Donald MacCrimmon MacKay

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Donald MacCrimmon MacKay
Born(1922-08-09)9 August 1922
Died6 February 1987(1987-02-06) (aged 64)
Alma materSt Andrews University
King's College London
Spouse(s)Valerie Wood
ChildrenRobert Sinclair MacKay
David J. C. MacKay
Scientific career
InstitutionsKeele University

Donald MacCrimmon MacKay (9 August 1922 – 6 February 1987) was a British physicist, and professor at the Department of Communication and Neuroscience at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, known for his contributions to information theory and the theory of brain organisation.[1]


MacKay was educated at Wick High School and St Andrews University, and gained a PhD at King's College London.[2] In the late 1940s MacKay was among the first members of the Ratio Club.

Personal life[edit]

Married to Valerie Wood, they had five children. His oldest son is Robert Sinclair MacKay, a professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick; his youngest son was David J. C. MacKay, a professor of physics at the University of Cambridge. He died within a year of giving the 1986 Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow.

MacKay was a Christian.[3]


In our age, when people look for explanations, the tendency more and more is to conceive of any and every situation that we are trying to understand by analogy with a machine.[4]

God's way of working has been slow and gradual (the bodies of higher animals coming into being through descent with modification from earlier species), is all that is meant by the term 'evolution' as used in science. In this technical, scientific sense the idea is theologically neutral, and is widely accepted by biologists who are also biblical Christians. Nothing in the Bible rules it out.[5]

Selected publications[edit]

MacKay authored several publications. A selection:

About MacKay

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Donald MacCrimmon MacKay Gifford Lectures bio
  2. ^ MacKay, D. M. (1951). The application of electronic principles to the solution of differential equations in physics (Thesis). University of London (King's College). Maughan Library: Index to theses, 2-2818. Barcode 0202950465.
  3. ^ Haas, J. W. (1992). Donald MacCrimmon MacKay (1922-1987): A View From the Other Side of the Atlantic. PSCF 44: 55-61.
  4. ^ Cited in: Sytse Strijbos (1988) Het Technische Wereldbeeld. p. 13.
  5. ^ Mackay, Donald M. (1997 edition). Clockwork Image: Christian Perspective on Science. Inter-Varsity Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0851112428