The “fathers of modern science”–that is, men (very few women) in the 17th century who launched the specialized fields of study within the hard sciences–were almost all Christians who studied science to “think God’s thoughts after him.” I’ll post again listing their names and fields. But one of the most fascinating cases of the NON-conflict between science and Christian faith was the monk Gregor Mendel, whose researches helped found the modern science of genetics. I dug up some info on Mendel for a Christian History e-newsletter. As with many of these posts from my Christian History days, you’ll probably find that the links are out-of-date and possibly non-functional. But the story is still a fascinating one, I think:
The Christian DNA of Modern Genetics
Though open to frightening ethical abuse, genetics has been a Christian vocation since Gregor Mendel did his famous pea-plant experiments in the mid-nineteenth century.
If canonization as a saint were—as some observers fuzzily imagine—a sort of Rotarian medal for service to humankind, the nineteenth-century monk-scientist Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) would have gained the honor long ago.
Of course, these days, not everyone may be so happy about placing a halo over the man who shows up in school science texts as the father of modern genetics. Recently, a few bad apples have been threatening to spoil the whole harvest of genetic science with wild claims about human cloning‘s potential benefits. If we bought the theories of some biological determinists, we would need only to get our hands on Saint Gregor’s relics—just a cheek cell or two would do—and we could create a whole army of scientific geniuses. Continue reading