Men and women have been doing mathematics, philosophy and tool design for thousands of years, but what we today know as “science” is a modern phenomena that started in the Medieval period of Europe and led to a revolution that changed virtually every facet of daily life and continues to do so today for billions of people.
Daniel Currier of iApoligia points out that for the Scientific Revolution to happen, it had to be in “Christian medieval Europe [which] was the perfect utopia for science. Brilliant European Christians led the fight against superstition and irrationality by promoting reason, progress and biblical worldview.”
Because that is true, Currier continues, “many fields of science must thank Christians as being their progenitors.” He then names more than two dozen of them and the scientific field each played a major role in opening, including, to cite just three, Robert Boyle for electrodynamics, Gregor Mendel for genetics, and Lord Kelvin for thermodynamics.
It is true that many scientists today are not Christians, but many are — likely more than most of the intellectual elite are willing to concede — and in any case both stand on the shoulders of dozens who were, including several who were fervently so.
Currier then claims something that will likely raise eyebrows among the highly educated ranks of Capitol Hill staff, many of whom are products of university curriculums that minimized or outright denigrated “Western Civilization” as repressive, imperialistic or otherwise disreputable:
“Before scientists can do science, they have to believe certain non-scientific ideas. You need to assume such things like order, uniformity in nature, value of hard work, truth, progress, freedom, ethics and a promotion of progress. Some ancient civilizations may have held to some, but not others. However, the Judeo-Christian worldview held all.
“Put otherwise, the Scientific Method is uniquely a product of a specific time and place in history, and that is Medieval Christian Europe.”
“This is not to say philosophies, technological advancements and mathematical progress of other cultures did not help. Yes, the Greeks, the Romans, the Chinese and the Mohammedans contributed, too. But they never started the scientific enterprise because of beliefs that stymied progress.”
Just to clarify the point, there were non-Christians in the ancient and succeeding ages who did things we would recognize today as science, but it was uniquely western civilization beginning in medieval Christian Europe that gave birth to science as a societal enterprise of first significance. Put otherwise, the Scientific Method is uniquely a product of a specific time and place in history, and that is Medieval Christian Europe (understood to include both its Catholic and Protestant Reformation influences).
To illustrate his point, Currier points to what he calls “the 10 Commandments of science,” axioms that are direct products of the Christian view of the world. To illustrate, the most basic is the first of the 10, that we humans have minds capable of rational thought:
“The Christian worldview asserts that we were created by a rational God with a rational mind. God is presented as logical, the essence of logic.”
“We need more than just rational minds to study the universe, we must also assume that our minds are rational. The Christian worldview asserts that we were created by a rational God with a rational mind (1 Corinthians 2:16). God is presented as logical, the essence of logic. John uses the Greek word Logos (same root as logic) to describe Jesus (John 1:1),” Currier explains.
“Jesus would point out logical fallacies, such as a false dichotomy (Mark 12:19-27) and would make logical arguments (John 5:19–46). Since it teaches we are created in his image, we too must have rational minds. Thus, we can think God’s thoughts after him, looking at the wonders of his creation.”
Currier continues in a similar vein with the remaining nine commandments of science and I encourage readers to consider them carefully, especially congressional staffers. Without Christianity and the civilization it sired, much of the comforts and capabilities we take for granted today would not exist. It’s our heritage and it’s worth defending and preserving.
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