Modern science exists because of the Christian faith. That is a provable fact. So, why is there so much conflict over the supposed conflict between science and Christianity? In terms of explaining the atheist myth-making about the supposed conflict — having once been an arrogant atheist, myself — I can tell you that it’s born of either total ignorance (as was the case with me) or the kind of hostility that makes a person blind to the truth or willing to distort it. In terms of Young-Earth Creationism, however, I’m still trying to figure that one out. Modern science is one of the many blessings of the Christian faith, and I can only surmise that YECs have allowed the atheists to frame the argument and have accepted a gross distortion — and outright omission — of historical facts.
The Stand to Reason Blog explains that, in contrast to atheist fables, science and Christianity go way back:
The myth begins with the notion of the “dark ages,” a time when the church suppressed education. It’s just not true. Scholarship was alive and well prior to Copernicus. In fact, scholars were working on heliocentric theories before Copernicus. He learned these in university and built on them when he published in final work. His theory didn’t emerge from a dark vacuum, but from rich science that had been nurtured in the universities, many of them established by the church.
In fact, as the article goes on to point out, sociologist of religion, Rodney Stark, found that 50 out of 52 of the key figures of the scientific revolution were religious.
Hugh Ross goes even further and explains how the scientific method comes straight from the Bible:
The Bible not only commands us to put everything to the test, it shows us how. Christian scholars throughout church history, from early church fathers to present-day evangelical scientists, philosophers, and theologians, have noted a pattern in biblical narratives and descriptions of sequential physical events such as the Genesis creation account. Bible authors typically preface such depictions by stating the narrative or description’s frame of reference or point of view. In the same statement or immediately thereafter comes a listing of the initial conditions for the narrative or description. The narrative or the description itself follows. Finally, the author describes final conditions and conclusions about what transpired.
Furthermore, there is not just one narrative or description of physical events in the Bible. There are dozens. Because the Bible is inspired by God––for whom it is impossible to lie or deceive––these dozens must be consistent with one another. Therefore, each of these dozens of descriptive accounts can be used to test the validity of the interpretation of the others.
In the near future, I’ll be posting an article about the concept of linear time that’s necessary for the emergence of modern science, and how it comes from Christianity.
It’s simple: the pillars upon which modern science stand — the notion of scholarship as a form of true worship, the scientific method, and the concept of linear time / cause-and-effect — were all built by the Christian faith. As the influence of the Christian worldview wanes in the West, replaced by a worldview that actively hammers away at the pillars of science, so will the quality of science diminish. This is why Christians must reclaim science instead of turning away from it.
As your post points out, Christians never lost science. Our worldview encompasses all of reality, not merely the small percentage of reality that the empirical naturalist can know. The best scientist has always been the Christian scientist for a large host of reasons, not least because of his ethical standards.
… not least because of his ethical standards.
Not only in terms of acting as a brake on the destructive potential of the fruits of science, but also in terms of ethics in conducting science. It’s no coincidence that as the Christian influence in the scientific world is diminished, there is a surge in scientific fraud.
After 30 years of medical practice and research in molecular biology, I have witnessed these realities first hand.
Hinduism and Buddhism hold worldviews antithetical to the scientific method; Islamic monotheism can develop science but will use it for it’s own ends; its’ all too clear what Secular Humanism will do. We have all but achieved CS Lewis’ “Abolition of Man’ and Huxley’s “Brave New World’. Without Christianity science ends in violence and eventually (sometimes abruptly) in genocide.