Q: What, in his early part of his life, would you say, was the key
formative influence on him?
CH: I would say that the key formative influence on Powell is the inheritance
of natural theology from his father and his mother, both; the belief that the
study of the natural world is a way of studying God, of studying God's
creation; and thereby seeing the face of God. I think in his later life this
element is subdued, it is muted, but that the face of God is always an element
in Powell's science, that he inherits this from his Methodist childhood and he
carries it with him, although he must put it in new form, in order to
distinguish himself from his father and his father's beliefs, or behaviors,
and separate himself from that, but at the same time, carry that on. I believe
that it is that inheritance, that legacy of natural theology that is most
important in Powell.