“Most of the things I do are just cookery. These are not my products. God put them here and I found them.”
“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
“Nature in its varied forms are the little windows through which God permits me to commune with Him, and to see much of His glory, majesty, and power by simply lifting the curtain and looking in.”
These quotes come from the first non-president to have a national monument dedicated to him. He appeared on US commemorative stamps in 1948 and 1998. Two US ships were named in his honor including a nuclear submarine. Scores of schools are named for him. Three American presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Roosevelt) consulted him.
This man also said,
“Never since have I been without this consciousness of the Creator speaking to me through flowers, rocks, animals, plants, and all other aspects of His creation.”
Who was he?
These words were spoken by a man who was born into slavery and secured as a boy in trade for a horse. He became nationally famous through his agricultural research, teaching, and service.
This “Black Leonardo”, as Time magazine styled him in 1941 (referring to the extraordinarily gifted Leonardo da Vinci), is George Washington Carver (1864/5-1943).
Carver worked to develop alternative crops to replace cotton in the South. Cotton had depleted the soil and had succumbed to the boll weevil across much of the South. Carver encouraged crop rotation and raising peanuts, soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes as economic alternatives to cotton.
Carver tells the story of the beginning of his work on peanut products:
“I asked the Great Creator, ‘Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for.’ The Great Creator answered, ‘You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size.’ Then I asked, ‘Dear Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for.’ Again the Great Creator replied, ‘Little man, you are still asking too much. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.’ So then I asked, ‘Please Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?'”
Carver went on to develop over 300 uses for the peanut and hundreds of uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. This included products for cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, adhesives, lubricants, fuels, hygiene, food, and milk.
Carver headed the Agriculture Department at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute for 47 years. This is where he did most of his agricultural research and performed his educational and service work.
Henry A. Wallace was Secretary of Agriculture (1933-40) and Vice-President (1941-45) under Franklin Roosevelt. He said of Carver,
“When Dr. Carver died the United States lost one of its finest Christian gentlemen…His outstanding characteristic was a strong feeling of the eminence of God. Everything he was and did found its origin in that strong and continuous feeling.”
(Quotes and pictures are from the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri which I visited in September 2011.)
Commentary on Carver
Carver was born a few years after Darwin published his infamous tome On the Origin of Species. He surely was cognizant of the Creation-Evolution issue during his lifetime. Yet his consistent testimony as a practicing scientist and inventor supported Creation. He credited the Creator for the things he discovered.
Like Paul in Romans 1:19-20, Carver believed in a Creator based on common evidence in nature that everyone sees. Carver “heard” the Creator’s voice in nature. He said that he saw the glory, majesty, and power of the Creator in His creation, just as the Apostle Paul said.
George Washington Carver was one of the great scientists, servants, and educators of the 20th century, and he was convinced of a Creator. The arrogance and hubris of today where man thinks he’s so advanced and despises the wisdom of previous generations regarding the existence of a Creator is foolish.
Belief in a Creator is common sense based on looking at what has been created, just as the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:18-23), President Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, John Calvin, Dr. Werner von Braun, George Washington Carver, and innumerable others have argued. The vast majority of mankind throughout history has known that there must be a Creator.
Carver was not fooled by the evolutionism that fools so many intellectuals today. He believed in a Creator and Intelligent Designer. Today’s intellectuals would also do well to pay heed to one whose research achievements earn credibility for his opinions.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the sixth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men of the past who believed in a Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
Read the sequel which continues the discussion of Carver:
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Saturday September 17, 2011 A.D.
Read my September 2011 newspaper column:
Adam’s Mythical Diary 4.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)