Just read The World Turned Upside: The Global Battle Over God, Truth, And Power by the British agnostic, Melanie Phillips. Inside you’ll discover a collection of wonderful quotes, from David Horowitz to Peter Staudenmaier, and other words of encouragement, for the friends of free speech. Most courageously though, Phillips supports the position that Christianity and science are more than friends. As Anselm of Canterbury and Thomas Aquinas believed, God’s universe was supremely rational (p.327):
This is why many scientists from the earliest times onwards have been Christians and Jews. It is why Francis Bacon said that God had provided us with two books, the book of Nature and the Bible, and that to be properly educated one must study both. It is why Isaac Newton believed that the Biblical account of Creation had to be read and understood; why Descartes justified his search for natural laws on the grounds that they must exist because God was perfect and thus” acts in a manner as constant and immutable as possible” except for the rare cases of miracles; why the German astronomer Johannes Kepler believed that the goal of science was to discover within the natural world “the rational order which has been imposed on it by God”; and why Galileo Galilei said that “the laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.”
But Christianity is – in the Hollywood version of life, like Inherit the Wind – science’s enemy, right? Sure. Yet, the suspiciously long list of Christian scientists can’t be erased from textbooks forever. While the world’s greatest thinkers were individuals – from a number of denominations – they shared one thing in common.
For some reason this unmentionable “thing” turned their eyes to the heavens (or out of themselves) and it didn’t prevent them from becoming great scientists. Far from it. They became better men for seeing themselves as small-bit players in God’s universe, or humble servants, and we are the beneficiaries of their supposedly stupid ways, and the inheritors of their religious-fuelled discoveries.
For the development of science, monotheism was essential. As John Lennox puts it, “At the heart of all science lies the conviction that the universe is orderly.” This absolutely fundamental insight came not from the Greeks but thousands of years previously in the Hebrew Bible, with its proposition that the universe was governed by a single God rather than the whims of many gods.
Judeo-Christianity is for science.
Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.