Robert Boyle

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Painting of Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle (January 25, 1627 – December 31, 1691) was a British scientist, theological writer, philosopher, and a strong Christian. Boyle is widely known as the "father of chemistry."[1]

Early life and education

Boyle was born on January 25, 1627, to Richard Boyle, the 1st earl of Cork, and his second wife who was the daughter of the secretary of state for Ireland, Sir Geoffrey Fenton.[1] He was the fourteenth child and the seventh son of his mother.[1] His family was very wealthy, and he enrolled at Eton College at the age of 8 and travelled around Europe with one of his brothers and his tutor starting in 1639.[1] He met with Galileo Galilei in 1641 and studied in Geneva until 1644, when he returned to England.[1]

Scientific work and career

Boyle's finest scientific contributions were in the field of chemistry, where Boyle's Law is named after him.[1] In his scientific work, he depended upon "experiment and observation" and was cautious about "formulat[ing] generalized theories."[1] Boyle became known as the "father of chemistry."[1]

Boyle was one of the founding members of the Royal Society of London in 1660.[1] He was offered several high positions in the organization, including president, but declined them.[1]

Boyle died on December 31, 1691, at the age of 64.[1]

Strong Christian faith

Boyle was a champion of the Christian faith.[2] He wrote many tracts,[2] including the book The Christian Virtuoso in 1690, shortly before his death.[1] He also established the Boyle Lectures which were meant to give an intellectual defense of the Christian Faith.[1]

Boyle sponsored several missionary activities around the world,[1] including John Eliot,[2] and he sponsored translating the Bible into several other languages.[1] Believing that atheism was on the rise, he wrote strongly against the naturalistic religion.[1]

Boyle's faith played a central part in his work[2][3] and believed that the universe was "under God's sustenance and supervision."[2] He did not believe any true contradictions existed between the Bible and scientific research and that any perceived mistake was due to "a mistake in science or an incorrect interpretation of Scripture."[3] Boyle had a high view of Scripture and took the early chapters of Genesis in a literal, straightforward manner.[4]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Principe, Lawrence M. Robert Boyle. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Robert Boyle: Father of Modern Chemistry. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dao, Christine (2008). Man of Science, Man of God: Robert Boyle. Institute for Creation Research (from Acts & Facts. 37 (4): 8). Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  4. Kaplan, John. Robert Boyle: Christian Man of Science. (from CEN Tech. J., vol. 12, no. 1, 1998). Retrieved January 18, 2017.

External links