Real Southern Quote: God vs. Science

In researching quotes by the late rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, we found the man was eminently quotable. Rather than keeping those to ourselves, we’ll keep them coming for the rest of the week.

In today’s world, arguably more than any time in history, the divide between religion and science is almost impossible to bridge. Perhaps it is endemic of our times that every topic, every debate must be polarized to the point of absurdity; the only choice is “either-or,” never “both-and.” Fortunately for us, Real Southern Men haven’t always thought that way … even those born and raised in Germany:

“Through science, man attempts to understand the laws of creation; through religious activities, he attempts to understand the intentions of the Creator. Each approach is a search for ultimate truth.”  -Wernher von Braun

Further, he hoped that other scientists who also had a faith in God would extol the virtues of this “both-and” approach:

“With all the modern means at our disposal, with schools, churches, educational institutions, press, radio, and television, they should tell the world that religion and science are not incompatible; that, to the contrary; they belong together.”  -Wernher von Braun

Because von Braun lived in the middle 20th century, dying in 1977, it might be easy to dismiss his beliefs as antiquated and archaic, even to the point of nostalgia. However, this was a man who was at the forefront of human scientific ambition. If any man had an excuse to lapse into rote humanism, it was he who designed the rockets that sent men to the moon. Instead of science driving him away from faith, however, it seems to have driven him toward it:

“My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”  -Wernher von Braun

There are countless more quotes from von Braun on this topic. You could summarize his views on the matter this way: observation of the known universe, from exacting scientific study to casual observation, points to the existence of design. Anyone who’s ever seen the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico from white sandy beaches with a beautiful Southern belle at his side would find it hard to disagree.

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