Author Topic: christianity actually reponseable for science???  (Read 1474 times)

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Offline wigglytuff

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christianity actually reponseable for science???
« on: March 08, 2013, 03:38:07 PM »


I was wondering how much truth is there in the claim that "modern science is only possible in a "christian worldview?" as some creationists like to claim? here is an example http://www.lionofjudah1.org/Apologeticshtml/Is%20Christianity%20a%20Cause%20of%20Science.htm

Offline One Above All

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 04:04:13 PM »
Not only is christianity not responsible for science, but it is, in fact, probably the worst enemy to science. Remember the Dark Ages?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline wigglytuff

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 04:07:21 PM »
yeah i know but read some of the stuff this guy is claiming.....like how the christian god makes things knowable....

Offline One Above All

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 04:08:14 PM »
Sorry; I don't read crap. Most of the time anyway.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 04:17:47 PM »
Not so much.  The discovery and exploration of science is inevitable in any culture that is not specifically geared to stop that kind of freedom of thought.

What the author of that page failed to consider when writing it is that Christians were and are caught up in several of those intellectual traps; specifically the viewpoint that the heavens are 'divine', a tendency to deny the basic reality of the universe, and not being able to balance reason and philosophy.  Also, the seventh argument he makes is incorrect.  A culture does not need to view humans as qualitatively different (which is a very clear attack on the theory of evolution) for science to flourish; instead, it needs to be able to recognize the functional differences between humans and other animals, without putting humanity up on a pedestal of superiority.

Science develops not because of religious belief, but because of freethinking.  That is to say, one of the reasons science developed further in Christian-dominated Europe than in the other places he mentioned is because it did not persecute freethinking as heavily as those other places tended to.  Another reason is because European (and later, American) culture was not monolithic, although it did share a common cultural framework.  A monolithic culture tends to hobble freethinking by its very existence, while cultures that are too different tend to impede its spread.

The main reasons the Greeks did not progress very far with science were that they were too divided against themselves, and they failed to grasp that experimentation was crucial to scientific development (which is why they got saddled with Aristotle's "four element" lunacy and certain other flawed ideas).  It could have happened in Rome, if they'd had proper contact with India and China.  As it stands, they had no external competitors and thus no impetus to push science, and they also had to deal with early Christianity, when it was at its worst and most virulent.  Exactly the same problem that Islam had, in its own way.

But honestly, the real reason we have modern science is because although it got uprooted time and time again, it never got uprooted everywhere at the same time.  Islam was able to carry the torch of science until Europe had gotten over the worst of its religious lunacy, and it served as a bridge whereupon Asian science and ideas were able to spread into Europe.  And freethinking started to grow before Europe could get enmeshed in another fit of religious lunacy.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline su27

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 04:21:37 PM »
I was wondering how much truth is there in the claim that "modern science is only possible in a "christian worldview?"

Watch "Agora" and you'll know the answer.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 04:22:13 PM »
If the Christian god makes things knowable, how have so may non-Christian societies known so much? People in every culture have been doing things that meet the criteria of science--discovering, classifying, inventing and creating things-- since there have been people.

All over the world from China to India to Islamic countries to the Mayan civilization, people have been domesticating animals, inventing agriculture, designing water systems,  building bridges, inventing writing and math, charting the planets and stars, figuring out which plants and herbs treated what medical conditions.

Before, during and after Christianity.

And if it were not for Christianity stalling scientific progress, it would have spread and advanced further and faster. Copernicus, Galileo and heliocentrism? Darwin and evolution? Reproductive health care?  Stem cell research?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline su27

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 04:25:23 PM »
And if it were not for Christianity stalling scientific progress, it would have spread and advanced further and faster. Copernicus, Galileo and heliocentrism? Darwin and evolution? Reproductive health care?  Stem cell research?

Personally, I think we would live on Mars today if there were no christian dark ages.

Offline Tonus

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 04:32:45 PM »
I'm reading through it.  The writer seems to be claiming that "modern science" is the "creation" of the Catholic Church, or that the Church made the development of "modern science" possible.  He uses the argument that "technological advancement isn't science" to dismiss any scientific and technological progress that comes before what he refers to as "modern science," which he defines as "The systematized collection of knowledge about nature through using only reason and sense experience in order to discover the underlying laws of nature, which explain how nature is organized and allow future accurate predictions about nature's processes or objects to be made."

It seems as if he has come up with a crude definition that meets the needs of the claim he makes in his subject, while flatly dismissing anything that might undermine his claim.

Not that it matters.  If Christianity developed modern science and nurtured it through its growing stages, that's great.  It kinda sucks for them that their own creation turned out to undermine everything they built before then, but that's how it is with this "truth and understanding" stuff.

Offline Nick

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 05:33:41 PM »
Many cultures had advanced knowledge long before Christianity came upon the scene.  If anything, Christianity held us back 100s of years.  Even the Arab cultures were advanced before they gave that up to their new religion.
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Offline sun_king

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 05:57:30 PM »
I read up to "While the Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Islam all had what can be fairly called "science," their science lacked the rigor and vigor that would characterize the West's science from Galileo onwards, and soon fizzled out on own."

This technically means "science" is something that the church supports (starts supporting).

We are seeing quite a rigor and vigor from the church when it comes to Darwin.


Offline Nick

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 06:38:52 PM »
Church has done wonders for stem cell research. ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 09:37:47 PM »
I would take a wild guess and say that the only thing that christianity really contributed to science was a story so dumb that people decided to ask what really happened.

Not that the Catholic Church hasn't taken steps to reform their initial attitudes. Why they even apologized to Galileo for keeping him under house arrest until his death in 1642. You know, for daring to claim that the earth revolves around the sun. Granted, they apologized 350 years later, but hey, it's the lack of thought that counts.

Granted, the church did make some real contributions to science. Like when they burned the scientist Giordano Bruno at the stake in 1600, they were able to jot down in their lab notebooks that flames were just as effective on smart people as they were on witches. This was a great contribution to forensic science. An area of study the church had a head start in, being as they were forensicking the fuck out of people at the time.

The church went down kicking and screaming, but it shouldn't take credit for it's the own drubbing. Which is what it is doing if it tries to take responsibility for science.


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Offline JeffPT

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 10:43:21 PM »
I'm not sure it even matters.  Science is here now.  If religion gave it to us, then so be it.  I don't care.  Christianity is still false.  There's still no god. And if religion gave us science, then it should have been more careful, because science is slowly killing it. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline bertatberts

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 04:44:16 AM »
At the emergence of man. Man was using science, the fact that he used tools. Proves that. 
Religion and illogical thinking came much later.
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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2013, 06:37:05 AM »
It's sort of sad that the site links to a piece about why evolution is just a philosophy.
To wit, it doesn't exactly assure us of the author's knowledge of what modern science is - regardless of its merit, the theory of evolution is a scientific theory. And yes, I even read the evolution article ... consider it a bonus.



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When we think of Christianity's role in the rise of science, what do we think of?  How it hindered it, such as the conflict between Galileo (1564-1642) and the Inquisition in the seventeenth century?  Or, perhaps, do we think of Thomas Huxley debating evolution with Bishop Wilberforce in the nineteenth century?  [...] Modern science arose among avowedly Christian clerics, theologians, monks, and professors of medieval and renaissance Catholic universities and monasteries.
This highlights two problems right off the bat.
1) Neither christianity nor science is a monolithic block in this context. What the churches were willing and able to suppress changes a lot from century to century and from country to country. The Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant philosophies differed wildly on this subject. Nor is what, say, Kepler did really representative of what we would call modern science - otherwise he wouldn't have bothered with the platonic solids model.
2) That science arose among christians is no more indicative of a foundational christian role than the fact that gregorian chants was designed specifically by christians for christians is indicative of the impossibility of gregorian chants arising out of anything by christianity.
If you read old texts (before around 1400 CE) from basically anywhere where the catholics were strong, what you get (among other things) is an extremely hostile view toward curiosity. (Either that or extremely coarse stories about sex and violence - they had no TV.) Curiosity is about self-improvement, but the only self-improvement necessary is religious in nature. Learning new things, exploring, inventing is mundane and as such, nothing more than an expression of human vanity. Obviously, you can't adhere to that and still build a telescope.
In the 15/16th century (and continuing to this day), the church lost much of its power due to economic shifts, to what would today be called big business (which was itself possible only due to innovation). Also, the printing press made books much more accessible and literacy spread. Who owned books before that? People the church didn't want to or could not prosecute because they held power; and the church, who could thus control what was produced.
With the mass of new books, it became much harder to control what was printed and - accompanied by a loss of political power - the church had to pick and choose what they'd agree with. Plus, the church's black book lists were regularly ignored in the anglican and protestant territories - with the protestant ones continuosly shifting.

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After all, neither Galileo nor Copernicus (1473-1543), who maintained the sun was at the center of the solar system, not the earth, were skeptics or unbelievers, [...]?
Okay, first, the church maintained that the earth was the center of the universe. And it was taught as fact. Protestants were even allowed to read it for themselves. People claiming otherwise were shunned or prosecuted. Nonetheless, this system of thought is supposed to be responsible for science - which clearly indicates that the sun is the center of, well, a very insignificant local system, and that there is not even such a thing as a center of the universe?
In a predominantly christian society, scientists will be christian with some regularity. As will businesspeople and murderers. This is telling us nothing. I will point out that quite a few scientists personally suffered under an appearent irreconcilability of their findings and the biblical texts (Darwin neither least nor most of all); and they often invented new private theologies to fit both, which sometimes led to trouble.
The text often refers to Galileo, as in "we should not be blinded by the Galileo affair". We're not told why. Christianity has its dogmas, and works on keeping them around, even today. This necessarily leads to denial of other dogmas or scientific findings, at the very least implicitly casting doubt on the scientific process itself.

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Pierre Duhem and Stanley Jaki, respectively past and present professors of Roman Catholicism, see a direct tie between Christian metaphysics, its rejections of various classical Greek philosophical conceptions, and the birth of a self-sustaining science.[3]  On the other hand, Robert K. Merton, the sociologist who wrote Science in Seventeenth Century England,[4] ties seventeenth century English Puritanism's ethics to the rise of English science much the same way the German sociologist Max Weber tied the rise of capitalism to Calvinism.[5]
(Etc.)
Note that nowhere in there does it actually say that science couldn't have possibily arisen out of, say, islamic metaphysics. The typical early argument for doing "vain" science was to get to know god by getting to know his creation. There was an exact parallel in the islamic world for a time. Or, to put it bluntly, if A results in Z, does that mean that B can't result in Z?
Also note that christian thought was more and more outside the realm of organizing influence - not quite incidentally at the end of the dark ages and at the beginning of the rennaissance. So did christian though develop on its own to allow science and usury or did it rather have to react to philosophical and economical development? It's easy to tie in science with christianity in a historical context. Identifying causal factors? Not so much.

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In order to have some idea of what culture's science really qualifies as science it's best to introduce a definition here to avoid misunderstandings:  The systematized collection of knowledge about nature through using only reason and sense experience in order to discover the underlying laws of nature, which explain how nature is organized and allow future accurate predictions about nature's processes or objects to be made.
Which bible passage is that?
Okay, to claim that the bible claims something that is diametrally opposed to scientific findings does not mean science did not result from it. However, I have a hard time seeing how it could follow from it. Much less include it as one of its vital historical constituents.
As the text says, most civilizations worth a damn have the rudiments of science - and if there is even a slight influence that economical, political, and social factors are playing (hard to see how they wouldn't), it seems rather clear that christianity could not possibly be the deciding factor in its conception.

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For all the world's civilizations, only Greek geometry fully met this definition, along with mathematics in general, prior to the time of Galileo, and that is only by excising the "sense experience" part of this definition.
Actually, no. Senses are a part of it, otherwise how would the greeks know what a triangle looks like? The fact that an euclidian triangle is an abstraction is irrelevant.

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This historiography of science has still to face up honestly to the problem of why three great ancient cultures (China, India, and Egypt) display independently of one another, a similar pattern vis-a-vis science.  The pattern is the stillbirth of science in each of them in spite of the availability of talents, social organization, and peace--the standard explanatory devices furnished by all-knowing sociologies of science on which that historiography relies ever more heavily.[9]
That's a rather small sample, don't you think?
Also, who says that peace is conductive to science? I'd argue that, to the contrary, the motivation from change comes from instability or discontent. Which there was plenty of in Europe. I'd say the great christian schisms in the 16th century were more conductive to science than was the core christianity (or rather, catholicism) itself. As was the increase in population, urbanization, rise in literacy, developments in trade, and not least the general political fragmentation of Europe.
If we're going to use small samples, political conflict seems to have played a great role in about 100% of all documented cases of modern science.

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All of these conditions may be necessary to allow a civilization to develop science, but we have to look to the intellectual climate to understand why only one particular civilization developed a self-sustaining, modern science.
This seems a sort of anthropic principle. We're the first; it doesn't mean it can't happen or couldn't have happened without christianity.

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The alternative view of time, the concept of the "Great Year," maintains centuries-long time cycles exist in which the future repeats the past exactly or almost exactly, making progress of any kind theoretically impossible.
Untrue. Many if not all cyclical world views allow for self-improvement.

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Second, if science is to exist, explanations of natural phenomena must avoid a priori, pseudo-scientific "explanations" that really do not describe the causes of events, such as astrology.
Again, where in the bible does it say this? The fact that christians can be brought around to dismissing a priori explanations (such as biblical flood geography) does not mean christianity is particularly conductive to science.

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Third, science is hindered by the organismic view of nature.  This idea conceives all of the universe as alive, as if it was one huge organism which goes through the above mentioned cyclical process from birth, to maturity, then death, to be born again.
As a starting point, this is no better or worse than the crystal spheres "model". At least it allows for change.

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Sixth, a balance between reason and faith is necessary, without the religious people totally rejecting science or natural laws, and without the philosophers/scientists totally rejecting the claims of religious truth.
Well ... scientists need to be left unprosecuted and be willing and able to investigate. That's really about it. If you need the predominant religion to not attack you or hinder your progress or teach dogmatic philosophies, then what do you really need it for?
Why do scientists have to entertain religious claims? Christian scientists seem to have done fine while totally rejecting Islam, why would this not be true of christianity?

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Seventh, man needs to be seen as fundamentally different from the rest of nature, as having a mind that makes him qualitatively different from the animals, etc., not just quantitatively different.
Too general for the purpose of the point the article is trying to make.
Also, funny how Linnaeus classified humankind as belonging to the ape family. You know, a clergyman. I'm only mentioning this because, once again, the article presents us with a set of philosophie which is supposed to be conductive to inquiry but is fundamentally opposed to the findings thereof. I keep wondering; if christianity is something that allows for and encourages the breaking up of christian dogma, what makes it so unique? It's not only scientific findings that contradict christian assumptions, after all, scientific epistemiology is fundamentally different from the christian one. And if it is, how likely is it we can't have one without the other?

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Islamic science would have become self-sustaining possibly, if its holy book the Quran (Koran) had not emphasized God's will and power so much as against His reason, and if Muslim philosophers and scientists had not become so mesmerized by Aristotle's physics and philosophy.
It's very easy to see how the Muslim philosophers could have deemphasized the passage in question themselves. There is precedent after all ... no clergyman today will tell you that slavery is okay.
Aristotle, huh? Well, Europe had him too and overcame him. Given a slightly different set of circumstance, Islam could have done the same.

I'll skip the comparison of China, India, and Egypt. Many superstitions mentioned there do have parallels in christianity and in any case, it gives us an idea of why science didn't develop there to the extent it did in Europe, but no reason to think they couldn't have developed there at all.
The history of civilization is not that long that we could discount the mere possibility that anything else other than christianity could have led to science.
Premises:
A caused Z.
B, C, D did not cause Z.

Conclusions:
A must cause Z.
B, C, D, can't cause Z.
E can't cause Z.

Notice something didn't you? None of the conclusions follows from the premises.
That is not to say that we can't identify factors within A, B, C, D, E that would probably make them more or less likely to lead to Z. This is why history, ethnology, and sociology are fucking hard.
Which is also the reason why people doing research and writing papers within those disciplines should bloody well take extra care.
In addition, as the writer (to his or her merit) admits here and there, christianity did suffer from many superstitions. Which just begs the question once again, of how a particular set of superstitions could have given rise to science while no other set of superstitions could.

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Moving westwards to the land of India, an equally perplexing problem with the lack of modern science seems to present itself.  Hindu civilization on the subcontinent was ancient, well-settled, and extremely rich materially by the standards of the time.  India routinely ran surplus balances of trade with the West, as China did.
See my quib above; when everything's running well, why change it? If your country has been running smoothly for centuries, why upset things by encouraging skepticism?

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Unfortunately, for the Islamic world, its leading philosophical, theological, and scientific figures made some very serious wrong turns.  The key problem was a lack of balance between faith and reason, which ultimately extended from the Quran's emphasis on the absolute (and arbitrary) will of God.  No Islamic equivalent of  Thomas Aquinas appeared on the scene to systematically reconcile and integrate the theology of Islam with the rationalism of the Greek classics, without unduly bending one to fit with the other.
Wait ... so what if there had been?

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It asserted the doctrine of occasionalism, which sees the law of cause and effect as only occurring due to God's continual, direct intervention in the universe.  Hence, to al-Ghazzali, if a rock lands on my big toe after I release it, the resulting pain is only due to God putting it there in me, not due to the properties of the rock and toe themselves.  The direct consequences of such a concept against the idea of a scientific law of nature can easily be imagined.[50]
For a similar approach, see the religious views of Sir Isaac Newton.

In reference to Islam, it occurs to me that Islam is a possibility among many on where to take the OT and the NT. Which, since Islam hasn't resulted in modern science, seems to imply that at the very least, christianity did not have to culminate into science.

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Astrology, that prime example of an answer-giving a priori pseudo-science, ran into repeated condemnations by church writers and theologians in the West.
Of course they did. It wasn't their dogma, and they sure as hell didn't want random would-be mathematicians treading on their ground.

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Astrology did have some major influence in Christendom, but as even Bacon's case shows, there were limits to the acceptance of this pseudo-science that allowed science to eventually develop independently of it.
As the text itself say, the interest in astrology started rising again concurrently with the interest in astronomy. In fact, this is a prime example of how trying to figure out a superstition (even in its own belief system) can lead to scientific findings.

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The cosmologists [of the twelfth century] felt certain that all of nature was fundamentally rational because the all-knowing God had made it so. . . .
As opposed to Aristotle, who thought the world was so rational that you really only had to think about it rationally as opposed to checking your findings against reality? You know, the guy who kept it secret that the diagonal of a square whose sides are measure in whole numbers cannot by definition be expressed by a ratio of whole numbers?
This is a double-edged sword. The emphasis on god's rationality may encourage rationality ... on the flip side, if we already know that the world is rational, why bother finding out about it? A chaotic universe makes it impossible to figure out; a perfectly ordered one makes it superfluous - or at least it deemphesizes the need to go beyond thinking.
This is but one example of how the same basic view could easily have had a quite different outcome. Philosophies do not have a strict schema to follow.

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With the approval  Thomas gave to reason in Summa Theologica, science could go forward as secure in the existence of natural law, which was a concept al-Ghazzali and al-Ashari denied to Islam by emphasizing God's will and power too much relative to His reason.
Again, this seems to imply that if just Islam could have gotten a handful of other influential people, they would now be sitting on a well of scientific discovery, making chance occurence a factor.

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Merton lists various values that helped promote science among Puritan Englishmen in the seventeenth century.[85]  One is to glorify God and serve Him through doing activities of utility to the community as a whole, as opposed to the contemplative, monastic ideal of withdrawal from the community.
Cool. I imagine this was also conductive to masonry.

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What this shows is the unintended consequences of the new religious values of Protestantism.[95]
I like the word "unintended" here.

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Jesus was the Savior of science--without His birth, life, and resurrection, it never would have existed in this world.
A coda that is sure to impress skeptical people.


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So. To put it more concisely:
Yes, christian philosophy had a hand in scientific progression. How could it not, with its power?
Yes, most scientisits were christian, many if not most of them deeply so. Almost invariably, their opinions were non-canonical.
Yes, christianity did help science along. And it hindered and opposed it. There is no one christianity, much less one christian philosophy. Never even mind christian policies. At one point, science in Britain flourished because the Anglican church left private enthusiasts to their own devices. At one point, science in France flourished because the catholic stranglehold was so strong that even slight deviations from dogma made you a recluse, so many scientist didn't even bother trying.
No, christianity is not the only factor in how philosophy develops, including christian philosophy itself. Politics, wars, famines, prosperity, literacy, economy, etc, etc, etc.
No, you don't get to enumerate Indian/Egyptian/Chinese superstitions as major constraints on science and gloss over European ones.
No, the fact that christianity allowed or pushed science does not mean it could not have come about any other way.


//edit: damn, do I ever need to get a life ...
//edit2: Also, is good.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 08:37:57 AM by Noman Peopled »
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline William

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2013, 07:17:16 AM »
How ironic that Christians want to take credit for science but their git god conceals scientific knowledge until science discovers it.  &)

If cures and technologies are good - how can withholding knowledge be anything but disgustingly evil?  This god is sick and not worthy :o
Git mit uns

Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2013, 08:42:47 AM »
Damn, it embedded automatically. Now I can't edit any more and it's stuck at Lecture 2. Just make sure you start at Lecture 1 and watch the whole thing. I'm serious, there will be a test ;)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 08:44:44 AM by Noman Peopled »
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2013, 11:19:24 AM »
Here is number 1.


There is 20 in all. All an hour + long.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 12:39:14 PM »
Great post, Noman. What's the date for the final?  ;D

The Egyptians could build incredible pyramids and temples. Not without some science. They could mummify. Not without some science. The Chinese intented gunpowder, paper, the printing press and the compass without christianity. The muslims were making amazing progress mathematically, in medicine, etc. until one Mullah or whatever they're called told everyone to stop in the 11th century. And they did. Otherwise they might be flying drones over us.

The South Pacific islanders could navigate from island to island because they learned what currents LOOK like, and taste like. That is observation. That comes from experimentation. That is repeatable and falsifiable.

The Aztec's and Inca's were doing amazing things with construction and astronomy and irrigation. Eskimos knew how to make knives out of their own feces in a tight spot. That may or may not be science, but it is still impressive.

Noman has it right. It was the people that had the courage to break from the church at least a little bit who made the progress. And the further one could distance oneself from the church, the more one was free to discover. And now, with a large percentage of scientists self-identifying as atheists or agnostics, we are making incredible progress.

If they want to take credit for ingenious devices used to torture victims during the dark ages, that's fine. But most of the early science was done by rebels, not priests.
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Online wheels5894

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2013, 01:01:30 PM »
Just one thought though - Pretty much all of Europe at the time of the Enlightenment and on into the 20th Century was Christian. Social norms dictated church attendance and the people themselves would have said they were Christian if asked. However, like today, I suspect there were plenty of nominal Christians who, while they may have attended church and so on, really didn't believe any of it. Yet for social reasons being an atheist (probably not a word a the Enlightenment) would have involved social ostracisation and no one would have admitted to it.

That Western scientists were Christian in a quirk of the the surrounding religion and we ought not to attach anything to claims that scientist x was any particular religion. After all, Einstein was nominally Jewish but to all accounts didn't realy do religion at all.
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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2013, 04:29:59 AM »
There have been Christians responsible for science and also Muslims and probably lots of people from other backgrounds too. However, I would not go as far as saying the religion itself is responsible for science because what the religion teaches counters the scientific process. I fail to see anywhere in the bible that encourages anything to do with the scientific process, after all, Christianity is about the teachings of the bible. Yes, maybe Christians, possibly even Christians of authority may have had their parts to play, but it is by their efforts and not that of a religion, because the scientific process is not reflected in the teachings of the religion. Generally what it teaches hinders scientific discovery because it's telling people things that are contrary to science, like the world was created in 6 days by God, and that man was created, not evolved, that praying heals rather than medicine. I'd argued that it's moving away from what's taught to discover how things really work that's responsible for science to have progressed and that's not something the bible's teachings are responsible for, but the responsibility of thinking that came after the bible...and heck, before, as science is older than you might think, even if ancient science could be seen as primitive to modern science.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 04:32:25 AM by Seppuku »
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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2013, 08:17:50 AM »
Not only is christianity not responsible for science, but it is, in fact, probably the worst enemy to science. Remember the Dark Ages?
No, I don't. I wasn't alive then.

The Dark Ages was a myth invented by Enlightenment era thinkers to help push their new secularist ideas. Historians debunked said myth decades ago.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2013, 08:34:21 AM »
No, I don't. I wasn't alive then.

You're also apparently unfamiliar with the concept of "expressions".

The Dark Ages was a myth invented by Enlightenment era thinkers to help push their new secularist ideas. Historians debunked said myth decades ago.

Whatever you say, Mooby. &)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 08:52:38 AM by One Above All »
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Offline Mooby

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2013, 09:09:10 AM »
Don't take my word for it. Look it up, preferably on a neutral site, so that you may be educated for the next time. "Conflict thesis" might also be a good term to add to your search.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2013, 09:09:59 AM »
Don't take my word for it. Look it up, preferably on a neutral site, so that you may be educated for the next time. "Conflict thesis" might also be a good term to add to your search.

I'm not a fan of history. What's my incentive?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Nick

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2013, 09:36:43 AM »
Right...the Dark Ages was a myth just like the Holocaust.
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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2013, 09:55:36 AM »
Why, then, did you not link to one of those reputable sites, Mooby?  It would have helped your case quite a bit; as it stands, it's a matter of you making a claim and then leaving it to others to find the support and evidence for that claim.

By the way, it wasn't just Enlightenment thinkers  who referred to part or all of the Middle Ages as the Dark Ages.  Renaissance thinkers did as well, and tellingly, so did Protestants, to refer to Catholic 'corruption'.  It's currently used mostly for the Early Middle Ages, which I think is a fair description since the times following the sack of Rome (especially after Justinian beggared the Eastern Roman Empire to reconquer the other half, which caused it to get hit by one of the worst plagues ever) could reasonably be referred to as 'dark', followed by a relatively steady population and trade decline.  On top of that, there was a decline in education through much of Europe, which hobbled scientific development since Greek was (then) the language of science, and it wasn't being taught in a lot of places.

It wasn't a complete disaster.  Justinian also produced one of the finest legal systems in the world, and there were places where Roman influence survived much longer than others (which resulted in a higher level of literacy and education).  And Charlemagne started the process of recovery through the bulk of Europe, though this was quite fitful.  But I think you have to agree that there was a 'dark' period of history which was in part due to religion (but more to other factors).
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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2013, 01:55:49 PM »
Well, let's see ... off the top of my head:
- dendrochronology
- C14 dating
- genetic dating
- consistency with astronomical records
- written chronologies
- consistency with documented history outside Europe
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe