James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell. Engraving by G. J. Stodart from a photograph by Fergus of GreenackJames Clerk Maxwell (1831 -1879) lived a short, but uniquely productive, life. One of the greatest scientists of all time, he was also a sincere Bible-believing Christian. Building on the concepts and experimental work of his friend Faraday, he developed a comprehensive theoretical and mathematical framework of electromagnetic field theory, embracing all types of energy systems (excepting gravity and nuclear forces) within the famous "electromagnetic wave spectrum." Albert Einstein called Maxwell's achievement "the most profound and most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton." He also extended classical thermodynamics into the broader field of statistical thermodynamics and made many other notable contributions in physics and mathematics. His Christian beliefs were essentially "fundamentalist" in nature. He was strongly opposed to evolution and was able to develop a rigorous mathematical refutation of the famous "nebular hypothesis" of the French atheist LaPlace. He also wrote an incisive refutation of the evolutionary philosophies of Herbert Spencer, the great advocate of Darwinism. A prayer found in his handwriting after his death quoted the Genesis account of man's creation in God's image and the command to subdue the earth as the motivation for his own scientific studies, while also acknowledging his personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He was a diligent student of the Scriptures and godly in his Christian walk.

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