Just how far does

science go?

Several scientists

weigh in…


For more use the DOOR.



Prof. Eugene P. Wigner, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics (1963) Emeritus prof at Princeton:  “The origin of the universe is a mystery for science, surely at present. It is a disturbing mystery.”


Prof. Sir Nevill Mott, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics (1977):  “I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.”


Prof. Frederick C. Robbins, MD, winner of the Nobel Prize in physiology/medicine (1954):  “No matter how deeply we probe scientifically, I doubt if we will be able to discover the ultimate answers.”


William Stoeger (PhD astrophysics, Cambridge):  “In other words, any physical model of the universe–even though it be the unified field theory–will apparently not be able to account intelligibly for the existence of the universe by itself.”


Prof. Jeffrey L. Steinfield (chemistry, Harvard, MIT): “I have become convinced that, at some level, physical reality must be more complex than our conscious minds are able to comprehend¹. It is not possible that most (or perhaps all!) of the currently fashionable cosmological constructs, such as ‘super strings,’ ‘folded dimensions,’ ‘worm holes,’ ‘pocket universes,’ and so on, might be just as fanciful as the cosmology of medieval scholasticism, with its angels, crystal spheres, and “primum mobile.


Prof. John Erik Fornaess (math, Princeton):  “Where matter came from is also unknown. It is also unknown where consciousness came from¹….We don’t have any idea where the basic ingredients of the universe came from.”


Prof Louis Neel, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics (1970):  “The progress of science, no matter how marvelous it appears to be, does not bring science closer to religion² but it leads to dead ends and shows our final ineptitude at producing a rational explanation of the universe.”³


For a really up-to-date example see our two posts on physicist Leonard Susskind [search name, or June 21, 2013, or June 24, 2013.]


¹ Note, in the two cases that point here, mention of the complexity of human consciousness that we’ve discussed earlier in several posts. It is true that certain significant advances in neuroscience have been made in recent years, but nothing, in our view, that comes close to answering the big question. Perhaps we’ll look at that more later.

² Note that admitting inadequacies in science does not automatically point to God as an alternative “source” that can provide answers, but it does open the door to thinking more broadly.

³ All these examples were taken from Darwin’s Leap of Faith by John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Harvest House, 1998), except for Nobel Prize dates, pp. 264-265 [except for Nobel Prize dates].