On 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.
Image modified from: © Science.TAMU.edu.