A lifetime of scientific discovery has reinforced man’s faith in God

While the NASA telescope he helped create scans the galaxy for stirrings of life on distant planets, David Koch fights for his own.

Born in Milwaukee 66 years ago, Koch returned to Wisconsin last year to be close to family during his struggle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord controlling muscle movement…

The mission is approved for four years, but the Kepler team is hoping to get it extended. His failing health forced Koch to retire in August, but he still keeps up on the project.

“I thank the Lord for what I can still do,” he said. “I look at God as the greatest physicist.”

A lifetime of scientific discovery has reinforced Koch’s faith in God. He treasures his Lutheran faith, and he taught Bible classes until this year.

Borucki compared their Kepler project to building a cathedral. They laid in the floor, and it will be up to future generations to erect the walls and roof.

Humans need to stay curious, Koch said, and we must keep exploring our own world and others. As a scientist, he hesitated to speculate about whether there are creatures like us elsewhere in the universe.

“Maybe we’re unique,” he said. “Maybe we’re the only place where there is intelligent life. We don’t know. That’s what is so important about this first step.”