The Biblical Roots of Modern Science Part 1

The Biblical Roots of Modern Science Part 1

Dec 20, 2016, 10:39 AM |

A Christian worldview and in particular a plain understanding of Scripture and Adam's Fall was essential for the rise of modern science.

Many atheists and their compromising churchian allies claim that biblical belief and science are mortal enemies. Yet historians of science, even non-Christians, have pointed out that modern science first flourished under a Christian worldview, while it was stillborn in other cultures such as ancient Greece, China and Arabia. The historical basis of modern science depended on the assumption that the universe was made by a rational Creator. An orderly universe makes perfect sense only if it were made by an orderly Creator (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:33). For example, evolutionary anthropologist and science writer Loren Eiseley stated:

"The philosophy of experimental science...began its discoveries and made use of its methods in the faith, not the knowledge, that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator who did not act upon whim nor interfere with the forces He had set in operation... It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted and that science today is sustained by that assumption."

But if atheism or polytheism is true, then there is no way to deduce from these belief systems that the universe (or should be) orderly.

Furthermore, Genesis 1:28 gives us permission to investigate creation, unlike say animism or pantheism which teach that the creation itself is divine. And since God is sovereign, He was free to create as He pleased. So where the Bible is silent, the only way to find out how His creation works is to experiment, rather than to rely on man-made philosophies, as did the ancient Greeks. So no wonder the sociologist and author Rodney Stark affirmed:

"Science was not the work of western secularists or even deists; it was entirely the work of devout believers in an active, conscious, creator God!

Furthermore, science requires that we can think rationally and that results should be reported honestly - more teachings found in the Bible, but do not follow from evolutionism.


Science in the Middle Ages

While this period used to be called the 'Dark Ages', responsible historians recognize that it was far from dark. Rather, it was a period of great scientific advances, stemming from the logical thought patterns of the medieval Scholastic philosophers of the Church and the extensive inventiveness and mechanical ingenuity developed in the monasteries. Small wonder that this period saw the development of water and wind power, spectacles, magnificent architecture, the blast furnace and much more.

An enormous advance in physical understanding was 14th-century logician John Buridan's development of the concept of impetus, essentially the same as the modern concept of momentum. Previously, Aristotle's followers argued that a moving object required a force to keep it moving, but Buridan proposed:

"After leaving the arm of the thrower, the projectile would be moved by an impetus given to it by the thrower and would continue to be moved as long as the impetus remained stronger than the resistance and would be of infinite duration were it not diminished and corrupted by a contrary force resisting it to a contrary motion."

This is a forerunner of Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion.

So it's not surprising that James Hannam, who recently earned a Ph.D. on the History of Science from the University Of Cambridge, UK, pointed out:

"During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church actively supported a great deal of science, but it also decided that philosophical speculation should not impinge on theology... Furthermore and contrary to popular belief, the Church never supported the idea that the earth is flat, never banned human dissection, never banned zero and certainly never burnt anyone at the stake for scientific ideas...

"Popular opinions, journalistic cliché and misinformed historians notwithstanding, recent research has shown that the Middle Ages was a period of enormous advances in science, technology and culture. The compass, paper, printing, stirrups and gunpowder all appeared in western Europe between 500 and 1500 AD"

Extracted from the Creation Magazine Vol. 32 No. 4  2010