Have you ever heard a Bible verse that so consumed your mind and heart that it drove your thoughts, actions, and pursuits for many years upon end? Among the Psalms includes a verse that took an already-successful man’s attention and drastically affected the course of his scientific life. What follows is the scientific evidence for “Paths Of The Sea” in Psalm 8.
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. (Psalm 8:8)
This is the Bible phrase that triggered the Father of Oceanography to start a hunt for paths in the ocean.
King David of Israel composed Psalm 8 by Yahweh’s inspiration 3,000 years earlier. Yet the “paths of the seas” he pointed out have actually just been found out by contemporary men and women for 2 centuries.
The “paths of the seas” were found by Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), the Father of Oceanography.
Maury was a United States marine officer whose attention was captured by the saying “paths of the seas” upon hearing Psalm 8 read aloud. He swore to discover the scientific evidence for “Paths Of The Sea” in Psalm 8.
The story is revealed in the book A Brief Sketch of the Work of Matthew Fontaine Maury, authored by Maury’s child, Richard Launcelot Maury.
Maury studied navigation, meteorology, winds, and currents. He read 1000s of ships’ logs and charts. His 1847 Wind and Current Chart of the North Atlantic significantly decreased the lengths of ocean trips by demonstrating how to take advantage of ocean currents and winds. He reduced sailing time to California by 30 days, to Australia by 20, and to Brazil by 10. His system of recording oceanographic current and wind information was utilized around the world to establish charts for significant trade routes.
Maury stated this about ocean currents:
“There are rivers in the sea. They are of such magnitude that the mightiest streams of the land are rivulets compared to them. They are either of warm or cold water, while their banks and beds are water of the opposite temperature. For thousands of miles they move through their liquid channels unmixed with the confining waters. They are the horizontal movements called currents. The mariner can sometimes detect them by the different color of their stream, while, if they give no such visible sign of their existence, he can trace them by testing their temperature with his thermometer. There is an equatorial current sweeping from east to west all along on either side of the equator, and well nigh encircling the globe. There are polar currents setting from the polar regions toward the equator; and there are return currents setting from the equator toward the poles.”
(John W. Wayland, The Pathfinder of the Seas, The Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, 1930, p.81)
Maury’s lifetime effort at charting wind and ocean currents to discover the most effective courses for ships to follow earned him the sobriquet “Pathfinder of the Seas.”
Clued in by the words of Psalm 8, Matthew Maury found the courses of the seas by mapping the significant wind and ocean currents all over the world. This benefited commerce and ocean-going ships all over the world.
Matthew Maury was a researcher who believed in the actual truth of the Bible. He believed in the consistency of Scripture and science and used it to benefit all of humanity from his uncovering of the scientific evidence for “Paths Of The Sea” in Psalm 8.
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