runs.' " 2 

Professor G. Sims Woodhead, M.A., Professor of 
Pathology in the University of Cambridge since 
1889 ; formerly Director of the Laboratories of the 
Conjoint Board of the Royal College of Physicians 
(London) and Surgeons (England) ; taught anatomy 
and pathology and carried on original investigations 
in the Minto House School of Medicine, at the 
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Royal In- 
firmary, and the Laboratory of the Royal College of 
Physicians, Edinburgh, 1879-90 ; Member of the 
Royal Commission on Tuberculosis, 1902 ; Editor 
of the Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology. He 
answers that : 

" As regards the statement that ' recent scientific 

research has shown the Bible and Religion to be 

untrue/ nothing is further from the real fact ; the 

more the Bible is tested the more it is found to be 

made up of historical documents. Moreover, it is 

recognised that the Bible, as a record of truths, 

1 " Harveian Oration," p. 46. 3 Ibid. p. 55. 

8 



98 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

never falls foul of Science in its search after truth, 
and scientific men are too true to themselves to take 
the stand that they will not accept truth of any kind. 

" I agree with you that certain theories put 
forward in the name of Science may be opposed 
to certain theological dogmas ; but men are certainly 
coming to see that between the facts of Science and 
the essential teachings of the, Christian religion 
there is never any real opposition ; and by the 
' Christian Religion ' I mean the religion of Christ, 
not what some people have wished to read into it, 
and by ' science ' I mean a search for truth and 
knowledge, and by ' men of science ' I mean men 
engaged in that search." 

Sir Thomas Barlow, M.D., Physician to his 
Majesty's Household ; Holmes Professor of Clinical 
Medicine to the Medical School, University College 
Hospital ; Member of the Clinical, Royal, Patho- 
logical, and other Scientific Societies ; Doctor of 
Science; and LL.D. (Aberdeen, Harvard, McGill 
University, Montreal, and Toronto), replies thus : 

" I think your view is sound. It is my own 
conviction." 

Sir Patrick Manson, M.D., distinguished Parasit- 
ologist ; Physician and Medical Adviser to the 
Colonial Office; was the first to advance the hypo- 
thesis that the mosquito was the host of the malarial 
parasite at one stage of its existence, and was con- 
sequently an active agent in diffusing the disease ; 
has written many scientific papers dealing with 
tropical diseases. He, in answer to the inquiry, 
says : 

(t In reply to your letter I can say without hesita- 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 99 

tion that of all men the true man of science (neces- 
sarily the most humble of men) is also the most 
religious. Although he may not be able to accept 
all the ecclesiastical views and doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, he is rarely an anti-Christian, often a 
Christian." 

Professor D. H. Scott, M.A., Botanist ; Professor 
of Botany in the University College, London, 
1882-5, and the Royal College of Science, London, 
1885-92 ; President of the Botanical Section of the 
British Association, 1896 ; President of the Linnean 
Society ; President of the Microscopical Society, 
1904-6 ; Honorary Keeper, Jodrell Laboratory, 
Royal Gardens, Kew, 1892-1906 ; author of many 
works on botanical subjects ; is a Doctor of Phil- 
osophy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He 
writes : 

"In my own branch of science botany the 
questions referred to in your letter do not arise, 
and we are unaffected by the supposed opposition 
between Science and Theology. From what I 
have seen otherwise, I am quite in agreement with 
what you say. 

" Scientific men, as far as I have found, are 
divided on these questions much as is the case with 
other people." 

Professor ]. Reynolds Green, Hartley Lecturer in 
Vegetable Physiology at the University of Liver- 
pool ; late Senior Demonstrator in Physiology 
at Cambridge University ; Professor of Botany, 
Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 1887- 
1907 ; President of the Botanical Section of the 
British Association, 1902 ; has written among other 



ioo RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

works, " Introduction to Vegetable Physiology " 
and "A Manual of Botany." He is a Doctor of 
Science and a Fellow of the Linnean and the 
Royal Societies. In answer to the questions 
he says: 

" I see nothing irreconcilable between Christianity 
and scientific truth." 

Professor George S. Boulger, Professor of Natural 
History at the Royal Agricultural College, Ciren- 
cester, 1876; Hon. Professor, 1906; Professor of 
Botany and Geology, City of London College since 
1884; is Vice- President of the Selborne Society; 
Fellow of the Linnean, Geological, and other learned 
Societies; author of " Familiar Trees," "Wood," 
"Elementary Geology," and Editor of "Nature 
Notes." He writes : 

"You quote a lecturer as saying that 'no 
scientists to-day are Christians.' 1 This is a lie, a 
monstrous lie ; and if the speaker had taken, as 
before making such an assertion he was in duty 
bound to take, the least trouble to inquire, he must 
have known that it was a lie. Among ministers of 
Christ alone, men who by the office which they 
hold ' profess and call themselves Christians,' are 
not a few differing widely in the details of their 
theological beliefs who are eminent in many 
different branches of science. Among those now 
living, or deceased within the last few years, I recall 
chemists, astronomers, geologists, botanists, zoolo- 
gists, anthropologists, linguists, historians, and 
archaeologists. I might mention Fathers Perry and 

i This assertion was made by a " Freethought " lecturer in 
the spring of 1909. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 101 

Gerard, of Stonyhurst ; Father Secchi, the seismolo- 
gist ; the late Rev. Professor Pritchard, of Oxford ; 
the Rev. Professor George Henslow ; the Rev. T. R. 
Stebbing, F.R.S. ; the Rev. R. Ashington Bullen, 
F.L.S. ; the late Principal Gurney, of Newcastle, the 
crystallographer ; the Rev. Canon Bonney, ex- Presi- 
dent of the Geological Society ; the Rev. Sir George 
Cox ; the Rev. Canon Rawlinson ; the Rev. Dom 
Gasquet ; and the late Canon Stubbs. Were I to 
include the laity I could, of course, name many 
more, many professionally connected with science 
which must in most cases be merely a leisure- 
time hobby for the clergy. Miss Clerke, the 
astronomer; Dr. ]. H. Gladstone, F.R.S., Fullerian 
Professor of Chemistry ; Sir George Stokes ; Pro- 
fessor Windle ; Professor E. Hull, F.R.S., F.G.S. ; 
and the late Professor E. A. Freeman are only a 
few of the names that occur to me. 

" You, however, further quote another speaker as 
making the very different statement that ' leading 
men of science are irreligious or anti-Christian.' I 
note that he does not say ' the leading men ' to 
which I might have taken exception ; but both in 
this statement and in your question based upon it, 
as to whether I ' have found men of science irre- 
ligious and anti-Christian,' two very different 
topics are confused. I have found many men 
of science some prominent men of science 
entirely absorbed in their scientific researches so 
as to be fairly termed ' irreligious,' as I have known 
men in other walks of life literary or commercial 
for example. Leading men of science, however, 
have generally sufficient breadth of view to feel an 



102 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

intellectual compulsion to grapple with the pro- 
foundest problems of life and mind apart from their 
own special lines of investigation. They, therefore, 
publicly or privately range themselves in one camp 
or the other. As I know eminent scientific men 
who are Jews and Unitarians I certainly do not 
expect to find them all Christians ; but that does 
not imply that they are irreligious, or precisely 
anti-Christian, because non-Christian. In the last 
generation, the triumphant achievements of induc- 
tive physical science caused some men of the 
greatest scientific eminence to lose their heads, so 
to speak, to confuse phenomena with noumena, to 
exaggerate the possibilities of scientific achievement 
and to become not only deductive in their reason- 
ing but dogmatic beyond the reach of reason. It 
is, I think, accurate to class Huxley, Haeckel, and 
perhaps Tyndall, as leading men of science who 
are anti-Christian. Their form of philosophy is 
very largely that materialism which the most pro- 
found thinker of their own time, and, to a great 
extent, of their own school, Herbert Spencer, 
condemned as unphilosophical. Some of the more 
recent discoveries in physical and chemical science 
have, I think, had a sobering effect ; so that not 
only is the unexplored extent of what Newton 
reverently recognised as ' the great ocean of truth ' 
now acknowledged, but also the impassable limita- 
tions of all future science. I doubt, therefore, if 
any leading exponent of physical science to-day 
would dare, on professedly scientific grounds, to 
oppose the fundamental spiritual basis of Chris- 
tianity. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 103 

"That, as you say, certain ' conjectures advanced 
in the name of science are opposed to certain 
theological dogmas' may well be true, as dog- 
matic assertions have been and are being made, 
'in the name of science,' which contradict almost 
every leading conclusion of the majority of men of 
science ; but conjectures, however valuable they 
may be as ' working hypotheses,' will never justify 
dogmatism on any side. 

" You then ask me the directly personal question 
as to whether, in my opinion, there is any real 
conflict between the facts of science and the 
essential truths of Christianity. In answering this 
question I must first premise that I can only 
presume to speak for myself from my own 
mental temperament, my own studies, and the 
perception of the two classes of truths vouch- 
safed to me. In philosophy, in physics, and in 
astronomy I am content to place myself on the 
side of Bacon, of Newton, of Napoleon. I believe, 
with Bacon, that ' a little Philosophy inclineth Mans 
Minde to Atheisme ; but depth in Philosophy 
bringeth Men's Mindes about to Religion.' With 
Newton I am content to ' seem to have been only 
like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting 
myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble 
or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great 
ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me/ 
With Napoleon not a man of science but a man 
of the world, a man of action I would say to our 
neo-Epicureans as he did to his sceptical officers, 
pointing to the stars, ' Gentlemen, you may talk all 
night, but who made all these ? ' 



io 4 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" I am perfectly aware of the temptation of the 
physiological laboratory, when one is face to face 
with the facts of the localisation of brain-functions 
and the influence of purely physical conditions 
upon mentality, until one is almost led to Buch- 
ner's gross misstatement that 'the brain secretes 
thought as the liver secretes bile ' ; but here, as ever, 
it is at the very base of the problem that the 
unsolved mystery shows itself insoluble. Force, 
Matter, Life, Thought, Will, what are they, whence 
come they ? Science deals with their phenomena, 
their manifestations. With John Ray I would term 
the study of nature a pious duty, one suited to a 
Sabbath day and not improbably one of the main 
occupations of the endless Sabbaths hereafter. But 
true science will never presume to say that it can 
deal with anything beyond these phenomena. As 
I am convinced that the Christian Faith is a Divine 
revelation as I am that ' Nature ' is the creation of 
the Divine First Cause, it is, of course, to me 
unthinkable that there could be any conflict be- 
tween them." 

James Britten, F.L.S., Senior Assistant in the 
Department of Botany at the British Museum from 
1871 ; Assistant in Kew Herbarium, 1869 ; author 
of " European Ferns " ; editor of Nature Notes, 
1890-97 ; and, since 1880, writer of many contri- 
butions to Journal of Botany. He states : 

" So far as I am aware there is no necessary 
antagonism between Christianity and Science." 

Sir Clements S. R. Markham, F.R.S., Past Presi- 
dent of the Royal Geographical Society and of the 
International Geographical Congress, 1894-99 ; 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 105 

Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, 1863- 
88 ; Secretary of the Hakluyt Society, 1858-87 ; 
and a great traveller, writes : 

" In replying to your letter, I can only speak from 
personal knowledge. 

"There is no real opposition between the facts of 
science and the essential truths of Christianity. Of 
that I am quite confident. 

" I have had a large acquaintance among men of 
science extending over many years, and I have not 
found them to be irreligious or anti-Christian. 
Some that I have known, like Sir Charles Lyell, 
Professor Owen, and the late Sir William Flower 
were eminently religious. I believe the same may 
be said of the geologists Murchison and Phillips ; 
of the greatest astronomers, and of the naturalists 
Hooker, Mivart, and others." 

Professor A. H. Keane, for many years Emeritus 
Professor of Hindustani, University College, Lon- 
don ; a great traveller and author of many works 
on Anthropology, Ethnology, and kindred sciences, 
writes that he does not think that "Christianity" 
and " Science " are reconcilable. He, however, 
calls attention to his "Ethnology," where he 
discusses the respective theories of the advent of 
man and, having decided in favour of Evolution, 
affirms : 

" This attitude towards creative agency leaves 
science unshackled, and gives a free hand to the 
biologist within the limits of the existing order, 
without prejudice to dogmatic preconception, with- 
out offence to extremists on either side. It has the 
further advantage of obviating the irreverent and 



io6 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

unorthodox introduction of the Ens Supremum, with 
Cuvier and other supernaturalists, to account for 
every successive change in the animal series, or 
else of needlessly and rashly abolishing the Ens 
Supremum altogether, with the presumptuous 
modern materialistic school. Natural philosophy 
is not called upon to solve, or indeed to deal with 
at all, these transcendental questions, which may 
well be left to metaphysicians and theologians. It 
has certainly no right to dogmatise over subjects 
beyond its sphere, about which it can never know 
anything, although it may justly claim the right to 
dispense with the aid of creative force within the 
limits of legitimate speculation. In this middle 
course would seem to be the true ultimate * recon- 
ciliation of Science and Religion.' " I 

In a footnote Professor Keane thus explains the 
terms "irreverent" and "unorthodox": 

"Irreverent, because such implied bungling and 
tentative efforts to arrive at more perfect types of 
organic life are derogatory to Infinite Wisdom ; 
unorthodox, because multi-creation is not warranted 
by, but opposed to, Scripture, which speaks only of 
the creative acts within the biological horizon two 
for the vegetable and animal kingdoms, and one for 
man." 

Sir Edward Bradbrook, President of the Anthro- 
pological Institute, 1895-97 ; President of H 
(Anthropological) Section, 1898, and F (Economics) 
Section, 1903, British Association ; President of the 
Folklore Society, 1901-2; Foreign Associate of 
the Society of Anthropology, Paris, sent a copy of 
1 " Ethnology," pp. 28-30. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 107 

his British Association address. In it he expresses 
himself thus : 

"If it be true that the order of the Universe is 
expressed in continuity and not in cataclysm, we 
shall find the same slow but sure progress evident 
in each branch of inquiry. . . . This principle has, 
as I understand, been fully accepted in geology and 
biology, and throughout the domain of physical 
science what should hinder its application to 
Anthropology? It supplies a formula of universal 
validity, and cannot but add force and sublimity to 
our imagination of the wisdom of the Creator. It 
is little more than has been expressed in the familiar 
words of Tennyson : 

"'Yet I doubt not thro' the ages one increasing purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widen'd with the process 
of the suns/ 

and supports his claim to be 'the heir of all the 
ages, in the foremost files of time/ x 

"What more cogent evidence of Christianity can 
you have than its existence ? It stands to-day as 
the religion which, in most civilised countries, 
represents that which has been found by the 
operation of natural laws to be best suited for the 
present circumstances of mankind. You are a 
Christian because you cannot help it. Turn 
Mohammedan to-morrow will you stop the spread 
of Christianity ? Your individual renunciation of 
Christianity will be but a ripple on the wave. 
Civilised mankind holds to Christianity, and cannot 
1 " Address to the Anthropological Section," p. 2. 



io8 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

but do so till it can find something better. This, it 
seems to me, is a stronger evidence of Christianity 
than any of the loose-jointed arguments I find in 
evidential literature. 

" Upon this thorny subject I will say no more. I 
would not have said so much, but that I wish to 
show that these considerations are not inconsistent 
with the respect I entertain, and desire now as 
always to express, for those feelings and sentiments 
which are esteemed to be precious by the great 
majority of mankind, which solace them under the 
adversities of life and nerve them for the approach 
of death, and which stimulate them to works of 
self-sacrifice and charity that have conferred untold 
blessings on humanity. I reverence the divine 
Founder of Christianity all the more when I think 
of Him as one who so well 'knew what was in 
man ' as to build upon ideas and yearnings that 
had grown in man's mind from the earliest infancy 
of the race." * 

Another eminent anthropologist and ethnologist 
writes that: 

" Leading men of science are no more irreligious 
than leading men in other activities. . . . Some 
form of religion appears to be a necessity for the 
vast bulk of mankind. The religion of Christ was 
one of the many expressions of this need. Christi- 
anity is one of several systems. I am of opinion 
these categories should be kept distinct in all 
discussions. 

" If you believe in a First Cause who has ordered 
the Universe, I fail to see how there can be any 
1 " Address to the Anthropological Section," p. 10. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 109 

discrepancy between His works and His thoughts. 
Science tries to understand the former, and religion 
(from one point of view) claims to interpret the 
latter." 

Sir Alexander R. Simpson, M.D., D.Sc., LL.D., 
formerly Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and 
Emeritus Professor of Midwifery in the University 
of Edinburgh, 1870-1905 ; was assistant for seven 
years to his uncle, Sir James Y. Simpson, the 
"discoverer of chloroform," and author of many 
memoirs on Gynaecology. He replies : 

"You are quite right. The established facts of 
science can never contradict the historical facts at 
the basis of Christianity. Men of science may or may 
not be Christians. Their utterances are good for 
what they are good for. But God is not to be seen 
through the telescope or microscope; and happily 
for them, many of the leaders of science in every age 
have attained to the knowledge of Him through the 
faith that apprehends Him. 

"The only statue in the quadrangle of the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh is that of Sir David Brewster, 
with a prism in his hand. When he died his 
daughter wrote a poem in which she tried to fancy 
his occupation in heaven, and asked 

" ' Has he solved the hues of the prism'd throne ? ' 
and so on, and concludes : 

" ' We see not, we see not ; but this we know. 
He has bowed his head with his honours low ; 
"Not mine, not mine," is his whisper meet 
As he casts his crown at his Saviour's feet.' 



no RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" In Westminster Abbey Lord Kelvin lies side by 
side with Sir Isaac Newton. It has been said that 
if all the men of science since Sir Isaac's day stood 
in a row between these two no head in all the line 
would touch a string stretched between the head of 
Newton and that of Kelvin. They were both con- 
fessed Christians. 

" To those who appreciate what St. Paul and St. 
John think of Christ it is of minor moment what 
any man of science thinks of Him. It is, however, 
of eternal importance to the man himself. 

" I post with this for your kind acceptance a copy 
of the Address to the Medical Graduates of 1905, 
with which I bade farewell to our University." 

One passage of the Address 1 by Professor Simpson 
is reproduced here : 

" I do not know in what mood of pessimism I 
might have stood before you to-day had it not been 
that ere the dew of youth had dried from off me I 
made friends with the Sinless Son of Man, who 
is the Well-head of the stream that vitalises all 
advancing civilisation, and who claims to be The 
First and The Last, and the Living One who was 
dead, and is alive for evermore, and has the keys of 
Death and the Unseen. My experience compels 
me to own that claim. For to me, as to the 
Reformers who founded this University, and to a 
countless throng throughout the centuries of all 
sorts and conditions of men, He has established a 
vivid and vivifying correspondence with our super- 
sensuous environment. He has made us ' see ' that 
at the heart of all things there is a Father's heart. 
1 " Religio Obstetric!," p. 7. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS in 

He has made us 'know' that in the complex play of 
circumstances the reins of progress are in the hands 
of a Circumstant who makes all things work together 
for our good." 

Sir James Young Simpson, whose name must 
always be remembered with feelings of deep grati- 
tude, was also a highly religious man and an 
earnest Christian worker. In his " Life," by his 
daughter, these words occur : 

" Speaking to his nephew Robert, he said : ' I 
have unshaken confidence in Jesus only. I have 
mixed a good deal with men of all shades of 
opinion. I have heard men of science and phil- 
osophy raise doubts and objections to the Gospel 
of Christianity, but I never for one moment had 
a doubt myself.' He was one who 

"'His God 

He cabins not in creeds ; 
And in the hearts of men he finds 
what no man finds in books.' 

He knew his Bible from cover to cover. It was 
his companion throughout life." x 

Sir J. Halliday Croom, M.D., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.P., 
F.R.S.E., Professor of Midwifery, Edinburgh Uni- 
versity, since 1905 ; past- President of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, Edinburgh ; late President of 
the Gynaecological Society ; and consulting Gynae- 
cologist, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, writes : 

" I have your letter of the i7th of April. I need 
scarcely say to you that I see no antagonism 
1 " Sir James Y. Simpson," p. 124, by Eve B. Simpson. 



H2 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

between the established facts of science and the 
fundamental teaching of Christ." 

Professor John W. Taylor, M.Sc., Professor of 
Gynecology, Birmingham University ; President 
of the British Gynaecology Society, 1904 ; and 
author of "The Diminishing Birth-rate" (1904), 
says : 

" I cannot arrogate to myself the position of any 
great scientific authority, and perhaps your letter 
to Birmingham had been better addressed to the 
Principal of our University, Sir Oliver Lodge, who 
is an acknowledged leader in science and intensely 
religious, though his Christianity may be un- 
orthodox. He himself is a sufficient answer to 
the charge that men of science are irreligious. 

"Obviously there can never be anything but 
a passing antagonism between true religion and 
true science because both are occupied with the 
search after Truth. The one deals mainly with 
the truth regarding this life and this world, the 
other mainly with that which is to come. 

" The facts of this world in the experience of 
one generation, or many generations, may be op- 
posed to the teaching of the Christian religion, 
as in the doctrine of the Incarnation and the 
miracles associated with it, but this in no way 
proves the falsity of the teaching. The experience 
of a man (or an ant) is as nothing in the history 
of the Universe. 

"I notice that the lecturer states that * scientific 
research has shown the Bible to be untrue.' This 
is, of course, utterly false. Scientific research has 
repeatedly confirmed the truth of the general facts 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 113 

recorded, but we cannot any longer, I think, hold 
to the verbal accuracy of every statement in it. 

"What can we 'hold by' as Christians? We 
can hold by the Faith of the early Apostles as 
enunciated in the Apostles' and the Nicene Creeds, 
and plainly foreshadowed in i Cor. xv. This 
was written within thirty years of our Lord's 
crucifixion and must have been ' received ' by 
St. Paul immediately on his conversion." 

Sir Lauder Brunton, M.D., Sc.D., LL.D., 
F.R.C.P., F.R.S., a distinguished physician ; Vice- 
President of the Royal Society, 1906 ; author of 
several works, including " Collected Papers on 
Circulation and Respiration," 1907, replies : 

" I quite agree with the general tenor of your 
letter. 

" I wrote a book on the Bible and Science some 
years ago. This is, unfortunately, out of print, 
but you may possibly be able to get a second- 
hand copy, because in it I wrote up the subject 
completely. 

" I enclose a copy of the paper I gave at the 
Birmingham Church Congress, which may be 
useful to you ; and I have noted the part of your 
letter with which I quite agree. 

" In regard to the religious and non-religious 
people : the term 'irreligious' appears to have such 
different meanings to the minds of different people 
that I do not think I can discuss it." 

Opposite this passage "That certain theories 
advanced in the name of science are opposed to 
certain theological dogmas may be probably is 
quite true. But as far as my reading goes it has 

9 



ii 4 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

led me to the conclusion that between the funda- 
mental teachings of Christianity and the established 
facts of Science between true Religion and true 
Science there is no real antagonism " which 
appears in the present writer's letter of inquiry 
Sir Lauder Brunton has written, " To this I quite 
agree/' and in a postscript he adds : 

"In regard to myself, personally, I may say that 
lately his Majesty advanced me to the dignity of 
a baronet and it became necessary for me to choose 
a motto for my coat of arms. The one which 
I have chosen is Deus nosier refugium et veritus, 
i.e., * God is our refuge and our strength.' " 

Dr. Henry Trentham Butlin, Consulting Surgeon, 
St. Bartholomew's ; a Governor of Rugby School ; 
Member of the Senate of the University of London ; 
President of the Royal College of Surgeons of 
England, and a D.C.L., sends the following : 

"In answer to your two questions, I think that 
there is nothing in the latest discoveries of Science 
which is opposed to the teaching of Christ. And 
I believe that is the opinion of a large number 
of eminent persons of scientific repute in this 
country. 

" As to your second question, I can inform you 
that there is an association called the Guild of 
St. Luke, which consists of members of my pro- 
fession. It comprises among the members a 
number of men of the first rank as surgeons and 
physicians. It not only privately professes the 
Christian religion, but it publicly does so by 
holding a solemn service once a year at St. Paul's 
Cathedral, and this service is largely attended. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 115 

" I hope these answers may serve to show that 
so far as my profession is concerned, the findings 
of Science have not affected the teachings of Christ, 
and that the members of it are in the habit of 
practising religion both in private and in public." 

Professor James Ward, M.A., Professor of 
Mental Philosophy at Cambridge University ; 
Giiford Lecturer, 1895-97 > author of " Naturalism 
and Agnosticism " ; has written on psychological 
and kindred subjects in Mind ; Journal of 
Psychology ; and " Encyclopaedia Britannica " ; 
Fellow of the British Academy ; and New York 
Academy of Science ; Doctor of Science and 
Doctor of Laws, replies thus : 

" I do not myself count personal opinion, un- 
supported by reasons, as of much value in regard 
to the important question of the truth of religion. 
Still, as you ask for my opinion, I may say that 
I do not think there is or ever can be any 
opposition between Science and Religion, any more 
than there can ever be any between Grammar and 
Religion. 

"As to the attitude of scientific men of the 
present day towards religion so far as I know 
it is rarely one of positive hostility, but frequently 
one of agnosticism and more or less indifference. 
Perhaps, if professedly religious people Met their 
light shine,' or gave more practical evidence of 
having any ' light/ there would be less of this indif- 
ference, and living faith might, like other living 
things, quicken even the intellectually agnostic." 

Professor G. F. Stout, Professor of Logic and 
Metaphysics at St. Andrews since 1903 ; editor 



n6 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

of Mind since 1891 ; Reader in Mental Philosophy, 
Oxford University, 1898 ; Examiner in the London 
University, 1899 ; Anderson Lecturer in Com- 
parative Psychology, Aberdeen University, 1896 ; 
has written extensively on psychological questions, 
"Groundwork of Psychology," &c. His opinion 
is thus expressed : 

" It seems to me certainly untrue that leading 
men of science are irreligious or anti-Christian. 
I should also agree in a sense that there is no 
antagonism between the established facts of Science 
and the fundamental teachings of Christianity, 
but I should define 'fundamental teachings of 
Christianity ' as those elements of Christian doctrine 
which have given Christianity its influence for good 
in the world. What are these ? " 

Professor J. Clark Murray, LL.D., Professor of 
Moral Philosophy at M'Gill University, Montreal, 
since 1872 ; author of "Handbook of Psychology" 
(2nd edition, 1888), "An Introduction to Ethics," 
and " Introduction of Psychology " (1904), writes : 

" In connection with the sweeping assertions of 
the lecturer to whom you refer in your letter of the 
8th, I can only say that you seem to me to hit the 
truth in your remark, 'That certain theories 
advanced in the name of Science are opposed to 
certain theological dogmas may be probably is 
quite true, but . . . between the established facts 
of Science and the fundamental teachings of 
Christianity there is no real antagonism.' " 

Dr. F. C. Schiller, M.A., Fellow and Senior Tutor 
of Corpus Christi College, Oxford ; Instructor in 
Philosophy at Cornell University, 1893-97 > author 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 117 

of " Humanism," " Studies in Humanism " ; con- 
tributor to various philosophical reviews ; Doctor of 
Science, writing from Rome, points out that : 

"In the last ten years the chief general change 
in the relations of Science and Religion has been 
that more importance has been attached to the 
psychological basis of Religion." Dr. Schiller's 
views are more fully expressed in his paper, 
" Religion and Science," page 8 (" Pan-Anglican 
Papers ") : 

" Neither Science nor Religion are dependent on 
mere history. . . . For Science, the facts of history 
are the play of Nature's abiding ' laws ' ; for 
Religion, they are the growing fulfilment of a divine 
purpose. . . . 

" Such, approximately, are the claims which 
Science and Religion seem to make on man's 
allegiance ; and it will be seen how little need 
there is to construe them as incompatible. Both 
are the expressions of human needs and their 
(partial) satisfaction. Both should be directed 
towards further and loftier achievements." 

Professor H. Langhorne Orchard, Professor of 
Mental and Moral Science and Philosophy ; M.A. 
(Honours), Oxon ; B.Sc. (Honours), Lond. ; Vice- 
President C.L. Science Society ; Life Member, 
University College, London ; and of the Chemical 
and Physical Societies ; Gunning Prizeman, and 
Member of the Council of the Philosophical 
Society, &c., answers : 

" The longer I live the more evidence meets me 
of the complete harmony between the Bible and 
Science. Archaeological evidence especially has 



n8 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

multiplied, and is multiplying, in our own days, 
and is uniformly and invariably in illustration of 
the truth of Holy Writ. Not only is the Bible in 
harmony with the ascertained conclusions of 
Science, but it contains remarkable anticipations 
of scientific truths which were not known to 
scientists until long afterwards. Take, for instance, 
the scientific discoveries in Job xxvi. 7. 

" It is my settled conviction that ' between the 
established facts of Science and the fundamental 
teachings of Christianity there is no real antagonism/ 

" If any man of science dissents from this view, 
he is, in my judgment, chargeable either with 
ignorance, or with making his wish the father of 
his thought." 

Professor Horace Lamb, M.A., Professor of 
Mathematics in Owens College and University of 
Manchester since 1885 ; President of the Mathe- 
matical Section of the British Association, 1904 ; 
President of the London Mathematical Society; 
Sc.D. (Cambs), D.Sc. (Oxford) and LL.D. ; Fellow 
of the Royal Society, replies : 

"The statements you quote are quite wild, and 
I do not think that any scientific man of repute 
would lend countenance to them. 

"It is difficult to answer general questions like 
those you put to me. I can only say, what is well- 
known, that many of the greatest scientific men 
of recent times have been religious in the best 
sense, though perhaps not always quite ' orthodox/ 
according to the standards of the Churches. And 
I see no reason why the two things should be 
incompatible. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 119 

"Among scientific men, as amongst other people, 
you may find all shades of belief or of ' agnos- 
ticism ' ; but so far as my observation has gone, 
none of them (of any real standing) would view 
with anything but the greatest distaste attacks on 
religion as such." 

Professor A. C. Dixon, M.A., Professor of Mathe- 
matics at Queen's College, Belfast ; formerly 
Professor of Mathematics at Queen's College, 
Galway ; a Doctor of Science ; Fellow of the Royal 
and other Scientific Societies, writes : 

"... To answer your question directly I do not 
find any real conflict between the facts of Science 
and the essential truths of Christianity." 

Professor William Burnside, M.A. ; Professor of 
Mathematics at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich ; 
President of the London Mathematical Society ; 
was, in 1904, awarded the Royal Medal "on the 
ground of the number, originality, and importance 
of his contributions to Mathematical Science " ; 
Doctor of Science; LL.D., and Fellow of the 
Royal Society. He sends the following : 

"The statement that 'recent scientific research 
has shown the Bible and Religion to be untrue ; is 
both obviously false and made by some person 
unaccustomed to the use of exact expressions. The 
statement that i leading men of science are irre- 
ligious and anti-Christian ' is one which would 
require a very large acquaintance to justify it. It 
is not justified as regards the small circle in which 
I move." 

Professor Francis A. Tarleton, Professor of 
Natural Philosophy at the University of Dublin 



120 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

since 1890 ; Commissioner of Intermediate Educa- 
tion for Ireland, 1901 ; President of the Royal 
Irish Academy, 1906 ; has published many papers 
on Mathematical subjects ; is Senior Fellow of 
Trinity College, Dublin ; Sc.D., LL.D. He responds 
thus : 

" In reply to your letter of the 3oth April, I beg to 
state that I am convinced that the facts of Science 
are not opposed to the fundamental truths of the 
Christian Religion. 

" The discoveries of Science have no doubt 
shattered a good many beliefs which used to be 
commonly held by Christians, but are not, I believe, 
fundamental truths of Christianity. 

"Between religious truth and scientific truth 
there is much analogy. In the case of each, new 
discoveries require in some cases the abandon- 
ment of former beliefs, and in others lead to 
theoretical difficulties and even apparent contra- 
dictions. 

" In Science just as much as in Religion it is 
sometimes pure lunacy to abandon a belief because 
there are difficulties connected with it. Every 
sane scientific man believes in a luminiferous ether, 
though no one has ever been able to give a satisfac- 
tory and consistent account of its nature." 

Professor George Chrystal, M.A., LL.D., Pro- 
fessor of Mathematics at Edinburgh University 
since 1879 ; Dean of the Faculty of Arts ; Secretary 
of the Royal Society of Edinburgh since 1901 ; and 
author of the articles on Electricity and Magnetism 
in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," writes that he is 
unable at present to express an opinion on the 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 121 

questions raised. Some indication of the view he 
holds is, however, discernible in the Address of 
Congratulation on the occasion of Sir George Stokes's 
Jubilee Celebration. Referring to the late Professor 
Stokes's attainments, Professor Chrystal (with Pro- 
fessor Frederick Armstrong, the Edinburgh 
Professor of Civil Engineering, who was also 
appointed by the University to attend the Celebra- 
tion) said : 

" Nor can we forget that as Gifford Lecturer in 
the University of Edinburgh you have published 
two important volumes on Natural Theology which 
strikingly exhibit its relations and analogies to 
experimental studies, treat of Evolution and 
Teleology and their moral and spiritual bearings in 
a profound and suggestive way, show how the 
findings of Science throw light on many religious 
difficulties, and make manifest the unreasonableness 
of a facile acceptance of materialism or a summary 
rejection of the Supernatural. 

" In the name of the Senatus Academicus we 
congratulate you on the approaching completion of 
your fiftieth year of office, in a spirit of devout 
gratitude that to one so endowed so large a period 
of active service should have been vouchsafed by 
the blessing of Providence. . . . " x 

Professor W. F. Barrett, J.P., F.R.S., Professor of 
Experimental Physics in the Royal College of 
Science for Ireland, 1873-1909 ; ex-President and 
one of the founders of the Society for Psychical 
Research ; author of " On the Threshold of a New 

1 "Stokes's Scientific Correspondence," Vol. I. p. 438 
(1907). 



122 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

World of Thought," and author and editor of 
various scientific books, writes : 

" Perhaps the best reply I can give to your letter 
is to send you the enclosed Address, on ' Science 
and Religion/ which I was requested to give to a 
large audience of working men, on a Sunday 
afternoon, during the meeting of the British Associa- 
tion in Liverpool. 

" As I mentioned in that Address, many of the 
eminent scientific men, both in Great Britain and 
abroad, in the present as well as in the past, have 
also been conspicuous for their earnest Christian 
faith. Such men, for example, as Sir Isaac Newton, 
Sir John Herschel, Professors Faraday and Clerk- 
Maxwell, Sir George Stokes, Lord Kelvin, Professor 
G. F. Fitzgerald, Sir William Huggins, 1 and many 
others in our own country. 

" No doubt less importance is now attached to 
certain dogmas which were once the source of acute 
controversy, and were thought essential to faith; 
whilst more importance, and rightly so, is now given 
to fundamental beliefs and to a sincere and useful 
Christian life, but we must remember that the latter 
is the outcome of the life and work of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." 

Towards the close of the Address which Professor 
Barrett sends, he briefly refers to the problem of 
pain and suffering. After pointing out that as we 
find difficulties and mysteries in the natural world, 
so we should expect to find mysteries in the spiritual 
life of man, he observes that a better understanding 
of the problem may be arrived at if the fact is 
remembered that "in nature all progress in life is 
1 Past President of the Royal Society. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 123 

through effort and often through suffering. For 
effort implies resistance to power, and this resistance 
is as necessary to progress as is power. However 
powerful the engines of a steamship or locomotive, 
the vessel or the train could not be moved onward 
were it not for the resistance of the water or the rails. 
And the trials and sufferings we have to endure here 
are the resistances to our spiritual life, in the over- 
coming of which our character is strengthened 
and our lives made higher and more Christ-like. 
Hence effort, and often painful effort, is an essential 
element of all progress, whether in the animal, the 
intellectual, or the spiritual life." 

On reading the proof of Professor Barrett's 
Address, the late Professor G. F. Fitzgerald, in re- 
ferring to this problem of sin and suffering, wrote 
to Professor Barrett as follows : 

" I am not one of those curious beings like Mill, 
who thought he could make a universe much 
better than the one we live in, for I know that I 
am so absurdly ignorant and short-sighted. . . . 
Self-sufficient fools, I call those who impose their 
judgments of what ought to be on Nature instead of 
trying to learn and understand what is, and to learn 
wisdom from it." 

Professor Fitzgerald, it may be added, was one 
of the most acute and original thinkers in the 
realm of physics of the present generation. 1 He 
was a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and 
Professor of Physics in the University of Dublin. 
He " had brilliant qualities as a man, as a teacher, 
as an investigator, as a leader of scientific thought," 2 

1 Died 1901. 2 Dr. Tilden in Nature, March 7, 1901. 



124 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

and, as Sir W. Ramsay says, "was actuated solely 
by a love of truth, and his only object was to 
defend what he thought to be right. Moreover, 
what Fitzgerald thought to be right was pretty 
sure to turn out right in the long run. May I 
suggest as the reason why Fitzgerald was so uni- 
versally beloved, was that he was a Christian in the 
very true sense of the word, and that he followed 
very closely in the steps of his Master." J 

Professor L. R. Wilberforce, M.A., Professor of 
Physics in the University of Liverpool since 1900 ; 
Assistant in 1887, and, in 1890, Demonstrator at 
Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. The Professor 
says : 

" I have not time to answer your letter of the 
26th at length, and must content myself by saying 
that in my opinion there is no real Conflict what- 
ever between the facts of Science and the essential 
teachings of the Christian Religion ; and that it 
has not been my experience that men of Science 
as a body are either irreligious or anti-Christian." 

Professor A. W. Reinold, M.A., late Professor of 
Physics, Royal Naval College, Greenwich ; Lees 
Reader in Physics at Christ Church, Oxford, in 
1869 ; contributed many papers to the " Philo- 
sophical Transactions of the Royal Society " ; 
Fellow of the Royal Society. He writes : 

" In reply to your letter of the 24th, on the 
subject of the supposed antagonism between 
Science and Religion, I need only for myself say 
this : 

" I see nothing in the results of scientific inquiry 
1 Nature, March 7, 1901. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 125 

during the last forty years to cause me to doubt 
that God has at sundry times directly revealed 
Himself to man. Christianity is based on this 
belief." 

Professor William E. Thrift, M.A., Fellow of 
Trinity College, Dublin ; Erasmus Smith Professor 
of Experimental Philosophy at the University of 
Dublin ; answers the questions as follows : 

" I consider your conclusion quite correct, viz., 
that there is no antagonism between the funda- 
mental teachings of Christianity and the established 
facts of Science. Moreover, I do not see how 
there could be such antagonism : the domains of 
the two are, to my mind, quite different. Though 
of course, as has often happened, inferences may 
be improperly drawn from either which conflict 
with the other, until further enlightenment shows 
the erroneous character of these inferences. 

" I do not suppose that the Bible was intended 
to teach astronomy, geology, or physical science ; 
and I do not regard it as strange, on the other 
hand, that it should reflect something of the 
notions on these subjects current in the days 
when its books were written. It would be strange 
if such were not the case. 

"The statement of the lecturer you refer to, 
viz., that leading men of science are irreligious 
and anti-Christian, is quite at variance with my 
experience. The men I have respected and ad- 
mired for their scientific abilities, I have honoured 
most almost, if not quite without exception for 
their moral character and simple devotion to the 
Christian religion." 



126 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Sir David Gill, His Majesty's Astronomer at the 
Cape of Good Hope 1879-1907 ; Vice-President of 
the Royal Astronomical Society ; President of the 
British Association, 1907 ; has been on many 
scientific expeditions, and has received numerous 
medals for scientific work ; he is a member of 
scientific societies in Berlin, Paris, America, 
Amsterdam, &c., is also a Fellow of the Royal Society 
and other British Scientific bodies. He writes : 

" In reply to your letter of the i5th inst., you 
need pay no attention to the anti-religious lecturer 
you write of, or his assertion that 'scientific 
research has shown the Bible and Religion to be 
untrue/ The assertion is unfounded rubbish. 
Look at the frequent statements to the contrary 
of our most eminent men, such as the late Lord 
Kelvin and Sir George Stokes. 

" People too often try to make cheap capital 
out of poetic similes in the Bible, just as if 
the Bible was a scientific treatise which it is 
not." 

Professor Edmund T. Whittaker, Royal Astrono- 
mer of Ireland ; a distinguished mathematician ; 
sometime Secretary of the Royal Astronomical 
Society ; has contributed papers to the Proceed- 
ings of Mathematical and Astronomical Societies ; 
is a Doctor of Science and Fellow of the Royal 
Society. Writing from the Observatory, he says : 

"The 'fundamental truth of Christianity/ as I 
understand it, is the conviction that the Disposer 
of all things has appointed to each man his path, 
and gives light on it through the window of praise 
and prayer. This belief has no dependence on 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 127 

the scientific conception of the material universe, 
and cannot therefore be disturbed by it. 

"Christianity also involves a large body of his- 
torical matter ; the records in which this is con- 
tained must, in my opinion, be submitted to the 
same tests as any other literature professing to 
give an account of past events ; each man must 
form his own opinion as to their trustworthiness, 
and the question cannot be settled by any dog- 
matic affirmation ; least of all from a worker in 
the field of physical science, who has had no 
training or experience in historical investigations." 

Professor Whittaker, a few years ago, addressed 
a large gathering at Manchester. He then advanced 
the view that : 

"The divine activity in the material world is 
manifested not in the large things, but in the 
small ; not in the composite, but in the indi- 
vidual. 

" This fact supplies a powerful corrective to the 
despair to which I have already referred, which 
comes when we realise the insignificance of the 
individual man in comparison with the vast extent 
of the universe. For it shows that the minute 
affairs of the world, so far from being too small 
for God's notice, are the very things in which his 
workings are most markedly displayed. The pur- 
pose of God in creation is to be worked out, 
not in the doings of mankind in the mass, but 
in the life-histories of individual men. The dis- 
coveries of modern science serve only to confirm 
the words of Jesus, 'Are not two sparrows sold 
for a farthing ? and not one of them shall fall 



128 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

on the ground without your Father : but the very 
hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not 
therefore ; ye are of more value than many spar- 
rows.'" * 

In the same lecture 2 Professor Whittaker said : 

" Surrender to the will of God generally means 
the giving up of some of the delights of the world. 
Like the coral island built up on the accumula- 
tions of its own past life, the perfected kingdom 
is to be reached only by the sacrifice of countless 
generations of its own upbuilders. But and this 
is the greatest of all evidences of the divine life 
within humanity in all ages men have left the 
pleasures of their former life to obey the inward 
call. The long procession that leads to the dis- 
tant goal is reunited afresh in every generation ; 
and to-day millions have found the joy of a life 
centred round the words of the Master, ' Repent/ 
' Follow Me.'" 

Professor H. H. Turner, Savilian Professor of 
Astronomy in Oxford University ; President of 
the Royal Astronomical Society, 1903-04 ; author 
of " Modern Astronomy " ; Fellow of the Royal 
Society, replies : 

" Your questions can only be answered if they 
are made much more definite. i The essential 
teachings of the Christian religion,' for instance, 
is a phrase which has meant many different things 
at different times : and generally much more than 
it ought ever to have meant. Different Churches 
have at different times declared certain ' teach- 

1 " Man's Place in Creation " (Kelly), p. 19. 

2 Ibid. p. 27. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 129 

ings' to be essential which have later had to be 
surrendered as untenable : and this naturally 
weakens their hold on what they still cling to. 
Present opinion as to what is essential differs 
widely. The man of science naturally feels a 
disinclination to accept statements on mere autho- 
rity, when authority proves so fickle. 

" But that it is still possible to give a generous 
interpretation to Christianity with which none 
should find difficulty in sympathising is shown, 
for instance, by the existence of that fine book 
'Ecce Homo/ which perhaps you know. If not, 
I can heartily recommend it to your perusal." 

The work which claims Professor Turner's appre- 
ciation can hardly be called " orthodox " : but it 
is certainly not anti-religious and agnostic. On 
pages in, 114, for example, the author, writing on 
enthusiasm for the service of humanity, states : 
"Still, it not only existed in Christ in a pre- 
eminent degree, but the circumstances of His life 
and death gave Him pre-eminent opportunities of 
displaying it. The story of His life will always 
remain the one record in which the moral per- 
fection of man stands revealed in its root and 
its unity, the hidden spring made palpably mani- 
fest by which the whole machine is moved. And 
as, in the will of God, this unique man was 
elected to a unique sorrow, and holds as undis- 
puted a sovereignty in suffering as in self-devo- 
tion, all lesser examples and lives will for ever 
hold a subordinate place, and serve chiefly to 
reflect light on the central and original Example. 
In His wounds human sorrows will hide them- 

TO 



130 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

selves, and all human self-denials support them- 
selves against His cross. 

" But the achievement of Christ, in founding by 
His single will and power a structure so durable 
and so universal, is like no other achievement 
which history records." 

Dr. Edward Walter Maunder, F.R.A.S., Super- 
intendent of the Solar Department, Royal Obser- 
vatory, Greenwich ; entered the Observatory as an 
Assistant in 1873 ; was on the Council of the 
Royal Astronomical Society 1885-89 and 1891-92 ; 
was Secretary 1892-97 ; Vice-President 1897. He 
founded the British Astronomical Association, 1890; 
was President 1894-96. He formed part of the 
Eclipse Expeditions : West Indies, 1886 ; Lapland, 
1896; India, 1898 ; Algiers, 1900; Labrador, 1905 ; 
and has written and edited many astronomical 
works, and "A History of the Royal Observatory, 
Greenwich." He writes : 

" I have expressed my views as to the alleged 
conflict between Religion and Science in several 
publications, and on more than one occasion. 
I may refer you to my recent book, 'The As- 
tronomy of the Bible/ and to the Address which 
I delivered in the Victoria Institute at their annual 
meeting, July i5th last. 

" There is no antagonism between the established 
facts of Science and the fundamental teachings of 
Christianity ; and it is perfectly well known that at 
the present day, as in the past, many of the fore- 
most men of science are devout believers. Of 
course it is not true that all eminent scientific 
men are believers in Christianity, but the fact that 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 131 

there are some is sufficient to show that there 
is no incompatibility between Science and Reli- 
gion. 

"I accept," adds Dr. Maunder, "the three great 
creeds of the Christian Church commonly known 
as the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the 
Athanasian Creed." 

In his Address, 1 which Dr. Maunder sent with his 
letter, he declares : 

" It is the glory of Science that it does progress ; 
that is to say, it is the glory of Science that it 
changes, that it is continually undergoing recon- 
struction, that it continually requires restate- 
ment. . . . 2 

" Science deals with fact, which is temporal ; 
.Religion deals with truth, which is eternal. ... 3 
For Science deals with things that change and of 
their changes, and it is the changing thought of 
man concerning these. But religion deals with 
that which is eternal and reaches all, even the 
poor, the ignorant, and the young. . . . The little 
child can apprehend, as well as the wisest sage, the 
first article of religion : 

" ' I believe in God the Father, who made me 
and all the world.' 

" That truth, whether so expressed, or expressed 
in the first words of Genesis : 

" * In the beginning God created the heaven and 
the earth,' is the foundation of all science, as well 
as all religion." 4 

Dr. Arthur M. W. Downing, M.A., Superinten- 

1 " The Bible and Astronomy." 3 Ibid. p. 7. 

3 Ibid. p. 7. Ibid. p. 20. 



132 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

dent of the Nautical Almanac since 1892 ; 
Assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich ; 
has published many papers on Astronomy, and 
edited the Nautical Almanac since 1896 ; is Fellow 
of the Royal, Royal Astronomical, and Geological 
Societies. He says : 

"In reply to your inquiry, I do not recognise 
any real antagonism between the established facts 
of Science and the fundamental teachings of 
Christianity. 

"Taken as a class, I do not find that men of 
science are more irreligious or anti-Christian than 
any other class." 

Dr. Andrew C. D. Crommelin, F.R.A.S., Assistant 
at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, since 1891 ; 
President of the British Astronomical Association, 
1904-06 ; took part in Eclipse Expeditions of that 
Association in 1896, 1900, 1905 ; is an authority on 
the forthcoming reappearance and movements of 
Halley's Comet ; contributor to the " Book of 
Nature," and to scientific journals, Knowledge, &c. 
He writes : 

"As an enthusiastic adherent of the Catholic 
Church, I naturally do not believe that there is 
any opposition between Science (properly so- 
called) and Religion. . . ." 

Respecting the indifference or hostility towards 
religious beliefs of certain men engaged in scientific 
pursuits, Dr. Crommelin thinks this arises "from 
pride of intellect : Science has made such won- 
derful progress in many directions " that men 
" jump at the conclusion that it will explain every- 
thing." He concludes that to account for the 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 133 

origin of life some writers " make up fairy tales " 
which they call science ; and that " Haeckel is 
particularly aggressive in this." 

Mr. John Ellard Gore, an astronomer ; Corre- 
sponding Member of the Royal Astronomical Society 
of Canada ; has discovered several variable stars ; 
translated Flammarion's "Popular Astronomy" ; has 
contributed many original papers to astronomical 
journals for the last twenty years ; and is Fellow of 
the Royal Astronomical Society, answers : 

" In reply to your letter of the i5th inst., I beg to 
say that my opinion is that between the established 
facts of Science and the fundamental teachings of 
Christianity, there is no real antagonism. I believe 
that both Religion and the laws of Science are due 
to the same Almighty Creator, 'in whom we live 
and move and have our being.' " 

Professor S. A. Saunder, M.A., Hon. Secretary 
of the Royal Astronomical Society ; Gresham Pro- 
fessor of Astronomy, writes : 

" In your letter of the 8th inst. you ask me two 
questions : 

" i. Whether in my opinion there is between 
the facts of Science and the fundamentals of 
Christianity any real conflict ? 

" 2. Whether it has been my experience to find 
eminent men of science irreligious or anti- 
Christian ? 

" In reply to the first, I am not aware of any facts 
of science which are at variance with the funda- 
mentals of Christianity. It is quite true that there 
are some facts of science which we believe to be now 
well-ascertained which are at variance with some 



134 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

statements in the Bible ; but these statements in no 
way effect matters of Faith if they had been put 
into a form consistent with our present knowledge, 
they would have been unintelligible at the time they 
were written, and it is quite possible that they 
would have appeared as inaccurate to a future 
generation as the existing statements do to us. 
There is no finality in scientific knowledge, and 
the Bible was not given to teach us what we can 
find out by the use of our intelligence. 

" In answer to your second question, it has not 
been my experience that men of science are, as 
such, either irreligious or anti-Christian. There are 
obvious reasons why one cannot refer to those now 
living, but amongst those with whom I have been 
personally acquainted I may mention Professor 
Clerk Maxwell and Sir William Flower as notable 
instances to the contrary." 

Mr. Walter W. Bryant, Assistant at the Royal 
Observatory, Greenwich ; Fellow of the Royal 
Astronomical Society, writing from Cornwall, 
says : 

"Your letter has reached me here after some 
delay, and I hasten to reply before returning to the 
Observatory, because I should feel a traitor to my 
convictions if I did not at once add my testimony 
to that of many whose faith is far from being shaken 
by Science. 

" I am aware that in the past there have been 
some prominent scientists whose view is understood 
to have been different, but my impression is that 
Huxley was practically the last of them." 

While admitting that a certain number of scien- 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 135 

tific men may be more or less agnostic, Professor 
Bryant thinks that this is not due to Science. 

" I think," he continues, "this is a very different 
thing from the contention that Science is contrary 
to Religion. In the first place, it is undeniable that 
' a little learning is a dangerous thing/ in more 
ways than one, and that one of these things is in 
encouraging the attitude of mind of a man who 
quickly outstrips his fellows mentally, and is apt 
to assume that there is nothing he will not soon 
be able to understand or explain, from which it is a 
short flight to denial of the truth of some of the 
fundamentals of Religion. For this, however, hold 
the man's self-conceit responsible, and not Science. 
... I need not dwell further on these matters, 
however. To the plain question in your letter I 
can only repeat that I do most emphatically not 
consider Science antagonistic to Religion." 

Sir Thomas E. Thorpe, F.R.S., Professor of 
General Chemistry, and Director of the Chemical 
Laboratories of the Imperial College of Science 
and Technology ; Foreign Secretary of the Royal 
Society until 1903 ; Vice-President of the Royal 
Society, 1894-95 ; President of the Chemical 
Society ; President Chemical Section, British Asso- 
ciation, 1890 ; is a Doctor of Science, Doctor of 
Laws, Doctor of Philosophy ; author of several 
works dealing with the Science of Chemistry, and 
also the biographies " Humphry Davy " and "Joseph 
Priestley." He answers : 

"That leading men of science are not necessarily 
irreligious might be proved by reference to such 
well-known cases as the late Lord Kelvin, Sir 



136 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

George Stokes, Dr. Gladstone, Michael Faraday. 
The list might be largely extended, and might be 
made to include many living representatives of 
Science. As regards your other question, I may 
refer you to the recently published work of Sir 
Oliver Lodge. Of course, between the facts of 
Science and the essential teachings of the Christian 
religion there can be no real opposition. 

" I cannot say that I have made it a practice to 
inquire into the religious beliefs of such men of 
science as I happen to be acquainted with, but I 
am certainly under the impression that the men of 
science whom I know would not be classed as 
irreligious or anti-Christian persons." 

Professor Sir William Tilden, Professor of Chem- 
istry, Royal College of Science, London, 1894-1905 ; 
Professor of Chemistry, Mason College, Birming- 
ham, 1880-94 > President of the Chemical Society 
1903-05 ; D.Sc. (Lond.), Sc.D. (Dub.), D.Sc. (Vic- 
toria), Fellow of the Royal Society, writes : 

" I cannot undertake to enter at length into the 
important questions raised in your letter of the 
25th, but I am quite of opinion that there is no 
antagonism between the results of scientific inves- 
tigation and the fundamental beliefs in which most 
men indulge, though certain theological dogmas are 
rendered untenable thereby. 

" And I can certainly testify that among scientific 
men there are as many who conform to religious 
observances and practice as are to be found among 
an equal number of educated men who are not 
specially scientific. 

"The lecturer you refer to is probably wholly 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 137 

ignorant of the scientific world and the views of 
scientific men." 

Professor Arthur H. Church, M.A., Professor of 
Chemistry, Royal Academy of Arts, since 1879 ; 
Professor of Chemistry in the Royal Agricultural 
College, Cirencester, 1863-79; Doctor of Science; 
Fellow of the Royal and other Scientific Societies ; 
discoverer of Turacin, an animal pigment, replies 
thus : 

" I may at least say, in answer to your letter of 
the 2nd inst., that both the statements quoted from 
the ' anti-religious lecturer ' are incorrect. 

" Last night, after receiving your letter, I drew up 
a pretty full account of my own convictions in 
these matters. But, after further consideration, I 
could not but feel that I was scarcely justified in 
placing such a statement in the hands of a complete 
stranger. 

" There is a book entitled ' The Truth of Chris- 
tianity,' by Lieut.-Col. W. H. Turton, D.S.O. (7th 
edition, 2oth thousand, 2s. 6d. net.), which is well 
worth attentive study. It is published by Wells 
Gardner, 3, Paternoster Buildings, E.G." 

Professor Edward Divers, M.D., Professor of 
Chemistry at the Imperial University, 1886, Second 
Class Order of the Sacred Treasure, and Third 
Class Order of the Rising Sun, Japan ; Emeritus 
Professor of Chemistry in the Imperial College 
of Engineering, Japan, 1873 ; Principal, 1882 ; 
formerly Lecturer on Medical Jurisprudence in 
the Middlesex Hospital Medical School ; Vice- 
President of the Chemical Society, 1900-02 ; Presi- 
dent of the Chemical Section, British Association, 



138 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

1902 ; Doctor of Science ; Fellow of the Royal 
Society. He writes : 

" I think that your conclusion that between the 
established facts of Science and the fundamental 
teachings of Christianity there is no real antagonism, 
is correct. 

" Apart from what is common knowledge, I am 
not aware that scientific research has ever attempted 
to show much less shown the Bible to be untrue. 
There is hardly a man of eminent learning who 
would allow himself so to speak of the Bible. 
Scientific men do not look into the Bible for 
scientific truth. 

" Here are two items of my experience, one quite 
recent, of scientific men of eminence being not 
irreligious and anti-Christian. Every year the 
British Association for the Advancement of Science 
meets for a week somewhere, but never in London. 
The meetings always include a number of very dis- 
tinguished men of science. On the Sunday in the 
week the Churches of all denominations arrange 
sermons for, and invite the attendance of, the 
members of the Association, and many go. 

"The other matter is this. On Tuesday last 
Professor Stirling gave his first lecture J of the 
season at the Royal Institution. He urged the 
youthful part of his audience who had not done 
so to read at once on returning home the first two 
chapters of Genesis. I think these two facts are 
of more value than my opinion on the matter. . . ." 

Professor Divers concludes by saying that, as 
with the rest of the world, some scientists do not 
1 " The Wheel of Life/' December 29, 1908. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 139 

subscribe to the Christian Religion, and few would 
probably follow Dr. Stirling's advice above given. 

Professor Alex. Crum Brown, M.A., M.D., Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry, Edinburgh University, 1869- 
1908 ; President of the Chemical Society, London, 
1892-93 ; Doctor of Science ; LL.D. Aberdeen and 
Glasgow ; Fellow of the Royal Society. He says : 

" I do not think that any scientific or historical 
inquiries need disturb the peace of any man who 
has found in the Bible what we all need. 

" I quite agree with you that there is no anta- 
gonism between true Religion and true Science. 

"As to the religion of scientific men, I think 
scientific men are like other men. It has been 
my happiness to know many very eminent men 
of science ; of them many have been devout 
Christians. I name only those of them who are 
no longer with us: Faraday, Kelvin, Clerk Max- 
well, Stokes, Waage (of Christian ia), Tait, Balfour 
Stewart, John H. Gladstone, J. Hutton Balfour, 
Alex. Dickson. I dare say I could call up more 
names. All of these men I knew intimately enough 
to know what their religious opinion was." 

Professor H. C. H. Carpenter, M.A., Professor 
of Metallurgy in the Victoria University of Man- 
chester ; Head of Chemical and Metallurgical 
Departments at the foundation of the National 
Physical Laboratory ; D.Phil. (Leipzig), writes : 

" Replying to your letter of the iyth inst., I 
agree with your conclusion that ' between the facts 
of Science and the essential truths of Christianity,' 
as far as I can understand them, ' there is no 
opposition.' 



140 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" With regard to the attitude of eminent men 
of science towards this matter, I would rather not 
take the responsibility of answering this question. 
I think the only fair way is to collect opinions 
individually." 

Dr. F. Mollwo Perkin, Head of the Chemistry 
Department, Borough Polytechnic Institute, Lon- 
don, since 1897 > one * tne Founders of the 
Faraday Society ; specially interested in the study 
of Electro-chemistry, replies : 

" I am in receipt of your letter of the 8th inst., 
in which you ask whether I consider that scientific 
research has shown the Bible and Religion to be 
untrue. I am not in agreement with such senti- 
ments, because I think that the more one knows, 
the less one feels one knows, and the greater one 
marvels at the scheme of life." 

It is fitting to speak here of the late Sir William 
Perkin.- He was one of the most distinguished 
British chemists of this century ; he was also one 
of the finest examples of Christian character. 
Soon after his death an article appeared in The 
Christian, 2 giving an account of his labours at 
Sudbury, where he built a Mission Hall and took 
an active part in the Sunday School and the 
Mission work as a whole. He was for many years 
a warm supporter of the Evangelisation Society ; 
and also a Vice-President of the Evangelical 
Alliance. 

Professor William J. Sollas, M.A., Professor of 
Geology and Palaeontology, University of Oxford, 
since 1897 ; Professor of Geology and Zoology at 
1 Died July, 1907. a August 8, 1907. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 141 

University College, Bristol, 1880 ; of Geology and 
Mineralogy at the University of Dublin, 1883-1897 ; 
President of the Geological Society ; author of " Age 
of the Earth," &c., and has written largely on fe eo- 
logical, zoological, mineralogical, and ethnographic 
subjects ; Doctor of Science ; Fellow of the Royal 
and other Scientific Societies ; one of the greatest 
geologists of to-day. He writes : 

" I am completely in accord with you in thinking 
that there is no irreconcilable antagonism between 
the established facts of Science and the fundamental 
teaching of Christianity." 

" Eminent men of Science do not appear to me 
to be any more unanimous on religious questions 
than any other people ; they are usually reticent 
in expressing their opinions, but from such cases 
as are known to me I should infer that the wider 
the culture the deeper is the sense of mystery, and 
the stronger the religious feeling. Great as have 
been the achievements of Science, it is well to bear 
in mind that what we really know is after all but a 
small fraction of what remains to be discovered. 

" In matters of philosophy and religion, Science 
is not the arbiter; the final judgment on ultimate 
questions must always rest with Philosophy and 
Religion themselves. 

" The attacks on faith to which you allude seem 
to me behind the time ; they are a product of the 
Victorian era, when the rapid growth of our 
knowledge concerning the mechanical universe 
completely outdistanced the progress in religion 
and philosophy. Already I fancy signs are to be 
discovered of a quickening impulse on these sub- 



142 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

jects, which may restore to the present century 
the hope that perhaps seemed wavering in the last." 

Professor Thomas Rupert Jones, F.R.S., Pro- 
fessor of Geology for many years at the Royal 
Military and Staff Colleges, Sandhurst ; Hon. 
Member of many British and Foreign Scientific 
Societies, including the Royal and Geological ; 
Lyell Medallist of the Geological Society replies 
thus : 

" The general weakness and the several ailments 
of old age prevent my writing in detail or other- 
wise in reply to your letter of April 22nd. I may 
fully agree with you, however, that between the 
established facts of Science and the well-considered 
doctrines of Christianity there is no real an- 
tagonism." 

Sir William Preece, the well known electrician ; 
President of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 1898- 
99 ; an authority on Telegraphy and the Telephone ; 
Doctor of Laws ; Fellow of the Royal Society, says 
in reply : 

"I have never come across a single fact in 
science that is opposed to the teachings of the 
Christian Religion. 

" I know of no antagonism between Science 
and Religion. On the contrary, I find them mutu- 
ally helpful. But the facts of each must be 
interpreted by the judicial mind, and not by the 
bigoted sophist." 

Professor John A. Fleming, M.A., Professor of 
Electrical Engineering in the University College, 
London, since 1885; "intimately associated with 
the development of all the great applications of 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 143 

electrical science " during the last quarter of a 
century; an authority on wireless telegraphy, 
electric light, telephone, &c. ; a writer of articles 
in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," &c. ; has re- 
ceived numerous honours; is a Doctor of Science 
and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He says : 

" In reply to your letter sent to me on I5th, 
to University College, I send herewith a little book 
I wrote some years ago, called 'The Evidence of 
Things not Seen.' J You will find, I hope, some- 
thing in it which will help you to reply to the 
anti-religious lecturer of whom you write. 

"It is certainly not true that ' scientific research 
has shown the Bible and Religion to be untrue/ 
On the contrary, both historical and archaeological 
research have confirmed, in the most remarkable 
manner, the general truth of the Biblical narrative." 

"It is no doubt the fact that in the light of 
modern criticism it has been necessary to modify 
old opinions as to the literal inspiration of all parts 
of the Bible ; but it has not in the least undermined 
the solid reasons for the conviction that in the Bible 
as a whole, we have a work, or rather a literature, 
which is not simply the production of the human 
mind. 

"Nor is it true that the leading men of science 
have been anti-Christian. On the contrary, some 
of the most eminent, such as Newton, Faraday, 
Herschel, Maxwell, Cayley, Stokes, and the late 
Lord Kelvin, at various times gave expression to 
their sincere belief in the truths of the Christian 
Faith and Religion. 

1 Published by the S.P.C.K. 



144 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

" Wishing you all success in your good work." 

Professor J. A. Ewing, M.A., Director of Naval 
Education since 1903 ; was Professor of Mechanical 
Engineering, Imperial University, Tokio, Japan, 
1878-83 ; of Engineering, University College, 
Dundee, 1883-90; of Applied Mechanics, Cam- 
bridge, 1890-1903; has written a " Treatise on 
Earthquake Measurement " and other works ; is 
Doctor of Laws, and Fellow of the Royal Society. 
He sends the following : 

" I have delayed replying to your letter until 
I could obtain for you a copy of a lecture which 
I delivered twenty-five years ago in Tokio, Japan, 
which expresses my views on the question you raise. 

" Though it is a long time since the lecture was 
delivered, I do not feel that in the light of maturer 
judgment I would wish in any way to alter the 
main lines of its statements or its arguments. 

" My experience of scientific men by no means 
bears out the statement that they are anti-religious. 
It has been my privilege to know some of the 
greatest leaders of scientific thought, such as Kelvin 
and Stokes, who are not only religious men, but 
were emphatic in their testimony that they found 
no opposition between the conclusions of Science 
and the fundamental teachings of Christianity." 

The lecture to which Professor Ewing refers, 
and from which the accompanying passages are 
taken, is one of a course delivered in Tokio during 
1883. "The object of the course," the reader 
is told, "was to present to the cultivated classes 
of the Japanese people a logical statement of the 
rational basis of the Christian Faith." The other 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 145 

lectures by Professor Dixon and Mr. C. S. Ely 
deal with "Christianity and Morality," "Christianity 
and other Religions/' "Christianity and History," 
&c., and the whole were published in both the 
English and Japanese languages. 

It is necessary to place these facts before the 
reader on account of the sweeping assertion, often 
made by the enemies of Religion, that the civilization 
and progress of Japan during the last twenty years 
are not in the slightest measure due to a knowledge 
of Christian thought. 

Touching the question of Miracles, Professor 
Ewing remarked : 

"The orderly uniformities of Nature, which it 
is the business of Science to discern, and which 
in our blindness we call laws, must not be supposed 
to carry the force of necessary truths. We have 
no right to assume that the generalized result of 
our limited experience will be found free from 
exception in the light of a wider knowledge. While 
we strive to bring apparent exceptions within the 
circle of scientific order, we shall be abusing the 
authority of Science if we asserted that no real 
exceptions could occur. Extensive as we find the 
reign of law to be, we cannot logically conclude 
that interference has not happened in the past and 
may not happen again in the future." 

The fundamental and essential truths of Chris- 
tianity he summarises thus : 

"Three grand statements stand out as the 
essential, because common, features of all Chris- 
tian creeds. These are : (i) The belief that there 
is a personal God who is the Creator and Ruler of 

ii 



146 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

the Universe, and that its history is the continuous 
unfolding of His eternal purposes. (2) That He 
has revealed Himself to us through the minds of 
men, and more especially in the person and life of 
Jesus, whose precepts and example form our noblest 
rule of conduct, and in whom our highest aspira- 
tions find their satisfaction and our best ideals their 
embodiment. (3) That the obvious incompleteness 
of this life will be supplemented by a life continued 
after the death of the body, in which our individu- 
ality will somehow be preserved a life to which 
the present is no more than a brief and scarcely 
intelligible preface, suggesting many problems 
which would be intolerably burdensome did we 
not look elsewhere for their solution. 

" Comparing now the two forms of thought 
Science and Religion, you will see that they both 
tell us something of ourselves and of the world 
about us ; but the things they tell are very 
different, though by no means antagonistic. Science 
shows us the order of nature, its methods and 
history ; Religion shows its origin, and, to some 
extent, its purpose or destiny." z 

Before concluding Part II., mention maybe made 
of the Cambridge Memorial which, notwithstanding 
the notion that prevails among unbelievers, reveals 
the fact that at least some of the teaching staff at this 
University have not eschewed all religious belief. 
Four years ago, in connection with a suggestion to 
amend one of the creeds, this Memorial was pre- 
sented to the two Archbishops. It is signed by 
ninety teachers of theology, history, law, and 
1 " Relations of the Christian Religion to Natural Science," p. 7. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 147 

science, who " fully recognise the value of the 
statement of the doctrines of the Trinity and the 
Incarnation contained in the Quicunque vult" but 
who desire the alteration of the so-called damnatory 
clauses which, it is urged, go beyond the warrant of 
Scripture. Among the Memorialists, 1 all of whom 
are "resident members of the Senate of the Uni- 
versity of Cambridge, being communicant members 
of the Church of England," the following are some 
of the teachers and professors of science : 

Dr. Bushell Anningson, M.A., M.R.C.S., Lecturer 
in Medical Jurisprudence. 

Mr. T. G. Bedford, M.A., Sidney Sussex, Director 
of Natural Science Studies. 

Dr. W. H. Besant, M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S., Mathe- 
matical Lecturer. 

Mr. Lancelot A. Borradaile, M.A., Lecturer of 
Natural Science and Director of Medical Students. 

Professor J. Buckley Bradbury, M.D., F.R.S., 
F.R.C.P., Downing Professor of Medicine and 
Croonian Lecturer at the Royal College of Phy- 
sicians (1899). 

Dr. R. T. Caldwell, M.A., LL.D., Master of 
Corpus Christi ; Mathematical Lecturer. 

Mr. Arthur Bernard Cook, M.A., Queens' College, 
Reader in Classical Archaeology to the University 
since 1908. 

Mr. R. F. D'Arcy, M.A., Lecturer in Physics. 

Charles M. Heycock, M.A., F.R.S., Lecturer in 
Natural Science. Goldsmith Reader in Metallurgy. 

Professor Alexander Hill, M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P., 
Vice-Chancellor of the University, 1879-99 ; late 
1 On the Athanasian Creed, Times, July 22, 1905. 



I 4 8 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Master of Downing ; Htmterian Professor of the 
Royal College of Surgeons, 1884-85 ; ex-President 
of the Neurological Society. 

Mr. A. Hutchinson, M.A., Lecturer in Natural 
Sciences and Demonstrator in Mineralogy. 

Mr. H. C. Knott, M.A., Lecturer in Mathematics, 
Selwyn. 

Professor George D. Liveing, M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S., 
Professor of Chemistry, 1861-1908. He started the 
first Laboratory at Cambridge in 1852. 

Professor Alfred Newton, M.A., F.R.S., Professor 
of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy ; ex-Vice- 
President of the Royal Society, and ex-President of 
the Zoological Society. 

Professor William Ridgeway, M.A., D.Sc., D.Litt., 
LL.D., Professor of Archaeology since 1892 ; Cor- 
responding Member of the Archaeological Society, 
Athens ; President, 1908, of the Anthropological 
Section British Association ; President of the An- 
thropological Institute, 1908-09. 

Dr. H. B. Roderick, M.A., University Demon- 
strator of Surgery. 

Dr. W. H. D. Rouse, M.A., F.R.G.S., M.R.A.S., 
University Teacher of Sanskrit since 1903 ; Presi- 
dent of Folklore Society, 1904-06 ; Head Master of 
the Perse Grammar School. 

Dr. Edward ]. Routh, Sc.D., F.R.S. 
Mr. Arnold J. Wallis, M.A., Mathematical Lec- 
turer, Corpus Christi. 

Mr. William C. Whetham, M.A., F.R.S., Lecturer 
in Natural Science at Trinity College ; author of 
"Studies in Nature," "Country Life," and "The 
Recent Development of Physical Science." 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 149 

There is no reason to doubt that a similar, or 
even greater, portion of the teaching staff of the 
other Universities are also members of the Christian 
Church. 



PART III 

To the twenty-three letters of inquiry sent to the 
United States, fourteen replies were received. Out 
of these ten are, with their respective writers' con- 
sent, included here. The remaining four, although 
not for publication, do not in any way antagonise 
Religion. 

As to those who did not respond at all, six at 
least are known to be members of various Churches. 
Thus : 

Professor Cleveland Abbe, LL.D., the well-known 
Meteorologist and Lecturer on Meteorology at 
Johns Hopkins University since 1896, is a member 
of the Baptist denomination. 

Professor Robert G. Aitken, Sc.D., an astronomer 
in the Lick Observatory, since 1907, is a Congre- 
gationalist. 

Professor Edward A. Birge, Sc.D., Ph.D., LL.D., 
Professor, and for many years Head of the Depart- 
ment of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin, is 
also a Congregationalist. 

Professor Charles Eliot, LL.D., late President of 
Harvard University, is a Unitarian. 

Professor James Harris, Ph.D., a biologist; In- 
structor in Biology in the Washington University, 
is also a Unitarian. 

150 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 151 

Professor Lynde Jones, Ph.D., Professor of 
Zoology at Oberlin College, Ohio, is a member of 
the Congregational Church. 

The first reply received from America was from 
Professor Newcomb. 

Professor Simon Newcomb, 1 probably the greatest 
astronomer America ever produced ; was for many 
years Professor of Mathematics in the United 
States Navy ; Professor of Mathematics and As- 
tronomy at the Johns Hopkins University, 1884-94 J 
was one of the eight members of the Institute of 
France, he being the first native American to 
receive the honour ; Sc.D., D.C.L., LL.D. ; Fellow 
or Member of nearly every important Scientific 
Society in Europe and America ; and author of 
several works on Astronomy, the last of which he 
dictated from his death-bed. 

Professor Newcomb was unable to reply to the 
questions submitted. But in answer to a subse- 
quent letter, Mrs. M. C. Hassler Newcomb wrote 
that the Professor said: "Tell him certainly he is 
welcome to publish what I said about the world's 
debt to Astronomy." In the chapter entitled "The 
World's Debt to Astronomy " Professor Newcomb 
expressed the opinion that : 

"The more enlightened a man is, the more he 
will feel that what makes his mind what it is, and 
gives him the ideas of himself and creation which 
he possesses, is more important than that which 
gains him wealth. I therefore hold that the world's 
greatest debt to Astronomy is that it has taught us 
what a great thing creation is, and what an in- 
i Died July n, 1909. 



152 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

significant part of the Creator's work is this earth 
on which we dwell, and everything upon it. That 
space is infinite, that wherever we go there is a 
farther still beyond it, must have been accepted 
as a fact by all men who have thought of the 
subject since men began to think at all." 1 

Then, having referred to certain stars, he ad- 
vanced the suggestion that : 

" For aught we know every one of those stars 
may have planets like our own circling round it, 
and these planets may be inhabited by beings equal 
to ourselves. To suppose that our globe is the 
only one thus inhabited is something so unlikely 
that no one could expect it. It would be very nice 
to know something about the people who may 
inhabit these bodies, but we must await our transla- 
tion to another sphere before we can know any- 
thing on the subject." 2 

" Meanwhile," concluded the Professor, "we have 
gained what is of more value than gold or silver ; 
we have learned that creation transcends all our 
conceptions, and our ideas of its Author are 
enlarged accordingly." 

Professor Wilbur O. Atwater,3 Ph.D. (Yale), Pro- 
fessor of Physiological Chemistry ; founded (in 
1888) and was Director of the Office of Experiment 
Stations in the United States Department of Agri- 
culture ; and Special Agent of the Department of 
Agriculture, 1891-1903. 

Professor Atwater's daughter, after referring to her 
father's death, says : 

1 " Sidelights on Astronomy," p. 222. 

2 Ibid. p. 225. 3 Died September, 1907. 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 153 

" If you care for a second-hand statement of what 
I know quite well was his opinion on the questions 
you raise, let me say that he saw no real opposition 
between the facts of Science and the Christian 
Religion, and that he believed that eminent scientists 
of his day, however much they might disagree with 
specific dogmas of the various branches of the 
Christian Church, were, generally speaking, neither 
hostile nor indifferent to the spirit of Christianity." 

Nikola Tesla, famous throughout both continents 
as inventor and electrician. Since 1903 he has been 
chiefly engaged in the development of his system 
of world Telegraphy and Telephony. From New 
York he writes : 

" I regret to say in reply to your letter, that I 
do not feel myself competent of answering your 
question. Religion embraces so many things. If 
the belief in a Higher Principle is the one essential 
requirement, I should say that the majority of the 
men of science are religious. 

" I have thought much over this theme, and some 
years ago when I wrote an article (Century 
Magazine, June, 1900), I had prepared a chapter 
dealing with the intellectual forces urging men 
onward. It was too involved for the average 
reader, and I thought it best to leave it out. 
Should I have an opportunity of publishing my 
conclusions, I shall recall your correspondence and 
will take the liberty of mailing you a copy." 

Professor David Starr Jordan, biologist and 
zoologist ; President of Leland Stanford Junior 
University since 1891 ; Professor of Biology at 
Butler University, 1875-79 ; Professor of Zoology, 



154 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

1879-85, and President, 1885-91, at Indiana 
University ; Fellow and Member of the Ameri- 
can Association for the Advancement of Science, 
American Philosophical Society, Academy of 
Science, Biological Society, National Education 
Association ; Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of 
Philosophy, Doctor of Laws ; is the author of 
several works, including " A Footnote to Evolu- 
tion." He replies thus : 

" It is undoubtedly true that the investigation of 
science runs contrary to the unscientific thought 
of a great many people, and that this unscientific 
thought has been tangled up with religion, as one 
tradition becomes affiliated with another. As I 
once said, much that we called religion is only 
the debris of our grandfathers' science. I do not 
find, however, any evidence that the fundamental 
teachings of Jesus are in antagonism to any of the 
established facts of science. In so far as they 
touch the same ground, there is a most tremendous 
agreement. I take it that the teachings of Jesus 
must be regarded as identical with the fundamentals 
of Christianity. 

" It certainly is not my experience to find men 
of science irreligious or anti-Christian. A few 
scientific men doubtless are, but it is a matter of 
temperament and not of science." 

Professor John P. Munson, biologist ; Fellow of 
Zoology in the University of Chicago ; Hon. Fellow 
in Biology at Clark University ; Investigator in the 
Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, 
Massachusetts ; Director of Zoology of the Sea- 
side Station of the University of Minnesota ; 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 155 

Professor of Biology at Washington State Normal 
School ; author of " Method of Teaching Nature 
Study," &c., &c. ; member of the Seventh Interna- 
tional Geological Congress ; member of the Associa- 
tion of American Anatomists, and of many other 
learned Societies ; Ph.D. (Yale), 1892 ; and Ph.D. 
(University of Chicago), 1897. Professor Munson's 
answer is as follows : 

" i. Has scientific research shown the Bible to 
be untrue ? To this question I would say, No ! 
The Bible is considered to be a condensed record 
of the economic, social, and political history, 
science, poetry, philosophy, ethics, theology, and 
religious experiences of a people. It has all the 
characteristics of a complete literature in that it 
contains what is most universal in human expe- 
rience, and consequently strikingly applicable to 
all races and conditions of men. Modern Natural 
Science concerns itself no more with the Bible 
than it concerns itself with Milton's great Epic 
or with Shakespeare's plays. As a record of the 
intellectual and {religious life of a people, Science 
accepts the Bible as a fact as readily as it accepts 
the Saga literature of our old Norse ancestors. 
That the early Biblical writers held the views of 
cosmogony that they did is a valuable item of 
information which we are all glad to have, and 
which Science accepts as gladly as any other 
important fact of history. Their view-point was 
the na'ive anthropomorphism of children ; and 
many modern minds are apt to have uncomfort- 
able experiences when they try to 'put the new 
wine into old bottles/ to think mediaeval thoughts 



156 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

in the midst of the modern world, to confine the 
practical Western minds to the mystical teleology 
of the East. This is not due to any great scientific 
discovery, but to a changed condition of the mind 
itself, owing to a greatly altered material, social, 
and intellectual environment, which modern Science 
has brought about. 

" 2. Are leading men of science irreligious ? If 
to be religious means to accept the creed of one 
denomination ; to bow before the priest as the 
vicar of God ; and to blindly accept a one man's 
interpretation of religion, then I believe men of 
science, as a class, are irreligious. If, however, to 
be religious is to have that attitude of mind which 
is most conducive to a realisation of those blessings 
which the Master has taught us to pray for, and 
that kinship to the Divine which is expressed in 
' Our Father ' and ' Thy Kingdom come,' I should 
say that the true scientist must be classed as a 
religious being. 

" 3. Are scientists anti-Christian ? Christianity 
is one form of religion. There are other forms 
also ; and there are scientists who are born and 
bred under the influences of these other religions. 
It is as difficult to state whether scientists are anti- 
Christian as it would be to answer the questions 
when applied to other people, as, for instance, 
merchants, lawyers, or mechanics. It is probably 
true that many scientists are opposed to many 
forms of Christianity which some good people 
mistake for the Christianity. But I believe the 
trouble is not with the candid, open-minded 
scientist, but with the narrow and dogmatic 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 157 

advocate of creeds, who imagines that his views 
of Christianity are the only correct ones. For- 
tunately, the real Christianity is comprehensive 
enough to satisfy both types of mind, for it is 
largely a mode of mental activity. My conviction 
is that scientists who are worthy of that name 
have the highest regard for Christianity, and for 
the ethical and spiritual elements it contains. 
Scientific problems are so far removed from 
theological ones that the latter never enter 
scientific discussions. Yet Christianity is the 
atmosphere, so to speak, in which Science does 
its best work. 

"4. Is there a real antagonism between the 
established facts of science and the fundamental 
teaching of Christianity ? 

" The ' antagonism ' between the two is a 
common expression, and the fact that this ex- 
pression is common suggests certainly a con- 
sciousness of such antagonism. I should say 
that there is the same antagonism that exists 
between childhood and mature manhood ; for 
when we are children we think and act as 
children, but when we become men we put 
away childish things. This is simply a law of 
life, a matter of growth and development. But 
the scientist is not the only one who finds it 
necessary to put away the naive anthropomorphism 
of his youthful dreams. The man in the factory 
does so ; and the man in the pulpit, the student 
of human history, is more apt to become rebellious 
than the student of natural history. But children 
will be children, and will think the thoughts and 



158 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

dream the dreams of children. I believe the 
scientist would be the last to wish to deprive 
any one, young or old, of that religious life which 
is natural to him." 

Dr. William C. Kendall, M.A., naturalist; Prin- 
cipal of public schools at Thompson, Minnesota, 
1885-87; Principal of Patten (Maine) Academy, 
1887-89 ; from 1889, science assistant (naturalist) 
United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, 
now Board of Fisheries, Department of Commerce 
and Labour. He is a Fellow of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, 
Washington Academy of Sciences, Washington 
Biological Society, and other learned bodies. To 
the questions Dr. Kendall responds : 

" I cannot subscribe to the statements that you 
have quoted i.e. t ' scientific research has shown the 
Bible and Religion to be untrue/ and that Mead- 
ing men of science are irreligious and anti-Christian.' 
Basing my opinion upon my interpretation of what 
constitute the ' fundamental truths ' of Christianity 
and the l established facts' of science, I do not 
regard them as in any way antagonistic, and that 
there is therefore no real conflict. 

"The historical, so-called, conflict between Science 
and Religion was not between established facts either 
in Science or Religion, but between theory and 
dogma, and any apparent conflict at the present 
time is still between dogma and theory. Such 
apparent conflict is not general, but more or less 
individual, and owing to a misunderstanding, or 
lack of understanding, of what constitute the 
established facts of science on the one hand and 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 159 

what the fundamentals of Christianity are on the 
other. 

"Church ceremonies, doctrines, creeds, and 
methods are not the t fundamental truths ' of 
Christianity any more than the methods, technique, 
and theories of science are the ' established facts ' of 
science. Theories are only theories, whether in 
science or religion, and truths must necessarily be 
true in either case, and ' fundamental truths ' of 
Christianity are accordingly ' established scientific 
facts/ 

"Regarding your last question, if in my experi- 
ence I have found men of science irreligious and 
anti-Christian, my observations and acquaintance 
with a few scientific men indicate that in the same 
way that most Churchmen are unscientific so are 
most men of science irreligious. That is to say, 
the active religious worker of the present day has 
no time for scientific pursuits, and it is obviously 
true that the active scientific worker has little time 
for religious activity. Yet I think I can safely say 
that while many leading men of science do not 
agree wholly with Church doctrines, as they under- 
stand them, they are by no means anti-Christian, 
and, according to their understanding of the 
principles of Christianity, are truly Christian/' 

Dr. William ]. Holland, M.A., a distinguished 
naturalist ; Director of the Carnegie Museum, Pitts- 
burg; Vice-President of the Carnegie Hero Fund 
Commission since 1904; Chancellor of the North- 
Western University, Pennsylvania, 1891-1901 ; 
naturalist of the U.S. Eclipse expedition to Japan, 
1887, and Africa, 1889; an authority on zoology 



160 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

and palaeontology; Fellow of zoological and ento- 
mological societies, London; and also member of 
many American scientific associations ; author of 
scientific papers bearing 225 titles ; is a Doctor 
of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and a Doctor of 
Laws. The Doctor answers : 

" Replying to your lines of February 8th, I desire 
to say, it hardly seems worth while to pay any 
attention to the utterances of persons such as the 
one of whom you speak, who declares that present 
scientific research has shown the Bible and Religion 
to be untrue, and that leading men of science are 
anti-Christian and irreligious. Both of these state- 
ments are not correct, as any one who is at all 
acquainted with the world of scientific men very 
well understands. Between pseudo-science and 
religion, and between pseudo-theology and science, 
there of necessity exists conflict, but what is true 
in science is not in conflict with what is true in 
religion. Truth throughout this universe of ours 
is harmonious. I probably have as extensive an 
acquaintance with the scientific men of all lands 
as it falls to the good fortune of most men to have, 
and I know that the vast majority of my acquaint- 
ances in scientific circles are reverent, and many 
of them devout men, who find nothing whatever 
in the facts of science to conflict with their faith in 
the existence of 'a Power making for righteousness/ 
' in whom we live and move and have our being/ 
Of course, there are irreligious men in the ranks of 
scientific men, just as there are unscientific men 
among the ranks of those who are religious. It 
would be invidious for me to cite the names of 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 161 

multitudes of living men whom I could mention 
on both sides of the Atlantic who are distinguished 
alike for their scientific attainments and for their 
faith. Nobody who knew them, however, could 
deny that such men as Joseph Henry, Joseph le 
Conte, and the elder Agassiz, who were princes in 
the world of science, were also men of deep re- 
ligious convictions. Both Dr. Henry and Dr. le 
Conte, I happen to recall, were office-bearers in 
Christian Churches to which they belonged. 
Henry, as you know, was one of the greatest 
physicists, and Le Conte one of our greatest 
geologists. 

"I could multiply instances by the hundred of 
eminent men of science who are consistent and 
faithful members of Christian Churches. You have 
scores of them in your own city of London. It is 
mere twaddle to talk about the conflict between 
Science and Religion. When a man indulges in 
that kind of chatter, I am always certain he either 
does not understand what Science is, or is devoid 
of an understanding of the fundamental teachings 
of true Religion." 

Professor J. J. Walsh, M.D., Dean and Professor 
of nervous diseases at Fordham University, New 
York ; Professor of Physiology and Psychology at 
the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York; 
Professor of Biology at Champlain Summer School ; 
is a Doctor of Philosophy and a Doctor of Laws. 
The Professor writes : 

" I am enclosing to you two syllabuses and some 
announcements which show you better than I could 
say it over again what I think of the relation of 

12 



162 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Science and Faith. It is a question of the relation 
of scientists and Faith. All the greatest scientists 
have been believers. They have no trouble at all 
in reconciling Science and Faith. It is smaller 
men who have found that their little buckets of 
minds were not large enough to hold Science and 
Faith. As you will see by the enclosed, I have 
devoted some years to bringing this fact out, and in 
the course of the next two or three years will have a 
series of books that show it most clearly." 

The syllabus referred to above contains an- 
nouncements of several works by Professor Walsh, 
including "Makers of Modern Medicine" and 
" Makers of Modern Astronomy." 

Professor Edmund J. James, Ph.D., President of 
the State University of Illinois since 1904 ; Founder 
and, for eleven years, President of the American 
Academy of Political and Social Science ; Founder 
and President for six years of the American Society 
for the Extension of University teaching in Phila- 
delphia ; ex-Vice-President of the American Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of Science ; and is the 
author of many monographs on educational and 
social questions. He replies : 

" In answer to your favour of the I3th, I beg to 
say that in my opinion there is no real conflict 
between the facts of science and the essential teach- 
ings of Christianity. I may say further that, speak- 
ing generally, it has not been my experience to find 
men of science irreligious or anti-Christian. 

" I am President of a State University with five 
thousand students and nearly five hundred members 
of the scientific and instructing staff in which we 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 163 

make no religious tests of any description, either as 
to members of the faculty or as to students. We 
have, in fact, no definite official information as to 
the religious or irreligious attitude of students or 
professors. 

" But I think I am quite safe in saying that the 
great majority of the members of the faculty are 
members of Christian Churches and are active in 
Church work of various kinds. I believe this is also 
true of our student body, and so far as I can find 
there is no feeling whatever in the University circles 
at large that there is any necessary antagonism 
between active membership in a Christian Church 
and absolute and complete devotion to scientific 
research. 

"This is not saying, of course, that all our pro- 
fessors or all our students believe in the dogmas of 
the Church, or that any one of them believes in all 
the dogmas of the Church interpreted as some 
people in the past have interpreted them. I am 
speaking here simply of their relation to active 
Christian work and their attitude to the Church as 
a whole. I cannot, of course, undertake to say 
because I do not know how much of the historic 
creeds is believed by the members of our faculty, 
individually or collectively." 

Professor Fred L. Charles, a biologist and writer 
on Nature study ; Fellow in Zoology at North- 
Western University ; received M.S. degree, 1895 ; 
Instructor in Biology, Lake View High School, 
Chicago, 1895-97, and also in 1898-99 ; Professor 
of Biology, since 1899, Northern Illinois State Nor- 
mal School, at which he has been Head of the 



164 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

Science Department since 1903 ; a Member of the 
American Association for the Advancement of 
Science, the Association of Central States Science 
and Mathematics Teachers, and the Botanists of 
Central States. Writing from the Department of 
Biology, Professor Charles says : 

" I cannot see how there can be antagonism 
between Science and Religion. Religion, as I 
understand it, is man's recognition of God ; Science 
is his recognition of material facts. How there can 
be any antagonism between God and God's handi- 
work, I cannot conceive. Theology is a very 
different matter, and there can be a lack of harmony 
between Theology and Science, as, indeed, there 
can be between different Theologies. 

" I cannot see how any one in the twentieth 
century can take exception to Christ's teachings. 
As to the Old Testament stories, however, if they 
are to be included in what you call Religion, and 
if you are to take them literally, there may be some 
trouble involved for those whose doubts are aroused 
concerning such evidences. 

" Personally, such matters give me little concern. 
The Genesis story of creation is to me a story, an 
allegory, and while it interests me greatly, it does 
not form a part of my religion. My conception of 
God, my attitude toward Deity, is but strengthened 
and enriched by my scientific studies. You quote 
a statement that ' scientific research has shown the 
Bible and Religion to be untrue,' and that ' leading 
men of science are irreligious and anti-Christian ' ; 
to this I could not assent, although it is certain that 
a scientific age has greatly modified our conception 



RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 165 

of things theological. As to the fundamental teach- 
ings of Christianity, the advancing centuries serve 
only to establish them more firmly and more 
generally throughout the whole world. There is 
certainly no conflict between the fundamentals of 
Christianity and the teachings of science ; rather 
does Science afford a more practical basis and a 
wider field for the establishment of a world- 
Christianity." 

It was seen, in the opening pages, how Mr. 
McCabe claims that the vast majority of scientists 
are agnostic ; his more aggressive friends and 
followers go farther and state that they are 
irreligious, anti-Christian, atheistic ! The utter 
groundlessness for such a claim is, to the observant 
reader, quite clear. In the whole of the replies 
received both those marked " Private " and those 
which appear in this book there is not one man 
of science who avows himself an atheist, and, 
with one, perhaps two, doubtful exceptions, there 
are no avowals of agnosticism. 

It is also claimed by the advocates of " Rational- 
ism " that Religion and Science are hopelessly op- 
posed. The reader has seen that quite a galaxy of 
men of science themselves regard such a statement 
as the very reverse of true. Certain non-essentials 
of Religion have, with the advance of knowledge, 
been rejected ; and, doubtless, in the future other 
accretions to the Faith will also be discarded. 
But notwithstanding the clash of scientific con- 
jectures and humanly devised dogmas, the funda- 
mentals of Christianity will remain. They are 



166 RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF SCIENTISTS 

built on the rock of Truth ; and between them 
and the truths of Science there can be no real con- 
flict. Rather does Science, as Mr. Charles puts it, 
" afford a more practical basis and a wider field for 
the establishment of a world-Christianity." 



MYTHIC CHRISTS AND THE TRUE 

By Rev. Dr. W. ST. GLAIR TISDALL, M.A., 

James Long Lecturer on Oriental Religions. 
CLOTH, Is. net. PAPER, 6d. net. 

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Sunday School Chronicle. "The volume is, in fact, one of the most 
valuable that has been issued for a long time." 

The Churchman. "The book ought to have a large circulation. In no 
hackneyed, but in a very real and literal sense, this book will meet a long 
felt want." 

Baptist Times. " Its value is decidedly great. It is printed in a cheap 
form so as to bring its sound and illuminating conclusions within the reach 
of all." 

Church Family Newspaper. "Of considerable value and special 
interest. Contains a large amount of valuable information carefully com- 
pressed, and is at once popular and scholarly." 

British Congregationalist. "As a piece of criticism in the sphere of 
comparative religion, this little book is an excellent piece of work. Dr. 
Tisdall having studied Oriental religions in the original languages of their 
sacred books is in the position to test the utterances of writers like Mr. 
J. M. Robinson, in his ' Pagan Christs,' and Mr. Vivian Phelips, in ' The 
Churches and Modern Thought,' while Dr. Frazer is severely taken to task." 



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CHRISTIANITY AND ITS OPPONENTS 

Reports off Lectures to Sceptics, with 
Questions, Answers, and Debates. - 

PRICE 3d. each net. 

WHAT IS THE OLD TESTAMENT? 

REV. C. L. DRAWBRIDGE, M.A. 

THE YALUE AND AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE. 

REV. R. BROOK, M.A., Tutor, Lecturer, and Chaplain of 
Merton College, Oxford. 

BIBLICAL CRITICISM. 

REV. R. BRUCE TAYLOR, M.A. 

THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST. 

REV. T. A. LACEY, M.A. 

THE NEW TESTAMENT MIRACLES. 

REV. C. L. DRAWBRIDGE, M.A. 

THE RESURRECTION AND THE RESURRECTION 
BODY. REV. CANON C. H. ROBINSON, M.A. 

THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST. 

REV. J. A. DOUGLAS, B.A., B.D. 

PAGAN CHRISTS. 

REV. DR. W. ST. CLAIR TISDALL, M.A., James Long 
Lecturer on Oriental Religions. 

RELIGION AS AN ART, COMPARED WITH RELIGION 

AS A SCIENCE. REV. J. H. RUSHBROOKE, M.A. 
CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL REFORM. 

REV. A. J. WALDRON. 

PICTURING GOD AS MAN-LIKE. 

REV. J. MONRO GIBSON, D.D., M.A., LL.D. 

PRAYER. 

YEN. H. E. J. BEVAN, M.A., Archdeacon of Middlesex. 
The above complete in one Volume. Cloth, 2s. 6d. net. 

Great Thoughts. "The booklets are most interesting and should be 
widely read." 

Sunday at Home. "A striking series of publications. As evidential 
treatises the books may be cordially recommended." 



HUNTER & LONGHURST, 58 & 59, PATERNOSTER Row, LONDON, E.G. 

FOR THE 

NORTH LONDON CHRISTIAN EVIDENCE LEAGUE. 



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