“I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. What would you think of the historian who should refuse to consult the historical records of the Bible, because the Bible was not written for the purposes of history? The Bible is true and science is true, and therefore each, if truly read, but proves the truth of the other. The agents in the physical economy of our planet are ministers of Him who made both it and the Bible.”
– Matthew Fontaine Maury, speech given at the University of East Tennessee (1860) 1
Matthew Fontaine Maury is considered the Father of Oceanography
- He joined the US Navy in 1820.
- He circumnavigated the world from 1832 to 1836.
- In 1855, he published what is considered to be the first textbook on modern oceanography, The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology. 2
- While certainly note the first to identify the oceanic currents, Maury’s work became the definitive work on the subject
- “Mariners had, for centuries, realized that there were currents in the ocean,” said Col. Keith Gibson of VMI. “But no one had, until the time of Maury, systematically analyzed those currents to best take advantage of them.” 3