In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.
Yes, the Chinese invented gunpowder and the misnamed “Arabic numbers” actually originated in India. But as Stanley Jaki, the eminent science historian has said, Science “was stillborn” in these cultures.
For many reasons but two are prominent: Their religions, their worldviews, did not allow for an ordered universe conducive to science. Also the West offered freedom to explore new ideas; elsewhere tyrants crushed anything new and threatening.
Among the extremely long parade of great scientists who were devout Christians are Copernicus, Newton, Harvey, Boyle, Pasteur, Mendel, Carver, and Georges Lemaitre who gave scientific form to the Big Bang theory. Also Raymond Damadian, inventor of the life saving MRI scanner, is worth mentioning.
Despite these facts, Voltaire and famed historian Edward Gibbon argued that the Middle Ages were the “Dark Ages”, and Christianity retarded science, the theme of PBS’s updated Cosmos series from last spring.
Two individuals are invariably used to support this view,
Giordano Bruno and Galileo.
Despite being portrayed as a “martyr for science”, Bruno was a mystic, an occultist who denied church doctrines and was burned at the stake in 1600. Though certainly a dreadful incident, Bruno’s case shows a system without legal protection for free speech, a right that evolved later in Western law.
In Galileo’s time like ours, Protestants criticized Catholics for downplaying the Bible. So when Galileo insisted that the center of the solar system was the sun not the earth, the Vatican feared that this might appear to contradict the Bible, showing that Catholics were Scripture lite.
As pressure increased during the Reformation, the Vatican told Galileo to cool it since heliocentrism was unproven, as even the then best astronomer, Tycho Brahe, thought. Besides, Galileo had been wrong about other scientific matters. But Galileo had a big ego, understandable perhaps, since he was a genius and had powerful admirers like popes, cardinals and the Medici family.
Thus, he overplayed his hand, refusing to back off. As punishment, he was sentenced to spend his remaining years in his villa in Florence with occasional visits outside. There he continued his work, remained a Catholic and died a natural death in 1642.
He was not convicted as a heretic, imprisoned or tortured. And no evidence exists that during sentencing he mumbled, “Still it moves,” meaning that despite his recantation, the earth does move around the sun.
Actually it is hard to find “martyrs for science.” Though one can find examples under materialist, atheistic systems as, for example, during the French Revolution, the Academy of Sciences was closed for a year. And revolutionists did guillotine the groundbreaking chemist, Antoine Lavoisier. But Lavoisier was also an aristocrat, a Catholic and a tax collector, not correct affiliations to have during the Revolution.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/08/the_truth_about_science_and_religion.html#ixzz3CvPqsFPj
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10 thoughts on “The Truth About Science and Religion”
truly a marriage made in heaven[science&religion] ,both need open and inquisitive minds while understanding that certain truths exist and both need faith to function
50 years or so after the printing press got busy there were 20 million books in Europe……
excellent. simply excellent, and thanks.
Well explained, as usual Dr. Hanson.
Belated birthday wishes are in order as well, if I am not mistaken.
Oops! My sincerest apologies, I did not realize this is credited to someone else. Still, very astute, and much appreciated.
And, please, accept birthday well wishes for your birthday as well, be it early september or otherwise.
Indeed; the matter of Galileo’s religious views were of interest in his own day, and subsequently, down to the present day. The answer has always been, that Galileo was not only a Catholic but a devout Catholic; not a Catholic from expedience but a Catholic from conviction.
It has been said that the early scientific successes within Islam became exhausted ultimately because in the Islamic view, God was unbound by any constraint, even of logic, and rebuilt the universe as He willed at every instant. On the other hand, in the Jewish and Christian tradition, God retains all power but has agreed to bind himself to rational and consistent behaviour.
It is also put about that modern composers anre necessarily atheist. However, some of the most important – Arvo Pärt, Olivier Messiaen, Igor Stravinsky – are and were devoutly religious. Messiaen was organist at Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris, for 61 years! So that is where modernism in music lies.
Created in his image is a misunderstanding. “As he imagined us, so He made us” is better.
By the way, monotheism is, in itself, an effort to unify experience.
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