George Washington Carver was an eminent researcher in botany and agricultural science.
(This post continues my discussion begun in Botanist Supports Creation 1.)
Carver was known as the “Plant Doctor” for the way plants thrived under his care. Yet despite this intimate familiarity with the plant kingdom, Carver did not accept evolutionism, the scientific dogma of his day.
Carver was a committed believer in the Creator and saw clear evidence of the Creator in the things He created.
“My prayers seem to be more of an attitude than anything else. I indulge in very little lip service, but ask the Great Creator silently daily, and often many times per day to permit me to speak to Him through the three great kingdoms of the world which He has created, viz. – the Animal, Mineral, and Vegetable kingdoms; their relations to each other, to us, our relations to them and the Great God who made all of us. I ask Him daily and often momently to give me wisdom, understanding, and bodily strength to do His will, hence I am asking and receiving all the time.”
Carver credited Yahweh as the Maker and Revealer of what he discovered, as these quotes show:
Carver gave God the credit for inspiring him to think of new uses for common plants and materials. He thought his scientific work and his faith in God were thoroughly compatible and enhanced each other.
“I never have to grope for methods: the method is revealed at the moment I am inspired to create something new…Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.”
“How I thank God every day that I can walk and talk with Him. Just last week I was reminded of His omnipotence, majesty, and power through a little specimen of mineral sent to me for analysis…I have dissolved it, purified it, made conditions favorable of crystals, when to before my very eyes, a beautiful bunch of sea green crystals have formed and along side of them a bunch of snow white ones. Marvel of marvels, how I wish I had you in God’s little workshop for a while, how your soul would be thrilled and lifted up.”
“I am not interested in any science that leaves God out; in fact, I am not interested in anything that leaves out God.”
An Atlanta Journal reporter once questioned Carver about the permanency of clay paints he had developed. Carver replied,
“Why should they not be permanent? God made the clay in the hills; they have been there for countless generations, changeless. All I do is prepare what God has made, for uses to which man can put it. It is God’s work-not mine.”
(From George Washington Carver by Gene Adair, p. 82.)
Many opposed Carver’s faith in and reliance on the Creator and severely criticized him for claiming that God revealed discoveries to him. Even The New York Times jumped into the fray on November 20, 1924 with a critical editorial titled “Men of Science Never Talk That Way,” thereby revealing the Times‘ preconceived bias against the Divine.
Carver had addressed the Women’s Board of Domestic Missions of the Reformed Church in America at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York on November 18, 1924. He spoke earnestly about how the Creator revealed discoveries to him as he sought to understand parts of creation.
The Times feature editorial said in part about Carver,
Men of Science Never Talk That Way
“He seems to have done useful work in discovering and developing new uses for several common Southern products, and therefore it can be claimed for him that he has shown abilities of a sort not present in many of his race. It therefore is to be regretted, and by none more than by the intelligent members of that race, that Dr. Carver, in discussing his own achievements, should use language that reveals a complete lack of the scientific spirit.
Real chemists…do not ascribe their successes, when they have any, to ‘inspiration.’ Talk of that sort simply will bring ridicule on an admirable institution (Tuskegee) and on the race for which it has done and still is doing so much. All who hear it will be inclined to doubt, perhaps unjustly, that Dr. Carver’s chemistry is appreciably different from the astronomy of the once famous Rev. John Jasper, who as firmly maintained that the sun went around a flat earth.”
The Times slur, associating Carver with “flat-earthers”, was certainly unjust. The value of Carver’s research and the proof of his discoveries was evident for all to see.
Despite developing over 300 new products from peanuts and hundreds from soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes for cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, adhesives, lubricants, fuels, hygiene, food, and milk, George Washington Carver was at heart a humble man who followed the Creator. His objective was not to enrich himself but rather to serve through developing uses for the crops of poor southern farmers. Carver said,
“The primary idea in all of my work was to help the farmer and fill the poor man’s empty dinner pail…My idea was to help the ‘man farthest down.’ This is why I have made every process just as simple as I could to put it within his reach.”
“I am no great person. I am no great scientist. I have only been able to point the way in a few things. After me will come those who read and interpret the signs, the great of the world. I am only the trailblazer.”
(Unless attributed otherwise, quotes and pictures are from the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri which I visited in September 2011.)
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the seventh 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
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 1
Read the sequel:
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
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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 24, 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)