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The Religious Affiliation of Nobel Prize-winning physicist
Antony Hewish
known for his work in radio astronomy, notably pulsars

Antony Hewish is an influential radio astronomer who received the Nobel Prize for his work on pulsars.

Antony Hewish is a Christian whose denomination and precise religious background is as yet unknown to us. He does not appear to strongly identify with a specific denomination.

From: Tihomir Dimitrov, 50 Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God (2007), chapter 16, (; viewed 19 April 2007):

1. To the question, "What do you think about the existence of God?" Prof. Hewish replied:

"I believe in God. It makes no sense to me to assume that the Universe and our existence is just a cosmic accident, that life emerged due to random physical processes in an environment which simply happened to have the right properties.

As a Christian I begin to comprehend what life is all about through belief in a Creator, some of whose nature was revealed by a man born about 2000 years ago." (Hewish 2002a).

2. To the inquiry, "What do you think should be the relationship between science and religion? Why do you think so?" Prof. Hewish gave the following answer:

"I think both science and religion are necessary to understand our relation to the Universe. In principle, Science tells us how everything works, although there are many unsolved problems and I guess there always will be. But science raises questions that it can never answer. Why did the big bang eventually lead to conscious beings who question the purpose of life and the existence of the Universe? This is where religion is necessary." (Hewish 2002a).

3. To the question, "What is your opinion on the nature of God? Do you think that God is a rational Creator (Designer)?" Prof. Hewish gave the following answer:

"God certainly seems to be a rational Creator. That the entire terrestrial world is made from electrons, protons and neutrons and that a vacuum is filled with virtual particles demands incredible rationality." (Hewish 2002b).

4. And to the inquiry, "What should be the place of religion in our modern materialistic world?" Antony Hewish replied:

"Religion has a most important role in pointing out that there is more to life than selfish materialism." (Hewish 2002b).

"God is a concept, which I need to cohere my total experience. Christianity comes nearest to the formal expression of this for me. You've got to have something other than just scientific laws. More science is not going to answer all the questions that we ask." (Hewish, as cited in Candid Science IV: Conversations with Famous Physicists by Istvan Hargittai, London, Imperial College Press, 2004, 637).

[Sources noted in Bibliography:]

Hewish, Antony. 2002a. A letter to the compiler T. Dimitrov. May 27.

Hewish, Antony. 2002b. A letter to the compiler T. Dimitrov. June 14.


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Webpage created 19 April 2007. Last modified 19 April 2007.
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