Many will answer that question unequivocally and without hesitation. They have no doubt and are not shy in stating what, to them, is an obvious truth. Of course, Christianity is anti-science. Christians are…Christianity is…fill in the blanks. There is no little irony in the fact they they often display the same closed-mindedness of which they accuse those religious types.
Adding to the irony is how unscientific such a position is, given the overabundance of evidence that it simply isn’t true. If science is about following the evidence and forming rational conclusions, those who insist that religion and science are diametrically opposed should go back to the drawing board.
In fact, we have addressed this question before at Is Christianity Anti-Science?. We have also shown how Science and Christian Theology Mutually Inform Each Other and the Historic Roll Call of Great Christian Scientists. Nonetheless, the assumption persists for far too many people. The article we cite below delves into the subject with some history on the question and some reasonable answers.
Christian West Origin of Science
“The undisputable fact is that modern science arose in the Christian West. What we think of as empirical science and the scientific method arose nowhere else—not in China, not in India, not in Japan, not in Africa, not in Arabia, and not even in the ancient Western civilizations of Greece and Rome. Only in Christian Europe did mankind develop the systematic study of nature, of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, meteorology, and all their many sub-disciplines. Only in the Christian West was science not only philosophized and speculated about, but routinely practiced, systematized, and treated as a calling and a profession.
“Moreover, the founders of all the major scientific disciplines were Christians. Christians who were pioneers of science include Nicholas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Antony Van Leeuwenhoek, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Nils Stensen, Georges Cuvier, Louis Agassiz, Charles Bell, Richard Owen, Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Joseph Lister, Walter Reed, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and Werner Von Braun—just to name a few of the more notable Christian men of science.”The undisputable fact is that modern science arose in the Christian West. What we think of as empirical science and the scientific method arose nowhere else—not in China, not in India, not in Japan, not in Africa, not in Arabia. Click To Tweet
“That science was born in the Christian West, and that so many of its founders and brightest stars were Christians, is sufficient to negate the notion that there is a conflict between science and Christianity. But was it just an accident of geography that science was born and nurtured in the West? No, indeed! Science was born and nurtured in the West because the Christian worldview promotes systematic inquiry into the natural world in a way that other religions, philosophies, and cultures do not.”
Features of the Christian Worldview that Promote Science
The Christian worldview is not just compatible with science, they are especially suited to one another. Here are five reasons why:
- Christians believe that the world is real, not an illusion.
- Christians believe that the material world is good, and tells us about God.
- Christians do not believe the created things are possessed by countless spirits and little deities.
- Christians believe in a God of order who created the world to operate by intelligible laws.
- Christians believe in a loving God whose attributes and laws are fixed and unchanging.
We encourage reading this in full at Is Christianity Anti-Science?.