Footsteps in Faith: Science and faith are not incompatible

| January 11, 2018 | 0 Comments



Chaplain (Capt.) Chris Yeargin

Battalion Chaplain
30th Signal Brigade
30th Signal Command (Theater)
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Matthew Fontaine Maury is a little known figure in American history.

For those who may not have heard of him, or those who do remember learning about him, his claim to historical fame is that he is the father of oceanography.

In 1855, he published The Physical Geography of the Sea, which is now credited as “the first textbook of modern oceanography.”

The most remarkable aspect of Maury’s finding the ocean waves is that he was first clued into the idea while reading his Bible. In Psalm 8:8, it says “The birds of the air and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.”

Modern answers
In the June 1989 issue of Answers magazine, which is a Bible-affirming, creation-based magazine, there was an article on Maury with the following information:

Maury determined that if God’s Word said there were “paths” in the seas, then there must be paths. So he set out to find them. He studied old ships’ logs. From these, he compiled charts of ocean-wind and sea currents.

To study the speed and direction of the ocean currents, Maury set adrift weighted bottles known as “drift bottles.” These floated slightly below the surface of the water, and thus were not affected by wind. Instructions were sealed in each bottle directing anyone who found one washed ashore to return it. From the location and date on which the bottles were found, Maury was able to develop his charts of the ocean currents – the “paths” of the seas – which greatly aided the science of marine navigation.

In 1855, Maury wrote the first textbook on modern oceanography, The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology. In this work, Maury presented oceanography from a delightfully Christian view. He included Biblical passages of meteorological and other scientific importance, such as the Scripture quote from the book of Job 28:25, which refers to God’s making “the weight for the winds.”

Maury was a great scientist and made an important discovery that impacted and influenced man’s ability to travel on the sea. But what textbooks and history will often fail to mention, or “conveniently leave out,” is Maury’s faith and the credit that God’s word deserves for the discovery.

The Bible and science are not at odds, God is responsible for both!

While the Bible is not a scientific textbook, it has led scientists to many great discoveries. Spending time in the Word of God benefits not only those who read it, but spending time in it benefits others as well – just as in the case of Matthew Fontaine Maury.


Category: Standing Columns

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *