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The Mandate

Physicist Wins Religion Prize

By Editorial Staff
Published April 21, 2008

Science Boosts Faith, Physicist Says

Paul Davies, a British-born mathematical physicist and professor of philosophy, was recently awarded the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Davies, who teaches at the University of Adelaide, Australia, was honored for his work arguing that advances in science help bolster belief in the existence of God rather than detract from it.

Davies worked with Stephen Hawking in the 1970s studying black holes and collapsed galaxies. He has written more than 20 books, including The Mind of God and The Last Three Minutes.

“It is impossible to be a scientist, even an atheist scientist, and not be struck by the awesome beauty, harmony, and ingenuity of nature,” Davies said. “What most impresses me is the existence of an underlying mathematical order, an order that led the astronomer Sir James Jeans to declare, ‘God is a pure mathematician.’”

Davies, who is the third physicist to win the prize, added, “By affirming that science and religion can engage in a constructive dialog, the Templeton Prize serves to remove one of the abiding myths of our age – that science is dehumanizing and that scientists peddle a message of despair. I for one will continue to teach my message of hope,” he said.

The Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion was begun in 1972 by John M. Templeton, an American financier who founded the Templeton group of mutual funds. Past winners include Dr. Billy Graham and Mother Theresa.


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