Looking at changing what I’m doing – both earning a living and for interest – for the next stage of my life, I’m glumly aware that I’m a generalist: not a polymath but an oscillating dilettante.

The myriad possibilities are limited by my abilities and interests but still provide me with a plethora of choices. I’m thinking probably history but languages also fascinate me, as do molecular biology, logic, quantum physics, and philosophy. Unless you’re a genius like DaVinci, Euler, or Pascal, it’s next to impossible to be a Homo Renaissancis. Too little time, so much to know.

If I had my time again, I’d go for one of the sciences I think. Looking back through history, it’s fascinating to see the scientists who were also Christians – most seem to have been mathematicians or physicists – or at least believed in God. I’ve noted some of them below, sometime with quotes. (Interesting that mathematicians were among the first group of professionals to offer serious scientific objections to neo-Darwinism, in the mid 1950s.)

Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God. – Johannes Kepler

O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you! (perhaps apocryphal) – Johannes Kepler.

Holy Scripture and Nature are both emanations from the divine word: the former dictated by the Holy Spirit, the latter the observant executrix of God’s commands. – Galileo Galilei

To prohibit the whole science [astronomy] would be but to censure a hundred passages of Holy Scripture which teach us that the glory and greatness of Almighty God are marvelously discerned in all His works and divinely read in the open book of Heaven. – Galileo Galilei

Holy Scripture cannot err and the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable. I should only have added that, though Scripture cannot err, its expounders and interpreters are liable to err in many ways. – Galileo Galilei

I do not think it necessary to believe that the same God who gave us our senses, our speech, our intellect, would have put aside the use of these. – Galileo Galilei

The examination of the bodies of animals has always been my delight; and I have thought that we might thence not only obtain an insight into the lighter mysteries of Nature, but there perceive a kind of image or reflex of the omnipotent Creator himself. – William Harvey

I am not a Christian, because it is the religion of my country, and my friends, when I chuse to travel in the beaten road, it is not, because I find it is the road, but because I judge it is the way. – Robert Boyle

I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. – Isaac Newton

I think that a good deal of Faraday’s week-day strength and persistency might be referred to his Sunday Exercises. He drinks from a fount on Sunday which refreshes his soul for the week. – John Tyndall on Michael Faraday

One is completely stunned by the resourcefulness of the Creator. – Carolus Linneaus

All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths come from on high and contained in the sacred writings. – John Herschel

[John] Herschel had written an influential book, A Preliminary Discourse On the Study of Natural Philosophy, in which he advocated an inductive, religiously-neutral, bias-free Baconian ideal type of scientific investigation. He taught that one should attempt to rid his mind of all presuppositions, and follow the evidence wherever it led.

Almost all thinking men who have studied the laws which govern the animate and inanimate world around us, agree that the belief in the existence of one Supreme Creator, possessed of infinite wisdom and power, is open to far less difficulties than the supposition of the absence of any cause, or of the existence of a plurality of causes. – Charles Babbage

After the knowledge of, and obedience to, the will of God, the next aim must be to know something of His attributes of wisdom, power and goodness as evidenced by His handiwork. – James Prescott Joule It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed. – James Prescott Joule The only desire which I can have is like David to serve my own generation by the will of God, and then fall asleep. – James Clerk Maxwell

The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. – Louis Pasteur

It is the worst aberration of the mind to believe things because one wishes them to be so. – Louis Pasteur

I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. – Joseph Lister

To a scientist humbly seeking the guidance of God and a liberator to men of the white race as well as the black. – on the Roosevelt medal won by George Washington Carver in 1939

Mr. Creator, why did you make the peanut? – George Washington Carver

Other Christians or at least theists who were or are scientists are:

John Lennox

Leonhard Euler

Bernhard Riemann

Gregor Mendel

Max Planck

John Polkinghorne

Arthur Edward Wilder-Smith

Edgar Andrews