[T]here are people in the world who maintain that the hypothesis of evolution has explained everything, that the universe is self-contained and self-sufficient, that the law called Uniformity of Nature makes a controlling God unthinkable and impossible, that there has never been a creation... and that there is no purpose to anything... they are Materialists, the fighting force of a polite and hesitating scepticism.... they claim very emphatically, with gallant Prince Haeckel at their head, to know all. And their all is nothing. — Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, 1910
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How short the space between the two cardinal points of an earthly career, the point of birth and that of death; and yet what a universe of wonders are presented to us in our rapid flight through this space. – Joseph Henry (1797-1878), the "American Faraday"
Pascal excelled at just about everything he tried: mathematics, physics, hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, mathematics, statistics, invention, logic, debate, philosophy, and prose. We speak of “pascals” of pressure, Pascal’s Principle, and a computer language named Pascal. Computer scientists remember the Pascaline, an early mechanical calculator he invented, and mathematicians speak of Pascal’s triangle. Literary historians call Pascal the Father of French Prose, and theologians debate Pascal’s Wager while evangelists use it to reason with sinners about the gospel. Few, however, know much about the personal life of this scientific and mathematical genius. He knew pain, he knew conflict, and he knew Jesus Christ with a depth and sensitivity that few experience. And he accomplished all his discoveries without reaching his 40th birthday.
Pascal’s last writings are all the more poignant when we remember he wrote much of them while suffering intensely. A contemporary wrote, “He lived most of his adult life in great pain. He had always been in delicate health, suffering even in his youth from migraine …” Pascal died at age 39 in intense pain from stomach cancer. After his death, a servant found a surprise in the lining of Pascal’s coat….
Two men who recently died are now being honored for their willingness to have stood up to the majority and advanced views that were unpopular at the time.
An article appearing on a science news site portrayed Christian megachurches as a drug. What if the tables were turned?
Drip down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down righteousness; let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, and righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it. — Isaiah 45:8