Testimony 169. Faith is the foundation of scientific research – Zhou Xiaoqin


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Faith is the foundation of scientific research – Zhou Xiaoqin
A few days ago, 97-year-old John B. Goodenough (John B. Goodenough, whose name means “good enough”), a professor at the Austin campus of the University of Texas in the United States, became one of the three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Gudenov, the father of rechargeable lithium batteries, is the oldest Nobel laureate in history. In today’s world, almost all portable electronic products (such as power tools, medical equipment, smartphones, laptops, etc.) rely on lightweight and rechargeable lithium batteries. It can be said that the rechargeable lithium battery invented by Goodnov has opened a new era of portable electronic products.

Gudenov is an anomaly and a miracle in the scientific world. Einstein once said: “If a person has not made a great contribution to science before the age of thirty, this person is hopeless.” And Gudenov, after turning to work at Oxford University at the age of 54, began to turn to Research batteries. At the age of 64, when he was about to be forced to retire by Oxford University, he transferred to the University of Texas to continue his scientific research. At the University of Texas, he worked for more than 30 years. Goodnov is still working today! Until 3 years ago when he was 94 years old, he still arrived at the laboratory before 8:00 every morning to study new batteries and new energy sources together with his graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Goodnov is an open Christian. In an academic world that is hostile to Christianity, he makes no secret of his Christianity. A large “(Jesus) Last Supper” tapestry hangs in his laboratory, and many ornaments related to Christianity are placed in his office. He also wrote an 85-page autobiography, Witness to Grace, about 10 years ago, about how God led his life, including his childhood, his participation in World War II, and his going to the University of Chicago After switching to physics, he turned to research on batteries, and so on.

Gudenov is the second child in the family. When he was a child, his parents had a bad relationship with their husbands and wives. His mother was indifferent to him so he could not feel maternal love. He also had severe dyslexia since he was a child, sensitive and anxious. After going to Groton Christian residential school at the age of 12, Gudenow became more distant from his mother and had little contact. At Groton, he experienced God and understood that “God is love.” He said: “It was the first time I experienced this kind of love. I almost jumped out of bed. I was so excited.”

This cognition of being surrounded by God’s love has been with Gudnov for more than 80 years, which is the foundation of his research and development work. Goodnoff said using his gifts, and working with colleagues to develop innovations that protect the planet and improve human life, is an expression of his love for God and neighbor, the great biblical commandment.

The connection between scientific pursuits and the Christian faith was obvious to Goodenoff. He said: “If you believe in a Creator, you should show your admiration for the Creator by admiring His creation. Scientists show respect for the Creator by studying the planet we live on and how it works.” Appreciate, and use their discoveries to serve humanity.”

Before God, Gudenov has a gentle, humble, and sensitive heart, so he can use the eyes of his soul to see clearly the relationship between God, man, and other creatures, just like Christ who pioneered science in the early days Just like the giants of science. Such Christian giants as Newton, Pascal, Boyle, Kepler, Copernicus, Faraday, Joule, Maxwell, Galileo, Planck, Dalton, Pasteur, Mendel, Edison, etc. Newton said, “The thumb, if nothing else, would convince me of the existence of God.”

The testimonies of Goodnoff and Newton confirm the teaching of the Bible: “The things of God, which can be known by man, are revealed in the hearts of men because God has revealed them to them. Since the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and God’s Sex are clearly known, being invisible, yet it is understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)

The peace that God bestows, which surpasses all understanding, will be found in Christ-Deering  https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/RNTo79IWDiKo9Vy5hpoJtw

“Father of lithium batteries” Goodenough won the Nobel Prize. He was deeply troubled by dyslexia and parental relationship in his childhood. He changed his major repeatedly in university, took the master’s entrance examination twice, and finally decided on his research direction at the age of 54. “Is everything accidental? Why did these completely change my life? For me, all accidents are the manifestation of God’s love.” What he pursued all his life is actually walking with God.

On October 9, John B. Goodenough, affectionately known as “Good Enough” Grandpa, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. After winning the award, his legendary life quickly spread widely in the Chinese circle.

The old man was troubled by dyslexia when he was a child, and the relationship between his parents was tense when he was a child. He changed his major repeatedly during college. He majored in classical literature when he entered the school and transferred to the philosophy department in the middle. The postgraduate exam was taken twice before being admitted. It was not until the age of 54 that he started to enter the battery field, and he was called the “father of lithium batteries”. At the age of 97, he is still struggling in the front line of scientific research until recently he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with two other experts in this field. Today, the mobile phones, computers, cameras, and electric cars we use are becoming lighter and safer, thanks in large part to him.

In an interview with the media, he said: “I seem to be very happy, but I don’t care about these things at my age. I will go to the laboratory every day, otherwise, I will retire and wait to die. I won’t do that.”

Many look to Goodenough as an inspirational role model for the latest version of a late bloomer. But how does he see his own life? In an autobiography published a decade ago, Goodenough sees his life as a “Witness to Grace.”

the crying child in the corner
Goodenough’s grandfather was a devout Christian, and his father was influenced by his grandfather to study theology and prepare to serve in the church. However, when my father entered Harvard Divinity School, he was influenced by the liberal theology at that time. When he followed the academic circle to “discover the Christ in history”, it directly led to the wavering of his faith. Later, my father even accepted Freud’s theory, believing that belief is just a psychological projection of people, and he gradually moved away from the faith, although he once taught at Harvard Divinity School.

Goodenough was born in 1922 as the second boy in the family, three years older than him. Gudinough’s greatest joy in childhood was exploring the meadows and woods near his home. But the tense relationship between his parents troubled him a lot. Their marriage seemed to be a disaster, but because divorce was not so popular at the time, their parents’ marriage was like a wrecked ship, and it was going forward.

Possibly affected by this, Gudinough Jr. felt extremely insecure. At night, when he was lying alone in bed, he began to worry that he would be abandoned by his parents. Sometimes, when he heard a train whizzing by outside the window, he would quietly get out of bed and go to his parent’s bedroom to make sure they were still there. Once, after Mom and Dad drove away, Goodenough was so convinced he had been abandoned that he sat in a corner sobbing until his parents returned. That was the closest he’d come to a nervous breakdown.

From the age of seven, he suffered from dyslexia. His mechanical reading was unable to make sense of the words, a problem that persisted through college.

In 1934, at the age of 12, Goodenough entered the boarding school Groton School. Near the center of the campus is a chapel, funded by Rockefeller, that serves as the center of school activity. Every Sunday, students wear their blue school uniforms for morning and evening worship. Goodenough was taken into the choir, much to his surprise. Because he thought he was tone deaf since he was a child, even his elder brother satirized him and said, “Do you have to sing?” The experience in the choir made Gudinav very happy.

Groton Middle School Chapel:Behind the Hound, a Life-Changing Awakening

Singing in the choir introduced Goodenough to the Christian faith. Despite his family’s religious tradition, his knowledge of Christianity was extremely poor. He found that the principal came to pray for the school very early before breakfast every day. He often heard the principal pray, “Oh, Lord, help us to live with dignity and for the benefit of others.”

By his third year, Goodenough noticed something in the school’s prayer book that he didn’t understand. It read Leviticus 19:2, “You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.” He checked the dictionary to find out what “holy” meant, but there was no one in the dictionary. An answer that satisfies him. “Holiness must be more than   keeping the law! I realized that holiness is a word that cannot be defined; holiness must be an experience. I also realized that without this experience, whether it is a biblical story or a worship service. They are separated from me by a layer of veil.”

That year, he read the story of Moses. Moses saw the bush burn and not be destroyed. “The image didn’t shock me, as the setting sun could have created the illusion of burning bushes. What really surprised me was the answer Moses got when he asked God’s name: ‘I am who I am… …that I AM has sent me to you’. These words struck my imagination, and I felt as if it were the key to my doubts.” Goodenough decided to be baptized, he hoped Through baptism, he completely lifted the veil covering his rationality.

Baptism had brought him into a community, but he still felt like a layman. Then he thought again, Maybe I’ll understand after Communion. “It turned out that my confusion was still unresolved. There must be something I had overlooked!” Goodenough said.

In the fifth school year, Goodenough took an English poetry appreciation class, which was quite a challenge for him who was dyslexic. He thought the only way to learn to read poetry was to try to write it himself, and in the process of writing it, he finally understood the metaphor. One day in February, the homework assigned by the teacher was “Hounds of Heaven”, a poem about how the author was conquered by God’s love. During the Easter break, Goodenough and his father discussed the topic of faith. His father, who was a professor of religious history at Yale University at the time, told him that human beings generally have a religious appeal, and showed him the images of various gods drawn by the ancients.

Perhaps it was the stimulation of the professional class his father gave him, although it failed to reduce the confusion in his heart, that night, he had a dream, in which the images he had seen during the day flashed before his eyes one by one, each When the secondary image appeared, he shouted: “This is not God.” Finally, the head of a hound appeared in front of him. Goodenough still said, “This is not God.” Suddenly the Hound smiled, and behind the smile, there was a gentle light. Goodenough cried out in his dream: “God is love!” He woke up excitedly from the dream, jumped out of bed, and his heart was full of joy.

The next morning, Goodenough told his father about his dream, but his father advised him not to take it too seriously. His father had no idea what the dream meant to Goodenough. “It was an awakening that changed my life,” Gudinough recalled.

After returning to school, the principal noticed a change in Goodenough’s mind. One day, the principal suggested that he study theology and serve the church. But Goodenough said he wanted to evangelize as a layman. In fact, he was still afraid of public speaking. He felt that he could not be a good preacher and that he was not worthy to represent Jesus. At that time he did not understand the power of grace to make him a new creature.

While dyslexia and insecurities haven’t gone away, Goodenough is generally happy with his studies and life at Groton. His grades continued to improve, from a B to an A to an A+ before graduating summa cum laude.

A Weather Forecaster Standing Outside the Doors of Physics

In his final year at Groton, Dad finally decided to separate from Mom and start another marriage with his research assistant. Rejected by his new mother, he decided not to accept money from his parents and left home with $35 in hand to attend Yale. Although college life was tight, fortunately, he survived by being a tutor to rich kids.

Difficulties in life were not his biggest challenge at Yale. Goodenough believed that there is a universal moral code that governs human behavior, just as there are universal laws in the physical world. But Yale’s philosophy professors teach that all moral and aesthetic judgments are relative. The professors spoke convincingly but never doubted that what they said was also relative.

“Are our ideas of holiness arbitrary or inherent in human nature? Are we going to the battlefield to fight Hitler and Tojo? Are we going to fight the barbarism of Stalin? Although different people are loyal to different ideals, we have to choose which ones to follow in these extreme situations. Sadly, we too often succumb to immediate self-interest, allowing the fleeting to lure us away from our ultimate goal, often with disastrous results.” Gudiner’s Husband began to think about the direction of life.

He recalled: “I began to understand that the meaning of life is not the approval of others, but the importance of the object we serve. Do we serve ourselves, the family, the nation, or the country as the highest object of service? I want to find my calling Zhao, maybe it’s in the field of science. In my second year of university, I decided to study philosophy of science.”

After Pearl Harbor, the United States officially entered the war. Goodenough was called up with his classmates, and he accepted the advice of his mathematics professor to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a weather forecaster. In 1945, the war in Europe is coming to an end. While eating in the cafeteria, Goodenough saw a pastor bow his head in thanks for his meal. This simple gesture brought his thoughts on faith back to him. He felt that he should read the Bible again and let the Bible speak to him. The environment at that time did not allow him to read the scriptures regularly, and the military environment often made him distracted.

After World War II, Goodenough was already a captain. Although he had the opportunity to stay in the army and do meteorological work, Gudinough did not think this was his calling in peacetime. In 1946, he came to Washington and, with the help of his former mathematics professor, got a chance to study at the University of Chicago.

On the way from Washington to Chicago, Goodenough suddenly remembered that he had hoped to study physics after the war during his service, so he immediately decided to transfer to study physics after entering the University of Chicago. When he registered, a professor poured cold water on him, “At your age, those physics masters are already honored.”

Erin later became his wife-The brave make a choice, but the coward still hesitates
As a novice in physics, Gudinav encountered a big bottleneck in his research and was admitted after taking the postgraduate exam twice. Fortunately, his mentor was Zener, the inventor of the “Zener diode”. The mentor said to him: “Now you are facing two problems: one is to find a problem, and the other is to solve it.” This sentence benefited him a lot.

Another question Goodenough had was about Christianity. He found that there were some problems with the ideas of his father, who had enlightened him in faith, and the old headmaster of Groton. The old headmaster believed that faith was mainly about morality; his father used reason to criticize all religions. Goodenough also believes in the scientific method and finds and solves problems through scientific methods, but he finds that there is another dimension beyond rationality besides science, and people should keep an open attitude to this dimension.

To that end, Goodenough joined a Christian youth group at school. Although the group members have a harmonious relationship with each other, perhaps because everyone has similar educational backgrounds, it feels very arrogant and limited, which is not conducive to real dialogue. Goodenough wanted to find someone who could both be biblical and help him discover the true meaning behind the words of the Bible.

This person really showed up. In the fall of 1949, Irene Wiseman (Irene Wiseman) came to the University of Chicago. Her father was a pastor, and Irene inherited her father’s faith. She is a gifted teacher who combines cultural sensitivity with biblical understanding and insight. She knows how to listen and have a conversation, and always makes the conversation fruitful.

Encouraged by Goodenough, Erin organized a Bible study group. In the group, Goodenough and another law student often got into heated arguments. The other Christian girls used to sit there and watch the two of them speak their minds and fight each other. In the blink of an eye, the spring of 1950 came, and it was time for Goodenough and the law school boys to make a decision. The law students retreated, and Goodenough found himself completely free of doubts about Jesus’ coming to reconcile the world with God, no longer refusing to publicly admit that Jesus was the Christ.

“A Catholic once said to me, ‘Faith is a private matter,'” Goodenough said. “No! Faith is a personal matter, but we are called to bear witness to what we see so that others may too. See. Of course, our understanding today is still vague, but we should still talk to people, open the eyes of the blind, and lead the prisoner out of prison, but first, we ourselves must allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. Jesus said ‘If we do not No one can come to the Father through me’, and if we don’t see Jesus, we can’t find the way to Heaven.”

A line of poetry echoed in Goodenough’s head: “The moment of decision has come, the brave make the choice, the coward still hesitates.” This sentence has often been in his mind since he appeared in the church at Groton Middle School and emerges from it until today when he finally professes his faith and commits himself to his witness to Christ.

“My son turned out to be a damn ‘puritan'”
When Goodenough told the news of his conversion to the Lord to his classmates at the University of Chicago, everyone’s reactions were mixed. Some people are condescending and disapproving, while others think he is committing suicide rationally. Another student of Professor Zener seized on Goodenough’s beliefs to gain a competitive advantage over the professor — because being a Christian in academia always feels shaky.

When he told his mother the news, her mother was furious. It was okay to show up at church and serve occasionally, but it was embarrassing for her to testify like an evangelist. The father’s attitude was even more disappointing. He said directly to a friend: “I really don’t understand why one of my sons turned out to be a damned Puritan.”

Although his parents still plagued Goodenough’s life as much as he did when he was a child, they no longer bothered him. In 1950, Goodenough ushered in the happiest time in his life, and he and Irene entered the marriage hall. At the same time, he entered the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he focused on research related to solid magnetism, which later became computer memory.

However, Goodenough’s project had to be terminated in 1969 when funding was cut because the lab was receiving funding from the Air Force. He lost his job. However, it was this unemployment that made him turn his attention to energy materials. Later, he accepted the invitation to Oxford University and was on the road to becoming the “father of lithium batteries”. In order to avoid Oxford’s retirement system, Goodenough, 64, moved back to the United States to continue his research work at the University of Texas.

After winning the Nobel Prize, he said: “Now my team is working hard to make batteries safer and longer-lasting. I know this is a fickle society and people don’t want things to last a long time, but I like to make things that can last a long time. .” The 97-year-old Mr. Good Enough still goes to the laboratory every day, but he is not a workaholic who idolizes his career. He is well aware of the limitations of science.

As he wrote in his autobiography, “Science is the ability to break through human limitations and change destiny, but also to suppress, threaten and destroy human beings. Science can only answer ‘why things are the way they are?’ and ‘how to use them. Does knowledge achieve its goals?’ but does not help us to make a moral assessment of human goals. To do that, we need to look elsewhere.”

Goodenough continued: “The term ‘human purpose’ itself implies a premise that our lives have meaning. This is a basic premise of philosophers, artists, and religious believers. Besides, They also believe that there is a fixed and universal moral law that governs our relationship with ourselves, other people, nature, and human nature and that this moral law can be understood by man.” In his view, people should follow what Jesus said Find meaning in life.

Goodenough is well-qualified to display his reason and intelligence, but he honestly admits: “Our existence is not the result of nature alone, but has a mysterious origin.” The proud man cannot pray, because He cannot admit that there is a being higher than himself. Goodenough, a practitioner of prayer, said: “Prayer is the acknowledgment of a mysterious Being, whom you may call the Father or the Source of Life. Prayer is the acknowledgment of His sovereignty, with whom He walks. The purpose of prayer is not to carry out our will, but to enable us to understand and practice God’s will so that the Holy Spirit can use this to change ourselves and our culture. The ultimate meaning of life is actually to walk with the eternal God .”

Is life just a series of coincidences superimposed?
“When I look back on my life,” said the ninety-year-old, “I can’t help but think that my life was guided by invisible hands. I stole, I lied, I drank, I gambled, I indulged myself as a child. Why do I think this is bad?” Goodenough, who had been taught by his parents to behave and be honest, had more than once seen his father steal a cigarette while his grandfather was visiting. “I don’t believe my childhood conscience came from my upbringing, on the contrary, we have an innate sense of fairness, justice, honor.”

How can a child who suffered from dyslexia from an early age graduate with honors and finally win a Nobel Prize? “Is this just a coincidence, or is God’s grace behind the scenes?” Goodenough asked, “When I read the story of Moses, I somehow tried to figure out what ‘holy’ meant; when I dreamed When I saw the love of God in the smile of the hound, was it all just subconscious? If so, why did these experiences completely change my life?”

“Why did I meet the banker Mr. Peabody to help me when I was facing financial pressure in college? Why did I, a student who started with classics, take the path of physics after the war? It just so happened that the math professor suggested that I not join the Marine Corps and become a weathered soldier. When my math professor knew that there was a plan for further education for veterans, was it really just a coincidence? Meeting Erin was just an accident Is it?” Goodenough obviously does not see his life as a superposition of coincidences one after another, and he does not want people to see him on the Nobel Prize podium as just an inspiration to encourage children. The story, “For me, all the accidents in my life are expressions of God’s love.”