In conversation with Nobel Nominee Dr. Fritz Schaefer



For 18 years Dr. Schaefer was a faculty member at the University of California at
Berkeley, where he remains Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia. Following are the excrepts of a personal conversation with Jerry & Liny.

Professor Henry F. (Fritz) Schaefer is one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world. The U.S. News and World Report cover story of December 23, 1991 speculated that Professor Schaefer is a “five time nominee for the Nobel Prize.” He has received four of the most prestigious awards of the American Chemical Society, as well as the most highly esteemed award (the Centenary Medal) given to a non-British subject by London’s Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, his popular lectures on science and theism have riveted large audiences in nearly all the major universities in the U.S.A. and in Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Calcutta, Cape Town, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Zurich.

 

For 18 years Dr. Schaefer was a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley, where he remains Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia.

 

Recently Dr. Schaefer was in Hyderabad to address an open forum held by Sakshi and UESI. Jerry Thomas and Liny Jerry had the rare privilege having Dr. Schaefer for a few hours at their home. Following are the excerpts of the conversation.

  

Jerry & Liny: Dr. Schaefer, it must be very difficult for you to remain as a believer in the midst of other great scientists.

 

Dr. Schaefer: There are many believers among the great scientists. Majority of the scientists are believers. You will find more atheists in humanities and philosophy than in science. So I have many believers among the scientists.

  

Jerry & Liny: You have been to India for nine times. How do you find the response each time?

 

Dr. Schaefer: In the initial visits, there was a lot of opposition from the intellectuals in India. They mistakenly thought that I was targeting India specifically. However, later they realized wherever I go, whether it is China or Russia, I preach the same message. After realizing this, the intellectuals in India no longer show such opposition as in the initial years. Now, they are more curious to know the reasons for my belief. One of best meetings in India was held in IIT (Chennai). There were many questions and tremendous response.

 After sometime Dr. Schaefer asked us how we met and got married. We replied that it was a traditional arranged Indian marriage. At this time, Dr. Schaefer discussed about the various forms of marriage and its merits and demerits.

Dr. Schaefer: I think there are a lot of advantages in this arranged marriage. In arranged marriage, you must love because you are married. Marriage is permanent there. In love marriage, you get married because you love each other. Unless one has Christ in love marriage, the marriage would not last.  


Jerry & Liny
: Yes. In fact, every marriage has to be arranged by God who is love.

 

Dr. Schaefer: Exactly.

 

After a few minutes, the conversation changed into the Templeton Prize for religion for which Dr Schaefer was nominated.

 

Dr. Schaefer: Earlier, it was possible for an evangelical Christian to get that prize. Templeton’s former wife was a Christian. As long as she lived, he also appeared as a believer. However, after her death, he married a lady for Bahi. Now, there are many pantheists in the committee and it is not possible for an evangelical Christian to get that prize. Last time I met my good friend Chuck Colson, he told me that Senior Templeton’s son John Templeton is a believer. We must wait and see how things will shape will John Templeton would get the control from his father. But Templeton’s story is a story of how to become non Christian.

 

Later Dr. Schaefer prayed for the blessings of Jerry & Liny and departed with a promise to meet again.

  

Dr. Fritz Schaefer’s Lectures can be found in the following links.

 

  1. Scientists and Their Gods
  2. Questions Intellectuals Ask About Christianity
  3. The Way of Discovery: A Personal Journey of Faith
  4. Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and God

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One Response

  1. Hi,

    Its good to read the inteview. I\’ll get back to you with my elabrate feedback.

    Great! Keep up the good work for His glory.

    (Philip Verghese \’Ariel\’)

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