A Reverent Scientist

Author Melinda Penner Published on 06/05/2014

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, helped lay the foundation for modern physics. He was also a mathematician, engineer, and inventor. His most significant work was developing the laws of thermodynamics with James Joule. He invented submarine telegraphy and worked on the project laying the trans-Atlantic telegraph line. He was the first scientist to be honored with a peerage and received 21 honorary degrees. His work “portended the relativity theory and quantum theory.”

He did not believe evolution could explain the creation of man and the variety of life, which angered Darwin and Huxley. He believed God created, and his scientific inquiry led to greater worship for the Creator.

Some quotes from Lord Kelvin:

We feel that the power of investigating the laws established by the Creator for maintaining the harmony and permanence of His works is the noblest privilege which He has granted to our intellectual state.... As the depth of our insight into the wonderful works of God increases, the stronger are our feelings of awe and veneration in contemplating them and in endeavoring to approach their Author.... So will he [the earnest student] by his studies and successive acquirements be led through nature up to nature’s God.

Overpoweringly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie all around us and if ever perplexities, whether metaphysical or scientific, turn us away from them for a time, they come back upon us with irresistible force, showing to us our nature, the influence of free will, and teaching us that all living beings depend on one ever-acting Creator and Ruler.

We only know God in His works, but we are forced by science to admit and to believe with absolute confidence in a Directive Power—in an influence other than physical, or dynamical, or electrical forces.

He was President of Largs and Fairlie Auxiliary of the National Bible Society of Scotland from 1904-1907.

He is buried at Westminster Abbey near Isaac Newton.