What world-famous mathematician and astronomer believed in a Creator and said this?
“The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.”
This 17th-century German discovered the laws that describe the movements of the planets. His influence on astronomy has been so great that 400 years later in 2009, NASA named a space mission for him. The mission is designed to survey part of the Milky Way to find stars with Earth-like planets in the star’s “habitable zone.”
This man also said,
“Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
This man has a range of mountains in New Zealand as well as craters on Mars and the moon all named for him. A university in Austria is named in his honor, as well as numerous schools, streets, and observatories around the world.
Who is this renowned astronomer and creationist?
This great astronomer who fervently believed in a Creator was
Johann Kepler (1571-1630). His study of the heavens led him to proclaim,
“Great is God our Lord, great is His power and there is no end to His wisdom. Praise Him you heavens, glorify Him, sun and moon and you planets. For out of Him and through Him, and in Him are all things….. We know, oh, so little. To Him be the praise, the honor and the glory from eternity to eternity.”
In addition to his work in astronomy, Kepler’s career included service as a mathematics teacher in two Austrian cities: Graz and Linz. He was the imperial mathematician for 3 emperors. He also worked in optics and invented an improved refracting telescope.
In Kepler’s time, only 5 planets besides the Earth were known: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Kepler worked under the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). Brahe was the last of the “naked eye” astronomers, as he did not use telescopes for his observations. No previous astronomer recorded nearly as many planetary observations as Brahe. He was the most accurate observer of his day.
When Brahe died, Kepler inherited Brahe’s mammoth collection of detailed observations of planetary positions. After years of analysis, Kepler formulated his Three Laws of Planetary Motion which accounted for all the data. (See Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion for an explanation of Kepler’s discoveries.)
A century later, Isaac Newton provided a theoretical foundation for Kepler’s Laws with his laws of motion and theory of gravitation. Newton showed how Kepler’s Laws could be mathematically derived using Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation.
Commentary on Kepler
Kepler believed that God had created the universe according to a logical plan that man could ascertain through the application of his God-given reasoning powers. Kepler is credited with describing his scientific research and study of the universe as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” As we seek to understand any part of creation, we like Kepler are “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
Kepler also did not believe the universe was 15 billion years old. Rather, he believed it was on the order of 6,000 years old. For he said with regard to his book on astronomy,
“I am indeed casting the die and writing the book, either for my contemporaries or for posterity to read, it matters not which: let the book await its reader for a hundred years; God Himself has waited six thousand years for His work to be seen.”
Like Paul in Romans 1:19-20, Kepler believed in a Creator based on common evidence in nature that everyone sees. In Kepler’s case, it was primarily the evidence he saw in the heavens of an orderly, clockwork universe. He knew it had to have been created by a Great Designer. Kepler saw the Creator’s design in the night sky. He said that he saw the glory, majesty, and power of the Creator in His creation, just as the Apostle Paul said.
Kepler credited God with revealing his discoveries to him. Concerning his discovery of the 3 laws of planetary orbits Kepler said,
“I believe it was by divine ordinance that I obtained by chance that which previously I could not reach by any pains; I believe that so much the more readily because I had always prayed to God to let my plan succeed.”
Johann Kepler was one of the great scientists of the 17th 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, Johann Kepler, and innumerable others have argued. The vast majority of mankind throughout history has known that there must be a Creator.
Kepler believed in a Creator and Intelligent Designer. Today’s intellectuals would do well to pay heed to one whose scientific discoveries far exceed those of most scientists today. Kepler has earned credibility for his opinions.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the eighth 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
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
Read the sequel:
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 1
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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 October 15, 2011 A.D.
Read my October 2011 newspaper column:
Beavers and Atheists.
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)