Scientists

(Catholic)

Introduction

SCIENTISTS HAVE ALWAYS SOUGHT KNOWLEDGE

FROM THEIR OBSERVATION OF STUDY

Do we really need proof that God exists.

If so, for some people, "Oh ye, of little faith", then science is the proof. Yes, science proves the existence of God.

 

Science has always pointed to God and science proves the existence of God.

 

Scientists through the ages have wisely sought out knowledge from painstakingly systematized observation and study. And where does all this knowledge come from? It comes from God. "Because the Lord giveth wisdom and out of his mouth cometh prudence and knowledge." PRV 2:6 

Many scientific discoveries have been made by Catholic scientists to benefit man and society.

List of lay Catholic Scientists

Catholic Scientists

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lay_Catholic_scientists

SEE ALSO:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_clergy_scientists

-1600

Scientists A-Z

 

A-G

Jean Buridan 1300-1358

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean Buridan 1300-1358

 

Buridan was a French philosopher and priest. One of his most significant contributions to science was the development of the theory of impetus, that explained the movement of projectiles and objects in free-fall. This theory gave way to the dynamics of Galileo Galilei and for Isaac Newton's famous principle of Inertia, an important development in the history of medieval science.  His name is most familiar through the thought experiment known as Buridan's ass.

 

Buridan was a teacher in the faculty of arts at the University of Paris for his entire career, focusing in particular on logic and the works of Aristotle. Buridan sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe.

 

ref:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Buridan

Ignazio Danti 1536-1586

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ignazio Danti (April 1536 – 19 October 1586), was an Italian priest, mathematician, astronomer, and cosmographer. As bishop of Alatri he convoked a diocesan synod to deal with abuses.

 

Danti  painted 30 maps of different regions of the world. He worked on many  significant scientific and cosmographic projects in Florence, including the large terrestrial globe of the Guardaroba (1564–1568), and a number of brass scientific instruments, such as an astrolabe.

ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignazio_Danti
 www.newadvent.orgnewadvent.org/cathen/04633a.htm
www.catholic.orghttps://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=3655

Galileo Galilei 1564-1642

 

 

                                                                                                     Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

 

Galileo Galilei was often referred to simply as Galileo. He was an Italian physicist and astronomer who used the telescope to study the heavens, contributed to the field of mechanical physics, proposed the heliocentric model of Copernicus (the sun at the center) as the accurate universal model.

ref:

Conservapedia

Pierre Gassendi 1592-1655

 

 

                                                                                      Pierre Gassendi


Pierre Gassendi (22 January 1592 – 24 October 1655) was a French philosopher, priest, astronomer, and mathematician. He was an active observational scientist, publishing the first data on the transit of Mercury in 1631. He tried to reconcile Atomism with Christianity, and corrected the geographical coordinates of the Mediterranean Sea. The lunar crater Gassendi is named after him.[1]

In addition to this he did work on determining longitude via eclipses of the moon and on improving the Rudolphine Tables. He addressed the issue of free fall in De motu (1642) and De proportione qua gravia decidentia accelerantur (1646).
 

Being a devout Catholic he always attended Sunday Mass, and Feast days. When nearing his death, and in his last illness, he asked for the Viaticum three times for extreme unction.

"Gassendi was esteemed by all, and loved by the poor for whom he provided in lifetime and in his last will."[2]

Ref:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Gassendi

[2] newadvent.org/cathen/06391b.htm

Robert Grosseteste 1175-1253

                                                                                                     Robert Grosseteste


Robert Grosseteste (ad. 1175 – 9 October 1253) Bishop of Lincoln, he was the central character of the English intellectual movement in the first half of the 13th century and is considered the founder of scientific thought in Oxford. He had a great interest in the natural world and wrote texts on the mathematical sciences of optics, astronomy and geometry.

 

He affirmed that experiments should be used in order to verify a theory, testing its consequences and added greatly to the development of the scientific method.

 

He was born of humble parents at Stradbroke in Suffolk.

Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Grosseteste

H-M

 

Hildegard of Bingen 1098-1179

Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179): Also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.[1] She was an

artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, and theologian[2]

ref:

[1] Wikipedia

[2] https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-hildegard-of-bingen/

Juan Lobkowitz 1606-1682

Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz

 
Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, (May 23, 1606 in Madrid — September 7 or 8, 1682 in Vigevano)

Juan Lobkowitz was a Cistercian monk who did work on Combinatorics and published astronomy tables at age 10.  He was a scholastic philosopher, ecclesiastic, mathematician and writer. He also did works of theology and sermons. 


Works

He published no fewer than 262 works on grammar, poetry, oratory, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, physics, politics, canon law, logic, metaphysics, theology and asceticism.

Caramuel was also the first mathematician who made a reasoned study on non-decimal counts, thus making a significant contribution to the development of the binary numeral system.

Ref:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Caramuel_y_Lobkowitz
- newadvent.org/cathen/03329c.htm

Alburtus Magnus 1206-1280

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Albert the Great


 


What’s a list of major intellectual achievements without a Dominican or two on the list?! Fr. Albertus Magnus is the patron saint of the natural sciences and a Doctor of the Church because of his great work in in physics, logic, metaphysics, biology, and psychology.
 

Albertus Magnus (1206 – November 15, 1280), also known as Albert the Great, was the Bishop of Regensburg. A German Dominican, a teacher, a scientist, philosopher, theologian and an extraordinary genius. Contemporary Ulrich Engelbert calls Albert "the wonder and the miracle of his age." 

 

Albert was a teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas.

 

He introduced Greek Arabic science and philosophy to medieval Europe. He also decisively positioned the Church toward Aristotle's philosophy of merging religion and science.

 

Albert proved to the world that the Church is not opposed to the study of nature, and that faith and science may go hand in hand. He was designated a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI, in December 1931. Saint Albert the Great is the patron saint of scientists.

https://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=410

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=144

https://www.conservapedia.com/Albertus_Magnus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albertus_Magnus

 

N-P

Nicholas of Cusa 1401-1464

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464): Catholic cardinal and theologian who made contributions to the field of mathematics by developing the concepts of the infinitesimal and of relative motion. His philosophical speculations also anticipated Copernicus’ heliocentric world-view.

ref: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_of_Cusa

Nicole Oresme 1323-1382

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait of Nicole Oresme: Miniature from Oresme's Traité de l'espère, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France, fonds français 565, fol. 1r.

 


Nicole Oresme  Ad. 1320–1325 – July 11, 1382) was Bishop of Lisieux.

He was a philosopher, economist, mathematician, and physicist, and one of the principal founders of modern science.


He wrote influential works on economics, mathematics, physics, astrology and astronomy, philosophy, and theology. One of his many scientific contributions is the discovery of the curvature of light through atmospheric refraction.
 

He was a translator, a counselor of King Charles V of France, and probably one of the most original thinkers of 14th-century Europe.

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicole_Oresme
-  www.religionfacts.comreligionfacts.com/library/catholic-encyclopedia/oresme-

Blaise Pascal 1623-1662

 

 

 

 

 

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a French mathematician and philosopher, who was homeschooled by his father.

A child prodigy, Pascal wrote his first scientific paper at age 8 and by 16 had written a mathematical essay advancing the field of geometry.

At age 19, Pascal invented the first calculating machine. At age 23, Pascal proved the existence of the vacuum, which made possible barometers, hydraulic devices and hypodermic syringes.

At age 31, Pascal developed a deep relationship with Christ. To help others know Christ, Pascal proposed a "wager" (Pascal's wager):

"Christianity must be either true or false. If you bet that it's true and accept Christ, then if it is true you have gained everything. If it's false, then you've lost nothing and have had a good and happy life. But if you bet that Christianity is false, and it turns out to be true, then you have lost everything."


Pascal wrote:

"When everything is moving at once, nothing appears to be moving, as on board ship. When everyone is moving toward depravity, no one seems to be moving, but if someone stops, he shows up the others who are rushing on, by acting as a fixed point." - Pascal, quoted in The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage (Page 170)

Ref:

- Conservapedia

Q-T

 

Anton Maria of Rheita 1604-1660

 

 

 

Anton Maria of Rheita (1604–1660)  a friar, was an astronomer and optician. He developed several inverting and erecting eyepieces, and was the maker of Kepler’s telescope.

"Things appear more alive with the binocular telescope," he wrote, "doubly as exact so to speak, as well as large and bright." His binocular telescope is the precursor to our binoculars.

Ref:

-Wikipedia

Nicolas Steno 1638-1686

Blessed
Nicolas Steno
Vicar Apostolic of Nordic Missions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Portrait of Steno as bishop


Nicolas Steno (1638 -1686) was a Lutheran convert to Catholicism, his beatification in that faith occurred in 1987. As a Danish scientist he is considered a pioneer in both anatomy and geology, but largely abandoned science after his religious conversion. He became a Catholic bishop in his later years.

Nicholas Steno made great strides in anatomy and geology. Various parts of the body are named after him: Stensen’s duct, Stensen’s gland, Stensen’s vein, and Stensen’s foramina. He is also the founder of the study of fossils.
 

Scholars consider him one of the founders of modern stratigraphy and modern geology.

While "residing in the Netherlands he had begun to doubt the truth of the Lutheran doctrines, and became convinced of the truth of Catholicism. He entered the Church on 4 November, 1667.

Ref:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Steno
[2] newadvent.org/cathen/14286a.htm

U-Z

 
Ferdinand Verbiest

"Le Pere Ferdinand Verbiest"
(Detail of engraving from French book about Chinese empire, published 1736)[1]

Father Ferdinand Verbiest (9 October 1623 – 28 January 1688) was a Flemish Jesuit missionary in China during the Qing dynasty. He was born in Pittem near Tielt in the County of Flanders (now part of Belgium).[2] He is known as Nan Huairen. 


He was an accomplished mathematician and astronomer and proved to the court of the Kangxi Emperor that European astronomy was more accurate than Chinese astronomy. He then corrected the Chinese calendar and was later asked to rebuild and re-equip the Beijing Ancient Observatory, being given the role of Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory.


He joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) on 2 September 1641.[2] Verbiest continued studying theology in Seville, where he was ordained as a priest in 1655.[2] He completed his studies in astronomy and theology in Rome.[3]
His intention had been to become a missionary in the Spanish missions to Central America, but this was not to be. His call was to the Far East, where the Roman Catholic Church was 'on mission' to compensate for the loss of (Catholic) believers to the emerging Protestantism in Europe.[3]


Astronomy Contests
In 1664, the Chinese astronomer Yang Guangxian (1597–1669), who had published a pamphlet against the Jesuits, challenged Schall von Bell to a public astronomy competition. 


Yang won and took Schall von Bell's place as Head of Mathematics. Having lost the competition, Schall von Bell and the other Jesuits were chained and thrown into a filthy prison, accused of teaching a false religion. They were bound to wooden pegs in such a way that they could neither stand nor sit and remained there for almost two months until a sentence of strangulation was imposed. 


A high court found the sentence too light and ordered them to be cut up into bits while still alive.[5] Fortunately for them, on 16 April 1665,[6] a violent earthquake destroyed  the part of the prison chosen for the execution. An extraordinary meteor was seen in the sky, and a fire destroyed the part of the imperial palace where the condemnation was pronounced.[7] 


This was seen as an omen and all the prisoners were released. However, they still had to stand trial, and all the Jesuits but Verbiest, Schall von Bell and two others were exiled to Canton. Schall von Bell died within a year, due to the conditions of his confinement.[4]


In 1669, the Kangxi Emperor managed to take power by having the remaining (corrupt) regent, Oboi, arrested. In the same year, the emperor was informed that serious errors had been found in the calendar for 1670, which had been drawn up by Yang Guangxian. Kangxi commanded a public test to compare the merits of European and Chinese astronomy. 


The test was to predict three things: the length of the shadow thrown by a gnomon of a given height at noon of a certain day; the absolute and relative positions of the Sun and the planets on a given date; and the exact time of an anticipated lunar eclipse. 


It was decided that Yang and Verbiest should each use their mathematical skills to determine the answers and that "The Heavens would be the judge". The contest was held at the Bureau of Astronomy in the presence of senior-ranking government ministers and officials from the observatory.


Unlike Yang, Verbiest had access to the latest updates on the Rudolphine Tables, and was assisted by telescopes for observation. He succeeded in all three tests, and was immediately installed as Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory. 


Out of consideration for him, the exiled Jesuits were authorized to return to their missions. Meanwhile, Yang was sentenced to the same death he had planned for his Jesuit rival, but the sentence was reduced to exile and he died en route to his native home.[2][4][5][8]

 

Verbiest's 'car'

 

 

 

 

 

 

The steam 'car' designed by Verbiest in 1672 – from an 18th-century print

Beside his work in astronomy, Verbiest also experimented with steam. Around 1672 he designed – as a toy for the Chinese Emperor – a steam-propelled trolley which was, quite possibly, the first working steam-powered vehicle ('auto-mobile').[17] Verbiest describes it in his manuscript Astronomia Europea that was finished in 1681. A friar brought it to europe and it was then printed in 1687 in Germany.

 

In this work, Verbiest first mentioned the (latin) term motor in its present meaning. With one filling of coal, he wrote that the vehicle was able to move more than one hour. [18] As it was only 65 cm (25.6 in) long, and therefore effectively a scale model, not designed to carry human passengers, nor a driver or goods, it is not strictly accurate to call it a 'car'.[19] Despite this, it was the first vehicle that was able to move by 'self-made' engine power.


Since the steam engine was still not known at that time, Verbiest used the principle of an aeolipile. Steam was generated in a ball-shaped boiler, emerging through a pipe at the top, from where it was directed at a simple, open "steam turbine" (rather like a water wheel) that drove the rear wheels.


It is not verified by other known sources if Verbiest's model was ever built at the time and it does not exist any authentic drawing of it, although he had access to China's finest metal-working craftsmen who were constructing precision astronomical instruments for him.


Final days and death
Verbiest died in Beijing shortly after receiving a wound from falling off a bolting horse.[16] He was succeeded as the chief mathematician and astronomer of the Chinese empire by another Belgian Jesuit, Antoine Thomas (1644–1709). 


His remains were buried near those of two other famous Jesuits – Matteo Ricci and Johann Adam Schall von Bell – on 11 March 1688. Visiting their tomb is not easy, since it is on the campus of a College of Political Science, but it is well-maintained.[5]


Verbiest was the only Westerner in Chinese history to ever receive the honour of a posthumous name by the Emperor.

 


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Verbiest
 

 
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