Derek H. R. Barton: Establishing God as Truth


barton 2.pngOn 16 March 1998, Derek Harold Richard Barton (1918–1998) passed away in College Station, TX. Educated at Imperial College London (PhD, 1942), he was co-awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Odd Hassel (1897–1981) “for their contributions to the development of the concept of conformation and its application in chemistry.” He was also known for the reactions named the Barton reaction, Barton decarboxylation, Barton–McCombie deoxygenation and Barton–Zard synthesis.

The book Cosmos, Bios, Theos (Open Court, 1992) provides some of Prof Barton’s thoughts on theology.

When scientists make numerous repeatable experiments or observations, they establish truth. Religion seldom wishes to make experiments and the truth that is accepted is often divine intervention of God in the affairs of man. However, what is written is written by man, with the liability of human frailty. The observations and experiments of science are so wonderful that the truth that they establish can surely be accepted as another manifestation of God. God shows himself by allowing man to establish truth …

“There is evidence that at one point in time the universe that we observe today was compressed into a point which exploded. Why not? But the matter of the universe had an infinite existence before this happened and will have an infinite future. God may well choose to redistribute matter and energy from time to time.”

“As I have already stated, God is Truth. But does God really have anything to do with man? Certainly I cannot believe that God accepts only one religion, or one sect, as the only group authorized to speak for man. I would believe that God accepts all, even those who pretend not to believe. Morality and religion interact and much beneficial human behavior results from this interaction.”

Margenau, Henry, and Roy Abraham Varghese. Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens. (Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing, 1992), 145, 147.
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Stanley L. Jaki – Science as a Pathway to God


Stanley L. Jaki was born in 1924 in Györ, Hungary. He entered the Benedictine Order in 1942. After completing his undergraduate training in philosophy, theology and RoadofScience200mathematics in 1947, he went to the Pontifical Institute of San Anselmo, Rome, where he received a doctorate in theology in December 1950. In 1948 he was ordained a priest. Dr. Jaki held the STD in systematic theology, Istituto Pontificio di S. Anselmo (Rome, 1950), a PhD in physics from Fordham University (1957), and several honorary doctorates. Dr. Jaki gave the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in 1974-75 and 1975-76. The lectures were published as The Road of Science and the Ways of God. In 1987, he was awarded  the Templeton Prize for furthering understanding of science and religion. Jaki authored more than two dozen books on the relation between modern science and orthodox Christianity.

From 1951, Dr. Jaki taught systematic theology at the School of Theology of St Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. During this time, he attended in the same college courses in American history, literature, mathematics and sciences to secure American recognition of his undergraduate training done in Hungary. He received his BS from St Vincent College in 1954. The same year, he began doctoral research in physics in the Graduate School of Fordham University, New York, under the mentorship of the late Dr. Victor F. Hess, the discoverer of cosmic rays and a Nobel-laureate. Dr. Jaki’s thesis was published in the June 1958 issue of Journal of Geophysical Research under the title, “A Study of the Distribution of Radon, Thoron, and Their Decay Products Above and Below the Ground.” Between 1958 and 1960 he did research in the history and philosophy of physics at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. From 1960 to 1962 he was Visiting Fellow in the Program for the History and Philosophy of Science at Princeton University. From 1962 to 1965 he wrote the important work, The Relevance of Physics (University of Chicago Press, 1966). From 1975 to his death, he was Distinguished University Professor at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey. He held doctorates in theology and in physics and was a leading contributor to the philosophy of science and the history of science, particularly to their relationship to Christianity.

He was among the first to claim that Gödel’s incompleteness theorem is relevant for theories of everything (TOE) in theoretical physics. Gödel’s theorem states that any theory that includes certain basic facts of number theory and is computably enumerable will be either incomplete or inconsistent. Since any ‘theory of everything’ must be consistent, it also must be incomplete.

He died on 7 April 2009 in Madrid, Spain following a heart attack. He was in Spain visiting friends, on his way back to the United States after delivering lectures in Rome on Faith and Science at the Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum.


“Biography: Stanley L. Jaki.”  Gifford Lectures.
“Stanley L. Jaki.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.

Further recommended reading:
John J. Mulloy. “Fr. Stanley L. Jaki on Science as a Pathway to God.” Article from “The Dawson Newsletter.” Spring 1995. 
John Beaumont. “Does science disprove God? A great philosopher-priest showed that it couldn’t.” 20 April 2016.
Stacy A. Trasancos. “Fr. Stanley Jaki’s Definition of Science.” 8 April 2015.

The god of the Astronomers and the true God


In a recent article on Catholic Link, Mauricio Artiedo writes:

The god of the Astronomers

This god is as beautiful as the moon. His followers contemplate him with admiration and respect, especially at night, perhaps with a sincere prayer before sleep, but after that his presence in their daily lives is merely decorative. And it is not that these faithful men do not believe in him. It is not that they do not know that he incarnated and gave his life to redeem us from sin. They also know about the moon and have the certainty that some gravitational factors that allow life on Earth depend on her. That is not the problem. The point is that the god of the astronomers does not come down, he does not become concrete, nor does he get involved in the lives of others, and his mysteries belong to the past.

These believers are a very particular and sad race: they believe they have been redeemed, but they do not live as redeemed people; they believe they are loved, but they do not feel loved; they believe that the Eucharist is the body of the Living God, but in practice, he is dead.

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