Re: Vienna cardinal draws lines in Intelligent Design row

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Mon Nov 21 2005 - 12:39:37 EST

In response to this flurry, I will quote three passages from Michael Idvorsky Pupin, a great Serbian Orthodox physicist whose spiritual biography I recently completed (article length) for a forthcoming volume. All 3 need to be seen together, in order to understand both where he was and where I also am on this issue.

If this terrestrial cosmos, this creation of simple law and beautiful order, is the result of accidents in our solar system, as some astronomers suggest, then let us pray to divine providence that such accidents occur a countless number of times in the galaxies of the heavenly stars.
        *Pupin, "Man and the Universe," American Review of Reviews 83 (March 1931): 85.

... Science and Religion are the offsprings of the same fundamental belief that there is an eternal truth which is intelligible, and that the longing is deeply planted in the soul of man to search for the morsels of this truth in every nook and corner of the physical as well as of the spiritual universe. Without this longing the life of man would lose most of its beautiful meaning; it would certainly lose the knowledge of its Creator.
        *Pupin, "Foreword" to Science & Religion: A Symposium (New York: Scribner's, 1931), xi.

I feel the heavy hand of the fundamentalist pulling me down, and the icy chill of his disapproving voice reminds me that his theology will not permit an interpretation of Genesis which cannot be understood by people whose knowledge of science is about the same as that of the Assyrians and Chaldeans of several thousand years ago.
                 --Pupin, From Immigrant to Inventor (1923), 85.
Received on Mon Nov 21 12:40:56 2005

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