Science in Christian Perspective
A MATHEMATICIAN'S PRAYER
From: JASA 16 (March 1964): 7
Our Father in heaven, we thank Thee for the orderly beauty of the nature which surrounds us-for the delicate symmetry of the snowflake; for the intriguing diversity of living forms; for the manifold patterns into which matter is organized; for the ever-fresh and vital urge of spring; for the spark of life within each cell.
We thank Thee that we live in a world, a nature, a universe that is ever progressing; that the laws which describe so many aspects of this progress are discoverable to us; that we need not live in a dark, chaotic, unpredictable, and frightening world of superstition and fear-but that we have been blessed with a capacity to analyze and understand a nature which is orderly and logical.
But we pray, 0 Father, that our little knowledge not make us arrogant or presumptuous. Help us to remember that our knowledge is, at best, superficial and limited. We discover the laws of matter-but we do not know what matter is. We study the steps by which evolution has proceeded-but we do not understand the essential urge that spurs evolution on. We analyze the behavior of living things-but do not know what life is. Help us to remember that deep within all these problems there remains a central core which our science does not penetrate. And help us humbly to recognize that this core, this living essence, this one central and remaining mystery, is in Thy divine keeping. Amen. -Warren Weaver, Ph.D., Medicine At Work, vol. 3, no. 12, Dec. 1963, p. 2 (c. 1963, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Assn., used by permission).