The scientist who recognizes God knows only the God of Newton. To him the God imagined by Laplace and Comte is wholly inadequate. He feels that God is in nature, that the orderly ways in which nature works are themselves the manifestations of God's will and purpose. Its laws are his orderly way of working.
The story is told of Lord Kelvin, a famous Scotch physicist of the last century, that after he had given a lecture on atoms and molecules, one of his students came to him with the question, "Professor, what is your idea of the structure of the atom." "What," said Kelvin, "The structure of the atom? Why, don't you know, the very word 'atom' means the thing that can't be cut. How then can it have a structure?" "That," remarked the facetious young man, "shows the disadvantage of knowing Greek."
For myself, faith begins with a realization that a supreme intelligence brought the universe into being and created man. It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for it is incontrovertible that where there is a plan there is intelligence--an orderly, unfolding universe testifies to the truth of the most majestic statement ever uttered--'In the beginning God.'
Typical of the fundamental scientific problems whose solution should lead to important industrial consequences are, for example, the release of atomic energy, which experiment has shown to exist in quantities millions of times greater than is liberated by combustion.
Yet is it possible in terms of the motion of atoms to explain how men can invent an electric motor, or design and build a great cathedral? If such achievements represent anything more than the requirements of physical law, it means that science must investigate the additional controlling factors, whatever they may be, in order that the world of nature may be adequately understood. For a science which describes only the motions of inanimate things but fails to include the actions of living organisms cannot claim universality.
Faith gives the courage to live and do. Scientists, with their disciplined thinking, like others, need a basis for the good life, for aspiration, for courage to do great deeds. They need a faith to live by. The hope of the world lies in those who have such faith and who use the methods of science to make their visions become real. Visions and hope and faith are not part of science. They are beyond the nature that science knows. Of such is the religion that gives meaning to life.